Lay Institute at DTS

Current Courses

The Lay Institute has expanded! We now offer courses through the On-campus Lay Institute and the Online Lay Institute.

Download Schedule

Monday Evening Courses

Monday, September 8 – October 27, 6:45-7:45 p.m.
(8-week, 1-hour classes)

0251 Colossians: Living Life in the Supremacy and Fullness of Christ

Cassandra Asberry
2 CEU units

Colossians is a key book for supporting Christ’s deity and supremacy. With Christ as our King, how should we then live? What does it mean to be “Christ-like?” This course will outline the theological and practical foundations for Christian living in every aspect of our lives: personally, professionally, socially, and relationally. Knowing and believing that Christ is Lord causes us to rest in Him and to glorify Him in all situations and circumstances of life.

4124 Discovering Biblical Identity: Christians and the Imago Dei

David Stackhouse
2 CEU units

American culture is obsessed with image, both bodily and socially. These concepts seep into American churches, robbing believers of the joy inherent in being His children. The concept of the imago die, or being made in God’s image, is largely undervalued and misunderstood. Eating disorders, mid-life crisis, pornography and more are behaviors rooted in a distortion of this doctrine.

This class reorients a student’s self-concept, strengthening them to face who they really are, both good and sinful. This reorientation frees the student to walk in the joy of Christ and his work on the Cross. This class actively engages American culture, thought, icons, etc. to help the student identify and critique a faulty concept of man and image.

Note: This class has elective homework assignments meant for supplemental learning.

  • Textbooks: Anderson, H. Made for More: An Invitation to Live Imago Dei. Moody Publishing, 2014. (Optional Devotional) Warren, R. What on Earth Am I Here For (expanded edition). Zondervan, 2012.

Monday, September 8 – October 27, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
(8-week, 1-hour classes)

3036 Music, Animals and Movies: What Do Everyday Things Teach Us About God?

Dr. Carisa Ash
2 CEU units

Romans 1:20 states, “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made.”

Do you wonder how Sunday relates to your Monday through Saturday life? Maybe you wonder if the everyday things of this world teach us anything about God? If so, this course is designed for you! We will explore the teaching of Scripture about the world God created. We will examine Jonathan Edwards’ understanding of everyday things as they relate to God. We will listen to music, watch movie clips, and look more carefully at the world around us for glimpses of God.

  • Textbook: Moore, T.M. Consider the Lilies: A Plea for Creational Theology. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2005.

4155 Thinking Christianly in a Post-Christian World

Justin Gordon
2 CEU units

How would you explain your worldview? What is your worldview for that matter? Is your worldview biblical? This course explores the definition of worldview, the history of the concept, and what role our worldview plays in forming our beliefs and engaging with the worldviews of others in our culture. This course helps Christians communicate a distinctly Christian worldview as well as detect the worldviews of others so as to better share the gospel in an increasingly post-Christian culture.

  • Textbook: Sire, James W. Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

Tuesday Evening Courses

Tuesday, September 9 – October 28, 6:45-7:45 p.m.
(8-week, 1-hour classes)

0227 Daniel: Understanding God’s Sovereignty in Human History

Linda Liu
2 CEU units

When people speak about Daniel, they think of the faithful prophet who survived the lions' den with God’s help or who was the friend of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Daniel 7-11, however, is a little scarier to navigate for the typical Bible student. This course helps the student recognize the main points of each chapter as well as to be able to articulate the key themes to the book. You will learn about God’s sovereignty, the role of angels, and the eschatological goals of history and mankind. In addition, we will explore some of the cults that have adopted false perceptions of the topic of apocalypse. Finally, the student will relate these important themes to their own lives.

  • Textbook: Dale Ralph Davis. The Message of Daniel (The Bible Speaks Today). Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2013.

0060 God’s Greatest Story

Jesse Martinez
2 CEU units

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible proclaims the beauty and character of the Christian God. How does the Old Testament fit with the New? Too often, teaching in our churches focuses on individual passages and rarely provides the birds eye view on how God’s salvation plan weaves a common thread that binds all of Scripture together. This class will enrich your faith greatly as you see the wonderful, harmonious, continuous plan that God presents throughout His Scriptures.

