Upcoming Events

Lay Academy of Theology


The Lay Academy of Theology offers non-credit evening classes and other study opportunities led by Beeson faculty for interested laity as well as ministers desiring continuing education. For more information, please call (205) 726-2731.

Three ways to register:
1) Register Online (with Visa or MC)
2) Mail in a Registration Form (with check)
3) Call (205) 726-2731





The Encouraging News of God’s Grace

Paul wrote his letter to the Ephesian Christians to remind a group of discouraged believers of the astonishingly lavish grace of God. This short epistle still speaks powerfully to Christians today about the energizing nature of God’s grace. In this class, Dr. Frank Thielman will lead us through Ephesians in six steps, beginning with Paul’s emotion-laden prayer of praise to God in chapter one and ending with his stirring call to arms in chapter six. Along the way we will think about how Ephesians can encourage believers today to persevere in the faith, just as it encouraged the Ephesian Christians two thousand years ago.

Frank Thielman (B.A., Wheaton College; B.A, M.A., University of Cambridge; Ph.D., Duke University) teaches in multiple areas of the New Testament, Greek Exegesis, Pauline Theology, Interpreting Romans, and Advanced Greek Readings.

Schedule: Six Monday nights - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., beginning on September 26, 2016.

Cost: $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 19 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online

Teaching the Faith

How have the pastors and teachers in the history of the church explained the central doctrines of the Christian faith? How have they agreed and disagreed with one another? With the help of Dr. Carl Beckwith, this class will look especially at how the Early Church Fathers and Protestant Reformers interpreted and defended The Word on such topics as the authority of scripture and tradition, the Trinity, the person of Christ, justification and sanctification, the church, and sacraments. This study is certain to strengthen your understanding and ability to communicate the central beliefs of our faith. 

Carl Beckwith (B.A., St. Olaf College; M.Phil., Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland; M.A., Yale University; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) teaches at Beeson Divinity in the areas of History and Doctrine.

Schedule: Six Tuesday nights - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., beginning on September 27, 2016. 

Cost: $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 20 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online

Six of Twelve:  Hosea to Micah

Join Dr. Mark Gignilliat for another rich course where we will engage the first six voices of the Minor Prophets. We will give special attention to how these books have been interpreted in the history of interpretation as we engage these ancient, yet youthful voices. Micah ends his prophecy asking, "Who is a God like you?" Come explore God’s Word through these six in an effort to gain some insight into the force of this profound question. 

Mark Gignilliat (B.A., Bob Jones University; M.Div., Reformed Theological Seminary; Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland) teaches in the areas of Hebrew and Old Testament.

Schedule: Six Thursday nights - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., beginning October 6, 2016.

Cost: $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 29 $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online



America’s Theologian: Jonathan Edwards

When people hear of Jonathan Edwards, they think of the frightening sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” In reality, Edwards was obsessed not by God’s wrath but by God’s beauty. He did more with beauty than any other major Christian theologian in the last 2000 years. Dr. Gerald McDermott has spent a great amount of his life and career studying and learning from this 18th century preacher. And, because of his work, you can look forward to an outline of Edwards’ life and major works followed by an encouraging discussion of his surprising and profound insights into God and the Christian life, human freedom, spiritual discernment, why God created the world, the work of the Holy Spirit, the meaning of human history, non-Christian religions, and yes—beauty.

Gerald R. McDermott (B.A., University of Chicago; B.S., North Dakota State University; M.R.E., Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary.; Ph.D., University of Iowa) joined the Beeson Divinity school faculty in 2015 and is a renowned scholar of Jonathon Edwards. At Beeson, McDermott teaches on Edwards, Christian Understanding of other Religions, as well History and Doctrine.

Schedule: Six Wednesday afternoons - 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., beginning September 21, 2016.

Cost: $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 14 $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online

The Gospel According to Heretics
The Christian church grew up making mistakes. Those who got things wrong were branded "heretics", but their appeal lay in the fact that they were grappling with real difficulties that they thought they had resolved. What were those difficulties? Why did the Church go a different way? And what do
es that tell us about the structure and importance of our beliefs today? Join Dr. Gerald Bray to discuss these questions and more during this enriching course.

Gerald Bray (B.A., McGill University; M.Litt., D.Litt., University de Paris – Sorbonne) is Director of Research with The Latimer Trust in  London.  He also serves as Research Professor at Beeson Divinity School and teaches in the areas of Church History, Historical Theology, and Latin.  

 Schedule: Monday, January 23 to Friday, January 27, 2017, 1:30 p.m. to  3:30 p.m.       

 Cost: $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO JANUARY 16 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online 



November 8, 2016


Rev. Dr. Timothy Keller
Founding Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City


B.A., Bucknell University
M.Div., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Wright Center
"Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work"
Ticket required.*

*TICKETS HAVE ALL BEEN CLAIMED.  However,  you can still view the event at live.samford.edu

Rev. Dr. Timothy Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, a renowned speaker, and co-founder of The Gospel Coalition. He also is a New York Times bestselling author of two books, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism and The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. His book Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work will be the topic of the conference.



For more information, please contact the Lay Academy office at (205) 726-2731 or (800) 888-8266 ext. 2731.