Curriculum

Grow. Connect. Lead.

As adult learners, Fellows come to the program with pressing questions, and the Fellowship experience is meant to answer the particular needs of each Fellow through open discussion formats, individualized learning plans, and highly interactive sessions. The curriculum for the 5280 Fellowship includes a combination of readings, conversations with senior leaders, lectures, spiritual formation activities, and professional development exercises.

John Calvin said in his opening line of The Institutes, “Our wisdom, insofar as it ought to be deemed true and solid wisdom, consists almost entirely of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves.” With this philosophy, we believe that meaningful involvement in culture as people of Christian faith must begin with a deeper understanding of the biblical story and a deeper understanding of ourselves.

Sample Readings & Assessments

The 5280 Fellowship curriculum includes two parts: (1) lectures, interviews, and group activities during retreats, Saturdays, and “Community & Culture Gatherings,” and (2) classic and contemporary readings in theology, work, and culture during church cohort meetings. Below, we provide a few examples of assigned readings and activities from each curriculum unit.

Biblical Worldview & the Christian Mission

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

What does it mean to be a Christian defined by religious pluralism, tolerance, and relativism? Fellows will read excerpts from Bishop Lesslie Newbigin’s 1989 book, “The Gospel in a Pluralist Society.”

Christian Mission in the Modern World

John Stott, author and framer of the original Lausanne Covenant, had a huge influence on 20th century Christianity. In the 1970s, he asked, “What has God sent the church into the world to do?” Fellows will read from Stott’s classic book, “Christian Mission in the Modern World” (1975).

Fellows Questionnaire and Priorities Assessment

At the first retreat, Fellows will complete a questionnaire and priorities assessment, which helps Fellows set goals for the program and think critically about their life, career, family, and relationships. These will be discussed in church cohorts.

The Gospel Changes the Heart

This sermon by Tim Keller was originally delivered in 2011. Fellows will listen to this message in advance of a weekly church-based cohort meeting and discuss it together.

Christianity & Culture

Letter to Diognetus

The Letter to Diognetus is one of the earliest examples of Christian apologetics on record. At the time of its composition around A.D. 180, Christians were frequently persecuted and even martyred for their faith. Fellows will read an excerptfrom the Letter and discuss what it means to be distinctively Christian as a minority in culture today.

Brothers Karamazov

Fellows will read an excerpt from The Grand Inquisitor, a parable in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” (1879). The parable — in conversations with an excerpt from Augustine’s “City of God”  is a profound treatment of love, worship, and how cultures define themselves.

Emotional Intelligence Assessment

Emotional intelligence (commonly called EQ or EI) is the emotional skill set a person needs to navigate life. Fellows will complete a guided self-assessment and discuss the results in their church-based cohort to maximize understanding and application of the EQ principles for their jobs and relationships at work.

How to Be Religious in the Public Square

In 2014, New York Times Columnist David Brooks addressed a group of Christian philanthropists on the meaning of being a person of Christian faith in secular culture. Fellows will read the transcript of Brooks’ talk and discuss his vision of cultural engagement.

Calling

The Call

Fellows will read a portion of “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Mission of Your Life,” by Os Guinness (1998). Get a preview of Guinness’ thinking on calling in this video.

360 Assessment

Giving trusted people in your immediate circle a chance to offer feedback on your strengths, weaknesses, and when you’re at your best is a great way to learn and grow. Fellows will conduct a guided 360-degree assessment that includes colleagues as well as family and friends.

Vocation Over a Lifetime

Fellows will read and discuss an excerpt from Gordon Smith’s “Courage and Calling.” Smith notes how a person’s sense of calling changes and develops from early adulthood to mid-career to “retirement.”

Work

Women, Work & Calling

Fellows will study and discuss the unique challenges that mothers face when it comes to work. Watch this video by Denver Institute for Faith & Work about how Kate Harris applies Christian doctrine to contemporary challenges of career and motherhood.

Sabbath

Fellows will consider the role of Sabbath rest in a lifetime of work through reading an excerpt of Andy Crouch’s “Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power” and watching a short video clip of Eugene Peterson on busyness, Sabbath, and work as a gift from God.

Rethinking Work

This piece published in the New York Times in August 2015 offers a professor’s contemporary secular view on the value of work.

The Weight of Glory

C.S. Lewis wrote this book in the 1930s with thoughts of a second world war on everyone’s mind. Fellows will read the section of this book regarding learning in war-time. The essential question is still relevant today: In light of eternity, what really matters today?

Deep Dives

During the last month of the Fellowship, Fellows will select their own readings on specific industries. You may choose from fields like business, health care, K-12 education, art, craftsmanship and manual labor, economics and justice, and law and government.