Weyerhaeuser Center

Certificate in Teaching the Bible (online)

Sept. 2013-April 2014

Program Objectives
Church leaders are expected to teach the Bible in various settings with a variety of different constituents. The Certificate in Teaching the Bible Program is designed to give Sunday-school teachers, lay ministry leaders and pastors insight into using the Bible more effectively with children, youth and adults. The certificate is specifically designed to provide the following:

  • an overview of the narrative and key theological themes of the Bible;
  • practical skills and tools to teach the Bible with power and effectiveness;
  • support in ministry and networking opportunities with others who regularly teach the Bible.

    This non-degree program is open to all pastors, Sunday-school teachers and church leaders who are regularly called upon to teach the Bible. The course includes:
  • participation in classes that meet online;
  • participation in a small cohort-learning community;
  • reading assignments, reflection and group discussion;
  • completion of a final project that relates to the coursework.
Courses and Dates

Sept. 2-27, 2013

Major Themes in the Old Testament
Instructor: Scott Starbuck, Lecturer, Theology, Whitworth University

Sept. 30-Oct. 25
Beliefs: What Christians Believe and Why
Instructor: Karen Petersen Finch, Asst. Professor, Theology, Whitworth University
Oct. 28-Nov. 22 Major Themes in the New Testament
Instructor: Keith Beebe, Professor, Theology, Whitworth University
Nov. 25-Dec. 20 Teaching Skills 101
Instructors: Kathryn Picanco, Assoc. Professor, School of Education, Whitworth University/Janine Darragh, Asst. Professor, School of Education, Whitworth University
Dec. 30, 2013-Jan. 24, 2014 Teaching the Bible to Children/Youth
Instructors: Anne Wilcox, Visiting Asst. Professor, School of Education, Whitworth University
Jan. 27-Feb. 21 Teaching the Bible to Adults
Instructor: Roberta Wilburn, Assoc. Dean, Graduate Studies in Education, Whitworth University
Feb. 24-March 21 Teaching through Catechesis and Mentoring
Instructor: TBD
March 24-April 18, 2014 Teaching the Bible in Small Groups
Instructor: Mike Ingram, Professor, Communication Studies, Whitworth University

Course Format

Each session is divided into four sections that are spread over four weeks during the month the session is offered. Each student is asked to spend approximately two hours each week (eight hours/month total) engaged in the following learning activities:

and taking notes on the lecture/discussions provided on the webstream (up to 60 minutes). There is a corresponding lecture outline that is included with each of the lectures for students to take notes on.

Reflecting on the teaching covered on the webstream and/or on articles, links, questions, etc, provided by the instructor (approximately 20 minutes).

on the discussion board your answer to one of the questions that are given to you to reflect on and then responding to someone else’s posting.  These postings will be made by Wednesday evening of each week and a response to someone else’s posting will be made by Friday evening.  Each posting should be at least two or three paragraphs long.  You will be given at least three questions to choose from (approximately 35 minutes).  The session instructor will be available for comments and questions on-line during the month that the session is being offered.

what you learned from this part of the session. You will post on the discussion board the answer to this question: “The most important thing I learned in this session is…” This “takeaway” question does not need a response by other students (approximately five minutes). 

In addition to these required learning activities, students will be provided with required readings and resources for further study and reflection.

Why consider this program?

Have you ever wanted to facilitate a Bible study or teach a Sunday school class but felt that your understanding of basic theology and the Bible weren't deep enough?  Are you tempted to teach a group of children, youth, or adults, but hesitant to do so because you don’t feel adequately prepared in the “nuts and bolts" of what it means to be a good teacher?  Have you been putting off using your teaching gift because of fear, lack of training, or procrastination?  Are you a seasoned teacher who feels called to sharpen your teaching and facilitation skills so that God can use you in even greater ways?

If you find yourself answering “yes” to any of these questions, then the Certificate in Teaching the Bible Program is for you!  This program will give you an overview of basic Christian doctrine and the major themes of the Bible. You will learn the importance of catechesis and of being a mentor, and you will discover how to help mold children, youth, and adults into active followers of Jesus Christ.  You will also learn valuable skills on how to teach others and facilitate small groups effectively.       

