LIFE at Eden
You're invited to take part in LIFE, the Lay Institute of Faith Exploration. LIFE retreats take place five times a year on the Eden campus and provide lay persons with a more comprehensive way to explore their faith.
What is the LIFE program?
LIFE (Lay Institute of Faith Exploration) is a program of retreats that invites lay men and women to study scripture and explore Christian faith and life. It challenges participants to become life long learners and disciples, faithful witnesses to the gospel and faithful members and leaders of the church. LIFE is sponsored jointly by the Missouri Mid-South Conference, the Illinois South Conference and Eden Theological Seminary (all United Church of Christ).
How does the LIFE program work?
Each LIFE retreat offers two courses. Participants must register for one course or the other as they are offered simultaneously. All participants may register for either course.
One course is always a Certificate Course (formerly called Basic Course). The 15 Certificate Courses are offered on a three-year cycle (five courses a year). Persons who complete all 15 Certificate courses receive a Leadership Certificate.
The other course will focus on a topic of current interest in Christian faith and church life.
The 15 Certificate Courses are:
- On the Road to Discipleship
- Exploring the Presence of God (Thinking Theologically)
- Reading and Understanding Scripture: Old Testament
- Reading and Understanding Scripture: New Testament
- What is the Church and what is its Purpose?
- God in Scripture (Biblical Theology)
- Shaping Faithful Worship (Worship and Sacraments)
- The Church Is a Learning Community (Christian Education)
- How Do We Live Our Faith? (Christian Ethics)
- Confronting Reality: Life and Faith (Justice and Witness)
- Exploring the UCC (UCC history and polity)
- Proclaiming the Good News (Preaching)
- Caring in Community (Pastoral Care)
- Telling and Living the Story (Evangelism)
- Christianity in America (Church History)
Five retreats are held each year (early January, early March, late April, mid September, and early November). They begin with on Friday evening with 6pm dinner and end on Saturday at 3:30pm, following closing worship. Each retreat includes worship, community life, devotional time, meals and six hours of class instruction.
Where are the retreats held?
All retreats are held on the campus of Eden Theological Seminary, a leading theological center in Webster Groves, Missouri. Worship is held in the Seminary Chapel in the Press Center. Courses are held in classrooms in Press. Meals are eaten in the Schroer Commons, the Seminary’s dining room. Overnight lodging is provided in Seminary housing. Each suite accommodates two participants, providing a private bedroom for each and a common living room. Bathrooms are down the hall.
Who teaches the LIFE courses?
All the courses are taught highly trained and skilled teachers. Many are professors at Eden. Others are outstanding church leaders in the St. Louis area and beyond. Instructors usually identify some preparatory reading for each course (a book or journal articles, etc.) At most retreats, books for the following retreat will be available for purchase. Or they may be ordered and will be mailed.
What is the schedule at a retreat?
7:30pm Session 1 of each course
What is the cost of a retreat?
7:15am Coffee/Tea ready
7:30am Bible study
8:40am Session 2 of each course
10:30am Session 3 of each course
12 noon Lunch
12 noon Seminary Bookstore is open until 1pm
1:10pm Session 4 of each course
2:40pm Closing Worship
The $140 fee includes Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, parking, the course and overnight lodging. Persons who do not want overnight lodging pay $130 for the three meals, the course and parking. The cost of preparatory reading materials (books, articles, etc) is additional.
What's being offered in 2013?
|April 26-27, 2013
Certificate Course - "Reading and Understanding Scripture: Old Testament"
Rev. Dr. Laurel Koepf-Taylor
This class will offer participants an introduction and overview of the Old Testament. First, we will explore the overall character and purposes of the Old Testament as theological witness. Then we will examine the major divisions of Hebrew scriptures: Torah, Prophets, and Writings. Course goals include the following: What is the origin of the Old Testament? What does it contain? How do we read and understand texts from scripture?
Recommended text: David M. Carr,An Introduction to the Old Testament: Sacred Texts and Imperial Contexts of the Hebrew Bible. Wiley-Blackwell,2010.
Rev. Dr. Koepf-Taylor is Assistant Professor of Old Testament at Eden Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence University and Union Theological Seminary in New York City and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She recently completed her Ph.D. at Union. Her forthcoming book from Fortress Press is entitled "Give me Children or I Shall Die": Children and Survival in Biblical Literature.
Second Course - “Caring for Creation: Eco-Justice”
Rev. Dr. John C. Dorhauer
As the UCC embarks on its Mission 4/1 Earth initiative, exploring the church’s resurrection witness for planet
Earth, this course will explore the church’s role as an agent of hope in a time of dire predictions about the
earth’s sustainability. What can we do about climate change? How can local congregations make a difference?
What kind of theological resources will aid the church’s mission for eco-justice?
Rev. Dr. Dorhauer serves on the UCC Southwest Conference staff as Conference Minister. He celebrated his
20th anniversary of ordination in June 2008. He has his M. Div. from Eden Theological Seminary (class of '88), and a D. Min. from United Theological Seminary, having studied White Privilege and its effects on the church.
Rev. Dr. Dorhauer, a long time advocate for eco-justice,considers it an honor and a blessing to serve on staff of the Southwest Conference.
For more information, or to register:
A deposit of $50 confirms your registration. Please make checks payable to Eden Theological Seminary.
Send checks to:
LIFE at Eden Theological Seminary
475 East Lockwood Ave.
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Meet God in new places, and come to LIFE!