Center for Faith and Life

Connecting Faith and Life through Education, Exploration, and Conversation

The “center” is not so much a building, though the facilities of First Baptist Church of Asheville will be where most of the gatherings will happen. “Center” is, instead, the overall term for a cluster of educational and formational experiences aimed at connecting the challenges, opportunities, and callings of life with the resources of wisdom, beauty, and practice found in the Christian faith.
Our mission is to explore theological imagination, nurture vocation, and encourage engagement by offering gatherings and convening conversations at the intersection of church and world.
Four distinct approaches will be employed to address our mission:
Learning Gatherings for Education, Exploration, and Conversation
               Annual Speakers & Artists Series
Spirituality Events – including Retreats, Pilgrimages, and Labyrinth Walks
Asheville Center for Theological Study (ACTS) – Seminary Level Theological Education for All

Winter/Spring 2021 Courses

Registration is open for Winter/Spring 2021. All courses are virtual via Zoom.
Please read below for more information.
The link to register for a course is found under each course heading.
Registration for each course is $50/participant. Please contact with questions regarding these courses.
Life Together
Dr. Elizabeth Newman
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m., February 4 – March 25 (8 weeks)
Register HERE
This course will explore what it means to be the church through engagement with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s classic Life Together. Written on the brink of World War II, Life Together seeks to offer an alternative to the menace of division and violence through the conviction that “we are members of one body not only when we want to be, but in our whole existence.” We will seek to rediscover Bonhoeffer’s wisdom for our time.
African American Religious History
Dr. Kris Pratt
Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m., February 10 – March 17 (6 weeks)
Register HERE
This course will explore the religious traditions of African Americans from colonial times to the present. We will focus on major religious movements, personalities, and ideas and their relationship to various aspects of American culture.
The Listening Dance: Introduction to Spiritual Formation
Heather Swanson
Tuesdays, 7:00 p.m., February 9 – March 16 (6 weeks)
Register HERE
We can imagine the spiritual life—life with God—as a dance. This 6-week spiritual formation course will explore the loving dance of God’s Spirit with ours as we seek to listen, discern, and faithfully respond to the Spirit’s movements in our lives and in the world. This course will invite students to cultivate a posture of listening and a discerning spirit through:
  • exploring key spiritual dynamics animating this dance such as desire,
  • consolation & desolation, resistance, and spiritual freedom, as well as tendencies that hinder its life-giving rhythms
  • considering the theological underpinnings of Christian discernment, and meditating on Scriptures that inspire and guide it
  • engaging in Ignatian-based spiritual practices and prayers
  • experiencing the contemplative/evocative environment of spiritual direction
  • contemplating the beauty and intricacies of God’s created world
Coursework will include reading, as well as spoken and written reflection.