The Great Story of Your Faith: Defining Moments in the History of Christianity, August 1 – 8, 2017

By focusing on fateful events that decisively shaped Christianity the immense landscape of Christian history can be brought into view. Using a lens of progressive Christianity, we will engage four such defining moments in the two thousand years of the world’s largest faith tradition: the first-century expulsion from synagogues that launched organized Christianity; the fourth-century Council of Nicaea that inaugurated Christianity as a world empire religion; the sixteenth-century Protestant breakaway that created entrepreneurial religion; and the 1974 Lausanne Conference that still seeks global evangelization.

Online Course Schedule

  • Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM PDT
  • Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM PDT

About the Instructor

Rev. Dr. James F. Lawrence is Dean of the Center for Swedenborgian Studies of the Graduate Theological Union and Assistant Professor of Spirituality and Historical Studies at Pacific School of Religion. During 17 years in parish ministry in rural, suburban and urban settings, Dr. Lawrence helped three congregations re-energize, and he continues to have a special interest in the renewal of traditional ministries. In addition to Swedenborgian Studies, he teaches in the field of spirituality and has special interest in the varieties of Protestant religious experience, the radical margins of Protestant history, the dialogue between science and religion, and biblical spirituality. He has contributed as publisher, editor and author to more than 30 works. He describes his philosophy of teaching in this way:

“I help students understand and develop the resources for an engaged spirituality in the practice of ministry. Both vertical and horizontal extensions are required for spiritual leadership in tomorrow’s world, and these can be developed by engaging the stories of transformative faith: the communities that shape it, the theologies that nourish it, the practices that sustain it, and the moral life that embodies it.”


  • Theological Education for Leadership (TEL) students and Pacific School of Religion (PSR) students: $120
  • General public: $200


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