Village University

 

Transforming Lives by Renewing Minds

 

Special Note: Registration for our winter 2019 certificate and non-certificate classes is now closed. But descriptions remain available below, along with info on other VU educational events.

What is VU?

VU is our formal program of adult education at Village. We are serious about the life of the mind and the indispensable role its development plays in our spiritual growth. We believe cultivating a culture where rigorous thought and civil discourse is valued is all part of “loving God with all of our minds” (Mk. 12:30). But our goal is not purely intellectual. Rather, it is to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Rom. 12:2), to think differently so as to live differently. Towards that end, we offer a variety of rich, high-level classes and other educational programming throughout the year.

Educational Offerings

VU encompasses a number of instructional opportunities at Village, falling into three categories: academic training, personal development, and learning trips. The heart of our academic training is our online certificate program, offered through a partnership with Kilns College (kilnscollege.org). Beyond this we also offer traditional on-campus classes, special seminars, and Critical Conversations forums. Our personal development offerings consist in classes and seminars focused on specific, practical life skills or stages of life. And finally our learning trips invite you to travel the world on guided tours of destinations with rich spiritual and historical significance. For more info on all of these offerings, click on the appropriate drop-down section below.

Classes (Online Certificate) - Winter Term 2019 (Feb-Apr)
The heart of VU is its online certificate program, provided through a partnership with Kilns College (kilnscollege.org). We currently offer a track consisting of the following 5 classes:
Theological Foundations (Vincent Bacote)
Character, Virtue, and Wisdom in Leadership (AJ Swoboda)
Theology of Justice (Ken Wytsma)
Religious Cultures of the World (Michael Caba)
Christian Hospitality in an Age of Division (Brant Himes)
Select classes are offered each term, each involving online lectures, reading assignments, and on-campus or online group chat discussion meetings led by a qualified facilitator. All classes require registration and have a registration fee (plus costs for books and/or other supplementary materials). Limited need-based scholarships are available. Due to the online nature of these classes, students must also have high-speed internet access with quality video chat capabilities.
Please see below for our Winter 2019 classes. 

Theological Foundations

Instructor: Dr. Vincent Bacote
Facilitator: Pastor John Kwak
Online Meeting Time: Thursdays, 7:00-8:15 pm
Online Meeting Dates: 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/4, 4/18, 5/2
Required Opening Session: Sunday 2/3, 12:45-2:00 pm (Willamette A)
Cost: $99 plus the cost of books. (Limited need-based scholarships available.)

This course introduces students to the range of Christian beliefs (doctrines), their biblical basis and some of the prominent historical figures and/or traditions. The class will also consider the relationship between Christian faith and public engagement, with the aim of helping students to develop the ability to make thoughtful and clear connections between doctrine and practice.

To see the full class syllabus, click here. The required course texts (which students are to purchase on their own) are:

* The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life, Vincent E. Bacote
* Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, Michael Horton
* Political Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed, Elizabeth Phillips

Registration is closed

Character, Virtue, & Wisdom in Leadership

Instructor: Dr. A.J. Swoboda
Facilitator: Shawn Lorenzen
Online Meeting Time: Mondays, 7:00-8:15 pm
Online Meeting Dates: 2/25, 3/18, 4/8, 4/29
Required Opening Session: Sunday 2/3, 12:45-2:00 pm (Willamette A)
Cost: $99 plus the cost of books. (Limited need-based scholarships available.)

This course looks at the heart of leadership. Character, Virtue and Wisdom has long been seen as necessary foundations for lasting and effective leadership. Students will be exposed to historic and philosophical thinking on the connections between virtue and leadership as well as explore the deep biblical connections between character and leadership. This course is also designed for self-exploration and assessment whereby students can identify and focus on areas of strength and weakness in their own leadership styles. Because of the theological nature of the program, classical approaches to character and virtue and their modern interpreters will be brought into conversation with Jewish and Christian sources, both academic and biblical.

To see the full class syllabus, click here. The required course texts (which students are to purchase on their own) are:

* Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership, Gary L. McIntosh & Samuel D. Rima
* Lessons in Leadership: A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
* Courage & Calling: Embracing Your God Given Potential, Gordon T. Smith
* A Glorious Dark, A.J. Swoboda
* The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God, Dallas Willard

Registration is closed

Classes (Non-certificate and Personal Development) - Winter Term 2019 (Feb-Apr)
In addition to our online certificate track classes, VU also offers high quality, traditional format classes on campus, open to all. Classes range the gamut of Christian thought, from those more academic and theological to those more focused on areas of personal development. All classes are offered on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings. (Nursery care is available during all class times, plus regular Children’s church programming on Sundays, and Awana on Wednesdays.) These classes often feature local faculty from Portland Seminary at George Fox University (georgefox.edu/seminary) and Western Seminary (westernseminary.edu) as visiting lecturers. Registration required, plus the cost of materials.
Please see below for our Winter 2019 classes. 

