Lay School For Mission Information
Sponsored by the Northern Great Lakes Synod
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE CHURCH
Enroll in the Lay School for Mission!
— Grow in Faith.
— Develop your Spirituality.
— Discern your Baptismal Vocation.
— Learn more about Prayer, the Bible, and the Church?
All This and more is available in the Lay School.
Lay School for Mission Purpose
The Lay School for Mission provides a unique educational opportunity in a number of sites around the Synod. To find a similar opportunity one would need to travel to seminaries in Chicago, St. Paul, or Dubuque.
Lay School classes are taught by pastors and qualified lay persons. There is no tuition for classes; the only cost is for books, transportation, and any meals. Although some academic work may be required, grades are not assigned, and students learn what they want to learn, at their own pace. The full Lay School experience covers five semesters of 60 hours each, taught over two and a half years. Students can also choose to take classes part time, or just take specific classes.
While “graduates” of the Lay School are not entitled to any specific position in the church, they are equipped to engage in greater ministry within congregations. They acquire new ministry skills and increase their understanding of scripture and theology. Most of all they deepen their faith and discipleship. All this happens as they gather on a regular basis with others, creating a caring community that learns and grows together.
Lay School classes are open to all members of the Synod. We also welcome persons from other Christian traditions to be a part of the experience. Their presence adds to the richness of the learning!
Anyone with an interest in growing in faith, discipleship, knowledge, and skills, is encouraged to consider Lay School classes. Imagine the impact on the ministry of your congregation if the pews were filled with persons who have grown in faith and discipleship, and who have new insights and skills in the work of Jesus Christ!
For more information, or a curriculum description contact Pastor Warren Geier, Dean of the Lay School for Mission, 906-486-4351
Lay School Campuses
Escanaba (MI) – Christ the King, Coordinator: Rev. Stephen Gauger, 906-474-9353, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marquette (MI) – Messiah, Coordinator: Rev. Warren Geier, 906-486-4351.
Hancock (MI) – Finlandia University, Coordinator: Pastor Soren Schmidt
Minocqua (WI) – Calvary Lutheran Church
Coordinator: Rev. Devon Barrix, (715) 277-4983
St. Ignace (MI) – The Lay School also engages in a cooperative ministry with the Presbytery of Mackinac through the classes of the Lay Academy meeting at Zion Lutheran Church in St. Ignace and in the northern lower peninsula. For more information, contact Pastor David Tielbar (906) 643-7870 – email@example.com.
Curriculum and Course Description
Lay School for Mission
Northern Great Lakes Synod
Curriculum and Course Descriptions – 2016-2018
Note: Semesters will be repeated in order.
Students can join the Lay School at the beginning of any semester.
Gospels (18 hours) – A study of the four gospels exploring the common message presented by the four evangelists, but also the unique aspects and theology of each work.
World Religions (12 hours) – An examination of the essentials of the Christian faith, and then a comparison with other religions of the world including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
Worship and Liturgics (15 hours) – This class will consider the symbols we use in worship, the church calendar and the liturgical structure of worship, as well as provide some practical instruction in leading worship.
Early Church History (15 hours) – This class will focus on the development of the early church and the issues that led to the seven Ecumenical Councils. The development of the Nicene Creed and other doctrines concerning Jesus will be examined.
New Testament Letters (22 hours) – A review of the letters of the New Testament and the various ways in which they reflect the gospel message. Consideration will be given to the context of each letter and how it spoke – and speaks today.
The Book of Acts: Then and Now (15 hours) – A study of the Book of Acts as a sequel to Luke’s gospel. Ways that Acts and its theology can be used as a resource for evangelism in the contemporary church will be examined.
Christian Theology I /God the Father (11hours) – A study of the first article of the Nicene Creed – what do we believe about God as creator of all that exists? What are the historical foundations behind the development of these beliefs?
Reformation History (12 hours) – A study of the controversies leading to the Reformation including the role of Luther and other major reformers. Issues and controversies within the Reformed churches will also be discussed.
Pentateuch (12 hours) – A study of the first five books of the Old Testament. The stories of the Pentateuch will be examined, not merely as history, but as theological statements, and the legal material will be considered in light of our contemporary culture.
Christian Theology II / God the Son (11 hours) – A study of the second article of the Nicene Creed – who and what is Jesus, and what is it about the human condition that necessitates Christ and the cross? What are the historical foundations, especially regarding the nature of Christ?
Ethics (12 hours) – A brief course on ethical behavior in light of the cross and God’s call to righteousness.
Spiritual Development (12 hours) – Prayer in its various forms will be the focus of this class. Students will be invited to explore and practice different styles of prayer.
Lutheran Confessions (12 hours) – This course will introduce and explore the Lutheran confessional documents, especially the Augsburg Confession and Luther’s Large Catechism. Other confessional document will be briefly noted.
