We sat down with Mark Shaw, Director of Via Institute, to talk about the newly-formed Via Institute.
What is Via Institute?
Via is a new Peninsula Community Chapel (PCC) project to provide seminary-level training to our congregation. Via Institute partners with both Peninsula Fellows and Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) in D.C. to provide courses in the Bible, Christian history, calling, and career and cultural engagement to equip both Fellows and congregants to know His word on a deeper level and be able to engage our culture more effectively. These Via courses can be audited or taken for credit. One can take a single class or both that are on offer. After finishing our four residential courses, one can pursue a degree at RTS at a great discount. For those interested in getting a master's from RTS, Via can save you thousands off of the normal tuition.
Why is Via helpful for Fellows?
Peninsula Fellows is committed to training its young men and women in a rounded way. They work in a professional part-time job, they volunteer at PCC and in the community, but they also develop a Christian mind by taking graduate-level courses. The experience of studying God's word in a multi-generational setting is also a benefit for Fellows and congregants alike. Developing the mind of Christ is one of the most important things that a young person can do, and Via Institute helps them do that.
What are you studying now?
In the Fall semester, Via offered two courses. The 4:30 PM class is Missional Church, a tour of Christianity worldwide and how the Christian movement has grown and expanded over the 2000 years since its beginning. The 6:30 PM class is Missional God, a survey of the big story of the Bible in six dramatic acts. This course enables you to see the flow of the Biblical story and put your individual study times in the Word into context. We have about 14 students in the two classes with a nice mix of ages and backgrounds. I have been having a blast teaching them.
What will you be studying next semester? How do you register for classes?
Starting January 20, 2022, two new courses will be offered. Each course is 15 weeks in length. Missional Lifestyle looks at the concept of calling and how to integrate your calling with career and family. The second course is Missional Engagement. This course prepares you to understand where our culture is going and to speak truth into the culture. We particularly explore the role of art and beauty to disarm a resistant modern culture and create a desire for Christ and his truth. To register, write an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. The cost for each course is $40 to audit and $80 for seminary credit plus textbooks. We would love to have you join us in January!