Past Village University Offerings

Past VU Classes

Fall 2018
• Created for Connection: Couplehood in Christ (Tracy Lewis, Aaron Truong, Yulia Friesen)
• Staring Down Babylon: An Introduction to Habakkuk (Tom Grey)
• Critical Conversations: The Class (Pastor John Kwak)

Spring 2017
• God’s 7 Foundational Covenants (John Zweygartt)
• Finding Truth, Part II (Bob Bredemeier)
• Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Greg & Hannah Haskell)
• A Biblical Response to Sex-Trafficking (Melissa Leak, et al.)

Fall 2016
• Biblical Models of Prayer (Jeremy Jones)
• Living Fruitful Christian Lives (Dan Esping)
• Race, Multiethnicity and the Bible (Cameron Hackett)
• Our Father’s World: Caring for Creation (Grant Spickelmier)

Spring 2016
• The Sermon on the Mount (Jeremy Jones)
• What is the Gospel? (Cris Comp)
• Providential History of the Northwest (Vaughn Longanecker)
• The Essential Teachings of Dallas Willard (Shawn Lorenzen)
• A Blueprint for Aging (Cherie Henry, Beth Giles)

Winter 2016
• Finding Truth, Part 1 (Bob Bredemeier)
• Bible Backgrounds: The Lands of the Bible (Shawn Lorenzen)

Fall 2015
• In the Beginning … (Rob Pryor)
• Lessons from Obscure People in the Bible (Dan Esping)
• What Is the Gospel? (Cris Comp)
• Your God Is Too Small (Tom Grey, Bud Lindstrand)
• Women in Ministry Leadership: Three Views (Dan Crawford, Kim Greenwood, Jeremy Parra)

Spring 2015
• Ecclesiastes (Dan Esping)
• Islam Today: ISIS, the Refugee Crisis, and the Church’s Response (Tim Brewer)
• A Biblical Response to Sex-trafficking (Adrienne Livingston, Melissa Leak, Kimberly Heye)
• Achieving Financial Peace (Paul Davison, Seth Vore)
• Senior Care Preparation (Claudia Rumwell)

Winter 2015
• The Book of Ruth: Redeeming Faith (Jim Langston)
• The Epistle of 1 Peter (Dan Esping)
• Bible Backgrounds: The Lands of the Bible (Shawn Lorenzen)
• A Biblical Response to Sex-Trafficking (Adrienne Livingston, Melissa Leak)
• Spiritual Parenting (Rob and Jean Lee)

Fall 2014
• Lessons from Luke (John Zweygartt)
• The Parables of Jesus (Jim Langston)
• The Truth Project (Bill Lattin, Skip Centioli)
• The Principles and Practices of Spiritual Formation and Growth (Wade Vandenburg)
• The Daniel Plan (Julia Marrocco, Tim Brewer, Nell Zweygartt)

Spring 2014
• The Life of Abraham: A Study in Obedience (Dan Esping)
• God’s Seven Foundational Covenants (John Zweygartt)
• Introduction to Theology (Tom Grey)
• Equipping for the Mission (Taylor Turkington)
• A Biblical Response to Sex-Trafficking (Adrienne Livingston)
• Achieving Financial Peace (Ken Greene)

Winter 2014
• Philippians: The Epistle of Joy (Brian Leak)
• Martin Luther and the Reformation (Rob Pryor)
• The Christian Heritage of the NW (Vaughn Longanecker)
• Achieving Financial Peace (Ken Greene, Paul Davison)

Fall 2013
• The Book of Daniel (Don Jensen)
• 1 and 2 Timothy (Dan Esping)
• Promise and Hope: A Survey of the Old Testament (Adam Christian)
• Trials and Triumphs in the Spread of Early Christianity (Harold Hasslock)
• Introduction to Spiritual Formation (Wade Vandenburg)

Spring 2013
• Exploring the Book of Ephesians (Brian Leak)
• What Christians Should Know about Israel (Dan Sered)
• A Christian Perspective on the Visual Arts (Bob Bredemeier)
• Achieving Financial Peace (Ken Greene, Paul Davison)
• Christian Caregiving: A Way of Life (Skip Centioli, Jeanette Robinson)

Winter 2013
• Ecclesiastes (Dan Esping)
• The End Times: Competing Views (Stephen Van Horn)
• What Christians Should Know about Israel (Dan Sered)
• My Neighbor’s House: Introduction to Worldviews (Jeremy Parra)
• Becoming Effective Leaders (John Johnson)

Fall 2012
• The Book of James (Brian Leak)
• Scripture: Strategies for Effective Reading (Rob Pryor)
• A Tour of Theology (Tom Grey)
• Understanding the World of Islam (Tim Brewer)

