Christian Education

Christian education is a vital part of Church Street’s ministry in the community. Since its beginning and because of its proximity to the University of Tennessee, Church Street has been home to and attracted scholars of all types: religious and biblical leaders, historians, artists and architectural experts, community and social justice leaders, and more. Whether it is engaging with one of our Sunday School classes or attending a special lecture series or educational event, there is always something new to learn at Church Street.

Join us this July 11, 18, 25, and August 1 at 7 pm for the 4th Annual Summer Lecture Series. The Education Committee is honored to present the following lecturers in 2021:

July 11: Valerie Cooper

Dr. Cooper’s lecture, titled “Black Deaths Matter, Too: Doing Racial Reconciliation after the Massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC,” covered how to pursue justice in a contentious age. She is Associate Professor of Religion and Society and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School and a 5th generation United Methodist. Watch her presentation below.

More from Valerie Cooper: Word, Like Fire: Maria Stewart, the Bible, and the Rights of African Americans. University of Virginia Press. Order it here.

July 18: Alex Thompson

Rev. Dr. Thompson will present “Recognizing Jesus: The Appearances of the Risen Christ in the Synoptic Gospels” on July 18. He is Professor of Religion at Tennessee Wesleyan University and serves as pastor at Niota and Cedar Springs UMC. This will be an in-person and online hybrid event. Watch his presentation below.

July 25: Joseph Reiff

Dr. Reiff will share a presentation titled, “The Eyes of Jesus Were Upon Her: The Advent of Clergy Women in Mississippi Methodism.” The story explores the remarkable transformation of a previously all-male world of ordained clergy in early 20th century Mississippi to the later part of the century when more than 50 women were serving as ministers in some capacity in United Methodism (with 44 fully ordained). He is Professor Emeritus of Emory & Henry College. This will be an in-person and online hybrid event.

More from Joseph Reiff:  Born of Conviction: White Methodists and Mississippi’s Closed Society. Oxford University Press. Order it here.

August 1: Rachelle Scott

Dr. Scott’s presentation “Buddhism Beyond Meditation Cushion: Buddhist Action in the 20th and 21st Centuries” will delve into several examples of how monastic and lay Buddhists participate in social and political activism as acts of Buddhist piety in the 20th and 21st centuries. She is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This will be an in-person and online hybrid event.

More from Rachelle Scott: Nirvana for Sale? Buddhism, Wealth, and the Dhammakāya Temple. SUNY Press; illustrated edition. Order it here.

You are invited to join us in person for any of these lectures at 7 pm in Parish Hall (light, individually packaged refreshments will be offered). To join any of the online webinars, please click here.

Holston Conference Clergy can earn 0.1 CEUs per lecture. Please send your attendance to Sue Weber at

Education at Church Street

All are invited to join in small groups and adult education at Church Street. Click here to contact Rev. Tim Best if you need assistance in getting connected to a class or study. You have a place here!

Upcoming Studies

Covenant Bible Study, LIVING

Click here to learn more about Covenant Bible Study and purchase materials for LIVING portion.

Pastors Catherine and Tim will offer the next segment of the Covenant Bible Study beginning Wednesday, August 4. The study, which lasts 8 consecutive Wednesdays, will take place in person in room 204 and online via Zoom at 7 pm. It is not necessary to have taken the “Creating” segment that is wrapping up now to participate in the next segment. Please register using the link below, and indicate if you plan to join regularly on Zoom or in person (choosing one does not commit you to that way of participating for the duration of the class).



Disciple Bible Studies, Fast Track Old Testament and Fast Track New Testament

Click here to learn more to purchase either of the Disciple Bible Study books from Cokesbury.

Rev. Jim Bailes is back this August, offering two more sessions of the Disciple Fast Track courses! If you haven’t had the opportunity to explore the Old and/or New Testaments, you are invited to delve into both through these “fast track” courses.
  • Old Testament Fast Track: Begins Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 pm (12 weeks)
  • New Testament Fast Track: Begins Wednesday, Aug. 25, at 10:30 am (12 weeks)
Both courses are in-person opportunities and will take place in room 204 (Murphy Builders classroom). Please contact Kelly Woods to register for either study.