Freedom School

Winter Trimester | Feb. 25- Apr. 1, 2023

Registration for the Spring trimester begins Monday, Apr. 3.


This first part of the curriculum on the “African Bible” will focus on the lands that constitute the scope of the Old and New Testaments: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. Specifically, it will concentrate on how geography shaped the Northeastern African world in which Jesus (Jeshua) appeared.

Required Material:

  • The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: New Revised Version with The Apocrypha

Beginning with African roots and attention to historical and cultural factors, this course introduces students to essential themes in the history of African-American religious experience (i.e., slavery, emancipation, urbanization, the black freedom struggle, consumer culture, class, race, politics, etc.), as the lens through which to examine the emergence of the black church.

The black church should not be understood as referring to a single institution or a monolithic set of religious experiences, practices, or faith systems. Instead, this language describes a broad set of religious and theological perspectives, each possessing the common, unifying thread emerging from the religious, cultural, and social experiences of black people. With its roots on the continent of Africa and in the Middle Passage, the black church is the institution providing structure and meaning for African people and their descendants in the Americas who struggled to survive the ravages and brutality of slavery and racial oppression.

This course will examine the black church looking at the external forces which give shape and substance to the work of the black church. This will include a focus on the theology underlying black religious experience.

Required materials, which will be provided:

  • Bailey, Julius H., ed. Down in the Valley: An Introduction to African American Religious History. Augsburg Fortress, Publishers, 2016. (Available for purchase and online)
  • The Black Church | Black Jesus and Christianity | PBS:
  • Statement by the National Committee of Black Churchmen, June 13, 1969 (Will be provided in class the week before.)
  • Jacquelyn Grant, “Black Theology and the Black Woman” in African American Religious Thought: An Anthology 831-848 (Will be provided in class the week before.)

Many disciples of Christ spend time and money searching for ways to de-stress. In His popular prayer, Jesus shows us that trusting in the Lord and surrendering our wills is the free key to a peaceful, fruitful life. In this course scholars will dissect what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer, discover a pattern for productive prayer, and deepen their sense of community.


11 am – 12:30 pm  (Hybrid)

James Baldwin will be placed in conversation with present-day activists.

Required Material:

  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward


11 am – 12:30 pm (Hybrid)

How do we know that Black lives matter? Students will examine Psalm 139:13-14 NRSV to get a deeper understanding of what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made. Topics of racism and social justice will be explored.


Required Material:

  • The Bible

This course will move along with the movie The Prince of Egypt. Exploring the life of Moses, children will be introduced to the concepts of the role of Each class is interactive and includes arts and crafts.


Required Material:

  • The Bible