Past VU Seminars

Environmental Missions: Creation Care and the Great Commission
Rev. Edward R. Brown, D.D. (Hon.)
Friday, May 10, 2019
7:00-9:00pm, Columbia A

From wildfires to water shortages to floods to pollution, environmental topics are in the news every day. But we sometimes don’t recognize how ecological challenges impact many of the people and countries that we pray for and send missionaries to. In response to this situation, a new category of missions has been developed: Environmental Missions links the proclamation of the gospel to the care, healing, and stewardship of God’s creation. Reverend, author, and noted speaker Ed Brown’s organization, Care of Creation, was one of the first to promote this concept. Join Ed as he shares the whys and the hows of environmental missions (engaging theology, missiology, science, and more) in a special seminar here at Village. Friday evening will be a general session for all while Saturday morning will go into greater depth and detail. Co-hosted by Village University and Village Global Missions.

Audio recording here.


Estate Planning Made Simple
Gene Christian
Saturday, April 6, 2019
9:00-10:30am, Columbia A

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 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.


The Church in a Polarized World
Dr. Rick McKinley and Dr. Roger Nam
Friday, January 11, 2019
7:00pm-9:00pm, Columbia Rooms

An evening of stimulating discussion between Dr. Rick McKinley (Lead Pastor, Imago Dei) and Dr. Roger Nam (Dean and Professor, Portland Seminary), interacting over what Jesus and the Bible have to say to the Church about navigating the highly polarized cultural climate we live in. It will be a thought-provoking, spiritually impactful evening for all! Presented in partnership with Kilns College. 

Video of the session available here: Part 1 and Part 2. (Sincere apologies for the relatively poor video quality, and that the very end of Part 2 gets cut off.)


Bible Interpretation: Understanding the Role of Context
Adam Christian
Saturday, May 19, 2018
9:00am-4:00pm, Columbia A

In this full-day seminar, Adam Christian (Th.M in New Testament, Western Seminary) will explore the importance of context in reading Scripture well. Attention will be given to literary context as well as historical, cultural, and geographic contexts. We will also discuss resources to aid in reading Scripture within these contexts. A great seminar to enhance and deepen your personal study of God’s Word!


Bible Translations – How we Got Them and Why so Many?
Adam Christian
Saturday, February 17, 2018
9:00am-4:00pm, Willamette A

If you have ever wondered why there are so many different Bible translations, or what makes one different from another, you do not want to miss this upcoming seminar. Adam Christian (Th.M in New Testament, Western Seminary) will explore these questions and more, giving you a much better appreciation for the value of different translations and helping you to choose the best one for your needs.


How the Bible Came to Be
Adam Christian
Saturday, November 11, 2017
9:00am-4:00pm, Willamette A

This one-day seminar will examine the historical development and solidification of the Old Testament and New Testament canons (the group of books accepted as part of Scripture). If you’ve ever wondered “Why these books? Who decided? When were they chosen? On what basis?”, this is the seminar for you. Each of these questions will be discussed, along with why some denominations recognize books that others do not. Please join us as we discuss these important questions!


Critical Conversations: Charlottesville
Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017
4:30-7:00p, Chapel

We are continuing our series of community “conversations”, designed to provide a safe space for interested believers to come and discuss sensitive and/or controversial topics of societal concern. Through these gatherings we will grow both in how informed we are on a given topic, but also in how well we are able to converse with others of diverse viewpoints, “making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). For our next gathering, we will explore questions raised by the explosive race-related events of Charlottesville, seeking a deeper understanding of the alt right, white supremacy movements, the historically-rooted mentality of many in the south about race (and statues), and why all this should matter to us here in Portland. Come ready to listen and to share your own thoughts as we seek to learn together.


Biblical Genre Analysis
Adam Christian
Saturday, June 3, 2017
9:00am-3:00pm, Columbia A

Genre analysis is one of the most overlooked but critical aspects of good Bible study. Everyday, we instinctively recognize different genres in movies, literature, or art, but when it comes to reading Scripture, it’s easy to ignore. When we flatten Scripture this way, we risk misinterpreting its intended meaning, and thus rob it of its intended impact. In this five-hour seminar led by Adam Christian (Th.M. in New Testament, Western Seminary), we will look at the importance of understanding genre, analyze key principles in genre analysis, and spend time practically applying them.


