VST Academy 2019

About VST Academy at Faith Lutheran Church

Faith Lutheran in Bellingham has a lively history of engaging the Word–through liturgy and preaching, communal gatherings and meals, bible study, involvement in the neighborhood, and through offering continuing education for lay people to help equip them for discipleship outside the walls of the church.

After several years of hosting visiting scholars and faculty members from Seattle University, Pacific Lutheran University, and Vancouver School of Theology (VST), Faith has now become a site for the Vancouver School of Theology Academy, which offers a series of public lectures and daytime workshops on theological topics designed to get participants thinking and acting for the good of God’s world.

We are grateful to VST for this opportunity. These have been exciting times when the conversation is animated, insightful, and continues long after the event. This fall the following mini-courses will be offered (and may also be taken for credit toward a Certificate in Christian Studies at VST):

Biblical Poetry: Listening With New Ears

September 27-28: The Rev. Dr. Patricia Dutcher-Walls, Dean, Professor of Hebrew Bible Listening to the beauty of the poetry in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, this workshop will help participants understand how ancient poetry works, so that we can hear the prophets and read the Psalms aloud with new appreciation for the power of the texts.

What's Grace Got To Do With It? Galatians And Romans Then And Now

October 18–19: (Thursday night and Friday): Dr. Harry Maier, Professor, New Testament and Early Christian Studies Paul's letters to the churches in Galatia and Rome are foundational for both Christian identity and the western tradition. How have they been read and interpreted in the history of the church; how are they being read today? This course explores each of the letters through an analysis of the historical backdrop that prompted Paul to write them and their continuing relevance for Christian faith and discipleship. These letters bring us to the heart of the Christian faith. Who is God? What is grace? What is faith? What do these letters tell us about what it means to be human? Where do we find life? Who can we trust? Paul's answers to these questions are as profound and relevant today as when they were formulated millennia ago.

Dreams Of The Apocalypse

November 21-22: Rabbi Dr. Laura Duhan-Kaplan, Director of Inter-religious Studies and Professor of Jewish Studies The prophet Zechariah’s apocalyptic dreams have challenged interpreters of Hebrew Bible for centuries. But, together, we will rise to the challenge! We will explore Zechariah’s relevance to our own challenging times, as we explore prophecy, history, justice, dreams, eschatology, symbolism and intertextuality.

So You Want To Be A Protester, A Protestant

December 6-7: The Rev. Dr. Richard Topping, Principal and Professor of Studies in the Reformed Tradition Is there any protest left in Protestantism? Protestants have gone from a marginal movement to become the establishment and now back to the margins again. In the 16th century, an accidental revolution of Christian faith and life was born through the study of scripture. Drawing on some of the great themes of that protest, we’ll explore some of the gospel trouble we marginal people might cause for the church and the world today.

About the Day

We begin the Saturday events with worship -- starting the day with music and prayer -- which helps facilitate the process of building relationships between participants. An intentional space, “The Gathering Room” has been curated for these events with comfortable seating, up-to date audio-visual technology, and an area for coffee and tea pots, and snacks. Hospitality is simple but generous at Faith. Lunch in the social hall consists of hearty home-made soups and bread and is included in the $35 registration fee.

Because of the variety of people–from within the congregation, but also from the surrounding area–these events have become far more than academic learning sessions. New relationships are formed. New ideas for ministry are hatched. New ways of being in the neighborhood have come about.

Registration and Questions

Workshop fee: $35 per workshop (includes lunch)


office@faithbellingham.org or the Vancouver School of Theology www.vst.edu)