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“And though his eyes were open, he could see nothing” (Acts 9:8)
When the apostle Paul is confronted with the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, he is rendered blind by a brilliant light from heaven. The storyteller reports that although Paul’s eyes were open, “he saw nothing” (Acts 9:8). For those of us facing forceful disruptions to the stories of our lives, this is a palpably familiar experience. With eyes we know are open, we look out at our families, our work or our churches, at our communities or our nation—sometimes at our very selves—with a confused and uncomprehending gaze. Known features become oddly unrecognizable and we simply cannot see how the stories will continue to unfold.
This was true for Paul, too, and his story has the power to brilliantly illuminate our own spiritual narratives. Tradition celebrates Paul’s story as one of conversion, clarity, and conviction, but that is really to read only the story’s epilogue. Its middle chapters are more complex—and much closer to our own personal and communal stories than we might imagine: radical ruptures with the past; disorientation, loss, and grief; an urgent need to make sense of things that no longer make sense; the struggle to find words with which to speak newly comprehended truths.
In this course, we will plumb the story’s wisdom for those times when, like Paul, we experience changes on the roads we are traveling, to the stories we’ve been telling, and in the communities to which we belong. We will generate our best responses to the experience of dislocation that often accompanies radical disruptions in our lives, open ourselves—faithfully—to the hope and promise within our transformations, and equip ourselves to be companions and guides to others in their times of change.
Here is what you can expect to experience, learn, and accomplish in this class:
You should expect this course to take up to 6 hours per week.
Upon satisfactory completion of the class, The BTS Center will provide each participant with a certificate of participation.
Limited scholarship assistance is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for this class. During the registration process, you will receive additional information and have the opportunity to apply for financial aid. Contact Alyssa Lodewick (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
The course will run February 27 through May 5. We will take a break the week of April 9 to observe Holy Week.
Live, interactive conversations will take place on Thursday evenings from 7 - 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time each week of the course. Course participants are expected to participate and should block those times on their calendars.
This class is entirely online. See the "FAQ" section below for additional information about technology requirements.
The course will be structured in nine weekly modules, with assigned readings, recorded lectures, slide presentations and videos, and discussion threads as asynchronous components. There will also be five synchronous meetings when we will all meet together at the very same time via Zoom video conferencing. There may also be, depending on the size of the class, opportunities for additional synchronous small group discussions.
All the live, interactive components will take place on Thursday evenings, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Please be sure to block out that time frame on your calendar for the full nine weeks of the course.
Pamela Shellberg is the Scholar-in-Residence at The BTS Center, an educator, and a biblical scholar. The author of Cleansed Lepers, Cleansed Hearts: Purity and Healing in Luke-Acts (2015), she has taught at Bangor Theological Seminary, Andover Newton Theological School, for the Maine School of Ministry (UCC), and in the New England Synod’s School of Lay Ministry (ELCA). “Course Corrections” (and the related upcoming online course and spiritual practice cohort offered through The BTS Center) issues from her close study of the letters of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles and her lived experience of their value as a template for discerning identity and purpose in the midst of personal and institutional disruption and discontinuity.
What kind of technology do I need to participate in this course?
This is an online course. You will need a high-speed internet connection in order to experience success. If, during the first week of the course, you determine that you do not have enough technological bandwidth to satisfactorily participate, you may leave the course, and we will provide a refund of 3/4 of your registration fee, less a $30.00 service fee. (See the course refund policies.)
What is the refund policy?
The BTS Center is a small nonprofit with a minimal staff. In order to try to keep overhead (like credit card transaction fees) to a minimum, our refund policy for this event is as follows:
For additional information, contact The BTS Center at:
97 India Street
Portland, ME 04101
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