Curriculum Preview

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. Learn more about the Fellowship’s design in Curriculum. 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 excerpt from 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.


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.”


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.

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.

Learn more about the Fellowship’s design in Curriculum