6-week Micro-Courses

Micro-courses offer brief 6-week introductions to timeless topics and afford opportunities to sample the curriculum of the Apostello Academy. Two six-week courses will be offered from January–March, and two more from April–June. 



MC 2017.1—Spiritual, Not Religious?

An Introduction to Christian Practices

DATES: Mondays, January 23–March 6, 2017
TIME: 7–8:30 PM
LOCATION: First United Methodist Church of San Diego
$90/individual, $135/pair, participants in Leadership Intensive free.

(Last day to register: January 7, 2017)

INSTRUCTORS: Julie Walker, Seth Clark, Richard Annett have participated in the inaugural class of the Apostello Academy, and are graduates of Columbia Theological Seminary, Asbury Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary, respectively.

Guest speaker: Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith, now the Pastor of Brownsville United Methodist Church in Brownsville, Texas, served under appointment for four yearsand by her own requestto a ministry of presence and advocacy with the homeless. A woman in New York City taught her this lesson: "God created the world, remember your home is with God. You’re not homeless, you live on the streets."

About the course: Popular wisdom would suggest that younger generations of Americans are “spiritual, but not religious.” But how do young people who remain rooted in the Christian tradition think about themselves and their peers in this context? This team-taught course by young will introduce participants to different, rituals, practices and disciplines of Christian piety and worship. 

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8 (NIV) 

January, 23—Foundations of Christian Practice: Where we have been
Seth Clark leads us in an exploration of historical developments in Christian worship and shares an orientation to the structure and movements of Protestant worship practices.

January, 30—Ministry WITH the Poor
Guest Speaker: Rev. Lorenza Andrade Smith

Lorenza Andrade Smith lectures on the spiritual practices that sustain her in her radical ministry of solidarity with the poor. This lecture is open to the public.

February, 6—Sampling Individual Practices I
Seth, Richard and Julie invite us to explore different ways of “connecting with the Holy,” including Centering Prayer, Spiritual Gifts and “Modern Mysticism.”

February, 13—Sampling Individual Practices II
Julie Walker invites us to explore different ways of “connecting with the Holy,” including practices of Simplicity, Fasting, Solitude/Sabbath and Study.

Feb 20—No class

Feb 27—Corporate Practices: Hospitality, Social Justice
Richard Annett invites exploration of historic corporate practices including social justice and hospitality.

March 6—Corporate Worship
Seth, Richard and Julie invite us to reconsider the purpose of worship and changing attitudes toward worship over time. 



MC 2017.4—Unchartered

The Future of the Church in “Post-Christendom”

DATES: Mondays, April 24–June 5, 2017
TIME: 7–8:30 PM
LOCATION: First United Methodist Church of San Diego
$120/individual, $180/pair, participants in Leadership Intensive free.

(Last day to register: April 15, 2017)

INSTRUCTOR: Rev. Joshua Clough is the Teaching Pastor of Encompass Church, a new faith community developed through The First United Methodist Church of San Diego, and a graduate of Drew Theological School.

Guest speaker: Nancy Lynne Westfield, an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church, has served on the Drew Theological School faculty since 1999. A graduate of Murray State University (Ky.), Scarritt Graduate School (Tenn.), and The Union Institute (Ohio), Dr. Westfield’s teaching and research interests include religious education, womanist studies, imagination, experiential pedagogies, spirituality and mysticism.

About the course: This course examines the unique challenges facing the church in what many are calling “Post-Christendom.” It will enable participants to analyze and identify contemporary movements that speak to a range of challenges, and explore the future potential of the Christian church to meet these challenges.

“Lord, if it is You,” Peter replied, “command me to come to You on the water.” Matthew 14.29

April 24—Post-Christendom: Living as Exiles in a Strange Land
This session will examine the unique challenge of Post-Christendom and the church in the twenty-first century as new exiles in a world that looks very different from past generations.

May 1—The Transforming and Reshaping of Christianity
This session will explore the effects of globalization as it reshapes modern expressions of Christianity around the globe.

May 8—The Future: Challenges and Movements
This session will analyze and identify contemporary movements that speak to current social, cultural, and religious issues.

May 15—Future-church
Guest Speaker: Rev. Dr. Lynne Westfield
 lectures on the theme of creating a more just, socially responsible and ethical church for the future. This lecture is open to the public.

May 22Ministry Practitioners and a People with Purpose
Panelists Sarah Heath, Francisco Garcia, and Joshua Clough discussing ongoing developments in their new faith communities.

May 29—No Class

June 5—New Frontiers: Creating a Movement
This session wraps things up with a conversation about the potentiality in new frontiers where uncertainty, adventure, and hope for the church prevails.


John Fanestil

Pastor of Faith Cultivation & Leadership Development, Dean of Apostello Academy