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Early Christian Texts Online Courses

The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know and want to find out what’s next.

Early Christian Texts creates online courses for those who want to learn more about the ancient texts. Learn about the remarkable spiritual gems these texts contain, gems that illuminate the Bible and strengthen its meaning in everyday life.

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After Jesus Before Christianity: New Discoveries

This course, After Jesus Before Christianity: New Discoveries, is presented by Dr. Shirley Paulson and Dr. Deborah N. Saxon. The course is designed to help you gain a better understanding of early Jesus people. Dr. Paulson and Dr. Saxon will take you through:

  • the painful reality of living with Roman violence
  • diverse ideas regarding self-identity, suffering, and death
  • examples of women in leadership roles
  • ancient understandings of gender
  • wide-ranging views of Jesus, Paul, and Mary, the Magdalene
  • the variety of texts available before there was any such thing as a New Testament
  • new perspectives on so-called “Gnosticism” and “heresy”

Purchase access through the People’s Catholic Seminary.

Purchase access through Udemny.

“After Jesus Before Christianity” Review

Thanks for your expertise and work in presenting such an impressive course with all its various features! And thanks for your love of God and the common people in offering this information to the public for such a REASONABLE cost. It could not come at a better time. Churches are not delivering a message the people need (or one people are looking for) and therefore they are leaving in droves. Hopefully, the foundational information you are offering will inspire new forms of church as we come to learn the various practices and beliefs of Jesus’s earliest followers and practitioners.  — Mary

Healing Violence in the World: Letter of Peter to Philip

The Nag Hammadi Series

This course, the second course in our Nag Hammadi series, explores some of the practical and enduring ideas the early Christ people had about facing violence.

Presenters Dr. Shirley Paulson and her co-instructor, Dr. Hal Taussig, guide you through some surprising new ideas about Jesus in this little-known text, the Letter of Peter to Philip. Jesus gives his ambassadors (i.e. disciples) instructions in six steps that lead his followers (from long ago and now) to experience peace, joy, and even healing in the face of violence.

The course offers you cutting edge scholarship without the need to enroll in a university course. It creates a more vivid and relevant picture of what Jesus meant in the first two centuries, providing you with your own new tools for confronting violence in the twenty-first century.

Purchase now on Udemy.

The Gospel of Thomas Goes Public

The Nag Hammadi Series

Available on Udemy.

This course, the first course in the Nag Hammadi series, digs into the Gospel of Thomas.

Presenters Dr. Shirley Paulson and her co-instructor, Dr. Hal Taussig, explain the complex but extremely important relationship between the recently discovered Gospel of Thomas and the Bible, while helping you gain confidence in your own ability to interpret and make use of it.

The Gospel of Thomas is a source of inspiration and an essential resource for Bible students, Christians, and anyone interested in the history of the earliest centuries of the Christ movements. If you’re looking for cutting edge and outside the box study of a famous ancient document, you’ll definitely want to get going with this course.

“The Gospel of Thomas Goes Public” Selected Reviews

I loved this course. The teacher is easy to listen to and I enjoyed the interjections from Hal Taussig. And I have loved the material for some years and was glad to have some more ideas and better information to go with my own musings. I look forward to more courses and connecting via the web and Facebook. Thank you – I will be recommending the course to those who went through the Gospel of Thomas with me a few years ago (and others who did not!) as you have clarified some of our confusion and shown we were not so far off on others. — Janet

I’ve read some books about the Nag Hammadi series, and I took an online course on Thomas several years ago. I signed up for this class as a review, but it exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed its fresh format. I liked the interactive approach where we could take quizzes and share our thoughts if we wanted. I also appreciated learning about early church history. It was a perfect blend of lecture and independent thinking, and I look forward to more classes about Nag Hammadi.Colleen

I really appreciate the bite-size modules of course material with their descriptive headings. Makes it easier to stop and start as needed. — Geri 

Yes, it’s challenging me and giving me much inspiration. Thank you so much. — Wendy

It is such interesting content – the lectures are easy to understand and follow. It’s a great pace for me. — Rindy

Ancient Christian Texts for Modern Healing

Sign up now for the Early Christian Texts online introductory course, Ancient Christian Texts for Modern Healing.

The first online class is an introductory course constructed especially for spiritually curious people who don’t have much experience with the books circulated during the early days of Christianity.  As well as providing a foundation for more advanced courses, Ancient Christian Texts for Modern Healing, the introductory course explains:

  1. How to find the ancient texts and how to become comfortable using them;
  2. The tension between canonical and extracanonical texts in the past and present times;
  3. Key concepts that are useful for Christian healing;
  4. Practical applications for the key concepts outlined in the course.

Courses are hosted on Udemy. Udemy is the world’s, “leading global marketplace for teaching and learning, connecting students everywhere to the world’s best instruction anywhere.”  With over 24 million satisfied students, Udemy seemed like the best place to offer the Early Christian Text online classes.

If this sounds interesting, watch the introductory video above.

Several new courses are in development, but questions and suggestions for course topics are welcome. What would you like to learn?

Join the community on Facebook for conversations about our Udemy courses and other topics of interest.

“Ancient Christian Texts for Modern Healing” Selected Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this class and only wish it was longer than 6 weeks. A door has been opened and I have so much gratitude, Shirley, for the material presented and the resources you have generously provided. — Suzanne

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and your work! I thank Our Loving Holy One for you! I’ve been intrigued by the extracanonical writings for a long time, and am so grateful to you for introducing them to me. I want to study them more fully as this workshop was such a rich experience. And healing! — Mary Kay

I want to thank you heartily for sharing your expertise with us! I’ve had a life long sense of connection to the ancients, most likely thanks to my having been reared in Catholic teaching of the Communion of Saints. The sharing of experiences inspired by the texts you illuminated for us remains with me. Timeless words ~ from them, from us ~ revealed in a deep knowing. — Elaine

Yes, I love it … The speed is perfectly paced. I like the short segments so one has the space to think and assimilate the information. I REALLY like the instructors style, directness, emphasis on healing and one’s own experience and her respect for the learner. — Cindy

I am feeling intrigued by the information and the reading. I have learned things that I didn’t know even though I thought I knew a lot about the Bible.  I completed the course and love the final section that gives concrete actions to get results. I have been using it for the last few weeks and it gets my mind into the right space for healing.Holly 

The questions [asked] demand one to honestly ponder and sit with the texts and listen deeply for revelation in one’s own life. I love the fact that I can go back, many times if needed, to each of the sections for the purpose of deeper learning.  — Joan 

This course was phenomenal! It was packed with a lot of helpful information on health, healing and God. Loved it! — Tiffany

Well put together, moves smoothly from one lecture to another. Very interesting lectures so far.  Love Professor Deb Saxon’s talk. — Sandra

Very informative and inspirational! I feel blessed to have been led to course and look forward to taking more courses and studying deeper the ancient texts. — Susan

Online Courses Troubleshooting and Info

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Bible and Beyond Presentations

Introductory and In-Depth Online or In-Person Presentations by Shirley Paulson, PhD

The Bible and Beyond Presentation series offers courses and workshops designed for use by churches, conferences, and organizations. Providing a unique opportunity for participants to experience introductory or in-depth classes on various aspects of early Christian texts, the presentations can be offered in-person or online. The combination of Shirley Paulson’s experience with healing, scholarship, and research in Practical Theology evokes ever-new questions and conversations based on ancient texts. Shirley has nearly two decades of experience presenting lectures, classes, and workshops on early texts. Learn more about the variety of presentations offered.

Bible and Beyond Presentations

Questions or Suggestions about Online Courses?

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