Learning Community


“learn and grow in order to be better equipped for discipleship and mission”

The Chalmers Learning Community meets every Monday and Wednesday during the university semesters. It is a gathering of 20-30 Christians from all walks of life and from a variety of vocations, but who share the desire to learn and grow in order to be better equipped for discipleship and mission. The Learning Community typically is hosted in the home of Mark and Jenny Stirling at 16 Hepburn Gardens, St Andrews. Monday is divided into two sessions and participants can come to one or more of the sessions. A third session is offered on Wednesday afternoon. A vital part of the day is sharing lunch together – a time of good conversations and good food!

Due to government restrictions for gathering in groups together, the Learning Community will plan to meet online for the autumn term until it seems prudent to gather together again.

For the academic year 2020-21, the three sessions are –

Chalmers Seminar

Theology for Life (Mondays 11.00am-1pm) –

“Is theology important? Does it make a difference to how we live as Christians? This course contends that theology is not purely an academic exercise but profoundly affects our vision of who God is and what it means to love our neighbour. 

This session will be facilitated by Chalmers Fellows, and is open to any who are involved in pastoral ministry and are seeking to develop as pastor-theologians. This year, we will follow a 24 week reading programme. This session will be fully online through spring of 2021 so that we might accommodate those who do not live in proximity to St Andrews.

Who is this for – Anyone wanting to get a foundational overview of Christian theology and explore why this is important for how we live as followers of Christ.

Preparation time – Participants will have weekly readings that will be hosted on our online platform. Outside of class time, plan for about two hours of time to read these articles. 

Goals of the course – At the end of this year, our hope would be that a participant would have 

1) Gained a thorough overview of the key aspects of Christian theology

2) Understood the relationship between theology and how we seek to follow Christ

3) Have a grasp on the inter-connectedness of theology and how the core doctrines are connected to each other

4) Developed a greater love for God and love for each other.

Reading Scripture Theologically

The Law and the New Covenant (Mondays 2pm-4pm) –

The question of Christian appropriation of the Law of Moses is one that has vexed the church from the first century onwards. Join with us in our study of ‘the Mosaic Law and the Christian’ as we closely examine the biblical texts, evaluate differing perspectives in light of these texts and work out together how it all applies to our lives and the life of the Church now.

This course will be facilitated by Dr. Mark Stirling and Nick Mackison.

Who is this for –  Anyone who wants to study the bible in depth and work with a learning community on applying the bible’s teaching to everyday life.

Preparation time – It will be helpful each week for participants to read over the bible passages beforehand. Our online learning platform will also contain optional readings for those who want to go deeper.

Goals of the course – Participants will learn to read the bible theologically, applying its teaching to their own life and the life of the church. This particular course of study will help participants to understand the place of the Law of Moses in the ongoing life of the Christian.

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual Formation (Wednesdays 12:30-2:30pm) – 

We heartily define Christianity as relationship rather than a religion.  But if we were honest, our devotional lives can hold more guilt than pleasure, more disappointment than joy.  We hope that Wednesday afternoons this year will bring light into this domain.

Spiritual Formation is about everyday discipleship; inside-out transformation impacting the ethical, religious, marital, emotional — impacting every component of the follower of Christ.

This course will be facilitated by Heather Holdsworth and Rebecca Giles.

Who this is for-  This is for followers.  It grapples with the integration of theology and practice, how we grow, how we live a life filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

Preparation time- We will be using Kenneth Boa’s book Conformed to His Image: Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation as non-required reading. But we will have occasional exercises for class participants to encourage spiritual formation alongside class discussions.

Goals of the course-   ‘Spiritual formation is the process of being conformed to the image of Christ by the gracious working of God’s spirit, for the transformation of the world’ Robert Mulholland.  This course is shaped to take us further along this path of transformation.


Not only is it possible to do Jesus’ work in non-Jesus ways; but it’s even more dangerous to be learning lots about Jesus, preaching often about Jesus, and working hard for Jesus’ kingdom, all the while not looking little like Jesus. Heather’s classes on Spiritual Formation confronted me with the fact that I needed more than to be equipped for doing ministry better, instead I needed to be transformed in my inner most being by the grace and Spirit of Jesus. 10 years later, I often think back to these explosive sessions looking at the words and ways of the Master Discipler, whose aftershocks continue to reverberate in my life and ministry.”

Rev David Nixon LLB(Hons), MTh – Associate Pastor, Carrubbers Christian Centre


Welcome to the Chalmers Learning Community! We desire for each person to be able to join us, from near or far, of all ages and backgrounds, for one session or for all.

This year, we are offering opportunities for learners to gather with us from a distance by calling in through video conferencing. A Zoom link will be emailed to registrants at the start of the term.

If you are not sure about committing to the entire semester yet, please join us for a “taster,” by attending at the beginning of the semester. 

To register, simply sign your name and contact information. You will then be directed to a payment page. Cost is 75 pounds for one class and 25 pounds for additional classes. Please enquire for student discounts. We do not want costs to be prohibitive to your attendance, so please e-mail rebecca.giles@chalmersinstitute.org to discuss options.

*Note: childcare and meal information will be pertinent whenever we are able to meet in person again.


Will you be joining us for lunch?

13 + 8 =

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