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 2013-14?
September 20-21, 2013
Certificate Course: Reading and Understanding Scripture: New Testament
Elective Course: Creative Conflict Resolution
November 15-16, 2013
Certificate Course: What is the Church?
Elective Course: TBA
January 10-11, 2014
Certificate Course: God Revealed in the Scripture: Biblical Theology
Elective Course: TBA
March 14-15, 2014
Certificate Course: Shaping Faithful Worship: Worship and Sacraments
Elective Course: TBA
April 25-26, 2014
Certificate Course: Church is a Learning Community: Christian Education
Elective Course: TBA
Certificate Course - "Reading and Understanding Scripture: New Testament"
Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause
Amherst College, B.A.1984
Eden Theological Seminary, M. Div., 1988
Emory University, Ph. D., 1996
Joined Eden faculty, 1992
This class will offer participants an introduction and overview of the New Testament. Deborah is Eden’s Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament. Dean Krause’s teaching and scholarship focus on methods of biblical interpretation and their roots in critical theory, theology and politics. “My goal is for students to examine their assumptions, and to develop a sense of how their view of scripture coheres with their view of God, the church and the mission of the church in the world.
Deborah is Eden’s Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament. An ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Deborah serves the church through social justice advocacy work, teaching, preaching and scholarship.
Recommended text: The New Testament, A Literary History, Gerard Theissen, 2011 (available in the Eden Bookstore)
Elective Course - Creative Conflict Resolution
Rev. Dr. Mark Lee Robinson, author of Just Conflict: Transformation Through Resolution, is committed to social change through the creative resolution of conflict. A practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Robinson holds a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School, and a Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from Eden Theological Seminary in conjunction with Care and Counseling in St. Louis. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
Rev. Dr. Mark Robinson
The art and science of Creative Conflict ResolutionSM is holy work. It is a spiritual discipline by which one strives to embody the divine longing for the reconciliation of all creation, Training agents of change in the art and science of creative and safe intervention with systems in conflict.
Recommended Texts: Just Conflict: Transformation through Resolution, Mark Robinson, 2009, Epigraph, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life, Rosenberg, Marshall, 2003, Puddle Dancer Press
For more information, or to register:
- Visit the Continuing Education page on the Eden Website and find the current listing of LIFE events.
- Email LIFE Director Jill Schantz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!