Prophets I / Isaiah and Jeremiah (12 hours) – An introduction to Old Testament prophetic material including the former and latter prophets. This class will focus on Isaiah and Jeremiah as the most frequently cited lectionary prophets.
Preaching and Exegetical Techniques: From Text to Sermon (24 hours) – Students will learn how a sermon is developed, especially the various ways that a biblical text can be examined and interpreted. Students will be asked to write one sermon.
Christian Theology III / God the Holy Spirit (12 hours) – A study of the Third Article of the Nicene Creed – how does the Holy Spirit work in our lives? Included in the course will be an examination of our theology of the church and the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.
American Church History (12 hours) – This class will explore the historical development of Christianity in the United States from the 17th to the 21st century. Ecumenism, especially as it relates to the ELCA, will be considered.
Old Testament Writings (15 hours) – A review of the “writings” of the Old Testament, especially the Psalms. How do these books share faith and allow us as readers to wrestle with the issues of faith?
Apocalyptic in the Bible and in Contemporary Society (12 hours) – An exploration of the apocalyptic books (Daniel and Revelation), along with other apocalyptic passages, as well as how apocalyptic is a part of popular theology.
Stewardship of Spiritual Gifts (15 hours) – God blesses us with time, talents and possessions. This class will explore the stewardship of these gifts particularly as they relate to the various ministries of the church.
Polity: Life Together (6 hours) – A course on the structure and life of the church, with an emphasis on how we work together to accomplish the mission of Jesus Christ. Generally this course will be taught by the Bishop.
Prophets II / Ezekiel and the “Book of Twelve” (12 hours) – Ezekiel and the “Book of Twelve” (the so called minor prophets) will be the focus of this class. The time and context of their prophecy will be studied along with a discussion of the message they bring us today.
Lay School News – Fall 2017
For the fall semester we will be trying a different format so please read carefully!
- The afternoon classes will continue to be held on Tuesdays beginning on September 5th. The tentative ending date is November 28th but Halloween and weather could push things to December 5th. Classes will not meet during Thanksgiving week.
- The big change is that the evening classes will be moved to Wednesday. For the first three weeks class will begin at 6 and go until 8:30. In late September the classes will become part of Messiah’s Wednesday Night Life program. The WNL program begins with a meal at 5:30 followed by a Vespers service at 6. Lay School classes would then begin at 6:30 and go until 8:30. Lay School participants are invited to come for the meal and/or worship as well as the evening’s class.
- Classes will be held at Messiah, Marquette (305 W. Magnetic) with Pastor Warren Geier (Bethany, Ishpeming) as the site coordinator.
- Four classes will be offered in the Fall 2017 semester, Early Church History and Worship and Liturgics on Tuesdays, Gospels and World Religions on Wednesdays. (please note the dates and times for each class as they do vary)
Early Church History Tuesdays, Sept 5th to Oct 10th (3-5:30pm) (6 sessions)
This class will focus on the development of the early church and the issues that led to the Seven Ecumenical Councils out of which most of our basic theology comes. The development of the Bible, the Nicene Creed and other doctrines concerning Jesus will be examined. (Pastor Warren Geier)
Sept 6th, 13th and 20th (6-8:30) Sept 27th, Oct 4th, 11th and 18th (6:30-8:30) (7 sessions total)
An examination of the four gospels exploring the common message presented by the four evangelists, but also the unique aspects of each work.
(Pastor Allan Johnson)
Worship and Liturgics Tuesdays, Oct 17th to Nov 28th (3-5:30) (6 sessions)
This class will focus on leading worship (why we do what do) and also on understanding the symbols we use, the church calendar, and the liturgical structure of worship. (TBA)
World Religions Wednesdays, Oct 25th to Nov 29th (6:30-8:30pm) (5 sessions)
An overview of the essentials of the Christian faith and then a comparison with other religions of the world including Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. The hope is to have practitioners of other religions speak about their faith (Instructors TBA)
The Tuesday/Wednesday format does represent a significant change but it seems like it’s worth a try for the fall semester. We’ll evaluate as we go.
A reminder that there is no tuition; the only cost is for books (and instructors do their best to keep that within reason.)
As is always the case, we need new students! It should be emphasized though that one does not have to sign up for all the classes, one does not have to complete all the classes in a certain period of time, one does not even have to complete all the classes ever. You can take as much or as little as works for your schedule and your interests. The program is designed to be flexible. Also, Lay School is not designed to produce Licensed Lay Ministers. With further work beyond Lay School that is a possibility and some graduates have gone in that direction, but most students are just interested in growing in faith and becoming more active in their own congregations.
To register for classes, or if you have specific questions, contact your pastor or Pastor Geier (486-4351; firstname.lastname@example.org). If you would like more detailed information on any of the classes contact Pastor Geier.
It would be great to have some new students give Lay School a try, so consider this a personal invitation! If you’re not sure, try a course and see how it goes. You will grow in faith and you and your church will benefit from your involvement!