Village University

Transforming Lives by Renewing Minds

Special Note: Our Gospel & Culture Series is now open for registration.  Please click on the “Classes (Non-certificate and personal development)” tab below to register.  Registration limited to 30 participants!  Thank you. 

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 ( 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)
The heart of VU is its online certificate program, provided through a partnership with Kilns College ( 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.
Information to come on future class dates and offerings.  Thank you.
Classes (Non-certificate and Personal Development) - Fall 2019
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 ( and Western Seminary ( as visiting lecturers. Registration required, plus the cost of materials.
Please see below for our Fall 2019 classes. 

The Gospel & Culture Series

Instructors: Dr. Lloyd Chia; Pastor Ken Wytsma; Pastor John Jordan & Ruth Jordan; Pastor Renjy Abraham; Anti-Trafficking Team; Dr. Melissa Ramos; Sr. Director of Community Connections, Insil Kang
Sundays, 10:30-12:00 pm
9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17 (not meeting 10/20 & 10/27)
Location: Willamette A
Start Date: September 22
Length: 7 weeks
Cost: None

We’re excited to introduce and invite Villagers to register for a new Village University class on Sundays called, “The Gospel & Culture Series.” Village Staff and guest speakers will rotate teaching one class each over a 7 week time-frame. Subjects will include, but are not limited to: Criminal Justice System and the Role of the Church (Instructor: Dr. Lloyd Chia); Anti-Trafficking (Instructors: Village Anti-Trafficking Team); Shame & Honor Cultures (Instructors: Pastor John Jordan & Ruth Jordan), and more. Come join us as we explore how our faith intersects with the public sphere.

Registration is limited to 30 participants!

Register HERE

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.

Your Work—More than just a Paycheck?

Speaker: Scott Rae
Meeting Date: Friday, Sept. 6, 2019
Meeting Time: 6:30-9:00 pm
Cost: none

Workplace satisfaction is at an all time low in the US–with roughly 2/3 of employees either disengaged from their work or actively undermining their organizations. Many people in our culture view their work as a necessary grind in order to pay their bills and finance their lives. Many Christians in the workplace are working as hard as they can to make as much money as fast as they can so that they can retire as soon as they can–and do something else with their lives that they believe is more meaningful. Think about how your view your work? More importantly, how does the Bible view your work? Join us for a day to look into the bible and see what it says about your work–you know, the thing you spend most of your waking hours doing! We think you’ll hear some surprising things about your work, and we hope you’ll be challenged to think differently about it.

Registration closed

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 ( and Kilns College ( 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