Dr. Larry Hurtado contends that worship of Jesus was a very early, widespread and radical practice for 1st century believers. A renowned professor at Edinburgh College, Hurtado is an expert in Christian origins. In this course, Hurtado utterly refutes those skeptical scholars that propose that belief in the divinity of Jesus grew incrementally over time. The more plausible explanation is that Jesus believed he had a unique relationship with God and that he was God’s decisive agent in human history.
- Introduction to Jesus Devotion
- Roman and Jewish Backgrounds
- Jesus in the Letters of Paul
- Jesus in Jewish Christianity
- Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels
- Jesus in the Gospel of John
- The Costs and Consequences of Jesus Devotion
- How Did It Happen? Why Does It Matter Today?
2.0 CEUs are available.
Number of weeks: 9
Required books: No
Certification or Series: Yes (Wesley Academy for Advanced Christian Studies)
Read course description for details.
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Past Students Said…
“I liked the thought-provoking questions that helped me to dig deeper into my beliefs.”
“I really, really, really appreciated solid theory on the timing of the writings in the New Testament, particularly as it related to Paul being active as a Christian such a short period after Jesus was crucified. That plugged an education gap I didn’t realize I had that comes up while leading Disciple Bible study. I also found it very valuable to consider the social context at or shortly after the time of Christ’s crucifixion. For me, I had this image of there being Jews, Romans, Christians and “over there” Gentiles. I didn’t stop to think that there were professional guilds, or neighborhood gatherings or just groupings that would put significant peer pressure on everything. Again, this aspect of the course really filled a gap for me.”
“The online discussions were very valuable, and I felt like most of the questions opened up avenues of thought for me that I would not have otherwise had. And I thought this was a good group in this class, participating and commenting in a very positive and constructive way.”
About the Instructor
Rev. Dr. Scott Pickering has served 24 years at five United Methodist Churches in the North Georgia Conference. He is a recognized leader within the conference and played a critical role in defining leadership qualities for commissioning and ordination candidates for ministry. Scott also serves as an instructor for Early Response Teams who respond primarily to natural disasters. In addition to a Master of Theological Studies degree from Candler School of Theology, Scott has earned a Doctor of Ministry degree focused on Church Leadership from Wesley Theological Seminary. He has also taken courses at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and the Church of God School of Theology in Cleveland, Tennessee, gaining additional insights into culture and theology.
About the Program Director
Michael Beardslee began working for the Institute for Discipleship and BeADisciple in early 2016, developing and facilitating courses for the new Wesley Lay Academy. This was a natural transition for him: He had been the Institute for Discipleship’s Visiting Scholar Southwestern College, then continued the work he began with BeADisciple.
Michael is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary (intercultural studies), working under Pentecostal theologian Amos Yong. His doctoral research concerns the way Christians from different cultural locations relate to one another in a globalized Christianity. His writing was featured most recently in “Breaking the Marriage Idol: Reconstructing Our Cultural and Spiritual Norms” (IVP, 2018), and in the Religion and Theology Journal (Brill, 2017).
In additional to his doctoral studies Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from Friends University, an M.A. from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Trinity International University.