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

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.


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.


Living in the Presence of God in Everyday Life: Christian Disciplines for Disciples
Led by Dr. Jeff Trostle

This class is intended to be an introductory workshop on cultivating life in the Spirit.  Participants will explore ways to shape their inner being after God’s own heart using classical spiritual disciplines.  Through such disciplines as prayer, meditation, silence, reading Scripture, participants will learn how to open their lives more and more to God’s presence and action.  The textbook for this class is Richard Foster’s The Celebration of Discipline which is available in St. Peter’s Bookstore. 


The Living God Speaks: Learning to Listen for God’s Guidance
Led by the Rev. Dr. Sudduth Cummings

We all get lots of advice—from advertisements, self-help books, friends and family.  But who is our best guide?  It is God himself!  There are proven ways to “hear” God speak through Scripture, the Church and the Holy Spirit.  This class will explore how we can open ourselves to God’s voice. 


Reading the Gospels for Spiritual Nourishment: The Life of Jesus and the Christian Life
Led by the Rev. Dr. Michael Petty

The Gospels were written not merely to provide information about Jesus but to testify to him and to enable readers to have a living connection with him.  This class will explore how reading the Gospels prayerfully, theologically and attentively can provide us with nourishment, help us to see our lives in a new way and enable us to be transformed.  The class will focus on the first two volumes of Joseph Ratzinger’s three volume masterpiece Jesus of Nazareth.  Copies of volumes 1 and 2 of Jesus of Nazareth will be available in St. Peter’s Bookstore.