Welcome to the Courses and Classes Page!
Studies in Grace offers classes in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and course materials for use anywhere. In addition, Trace James offers classes in the Rochester Federal Medical Center, a federal prison hospital in Rochester, MN.
The following courses have been offered in the Twin Cities, anywhere from the St. Croix Valley, adjacent to the Wisconsin border, to Excelsior, MN in the western suburbs. Courses have been offered as far south as Burnsville and Apple Valley. At the present time no courses have ever been held in the northern parts of the Cities or their suburbs, anywhere north of Edina. Of course, some of you may change that!
a list of currently available courses:
- A Year in the Bible: This course is a fifty-two week run through the 66 books of the Bible; fast but thorough and deep. By the end, you will know the story of God and have a much better sense of your place in that story than you do today. This course, except when it is taught inside the prison, is offered in 4, 13-week terms, over the course of two program years. This is SiG’s basic, “flagship” course. The class meets once a week for a two-hour session, either mornings or evenings. Minimum pre-registration number: 25.
- InDepth: Isaiah: This is a 13-week course on the best-known and best-loved book of prophecy in the Old Testament. Expect by the end of Isaiah, your head will pop off, you’ll get it turned around and then reset with a greater understanding than ever before. By the end you will have learned not only how to read anything in Isaiah, but also a whole bunch about prophecy, about Old Testament Torah and about the story of God. The class meets once a week, morning or evening for a ninety-minute session. Minimum pre-registration: 20.
- InDepth: Luke/Acts: Another 13-week ride, this one is through the two books written by Luke, the most prolific New Testament author. Expect to meet Jesus, his disciples, the people along the way and even the opponents of Jesus and his apostles in new and insightful ways. This course uses Luke for Everyone, Acts for Everyone, Parts One and Two by N. T. Wright as texts, along-side the SiG written course materials. The class meets once a week for a ninety-minute session. Minimum pre-registration: 20.
- InDepth: Romans from Ruth: This is a 13-week course which begins in the Old Testament book of Ruth, then speeds forward through redemptive history to the New Testament and the greatest of St. Paul’s letters to the early Christian community. This course treats both of these books in their integrity but also uncovers the startling congruity of the relatively ancient narrative and the much more recent retelling of God’s ancient story of the redemption of creation. Expect to be charmed, amused, startled and amazed as these disparate texts speak, separately but also in harmony, about the love of God and the communal adventure of faith. The class meets once a week for a ninety-minute session. Minimum pre-registration: 20.
- InDepth: The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John: This 13-week course introduces the exceedingly challenging, one and only prophetic book in the New Testament. After acknowledging the four traditional views of this book, this course lays out an approach to the prophecy which would have made sense to its original “hearers,” the members of the Christian communities of Asia Minor to whom it was written in the first place. Leave the thrilling but unsupportable theories of the likes of La Haye and Lindsay at home and come learn to hear the book, at first, as someone way back then would have heard it. Then, along with the other course participants begin, on the basis of your new insights into the text, to hear the Revelation as it will and must speak again in our near or distant future! The class meets once a week for a two-hour session. Minimum pre-registration: 20.
How to Sign Up for These Courses
The courses are taught on an on-demand basis. When the minimum pre-registration number has been reached for any course, we at SiG contact all prospective participants to confirm their commitment to join the class. If some participants have changed their minds about the course and do not commit so that the pre-registration number drops below the minimum number, no further action is taken until the minimum number is again reached.
Once the minimum pre-registation number is firm, we determine the most central location for the class, given the locations of the pre-registered participants and their 1st, 2nd and 3rd best days and times for meeting (see registration instructions, below). We then contact local churches central to the participants’ general location and solicit the hospitality of a host church or other meeting venue. In the case of A Year in the Bible, we look for a host facility which is willing to work with us over the course of two years, since, if possible, we want to remain in one location throughout the four terms of the course.
Once we have determined a time, day of the week, place and a start-date, we inform our pre-registered participants and more generally advertise the opportunity in the local area. All courses are arranged in this on-demand method.
Signing Up: What to Tell Us
Please give us:
- your name(s),
- the name(s) of the course(s) for which you wish to sign up
- your address and telephone number(s)
- your email address
- the best time of day and way to reach you
- your first, second and third choices for meeting days and time(s) of day (morning or evening) you are free to participate: please rank these: i.e., Wednesday evening #1; Saturday morning #2; Thursday evening #3 (if you have only one or two possible choices, please note them, but realize, the more available you are the more likely the course you want will be available when you can participate).
- any other (optional) information you want us to know about you: your reason(s) for signing up; where you heard about us; your background, vocation, church affiliation, educational level, previous bible study experience, etc.
What to Do if it has been a long time since you signed up…
Contact us. It may be that we can expedite your course choice in some way or steer you toward something almost as good which is likely to be offered sooner. It is our hope that folks will so rush us off our feet with requests for courses that we will be busy all the time. However, at this point, not every course is going to be offered every year so it could be you have to be patient about the class you really most hope to join and will find another much more than interesting one in the meantime. So stay in touch. All things come to those who wait with patience and/or squeek like dry wheels. We honor both!
From time to time, I will post prayer requests for classes which are just starting or for ongoing classes. If you wish to leave a prayer or some words of encouragement, just comment on this post.
A Prison Class is Ending: a new prison class!
For instance, next Wednesday is Week 51 of the 52 weeks of A Year in the Bible at RFMC! Please pray for eight men who will finish AYB, Class 17, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011! Please pray for George, Randy, Bobby, Sammy, Doc, Jay, Dean and Mike. God has me there to present the story of God to these men for purposes only he knows! Pray that God may bless them and their instructor vastly more than we know how to ask or imagine.
Then, on Wednesday, April 6, I will hold an information meeting in the prison for those who want to know more about AYB. Then, God willing, we will launch a new class, AYB, Class 19 at the Rochester prison the following Wednesday. Of the estimated $10,000.00 it costs to offer this class in the next year and a half, $8780.00 has already been contributed. Thank God for the generosity of his people! We are launching a new class with the firm hope that we will see another $1220.00 before the end, and perhaps enough to do another class, beginning some time in late 2012. God is good! All the time! All the time! God is good!
Please leave class registration comments, prayers and words of encouragement below. Thank you.