Christian Foundations: From Abraham to Jesus

with Patrick Paulsen

Many people are familiar with the concept of an overarching narrative (storyline) when looking at the history of our faith: from the Old Testament, through to the New and on into the history of the church, we can see God at work. However, when people think of, say, the Old Testament, disconnected images come to mind (King David, the Exodus, prophets, and others). The problem is that many people have no real idea of how these individual stories flow together and fit into the historical narrative.

People are also often confused about just what the actual foundations of our faith are. What does God want to show us and how do we conform to his “plan”? If we are to share in God’s mission for the world, then we need to have a firm idea of “the-story-so-far” and do our best to write ourselves into it—and help others to do the same!

What You’ll Learn

This course will help you to follow the story of our faith and scriptures by:

  • Presenting the history in a flowing, coherent narrative,
  • Examining foundational aspects of our faith,
  • Seeing Jesus from the perspective of his first-century context,
  • Discussing the origin and ongoing story of the church (including learning about how we got our Creeds and the Canon of Scripture we follow), and
  • Asking how we can be part of this community which is Christ’s body.

How It Works

Join our instructor, Patrick Paulsen, and an engaged learning community of fellow leaders and missional practitioners live online and in online forums.

  • Participate in six two-hour sessions with Patrick and the learning community. 
    The learning community will meet weekly on Wednesday evenings, 7:00p – 9:00p, October 20 – November 24.
  • Practice in your context. 
    During the course you will be encouraged to apply your learning in your context in order to deepen your understanding.
  • Reflect within the learning community. 
    Your new knowledge and experience will become even more meaningful when shared with other learning practitioners like yourself. You will use the online forums between sessions and break-out sessions within learning community gatherings to further integrate your learning.
Patrick Paulsen Niagara School for Missional Leadership

Meet the Teacher-Practitioner

Patrick Paulsen

Patrick Paulsen’s greatest passion is teaching people to see Jesus in his proper context—as a first century Jew in the historical setting of the intertestamental period. His Master’s thesis was on “Exploring the Self-awareness of Jesus through His Use of Hebrew Idioms and Elements of Second Temple Judaism,” and teaching this is what he loves to do.

Patrick is married to (The Rev. Canon Dr.) Judy Paulsen and they have three children and four grandchildren. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Science and a Master’s degree in Theological Studies. His passions are: learning, teaching, kayaking, drumming, and learning languages. With Judy and Bishop Susan Bell, he co-wrote Christian Foundations. He also wrote a three-part series called “Know the Flow: (1) The Story of Israel from Abraham to Jesus, (2) Jesus in His First Century Context and (3) The Story of the Early Church, Canon and Creeds.”

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We acknowledge with respect the history, spirituality, and culture of the Indigenous peoples with whom the Upper Canada Treaties were signed and the territory wherein our church resides.

The Niagara School for Missional Leadership is a part of the Anglican Diocese of Niagara.

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