The Charles Simeon Lay School of Theology


The Charles Simeon Lay School of Theology offers free, seminary-quality classes designed especially for laypersons who want to deepen their faith and expand their understanding of the Christian faith.  The focus for the 2019 Spring Semester is “The Anglican Frame of Mind”.



Each class is three sessions in duration and each session will meet for two and one-half hours. 


Saturdays 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge
Led by The Rev. Canon Dr. Sudduth Cummings

This class is based on Dallas Willard’s book, “Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge”.  Willard restores Christian truths to a status comparable to the certainties of philosophical and scientific knowledge. He challenges the common ignorance of and prejudice against Christianity present in secular culture, and demonstrates the compatibility of faith and reason.  Finally, Willard helps us to overcome the gap between technical and spiritual knowledge, allowing us to have confidence in the truth of the Gospel.

G. K. Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy
Led by The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Petty

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was a novelist, journalist, artist, literary critic, poet and lay theologian.  As a young atheist, he found the scientific materialism and progressivism of the late nineteenth century to be attractive.  Eventually, Chesterton became a Christian (first an Anglican, then a Roman Catholic).  In 1908 he published “Orthodoxy” which reflected his conversion to Christianity.  The book details his reason for embracing Christianity which all comes down to this: Only Christianity allows for life to be an adventure.  This class will explore Chesterton’s argument for what he called “the romance of orthodoxy”.


Dr. William "bill" Price
lay school of theology student

I have been a Christian my whole life and, at certain periods, have met some good mentors in the faith.  However, I have learned more and grown more under the influence of Fr. Michael Petty and the Lay School of Theology, during the past three years, than I have for the entire rest of my life.  Christianity is more real to me, my daily devotions are more meaningful, and I feel a closer communication with my Creator.  My only regret is that this treasure of experience is not available to all people, as they enter into their Christian growth.


Do You Know Thomas Cranmer?
Led by the Rev. Dr. Sudduth Cummings

Thomas Cranmer is one of the theological architects of Anglicanism. In addition to creating the first Book of Common Prayer, he also began the process of shaping the outline of Anglican belief. Over the course of three class sessions, this class will consider Cranmer as a person, as a leader of the English Reformation, and as a formative theologian.

Austin Farrer: Anglican Theologian and Friend of C. S. Lewis
Led by the Rev. Dr. Michael Petty

Austin Farrer (1904-1968) was an amazing man: He was a priest in the Church of England; a gifted theologian who taught at Oxford University; an accomplished writer who published books in the fields of biblical studies, theology, spirituality, and philosophy; and a friend and spiritual advisor to C. S. Lewis. This class will sample some of Farrer's work, by looking at three subjects in which he had a passionate interest: the relationship between faith and science, the problem of evil and suffering, and the meaning of faith. Each of the three class sessions will focus upon one of these topics, as we think along with a great Anglican mind.