Creation, Science, and God

Instructor: Pastor John Kwak
Time:
Section 1: Sundays, 9:00-10:15 am
Section 2: Sundays, 10:30-11:45 am
Location: Willamette A
Start Date: Feb. 3
Length: 10-11 weeks
Cost: None, though please purchase The Case for a Creator, by Lee Strobel on your own.

In this class we will consider the relationship between science (and philosophy) and belief in God, particularly as it relates to cosmological origins, the physical suitability of the universe for sustaining life, and biological origins and complexity of life on Earth. Does what science has to say on these subjects create problems for belief in God, or help bolster it (or neither)? Are science and faith fundamentally at odds, mutually supportive, or simply irrelevant to each other? In engaging these topics and questions we will discuss the big bang theory, the observation of an apparently “fine-tuned universe”, and general scientific methodology. We will also distinguish and explore views like creationism, intelligent design, and theistic evolution. The discussion and readings will be rigorous, but we welcome all, whether having a background in science or not.

Registration is closed

Achieving Financial Peace

Instructor: Paul Davison & David Robinson
Time: Wednesdays, 6:45-8:00 pm
Location: Columbia B
Start Date: Feb. 6
Length: 11 weeks
Cost: $99 per family (Participant’s kits will be handed out at the first class.)

Do you desire to be a good manager (steward) of your money, but have questions, concerns or doubts about how to do so? Using Dave Ramsey’s well-known Financial Peace University video series together with class discussions, this class will present biblical, practical steps to show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money (so it stops managing you), spend and save wisely, prepare for big purchases, save for retirement and college, and more. Attendees should plan on spending two hours a week on homework, including watching an online video at home to prepare for each lesson.

This class has been cancelled

Special Seminars
VU offers a variety of intensive Special Seminars throughout the year. These sessions provide prime learning opportunities for folks with limited time to quickly go deep in a given area.
Please see below for info on our upcoming Special Seminars. 

Estate Planning Made Simple

Date: April 6, 2019
Time: 9:00-10:30 am
Location: Columbia A
Cost: None

Have you wondered where, and how, to begin to get your estate affairs in order? Do things like wills and trusts confuse you? Based on the significant response and positive feedback received in the past, we are again offering this free, informative seminar presented by expert and friend of Village Gene Christian, who has been helping members of our church and other local churches for the past several years. This very easy to understand presentation will outline the five things everyone must do to get their affairs in order. And given the uncertainty of life, it’s never too soon to start. There will be plenty of time for questions. No insurance products or investments will be promoted or sold.  Childcare will be unavailable for this session.

Register Here

Critical Conversations Forums
Critical Conversations forums are designed to foster civil but meaningful, robust dialogue in weighty and often polarizing areas of spiritual and societal import. In these forums we together pursue real learning anchored in real Christian love and respect for people of diverse perspectives.
More info on our next forum to come soon!
Learning Trips
Village University offers exciting study-oriented trips which combine the opportunity to both travel and learn all at once! Potential destinations include domestic and foreign locales, all with rich spiritual, historical, and cultural significance. These experientially-based learning tours will be expert-led to ensure high-level education, incorporate fun sightseeing opportunities, and are offered, on average, every other year. See below for current trips on offer.

A Peacemaking Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Israel)

Date: Oct. 19-30, 2019
Questions: Please contact Leslie Erickson

Join us on a unique pilgrimage to the Holy Land exploring the Christian faith in the Israeli-Palestinian context. On this delegation, we will hear from a wide spectrum of voices across Israeli and Palestinian society. We will visit ancient holy sites as well as experience the vastly different realities of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities in the midst of a conflict zone, and learn how those differences present both opportunities and obstacles for peacemaking.

This trip is first-come, first-served and space is limited to 30 persons, with a place-holding deposit due by Apr. 10, 2019. For more detailed information, including itinerary and pricing, please click here. To submit your name and hold your spot, please e-mail Leslie Erickson at [email protected].

Interested in a Master's Degree?
VU has established formal partnerships with two outstanding local Christian schools: Portland Seminary at George Fox University (georgefox.edu/seminary) and Kilns College (kilnscollege.org). Through these partnerships Village benefits through greater access to high quality local faculty while these schools benefit through increased visibility for their top notch programs. Individuals who complete VU’s certificate program but remain hungry for further education are encouraged to consider pursuing a Master’s degree at one of these schools. (Certain certificate track courses may count towards degree requirements.) We will help you figure out which school and program are best for you!

To see a list of past VU classes and seminars

Click here