Diocesan News

Bible study presenter training planned in Lincoln

By S.L. Hansen
(SNR) - Anyone interested in becoming a presenter for a parish-based Bible study program is invited to attend training on Wednesdays from June 25 to Aug. 13 at the John XXIII Center in Lincoln.

The “Journey through Scripture” Bible study program comes from the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, an apostolate started by author and speaker Scott Hahn, Ph.D.

Facilitator training is offered through the Office for Family Life and Evangelization. It will take students through the first study of the “Journey through Scripture” series while teaching them how to facilitate studies at their own parishes.

By the end of the course, students will be certified as presenters by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

Nick Jorgensen, coordinator for the Diocesan Office for Evangelization, will lead the training sessions on behalf of the St. Paul Center.

“This is for anyone who would like to share the Scriptures with others,” Jorgensen said. “They don’t have to be leading something now or even to have led anything in the past, but they should be interested in taking a step toward leading.”

He added that this summer seemed to be a good time to offer this facilitator training. With school out for the summer, parents, students, teachers and parish workers have a little more time to hone their understanding of Scripture and the faith.

“It’s for them to be spiritually fed, to dive into Scripture and understand it more,” Jorgensen said.

Hahn launched this non-profit research and educational institute shortly after his conversion to the Catholic faith to promote “life-transforming Scripture study in the Catholic tradition.”

The center provides resources including books, multi-media and online programs to clergy and laity, including “Journey Through Scripture.” This Bible study program was developed specifically for use within Catholic parishes.

The program encourages Catholics to grow in their knowledge of Scripture and in their understanding of the Catholic faith. The study takes a “holistic approach,” examining the entire Bible and how it works together to present God’s message to the world.
There are five different programs in the study: “Genesis to Jesus, “The Bible and the Mass,” “The Bible and the Sacraments,” “The Bible and the Virgin Mary,” and “The Bible and the Church Fathers.” The first four studies are available in English or Spanish.

The studies have been created in such a way that facilitators can lead an effective program even without a degree in theology. Any faithful Catholic can become a presenter.

“What’s so great about this is, all the content is there for you,” Jorgensen said.

He has presented the studies more than once, and he found that with around two hours of preparation each week, he could easily facilitate the Bible study for a group, even on his first try.

The St. Paul Center produces all the necessary materials, including presenter’s notes, a PowerPoint presentation for each study, participant workbooks and more.

Facilitators can also contact the center for help in answering tough theological questions when they come up during the course of the study.

Jorgensen said the St. Paul Center’s studies are backed by some of today’s most faithful and orthodox Catholic theologians, including Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who serves as episcopal advisor. 

“This is honestly, in my opinion, the best Bible study that gives you a strong overview of scripture, he assured. “The Mass will come alive. You’ll get a true Catholic lens on Scripture.”

Over the course of eight weeks, participants will learn how the covenants God established in the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ and in the Catholic Church.

“You’re constantly going from the Old Testament to the New,” Jorgensen explained. “You’ll go from Adam to Jesus, and see how Jesus is the new Adam. Then you move on to the next father, Noah, and so on.”

Jorgensen said he hopes that many people will take advantage of this unique training opportunity and become presenters who can bring this helpful Bible study to parishes across the Diocese of Lincoln.

The cost to become a St. Paul Center Bible Study presenter is $50 and includes all necessary materials. Participants must bring their own Bibles. For more information, visit LincolnDiocese.org.

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