  • Textbooks: Duvall, Scott and Daniel Hays. Living God’s Word. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. Dr. Tom Constable’s Notes on the Bible (available through the DTS Book Center, or for free download at

Tuesday, September 9 - October 28, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
(8-week, 1-hour classes)

4515 Like No Other: The Extraordinary Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

Cecil Price
2 CEU units

We think we know Jesus Christ. We have heard his name mentioned most of our lives. Yet, so many people still express various opinions about him containing faulty information.

This course examines the historical Jesus with a distinct focus on the Bible’s reliability as presented in the Gospel accounts of the New Testament. You will examine how the Jesus of Scripture contrasts with many of the viewpoints of popular culture, how Jesus Christ differs from the founders of other major religions, and how both Old and New Testaments harmonize the identity of the Messiah. You will be able to critique and evaluate misguided contemporary claims made about Jesus while being able to communicate the foundational truths of his identity from Scripture, as well as knowing how to clearly share the gospel message of Jesus Christ with others.

  • Textbook: Price, Cecil. The Unique One: 18 Distinctives of Jesus Christ. Dallas: Bible Message Publications, 2014.

4505 The Life of Abraham

Rachel McDonald
2 CEU units

Abraham is a key character in Scripture. What does Scripture say about him? Did he ever fail? What were the ramifications of God’s choice of Abraham as the father of Israel? This course follows Abraham’s life in order to show him as the unique biblical character he was. You will relate to Abraham as a fellow human being and watch his development of faith in God through unusual circumstances.

  • Textbook: Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Obedient (Genesis 12-25): Learning the Secret of Living by Faith (The Be Series Commentary). Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2010.

New Online Courses

All online courses are designed to take 8 weeks to complete. However, they are self-paced within the start and end dates. For details about the Online Lay Institute, see our Fast Answers.

Starting September 8 - December 31

LI 01 – Bible Study Methods

Faculty video: Dr. Mark Bailey, Dr. Howard Hendricks
2 CEU units

Tools. Like a construction worker uses different tools to build a house, we need tools to properly discern what the Bible is teaching us. The goal of Bible Study Methods is not that we may know more about the Bible, but that through a methodological approach to studying the Bible, we may know more of the Triune God and in knowing we may be spurred on to love and good deeds (Heb 10:19-25). This course teaches you to extract meaning out of Scripture using the tools of observation, interpretation, correlation and application. Different tools need to be applied at different times.

  • Textbook: Howard Hendricks. Living by the Book. Chicago: Moody Press, 2007.

LI 02 - Thinking About the Christian God

Faculty video: Dr. Scott Horrell, Dr. Michael Svigel, Dr. Glenn Kreider, Dr. Nathan Holsteen
2 CEU units

We love the Bible because it is God’s word. But do we know how to think of God properly and comprehensively? Do we have a well-developed theological framework for interpreting Scripture so that we can know God accurately? This course will teach you the fundamentals about what makes Christianity “Christian.” In this course you will deepen your understanding of the Trinity, mankind and culture, sin, salvation and what is the purpose of studying end times.

LI 03 - Developing Godly Leadership Skills

Faculty Video: Dr. Howard Hendricks
2 CEU units

Do you feel as though leadership should be left to the rare few? Not so! There are many areas of life where we are called to be leaders—as parents, at work, at church, and in our community. When we realize that leadership is not an option, the question then becomes, how do I lead well?

Join us as we learn Godly leadership skills. In this class we will go to Scripture to study leadership principles from the example of Moses and Jesus. Next, we will discover your leadership style so that you may have the greatest impact on the people you find in your care.

LI 04 - John: When the Word Became Flesh

Faculty Video: Dr. Mark Bailey
2 CEU units

What do you think of this statement: deity takes on flesh. Jesus, the Son of God assumes humanity in order to save mankind. The book of John opens with this miraculous event and continues to present Jesus’ words about himself and His role in salvation. Know Jesus as the God/Man. Know Him through the great I Am’s. Know Him as He presented Himself. Your faith will be enriched; your love of Christ deepened and as a result so will your love for one another. Join us in this class in worship of our Savior. 2 CEU units.