First Christian Church Academy   . . . not your usual “Church School”

A place for -spiritual exploration-faith development-

profound conversation-exceptional instruction


Another educational ministry of First Christian Church, “The Academy” seeks to be a place where in a Spirit of Sacred Safety, diverse ideas are respected, intelligent questions are explored, profound faith is examined and new and existing relationships are strengthened.

Courses are held in the Spring and in the Fall on Thursday evenings from 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. for six-eight weeks and cover various subject matters.  Snacks are available since many come straight from work and may not have had time for dinner.  Childcare is available.

If you are able, we ask for a $20 donation (per family) to help defray Academy costs (food, instructors, childcare).

The following are examples of what has been offered at previous Academy classes:

THE MANY FACES OF JESUS:  Instructor:  Dr. Margaret Nutting Ralph, Lexington Theological Seminary  –  Have you ever noticed how differently Jesus is described in our four Gospels?  Why is this?  Given that they differ, how can all four Gospel accounts be canonical?  In this six week class we will apply a contextualist interpretation of Scripture to the Gospels.  We will discover that the many faces of Jesus that are presented give us a much more theologically rich understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ than we would otherwise have.

TABLE SPIRITUALITY:  Instructor:  Rev. Dr. John T. Opsata, Senior Minister, First Christian Church  –  We who call ourselves Disciples can worship without hymns or choirs, litanies or liturgy but if we have not celebrated Holy Communion we have not worshipped.  From our days on the American frontier, when, because of clerical concerns, many Christians were unable to share in the bread and cup on a regular basis, we have found ways to make table fellowship the central act of our worshipping life.  Such weekly dedication surely leads to clear and profound meaning!  But does it?  We will explore the evolution of Disciple table fellowship and
understanding in order to better grasp what Communion can mean for us today and tomorrow.

CREATIVITY AS A PATH TO GOD:  Instructor:  Rev. Meredith Siler, Associate Minister, First Christian Church  –  As Christians we believe that we have been created in the Image of God.  If God is the ultimate Creator, then we must all have a spark of creativity within us.  Together in a safe, supportive, non-judgmental space we will explore creativity as a spiritual practice, a way to pray, a way to meditate, and a way to re-connect with the Holy.   No artistic talent required!

JUST FOOD & EATING JUSTLY:  Instructor:  Mrs. Kim Cowherd  –  Join us in a one day mini-retreat on food justice.  Do you know the full story behind that tomato on your sandwich? What does “well-fed” mean as people of faith? How can we re-imagine every meal around every table as a more holy experience? We will look deeply at the issues of food and eating through prayer, listening to stories, sharing a meal and snack together, and discussing food justice issues in our community, our nation and our world. Lunch and morning snack are included. Child care is available.