What past participants have said about the program:

“The instructors were outstanding. I am so impressed with their quality.”

“I was among like-minded Christian adults who read, study, and write, as I wanted to be.  I was exposed to passionate and very bright teachers – a really rare treat!" 

“It is very affordable considering what it includes…a good value!"

“Great program and speakers.”


  • $495 (books are extra)
  • $35 non-refundable deposit required to register
  • Scholarships are available!

Payment Plans

  • Pay in full on or before the first day of class (10% discount if paid in full by Aug. 5) or;
  • Pay half on or before the first day of class, and the remaining half on or before Dec. 1, 2013. (A monthly finance charge of 1.5 percent applies.)

Cancellation Policy

  • Three weeks prior to first class - 100% refund (excluding deposit)
  • Less than three weeks prior to first class - loss of half of full tuition (which includes the deposit)
  • After session #4 - loss of full tuition

Statement of Student’s Financial Policy:
Submission of registration forms obligates the student for payment of tuition and fees including a 1.5-percent-per-month service charge that may be assessed on unpaid balances, as well as any subsequent collection expenses and fees, and implies acceptance of the university’s financial policies. It is the student’s responsibility to pay bills in a timely manner.

Hardware, Software & Internet Requirements for Whitworth University’s Online Classes

Minimum Hardware:
You are required to have a computer capable of running the software listed below as well as the following:

  • 20 or more gigabytes (GB) of available space on the hard drive for your coursework after all required and personal software has been installed
  • At the very minimum two gigabytes (GB) of RAM (more is recommended)
  • Sound capabilities: Sound card and speakers or headset
  • DVD drive
  • Administrative access to the computer
  • An installed Internet/network connection device with broadband capabilities

Minimum Software:

  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3 (Home or Pro), Vista (32 bit or 64 bit), Windows 7 or Windows 8 with all updates; Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with all updates; LinuxOS with the latest Windows or MacOS emulator installed which would allow you to run the programs or the equivalent of the programs listed below:
    • All OS security and critical updates must be installed and up to date.
    • Microsoft Office
    • PC: Microsoft Office 2007 Suite including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint or higher
    • Mac: Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint or higher
    • All Office security and critical updates installed and up to date
  • A current and updated antivirus software (See Whitworth's website for approved software.)
  • A current and updated malware/spyware removal program
  • RealPlayer, current version (free download)
  • Microsoft Windows Media Player 11 or higher (free download)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader, current version (free download)
  • Adobe Flash, current version (free download)
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • Sun Systems JAVA Plugin, current version (free download)
  • A zipping/unzipping program to email or download large files
  • Other software per your instructor and course requirements


  • You will be expected to have a reliable high-speed/broadband Internet service provider (ISP). If you use AOL or an ISP with its own browser, you should have an alternate browser installed on your computer.
      • For Windows OS: Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 8 or higher
      • For Mac OS: Safari 2 or higher, although Safari users may find they face some limitations in Blackboard.
      • Mozilla Firefox 3.6 or higher (This is the most highly recommended browser for Blackboard.)
      • Google Chrome Browser, although Chrome users may find they face some limitations in Blackboard due to rapid release changes.
      • Javascript and cookies must be enabled, and pop-up blockers must be disabled for Blackboard, Whitworth e-mail, and WhitNet on all browsers and in all toolbars. You may need to enable Active X controls for the above websites.

Whitworth University provides all current students with a Whitworth e-mail address and a Blackboard account. Students are required to check their Whitworth e-mail accounts; all Whitworth communication is through the Whitworth e-mail address. For assistance related to your specific equipment, contact Judy Dehle at 509.777.4387, or e-mail jdehle@whitworth.edu.

Registration: Registration will open in May 2014.

For further information:

To learn more about this program, please contact Tim Dolan, Ph.D., 509.777.4676 (tdolan@whitworth.edu), or Michelle Pace, 509.777.3275 (mpace@whitworth.edu).

Register Now

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