Gospel School Changes for the Fall ~ Long time student/reader Jeffrey Wattles sent and update on the school. Jeff is a teacher of religion and philosophy at Kent State in Ohio, USA.
His Message, copied from the UAIList by permission:
August 18, 2011
Let's see if we can take the gospel school to the next level! What do you think? How might you be able to help?
As a result of my experiences this summer, and because several new readers, including four from Latin America, expressed interest in this school, I have decided, with the advice and consent of my co-leaders, Eija Seppänen-Bolotinski and Vicki Arkens, to initiate some changes to our internet gospel school for students of The Urantia Book.
Think back to the three different gospel schools associated with Jesus. The first was the four-month training session which the Master conducted for the six first-chosen apostles (May through June, A.D. 26 [137:7]). Then, after two weeks of personal work and gathering six more apostles, the second school was the one-week review that those six gave for the second six (138:6). The third was Peter's five-month school for evangelists (148:1).
What has the gospel school done during its first ten years? We have spent our time mainly on stage one training.
So what's the obvious next step? Why don't we move on to a second-stage review this Fall (possibly continuing after that)?
And after that? Third-stage training combined with practice beginning in the Spring.
That at least is the new plan, and I am eager to see what actualization will be possible for us.
So the Fall semester will review some of the territory covered thus far. We are inviting veterans of the school to present selected gospel themes and to conduct a two-week discussion of a theme that we have studied thus far. (A veteran is anyone who has been active with the gospel school for at least a year.) I will send these volunteer veterans a document with posts selected from a period during which the gospel school discussed their particular gospel theme. Where volunteers are lacking, I will do the work. Be sure to reply to me individually (firstname.lastname@example.org), not to the entire list, in order to volunteer.
During Spring 2012, new expectations will come into play. Following to a limited extent the pattern of the new school of the prophets, active participants will be expected to spend at least an hour per week doing evangelistic work—models will be provided beginning with practices that are minimally demanding—and to make some report of their experience. Like the first six apostles, we will begin with quiet, personal work. And one week per month will be a vacation from this expectation. Some form of evangelism will be required for those who can post, but observers will continue to be welcome.
Preaching and more aggressive methods will not be required, but there will be some discussion of these things beginning in the Fall of 2012.
What do you think? Intimidating? Exciting? Willing to stretch? Let's find out. I don't like to take people out of their comfort zone, but rather expand their comfort zone so that they want to try new things for, with, and in God.
Here is a syllabus for Fall 2011.
I. Introduction and warm-up
September 1-17. Introductions and warm-up, enhancing our love for our Father.
II. Selected gospel themes we have studied in the past decade.
September 19-October 1. The fatherhood of God (volunteer requested)
October 3- 15. The brotherhood of man (volunteer requested)
October 17-22. Divine sonship (volunteer requested)
III. What spiritual difficulties does the present generation face?
(This segment is based on the first paragraph of 194:2.)
October 24-November 5. (volunteer requested)
IV. What principles guide teaching?
November 7- 19. Principles of epochal revelation management
November 21-26. Principles of teaching
November 28-December 5. Discussion of some techniques for beginners
I am creating a new website for students of The Urantia Book and look forward to revising many of the documents important for our teamwork.
Because of the new students, I am not taking any more full participants (who will post and contribute as well as read the conversation) at the present time. If you are interested only in full participation, please let me know, and I will add you when the situation changes.
Gospel School Changes for the Fall
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