Continuing Education Courses

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS For Continuing Education

The ABCs of Biblical Hebrew: In this class we will be exploring the history of language and the Bible, focusing on the Old Testament, learning the Hebrew alphabet and beginning to understand ancient Hebrew. Each class will contain some history of language and the Bible, learning Hebrew, and looking at some pieces of scripture in Hebrew. You will also become familiar with resources that are used to study Hebrew and the Old Testament.
SCHEDULE: Friday 6:00-7:30PM
~ “The First Hebrew Primer: The Adult Beginner’s Path to Biblical Hebrew, Third Edition” by Ethelyn Simon, Linda Motzkin, Irene Resnikoff. ISBN-10: ‎ 0939144158 or ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0939144150
~ “Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament” by Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, Charles Briggs, after the works of Wilhelm Gesenius (1906). Borrow from pastor or download HERE.
INSTRUCTOR: Rev. Phyllis Smoot

My name is Phyllis Smoot and I currently serve Saint John in Mosinee Wisconsin, and have since April 14, 2020. My first call was a two point parish and Kendallville and Albion, Indiana. I was ordained in 2009 at the congregation I was baptized and married in on the Northside of Chicago. I have a great spouse, Justin Smoot, two daughters, Lillian and Genevieve, and two dogs, Yoda and Lucy. For fun I enjoy spending time outside, volunteering with the Mosinee Community Theater, Girl Scouts, and the local AFS chapter. AFS is an international student exchange program.I attended Valparaiso University where my deep studies of theology and scripture began. I majored in Psychology and minored in Hebrew and Theology. Learning the languages of Hebrew and Greek, translating the scriptures, and studying them, has given me a deep knowledge of the Bible and a knack for teaching this to others so that the scriptures can be renewed in their lives.

Keep the Church Weird:  Now that the course title has your attention, I have a confession to make. I stole the title from a presentation the author Rachel Held Evans made in 2017. In this continuing education course, we will explore the case for keeping and remaining faithful to the church’s historic weirdness.
We have a track record of trying to make the church appealing to current culture with very limited “success”. In our fear of dying as a church, do we grasp at whatever we can to turn the tide while neglecting what gives us our unique identity?
We will explore the church’s historic, sacramental, countercultural, empire challenging, radically inclusive, forgiving, prophetic, compassionate, grace-filled weirdness. We will do this through the Biblical narrative and through the voices of those who call us to faithful witness.
Join us for this spirited and challenging time together. Can we trust the promise of resurrection? Can we no longer be consumed by our fear of dying and claim new life for the church through our unique and life-giving weirdness.
SCHEDULE: Friday 7:40-9:10PM
~ “Searching for Sunday “Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church” by Rachel Held Evans. Thomas Nelson (April 14, 2015) ISBN-10‏: ‎ 9780718022129 or ISBN-13‏: ‎ 978-0718022129
~ Not required but strongly encouraged ~ “Waiting for Gospel: An Appeal to the Dispirited Remnants of Protestant Establishment” by Douglas John Hall. Cascade Books (April 16, 2012)  ISBN-10‏: ‎ 161097672X or ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1610976725
INSTRUCTOR: Rev. John Meachen

Pastor John has taught as part of the East Central Synod of Wisconsin Lay School of Ministry for all but one year beginning in 2005 until the present. His primary focus has been Martin Luther, Reformation history, and Lutheran confessional theology. Stemming from a deep love of congregational life, his continuing education classes have been focused on exploring and building the health of the local parish and its leaders.

Pastor John served as a parish pastor for 34 years in North Dakota and Wisconsin before accepting the position as the Executive Director of Crossways Camping Ministries in 2011.

Pastor John officially retired in 2017 and lives with his wife Jan in their home south of Rhinelander, WI.

History of Women in Christianity: Women have always been deeply involved in the Christian faith though they are not always featured prominently in our history books. This course will explore the diverse roles and experiences Christian women have had with and within the Christian tradition from the early church until today. Topics will include martyrdom, monasticism, women’s commitment to missions and reform, women in leadership, and women’s roles and challenges today.
SCHEDULE:  Saturday 9:00-10:30AM
~ “Women and the Christian Story: A Global History” (Published in October)
INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Jennie Wojciechowski

Jennifer Hornyak Wojciechowski is assistant professor of church history at Luther Seminary. Prior to this, she taught in the religion department at Augsburg University.

She is author of the book Women and the Christian Story: A Global History (Fortress, 2022) and numerous articles. Her research focuses on women’s history, American history, and the intersection of religion and social reform. She is also the associate editor of the journal Word & World.

She lives in Minnesota with her husband, two children, and tabby cat. She enjoys drinking coffee with friends, playing her banjo, and traveling.

The Art of Preaching: Preaching is an art so much more than a science. But like all art forms, there are techniques and disciplines to learn that not only make us better preachers, but hopefully more informed listeners. Over these nine months together we’ll dive into the art of preaching. We will look at the component pieces of crafting a sermon as well as delivery, while also reflecting on what it means to preach as an act of faith. For those that desire, there will be opportunities to practice writing and delivering a sermon. If that freaks you out, don’t worry! Faith is never a forced march!
SCHEDULE:  Saturday 10:40-12:10
~ “Walking on Water” by Madeleine L’Engle (required)  ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0804189277 or ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0804189279
~ “The Witness of Preaching” Introduction and Chapter 1, by Thomas G. Long (provided)
INSTRUCTOR: Rev. Rachel Knoke

My name is Pastor Rachel Knoke and I have been serving at Trinity Lutheran in Green Bay since 2015.Prior to that, I spent a decade in Washington state at a L’Arche community, living and working with adults with developmental disabilities. Academically, I graduated from Luther Seminary in 2007 with an MA in New Testament Studies and then graduated again in 2014 with an MDiv. (I like school.)

I love what I do and love serving alongside the people of Trinity. These years in “official” ministry are beginning to teach me patience and humility, both of which have proven to be far more helpful to service than my natural inclinations towards compulsion and pride. (Funny how that works, eh?)

When not pastoring, I love tinkering outside and gardening in the summer and a good book or jigsaw puzzle in the winter. I currently live with my spouse, our adorably cute, three-legged jerk of a dog, and two teenagers (pray for us!), all of whom I love dearly.


$100.00 per class or all 4 classes for $300.00. Students purchase their own books for the classes.

SCHEDULE For Continuing Education Courses

Meal                                            5:15 – 6:00 P.M.
The ABCs of Biblical Hebrew 6:00 – 7:30 P.M.
Keep the Church Weird              7:40 – 9:10 P.M.

Breakfast                                            8:00 – 8:30 A.M.
Worship                                              8:30 – 8:50 A.M.
History of Women in Christianity     9:00 – 10:30 A.M.
The Art of Preaching                         10:40– 12:10 P.M

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