Learning for Life

















2018  Courses and Teachers


The Book of Daniel As Anti-Gospel

Mondays 1:00 – 3:00

The book of Daniel is commonly read as a set of stories that teach the need for faithfulness to God in the face of extreme opposition. In actuality it reflects the views of a powerful faction who, during the Seleucid period, advocated everything that Jesus eventually confronted during his ministry. This study will examine the book in this light and the way that much of the New Testament uses Daniel as a foil, subverting its message to teach the exact opposite.  What is that message, and why did the New Testament writers feel the need to stand against it?

Larry Eubanks has been pastor of First Baptist Church of Frederick since 1995.  He earned a B.S., a M.Div. and a Ph.D. in Old Testament Literature In addition to his blog on biblical interpretation ( he is a contributing writer at and, and the author of the eBook, The Essence of Jesus: A Fresh Look at the Beatitudes.





Wrestling A Blessing fromThe Parables of Jesus

Mondays 1:00 – 3:00

Jesus’ parables are subversive because they “challenge us to look into the hidden aspects of our own values, our own lives. They bring to the surface unasked questions and they reveal answers we have always known but refuse to acknowledge.” So says New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine. We will examine a number of Jesus’ parables, offering us the opportunity to not only plumb the depths of our contemporary interpretations but to understand the original Jewish context into which these parables were spoken. The more we know about the original contexts, the richer our understanding becomes. Although there will be no required reading in the course, participants may want to purchase the book, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi by Amy-Jill Levine.

 Anabel Proffitt teaches Educational Ministries at Lancaster Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary (Ph.D.), the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (M.A.) and Hood College (B.A.). An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, she serves as co-pastor of Wisdom’s Table at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Lancaster, PA.



Augustine of Hippo

Mondays 7:00 – 9:00  

This course will explore the conversion, spirituality and teachings of early Christianity's most formidable figure, St. Augustine of Hippo.  Topics include his Confessions, his teaching on the Trinity, his doctrine of Original Sin, the Pelagian Controversy, his writing on what constitutes a happy life, and finally his sermons on the first epistle of John.  This course will explore Augustine in a manner accessible to all faith traditions.


Julie Wilberding earned her Master’s in Theology from the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, St. Mary's Seminary and University, Baltimore.  She has been active in various adult faith activities in the Hagerstown and Shepherdstown WV area, offering reflection days and short talks. 





The One Percent vs. the 99 Percent:

The Ethics of Income and Wealth Inequality

Mondays 7:00 – 9:00

Economic inequality touches people of all ages, racial groups, economic levels and social classes.  Income and wealth inequality affects some more than others; some cause it and benefit from it while others are its victims.  This course will explore the moral foundations and core values which contribute to and could reduce the gap between the haves and the have-nots.  We will explore questions such as:  What are the ethical and moral dimensions of inequality in a capitalist society in the 21st Century?  What are the connections between poverty and income inequality?  What is the role of religion (both personal and institutional) in critiquing economic systems while promoting social justice in our society? 

Gerald Hanberry is interim pastor of Columbia United Christian Church, a multi-denominational parish in Columbia.   Prior to his current work as a minister, he worked as a community developer, program administrator, trainer and researcher.  He holds a B.A., a Master’s and PhD in Adult Education and Community Development and a Master of Divinity.



Miracles of The Galilee

Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00

The region of northern Israel known as The Galilee is an area ripe with miracle stories from our sacred literature.  From the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, through the rabbinic period of the Talmud and into the stories of Jesus in the Christian Bible, we will take a critical literary exploration of these miraculous tales together.  Is there an intertextual conversation tying together narratives from across the generations?  In what way do later texts speak to, and sometimes alter, the stories of the past?  How can we mine common themes to help us better understand our own religious traditions? 

 Jordan Hersh has served as the rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregation since 2013.  He began his formal Jewish studies at a Yeshiva (traditional academy of Jewish study) in Jerusalem and received both rabbinic ordination and an M.A. in Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Languages from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.



Banned Questions About the Bible:

Paul, Revelation, & the Rest of the New Testament

Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00

Explore the questions mainstream scholars ask about the Bible that aren’t always asked in religious communities. Feel more equipped to read the Bible for yourself: basic biblical background and history, diverse methods of biblical interpretation, major content and themes. Compare modern readings with those of the Bible’s earliest interpreters.

 Carl Gregg is the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Furman University, with a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy. He earned a M.Div. from the Brite Divinity School, and a D.Min. from San Francisco Theological Seminary.







The Spirit's Call to Evolve

Tuesdays 1:00 – 3:00

This course will explore the evolutionary stages of human spiritual development, as seen through the lens of Christianity. We will take a look at the stages, states, and perspectives of Christianity as it has evolved, and continues to evolve, through an understanding of God, the role of the Bible and other sacred texts, Jesus, and prayer. We will use the perspectives of integral theory and practice and Spiral Dynamics as outlined in the required text by Paul Smith, Integral Christianity: The Spirit's Call to Evolve. (ISBN 978-I-55778-800-9).

Toni Fish is the Minister of Unity in Frederick, where she has served for the last 17 years.  From 2009 – 2011, she served as President, Habitat for Humanity in Frederick County during a time of expansion and transformation.   In an earlier chapter of her life, Toni spent 22 years in the corporate world as an international information security and continuity planning consultant. 





Faith and Art in the Christian Tradition

Tuesdays 7:00 – 9:00

Why does little Jesus look like a miniature adult, and who is that baby that Christ is holding?  Why do the spires of western cathedrals reach for heaven, while their eastern cousins sport onion domes?  What’s with the fish, the wagon wheel, and the Greek letters, OC and 9C 1K?  Symbology, iconography, aniconic patterns: the Christian heritage of art in its various forms has it all, offering an amazing variety of forms, styles, and meanings. Join us for a survey of some of the major trends and influences in Christian art and architecture, symbology and illumination through the centuries and in different parts of the world – as well as for a look at meanings, both manifest and hidden, conveyed in the visual languages of faith.

 Dr. Charles Harrell is the Director of Pastoral Care at Asbury Solomons, a retirement community in Southern Maryland, and an adjunct professor at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.  He earned his Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University, where his major focus was the history of Christianity with an ancillary emphasis on art history.