Travelling On

A study course for adult Christians


Travelling On is a course of study for use in small groups of adults with a leader. Its aim is to help Christians to become more confident as followers of Christ, and more effective in the Church's life and mission.

The course is in two phases, each of which has a number of parts made up of several sessions (the number varies from part to part). Some of it is based on material previously published as part of the Bishop's Certificate Course in the Diocese of Lichfield, which is © the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Finance and reproduced under licence. Several thousand people have found this material to be an important journey of Christian discovery since it was first published in 1986. Other parts of the course make use of re-edited material previously supplied as course-work resources for the Middlesex University BA in Contextual Theology at the North Thames Ministerial Training Course, which was validated as a programme of training for ordinands and lay readers by the Ministry Division of the Church of England. This material is © the North Thames Ministerial Training Partnership and reproduced for use at St John's with permission.

Because the material is copyrighted, access is restricted to members of the Travelling On group at St John's. Access is via this password-protected link. Members of the wider public wishing to view the material should contact David Sceats by email.

Travelling On comprises the following modules:

Phase 1: Foundations

In which we explore the resources that Christians draw on for their discipleship in the Bible and the Christian tradition of faith, reflection and mission.

Part 1: People of the Book
An exploration of the part the Bible plays in Christian experience. Our own approach to the Bible, and that of others, what we expect when we read it, how it was compiled, the story the Bible tells, and the kinds of literature ot includes. How all this helps us to understand it.

Part 2: Understanding the Old Testament
The Old Testament records the story of Israel, and how its experiences as a people shaped its understanding of God. How the Old Testament came to be written, what its main themes are, what, if anything, it may have to say to Christians today.

Part 3: Understanding the New Testament
The New Testament records how the earliest Christians tried to make sense of Jesus of Nazareth and his impact on them. The kind of community the early church was, how it thought about Jesus and how Christians today can find their faith nourished and developed by these texts from the past.

Part 4A: The Story of the Early Church
The next phase of the Christian story. In the 400 years between the middle of the first century and the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the middle of the fifth, Christians went through a series of climactic, formative experiences.

Part 4B: Monks, Popes and Emperors
The Christian story from the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire in the mid-fifth century to the establishment of mediaeval Christendom by the twelfth. The heyday of the Byzantine Empire, the emergence of monasticism, and the rise of Islam.

Part 4C: The Heyday of Christendom
The story of the western church in the high middle ages. Crusades, cathedrals, reform movements, monastic religion, the friars, scholasticism, popular piety, the renaissance.

Part 4D: Reform and Revolution
The implosion of mediaeval Christendom in the sixteenth century and its consequences for the church in England and Scotland. The protestant reformation, church and state, presbytery and episcopacy, puritans and covenanters, the English Civil War, the Enlightenment.

Part 4E: The Episcopalian Inheritance
The story of the Scottish Episcopal Church from the eighteenth century to the present, and its relationships to the Church of Scotland and the Church of England. Episcopalians and Jacobites, the church in America, the struggle to survive the Jacobite connection, the nineteenth century expansion, the Oxford Movement, the 'English' church, 'punching above our weight'.

Phase 2: Good News

In which we explore the Christian world-view in order to understand in greater depth what is the good news that Christians have to make known in the world of today.

Part 5: Who on Earth are We?
Christians claim that the universe is God's creation and that human beings are in God's image. What does this really mean, and what are its implications? What is being human all about?

Part 6: What in the World is Wrong?
Few people would argue with the view that all is not well with our world. The Christian message claims that God invites human beings to join his project for putting things to rights. But if we're to make sense of that invitation, we need to know what the nature of the problem is.

Part 7: How, in God's Name, can Things Change?
The good news that Christians share is that God is at work to transform the world into his kingdom, and that this is all focussed in Jesus. What kind of change is it? Where does the life, death and resurrection of Jesus fit in? And what needs to happen for God's project to be realised?

Part 8: Where, for Christ's sake, are we Going?
If this is the good news, how are we involved and what do we need to do about it? And what does the future hold? The final part of Travelling On explores the nature of Christian discipleship and mission, the Christian hope, and the idea of a world to come.