Introducing Fellowship Institute

Over the past few years the formative influence of secular culture has become more and more powerful. The nature of truth, what it means to be human, and what leads to a good life are all in flux and have led to widespread division and confusion in society. One of the effects of this is that many Christians are struggling with how to be Christian in our current context and are even confused about the true essence of Christianity itself.  We are losing ground. For this reason, Fellowship Denver is introducing a new ministry coming this fall called Fellowship Institute.  FI is a learning space that aims to provide intentional counter-formation in key areas a Christian discipleship.

The Tracks

Fellowship Institute will be divided into three primary tracks. Several of the tracks will share core classes in the early stages but will become more specific depending on the track.

Track One: Christian in Denver. This track is recommended for any FDC attendee who desires to grow as a disciple.
Track Two: Christian Leadership.  This track is recommended for any FDC member who aspires to be in leadership at FDC, such as FG leadership, band leaders, and ministry leaders.  

Track Three: Christian Vocation. This track is recommended for anyone exploring vocational ministry; roles such as (but not limited to!) church staff, eldership, and pastoral residency. It is also suggested for full or part-time ministry staff at FDC, any church planter or missionaries. It would be available, on a case by case basis, for local non-FDC pastors/church staff who desire growth and ministry formation.

**Non-Track Community-wide Classes: All Curious Denverites. These classes are designed for the wider Denver community. Christians and non-Christians, spiritual seekers and burned-out ex-vangelicals, atheists and those who are unsure what they believe are all welcome.  Anyone curious to learn is invited into these non-track classes.  

We recognize that for people who desire to learn about Christianity, the only option they have is to go to church on Sunday. However, for many people and for many reasons, that option is too much of a barrier. These classes are designed to be hospitable to people of any religious or non-religious conviction. The structure of these classes, like the other “track” classes, will resemble any graduate level course at a local university. It will provide high level content that will challenge, enlighten, and inspire their overall quest for understanding Christianity in the world today.

The Classes

Track One
Epistemology (6 weeks) - This class will teach how it is we come to know things. The crisis of knowledge is rife within and outside the church. This class will give us confidence that we can reasonably know the truth and show us how to do that.
The Story of the Bible (10 weeks) - This class is geared toward helping disciples understand how the entire Bible fits together. It is an introduction to God’s self-revelation in scripture and in history.
Bible Study Methods (6 weeks) - This class will teach tried and true ways to study the Bible, teach basic hermeneutics and interpretive skills, especially highlighting how to read the Bible Christocentrically.
Christian Doctrine (10 weeks) - This class will focus on the major doctrines of the Christian Faith such as the Attributes of God, the Trinity, justification, human nature, and salvation.

Track Two
All the classes of Track One plus the following: 
Understanding the Old Testament (10 weeks) - This class will explore how the OT was put together, survey its major movements, and show how it connects with Jesus.
Dynamics of Personal Transformation (6 weeks)  - This class will outline how spiritual change happens in the life of a believer.  We will explore the dynamics of conversion and biblical concepts such as new birth, new creation, and transformation.
Exploring the New Testament (10 weeks) - This class will outline the historical and cultural setting of the New Testament era.  It will address the major themes of each book of the NT, and will end with showing the Canonization process.
Habits, Virtue, and the Christian Life (6 weeks) - This class will show the practices that are key to growing as a disciple of Jesus, such as developing daily time with God in prayer and meditation, Bible reading, and journaling.  

Track Three
All the classes of Tracks One and Two plus the following: 
Christian Worldview and Apologetics (10 weeks) - This class will outline a comprehensive view of reality based on core Christian beliefs and convictions. It will also give reasons why this worldview makes better sense to adopt than the popular secular alternatives.
Christian Ethics and Public Witness (6 weeks) - This class will focus on public  issues of ethics in society and how the church has responded to such issues historically and currently.  Topics addressed will include abortion, racism, sexuality, and political engagement. It will also address how these issues relate to how to be Christian in public and how to be a faithful witness to Jesus.
Mission in the City (10 weeks) - This class will outline major theological and biblical features of mission and what it means to live a life of mission in Denver, including a theology of work.  It will give a short history of Denver, its unique relationship with the church, and the ways in which gospel movements have happened, have been resisted, and how they might happen in the future.
Church History (6 weeks) - This class will track 9 major movements in church history that have shaped current realities of the church today. Movements such as Monasticism, Protestant Reformation, the Great Awakening, and the rise of the Black Church will all be covered (plus 5 more!) in this class.
Ministry Foundations (32 weeks) - In this class, we cover all critical aspects of ministry in Denver.  

Non-track Community-wide classes (open for anyone)
Introduction to Christianity (4 weeks) - This class will be advertised for the broader Denver community.  The audience will be people (non-Christians and Christians) who are genuinely interested in learning more about Christianity from an academic perspective.  We would cover the basics of Christian origins and will use the texts Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and Basic Christianity by John Stott.
Introduction to the Historical Jesus (4 weeks) - This class will be advertised for the broader Denver community.  The audience will be people (non-Christians and Christians) who are genuinely interested in learning more about Jesus from a historical  perspective. We will cover the cultural background of Jesus’ family, historical reliability of our source material, and fundamental teachings and actions of the historical Jesus.  Text for this course will be Tom Wright’s, The Original Jesus.
Introduction to Christian Spirituality (4 weeks) - This class will be advertised for the broader Denver community.  The audience will be people (non-Christians and Christians) who are interested in learning more about spirituality and exploring the “spiritual side” of who they are. We will cover topics such as prayer, the Holy Spirit, the unseen spiritual world, how to experience God’s presence, and life after death. The texts for this class will be CS Lewis’s Screwtape Letters and Tom Wright’s Surprised by Hope.

The Schedule

Fall 2023 - Spring 2024 Schedule

Track One Courses
Epistemology Wednesday Sept 13- Oct 18th - 6pm-7:15pm
The Story of the Bible Wed Sept 13-Nov 15th - 7:45-9pm

Non-track course
Introduction to Christianity, Wednesday Oct 25th - Nov 15th 6-7:15pm

Track One Courses
Bible Study Methods, Wednesday Jan 24th-Feb 28th 6-7:15pm
Christian Doctrines, Wednesday Jan 24th-Mar 27th 7:45-9pm

Non-track course
Introduction to Christianity, Wednesday March 6th-March 27th 6-7:15pm
For more information or questions about Fellowship Institute, contact us below: