Adult Education

The mission of the Adult Education Ministry is to help every adult fulfill their potential as a disciple of Jesus Christ. To support this mission, we offer a variety of opportunities, including bible studies, Inquirers’ Classes, topical classes, guest lecturers, and other occasional events.

Until further notice, these offerings are held on Sundays from 10–11 a.m. on Zoom. For additional information, please contact Noelle Castin.

The Reformed Institute

The Meeting House is a founding member of the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington. The Reformed Institute is a cooperative effort of several local Presbyterian churches, seeking to draw on the resources of the Reformed tradition to deepen our faith and understanding, and challenge our minds in the service of God. The Reformed Institute offers various classes, lectures, special events, and retreats, as well as providing a variety of resources through its website and Company of Teachers. To learn more about upcoming Reformed Institute offerings, visit the Reformed Institute of Metropolitan Washington website.

Adult Education for Fall 2020

September 13, 20, and 27
Ethics in Practice
(Three-Sunday Series)

September 13
Stephen Lally, Ph.D., ABPP (Clinical Psychologist and Professor, Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
The “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea is often misunderstood. We’ll discuss the origins of the plea and its current application, and use that to raise larger questions about guilt, responsibility, and morality both on an individual and societal scale. This discussion is particularly relevant as the Supreme Court is slated to issue an opinion on the constitutionality of the plea in the spring.

September 20
Gerry Cooper (Founder and Chairman, Asia Tech Source Co., Ltd., and Elder, Old Presbyterian Meeting House)
With more than three decades of experience in dealing with executives around the globe, Gerry will explore business ethics as practiced in China’s ever-growing economy—both by businesses native to China and foreign companies. He’ll cover factory working conditions, on-site residence living conditions, and influences and deterrents, and what the future may bring.

September 27
Dana K. Chipman (Lieutenant General, U.S. Army [Retired]; Director of Education, Federal Judicial Center; and Elder, Old Presbyterian Meeting House)
Ethical leadership scenarios present in various contexts across professions and across government entities: the military, law, Congress, the judiciary. What are the essential attributes of ethical leadership? Does it vary in context, in application, in practical reality? Dana will share what he’s learned during a career spent in senior leadership positions spanning these diverse sectors—namely, that ethical leadership remains an integral aspect of fulfillment in service.

October 4, 11, 18, and 25
Race and Christianity

(Four-Sunday Series)
Emma Beall and Andrea Tracey (Members, Old Presbyterian Meeting House)

Many of us may have heard the expression “the most segregated day of the week is Sunday.”  Join us in understanding how the legacy of racism, Christianity and white supremacy are connected and how we can become an ally to people of color.

This class will explore the history of racism and Christianity; how that has led us to our current state of the world; and how white people have one of the most important roles to play in addressing the legacy of racism and the steps as Christians we can take to show love, respect, dignity, and peace to our siblings of color.

November 1, 8, and 15
Race and Religion in the History of American Presbyterianism
R. Bruce Douglass (Former Director, Reformed Institute of Washington; Emeritus Member, Department of Government, Georgetown University)

Presbyterianism in America has always been primarily a white person’s religion, and it has been heavily influenced by racist beliefs and practices. But it has also been shaped  by influences that have been sharply critical of racism, and the ongoing struggle between those two tendencies has been a major determinant of the role Presbyterians have played in American society. This series of talks is designed to shed light on some of the more important phases in the evolution of the thinking of American Presbyterians (both black and white) on this subject.

  • Week 1: The problem of slavery
  • Week 2: Segregated churches
  • Week 3: Desegregation?
November 22
Ancient Ethiopia and the New Testament: Why Does the Ethiopian Come Among Us?
Rev. Gay L. Byron, Ph.D. (Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, Howard University School of Divinity)

Dr. Byron, a PC(USA) Teaching Elder and the Stated Supply Pastor at Washington, DC’s Northminster Presbyterian Church, will help us explore the origins of Christianity in ancient Ethiopia and discuss how this historical framework illuminates our understanding of the New Testament. We will look at texts such as Acts 8:26–40 (featuring the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch) and discuss the Axumite Empire of Ethiopia.

November 29, December 6, 13, and 20
“Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room”: Advent Meditations (Four-Sunday Series)
Katherine Grieb (Professor of Biblical Interpretation and New Testament, Virginia Theological Seminary)

Advent, the beginning of the Christian liturgical year, begins November 29, 2020. The word “Advent” from the Latin “adventus” means “coming” or “arrival.” During these four weeks before Christmas, the Church has traditionally prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ in three ways: in history (as God coming to dwell with us on earth), in mystery (especially in word and sacrament and prayer), and in majesty (returning to judge the living and the dead). This four-week series will focus on the coming of Christ as it is described in hymns, in poetry, and in art. The tone will be meditative and low key, because Advent is such a busy time of the year. Come join us for one session or for all four and bring your questions about the theology of Advent!