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


Listening to and Learning from Isaiah and Jeremiah

Isaiah and Jeremiah reside at the front of the Old Testament’s Latter Prophets. Their message continues to reverberate in the church’s life, providing ample material for theological reflection on the character and will of God. During your time with Dr. Mark Gignilliat, this study will focus our attention on these two prophets as we seek to hear their living voice again. 

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 Monday nights - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning on September 28, 2015.

Cost:  $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 21 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online


Healing, Strength, & Rest for The Soul: Biblical & Historical Prescriptions

Today Christians suffer from depression, fear, confusion, anxiety, divorce and bondage to sin at rates equal to non- believers.  This sad trend can be reversed.  In Jeremiah 16:6 we read: “ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  In this class we will examine “ancient paths,” and learn how to apply biblical and historical prescriptions for the cure and care of souls. Join Dr. Lyle Dorsett and study classical models of soul care from the Bible, early church fathers, Martin Luther and John Calvin, as well as more modern soul care givers such as Evelyn Underhill and C.S. Lewis.  

Lyle Dorsett (B.A., M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City; Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia; Post-Doctoral Studies, Iliff School of Theology) is Beeson’s Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism and teaches courses in evangelism and Church history.

Schedule:  Six Tuesday nights - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning on September 29, 2015. 

Cost: $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 22 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online

Jesus and The Gospels

Who is Jesus? This is a question that continues to have a significant place in the mind of the Western world, and, perhaps even more now, in the minds of non-Westerners. The question about the identity of Jesus is made in different contexts, as much in the academy as in popular culture. For the church, the question is vital. Join Dr. Osvaldo Padilla in this exploration of the identity of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of the canonical books of the church – the four Gospels. During these six sessions, participants can expect: a greater investigation of the so-called “Search for the Historical Jesus," further understanding into the contributions by scholars such as Albert Schweizer, Rudolf Bultmann, and N. T. Wright, interpretation of the essential texts of the Gospels which help us grasp the identity of Jesus, and suggestions for teaching in the church or Bible studies.

Osvaldo Padilla (B.A., Moody Bible Institute; M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School;  Ph.D., King’s College, University of Aberdeen) is Associate Professor of Divinity at Beeson  Divinity School, where he has taught since 2008 in the areas of New Testament and  Greek. He is the author of The Speeches of Outsiders in Acts: Poetics, Theology and  Historiography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), and The Acts of the  Apostles: Essays   in Interpretation, History and Theology (Downers Grove:                                                                InterVarsity Press, forthcoming).

Schedule: Six Thursday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning on October 1, 2015.  

Cost:  $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 24 $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online


Come join us for worship at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel, stay for lunch with our students and faculty, and then enjoy a new understanding of scripture by participating in this new and challenging class!

The Divine Plan

From eternity God set in motion a divine project that establishes his personal relationship with his special creation, the human race—for time without end.  Under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Mathews, we can look forward to discovering this plan as it is revealed in Holy Scripture, tracing its progress from Genesis to Revelation, from creation to the new creation.  Make plans now to join us in this exciting study.

 Kenneth A. Mathews (B.A., Dallas Baptist University; Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary; M.A., Ph.D., University of Michigan) teaches at Beeson Divinity School in the areas of Old Testament and Hebrew.  

Schedule: Six Tuesdays - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. beginning on September 29, 2015.  

Cost:  $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 22 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online

An Introduction to John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion

This class will introduce one of the greatest Christian books of all time by giving an overview of its contents and providing tips as to how to tackle reading it and making use of it today. Join Dr. Gerald Bray in this exciting study as you might come mystified - but will leave edified!  

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 11 to Friday, January 15, 2016, 1:30 p.m. to  3:30 p.m.       

 Cost:  $89.00 IF REGISTERED PRIOR TO JANUARY 4 - $115.00 thereafter.

Register Online 

For more information, please contact the Lay Academy office at 205.726.2731 or 800.888.8266 ext.2731.