A discussion about unused and underutilized space at a central Phoenix church led to the idea of offering classes to the community in a non-denominational format. That idea, in turn, spawned the creation of a more organized learning environment.

The result, Faith Ecumenical Institute, while still in its gestation, is taking shape at Faith Lutheran Church, 801 E. Camelback Road. As envisioned, this adult education project—organizationally and functionally independent of Faith Lutheran Church—will focus on religious studies that are essentially Christian, but non-denominational. Most courses will be theologically oriented, and some will deal with more practical applications. Classes are set to begin on Sunday, Sept. 21.

“Religion, along with philosophy, politics and economics, is one of the major building blocks of contemporary culture and society,” points out Dr. Arlo Nau, acting president of Faith Ecumenical Institute. “One glance at today’s news indicates religion’s vast influence for good and/or evil in the world. Religious education, therefore, needs to mature if it is to honestly and effectively confront the challenges of life’s current complexity.”

Faith Ecumenical Institute (FEI) intends to be equal to the challenge, providing advanced religious responses to common hopes and fears, questions and predicaments.

Classes will serve no more than 20 students each, and will be open to post-high school adults of all faiths. The university-level courses are taught by qualified instructors employing current methodologies and principles.

The first semester will feature two courses: Introduction to Process Theology; and Matthew in Context: A Redaction-Critical Study. The classes will take place 4-5:30 p.m. Sundays for 12 weeks. Courses will be ungraded, and there will be some required reading and writing, but no extensive term papers.

Class fee is $100. For more information and registration, visit www.faithecumenical.org, or call 602-908-3321.


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