We asked Jon Marshall, course tutor, for an update on the new Advance Theology Course. Advance launched this new equipping resource at our Global Conference in May earlier this year, and we have been heartened by the remarkable uptake already!
Over several years, a common need has emerged from conversations in Advance churches around the world…
“We need help training our leaders to know the scriptures.”
“To communicate the gospel to our neighbors, we must learn the story of redemption until we can feel it in our souls and it sings from our mouths.”
“We want more elders but can’t seem to find a way to prepare them.”
The underlying demand was for theological training that would equip emerging leaders for gospel mission. In response we have created the Advance Theology Course.
The express aim of the course is to “build theological and biblical foundations to strengthen the church and gather the lost.” Many theology courses can feel dry and lifeless. In Advance we believe (because scripture tells us) that theology is not “learned” until it results in worship, obedience, and community.
theology is not “learned” until it results in worship, obedience, and community
Toward that goal, we constructed a course that is passionate for Jesus, points us toward worship, and engages us through community. We launched the course at Global this year and received a flood of interest from our churches!
Let me tell you what you’ll experience on the course…
Our beloved friend and teacher, Andrew Wilson (from King’s Church in London), walks us through the entirety of scripture and church history. I say “walk”, but he does so much digging into the word that it feels like he’s creating a trench as he tracks a vein of gold. Splitting the Bible into its natural sections (Pentateuch, Conquest, Monarchy, Exile, Gospels, Church), he draws out the major themes, theological points, and storylines.
Following this, Andrew carries us through global church history. We watch the gospel bear fruit around the globe and see the various thorns and thistles God’s people had to cut through in order to see the kingdom of Christ flourish in the land. Throughout the course, he centers our attention on God, Gospel, People, and Mission.
How is the course presented?
Each of the 45 sessions includes a video, scripture reading, group discussion, and a response of worship and action for participants. We hear God’s story of salvation and then learn to communicate it with each other and celebrate it as a community. God has been pointing out our need for a more comprehensive resonance with the story of redemption. The Advance Theology Course aims to meet some of this need.
Interest so far
The response has been extremely positive. Fully 57 of our churches have expressed interest in running the course soon, with 26 already having put the course into motion. Our desire was to create a course that would bless our churches in every nation, and we’re heartened to see how widely it has been adopted. So far, churches in Canada, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, the UK, and the USA have jumped in.
Fully 57 of our churches have expressed interest in running the course soon, with 26 already having put the course into motion.
Perhaps you would like to have a look at the course as well. The course is free, all materials are online and readily available, but it is only offered to Advance partner churches at this point. You can read more on the Advance website under the Courses tab. If you would like to see a sample of the course materials, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We truly believe that the Advance Theology Course will bless your church!