Coming Soon: Fresh Expressions Seminary with Michael Beck
By Jessica Taylor
What if we could provide seminary-level education for the whole people of God… for free?
One of the key ideas in the Fresh Expressions movement is the empowerment of laypeople to serve within the priesthood of all believers. But do we really equip laity for ministry in the massively changed missional reality of the twenty-first century?
Another focus within Fresh Expressions is how clergy can adapt in their roles to enable a blended ecology—in which inherited and emerging forms of church live together in symbiotic relationship—to flourish. Some have suggested that seminaries are preparing clergy for a world that no longer exists. But does seminary need to end for pastors once they have a degree and credentials?
At Fresh Expressions United Methodist, we want to supplement the amazing work of seminaries across the country with an opportunity for ongoing practical theological formation. We are offering a free learning space for continued connection among laity and clergy who are committed to reaching new people, in new places, and in new ways.
In 2022, we launched a theological symposium featuring notable United Methodist theologians from across the world. Around 900 people registered to participate in these gatherings. We now realize we were just scratching the surface of a deep need for ongoing growth in a Wesleyan way of “practical divinity” that “brings forth treasures both old and new.”
Starting in October, we will begin a new monthly learning opportunity, Fresh Expressions Seminary with Michael Adam Beck. Dr. Beck teaches as an adjunct professor at several seminaries and serves as the Director of the Fresh Expressions House of Studies at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of eleven books in the field and is considered a leading scholar and practitioner of the Fresh Expressions movement.
On the last Thursday of every month, Beck will provide a brief teaching, then open space for a dialogical learning conversation. Some weeks, we will also interview other thought leaders and practitioners, both lay and clergy. With your registration, you will receive a basic Fresh Expressions syllabus to guide your formation as a scholar-practitioner. Beck will summarize learning from both foundational and emerging resources in the movement, as well as respond to your questions in real time.
Assemble your team and join us. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn, grow as a disciple of Jesus, and connect with a community of others passionate about a Spirit-led movement of new Christian communities that serve the present age.