Critical Conversations: Law Enforcement and the Question of Racial Bias
Sunday, May 21, 2017
4:30-7:00p, Chapel

We are continuing our new every-other-month series of community “conversations”, designed to provide a safe space for interested believers to come and discuss sensitive topics of societal concern. Through these gatherings we will grow both in how informed we are on a given topic, but also in how well we are able to converse with others of diverse viewpoints, “making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). For our second gathering, we will explore the on-going tensions that exist between law enforcement and the African American community, fueled by charges of racial bias. Members of both groups (all Villagers), which include local law enforcement officers, justice speakers, lawyers, and staff for black student ministries, will participate in a panel discussion for part of the time, followed by an extended time for dialogue and Q&A with all those present.


Critical Conversations: Balancing National Security with Concern for Refugees
Sunday, Mar. 19, 2017
4:30-6:30p, Willamette A

We are launching a new every-other-month series of community “conversations”, designed to provide a safe space for interested believers to come and discuss topics of societal concern. The topics will often be sensitive and/or controversial, with the aim of bringing believers of diverse viewpoints together to dialogue with and learn from each other in a spirit of genuine humility. It is our hope that through these gatherings we will all grow both in how informed we are on a given topic, but also in how well we are able to converse with others of diverse viewpoints, “making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). For our first gathering, Pastors John Jordan and John Kwak will facilitate a discussion on the subject of the President’s travel-restricting executive order and the questions it raises regarding national security, terrorism, and our care for refugees.


Christ, Creation, and the Question of Climate Change
Dr. A.J. Swoboda
Saturday, May 21, 2016
9:00am-12:00pm, Columbia A

How should people who love Jesus process the question of climate change? Is there really a problem? If so, what can or should be done? Will God break into time and space to act on behalf of creation in its time of need? Or, if it’s all gonna burn, why should we even care? Join award-winning author, pastor, and professor Dr. A.J. Swoboda to hear about—and discuss—what it means to be a Christ-follower in the context of the debates about the threat of environmental crisis. Swoboda teaches at George Fox University and Fuller Seminary and pastors Theophilus Church in urban Portland, Oregon.


Israel: The Current Situation
Dan Sered, Jews for Jesus
Saturday, June 13, 2015
2:00-5:00pm, Columbia Rooms

Though only a tiny country with a small population of 8 million, Israel constantly and consistently finds itself in the news. Almost a year ago, a war between Israel and Hamas caused much hurt, damage and trauma to both Israelis and the Palestinians living in Gaza. Being surrounded by hostile nations, who themselves are faced with internal conflicts, creates instability for Israel and the entire region. And now with even U.S.-Israel relations in decline, and the potential threat of Iranian nuclear armament, we must ask ourselves more than ever, “What is happening in Israel?”. Israel attracts thousands of evangelical Christian visitors every year, yet Israel is unreached with the Gospel. What is the status of the church in Israel? What is God doing among the local believers? In this seminar you will be updated as to what is going on in Israel, both politically and spiritually, from the perspective of an Israeli believer and get an understanding about the current efforts to reach the Jewish & Arab people in Israel with the Gospel.

Dan Sered directs the branch of Jews for Jesus in Israel. He received his MA in Ministry and Leadership at Western Seminary. Born in Israel under a secular upbringing, he came to faith in Christ at age 14 through his now wife, Dinah. His family’s response to his faith has been negative, but Dan knows that God in his great mercy and love has “preserved me and kept me faithful to Him”. Dan and Dinah have three children.


Immigration and the Bible
Dr. Daniel Carroll R.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
3:00-5:00pm, Columbia Rooms

Dr. Carroll is the distinguished professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary and is currently one of the leading scholarly voices speaking on immigration and the Bible. He is a member of the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which is the Hispanic arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, and serves as its national spokesperson on immigration. He is widely published, his latest book entitled Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible. Join us for this special seminar designed to contribute to and challenge your thinking on a topic of vital importance for our society today.

“Immigration issues grip American politics and opinions. But what does the Bible say? What is at the heart of the Christian view on immigration? Danny Carroll’s voice on this issue is like no other. He is bilingual and bicultural; he is a Bible scholar and a committed Christian. Let him help shape your thinking and challenge your heart to be thoroughly Christian.” ~Leith Anderson, National Association of Evangelicals


Questions and Answers about Religious Extremism
Dr. Grant Porter
Saturday, March 14, 2015
3:00-5:00pm, Columbia Rooms

Led by Grant Porter, a 32 year Lebanon resident and Lead Facilitator for the Near East Initiatives network, and Hikmat Kashouh, Lebanese Pastor and Academic Dean of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary.

In light of recent developments, the topic of this Special Seminar (and others to follow in coming months) have been expanded to explore the urgent global crisis in Syria, Iraq and surrounding region. Hear answers to your Near East questions from regional experts. Who are the different groups that are fighting? Where are they coming from and what is their goal? Do they really believe they are ushering in the End Times? Where do different groups in Lebanon fit into the picture? And, most importantly, what is happening to the Church?