A Sweet Savor

Past Courses

Here is an archive of our past course offerings. We hope that providing these past courses can give insight into what types of content we have covered in past terms. Each entry includes a link to that course’s syllabus, which provides specific information on the course itself, including when they met, how many students participated, and the weekly schedule.

Choose a term to see which courses were offered at that time.

The Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee — Treasury of Christian Literature

Summary: How rich are the lives of Christians who know how to walk in oneness with the divine Spirit who indwells them! To them, God is close and their walk is fruitful. Such a life is God’s will for every believer, not a secret held by a few. This quarter, we will look at what is required for such a walk through the ministry of Watchman Nee in his classic, The Release of the Spirit. Our goal is to see what the he saw and experience what he experienced. Thus our own personal Christian lives will be uplifted and enlarged to love the Lord more and to become a greater blessing to those around us.
Instructor: Dave Shields
Materials: The Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee

[+] More Info


 

The Song of Songs: A Journey of Loving the Lord

Summary: For centuries, countless Christians have embarked on a journey to love the Lord and to be drawn into a deeper relationship with Him. Thrilled are those who discover that God Himself has laid out a healthy pattern for this journey in His Word, a wonderful book of poetry called “The Song of Songs.” In this class, we will cover the first two stages in this book (1:1-3:5), seeking that we would not only find ourselves in the Lord’s song that is better than all other songs, but also that we would be drawn into more and deeper experiences with Him.
Instructor: Mark Miller
Materials: 
The Song of Songs: A Divine Romance, by Titus Chu

[+] More Info


 

Prophecies of Christ in Isaiah

Summary: Isaiah is the possibly the most “New Testament” of Old Testament books. Written about 700 years before Christ’s birth, it prophesies the virgin birth, the tender humanity of Jesus, His ministry under the anointing of the Spirit, His death for redemption, His resurrection and the building of the church based on Him as the cornerstone. As literature, the book is written beautifully. The imagery dreamy. The depictions vivid. Isaiah might be the best written, most consequential writing ever. We will study it. We will taste it. We will learn Christ from these beautiful words.
Instructor: Rex Beck
Materials: Isaiah’s Song, A fresh journey through Isaiah’s timeless message, by Rex Beck 

[+] More Info


 

The Life and Work of Jesus

Summary: There is no substitute in your Christian life for knowing the life and work of Jesus. The Bible calls us to believe in Jesus, to know Jesus, to follow Jesus, and to love Jesus. But what do these mean? That depends on the question, Who is Jesus to us? From His virgin birth to His momentous resurrection, every deed and word in His life is filled with profound lessons. And ultimately, they bring us to face the question that He once asked His disciples: “But who do you say that I am?” This class will present what Jesus did, what He taught, and who He was on the earth. We will cover step by step the path of Jesus and highlight significant milestones. We’ll cover his birth, gospel, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection. By the end of this class, we hope every student will be able to answer that crucial question for themselves. We expect every student to invest 30 minutes every week on homework.
Instructors: Philip Tsao and Sam Kuo

[+] More Info


 
Hymns III | Bringing History To Your Personal Devotions

Summary: When you have a hymnal in hand, you have a special treasury of gems from church history. A good hymn is a costly product of a consecrated Christian’s spiritual life, whose sentiments oftentimes speak out longings that are found unvoiced in our own hearts. Rarely does a hymn tell us of the events in the writer’s life, but they give us a window into the inner trials, resolve and hope they experienced as they made history. 

Similarly the Lord Jesus is writing a story in our lives. As we learn the history of what He has done through the hymn writers, we want to pay attention to what He is writing in hearts and begin to contribute our own songs to history. In addition to the history we will study, we will develop ways to use the hymns devotionally and work together on writing our own songs.
Instructors: James Reinarz, Bob Brenneman and Eric Yeh
Course Material: Songs & Hymns of Life Hymnal
Reference text: Christ in Hymnology, by Chen & Mallon

[+] More Info


 
Church History III

Summary: We will continue our study of the growth and the spread of the church over the past 2000 years. We recommend this class because it will help us all realize that “we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us” (the brothers and sisters who have gone before us). When we realize the testimony of others, we can “have strong encouragement to hold firmly to the hope set before us” (serving Christ and His church in this present age). Together we will study at least four areas of encouragement: 1) how to have a consistent and disciplined walk in the Lord (the mystics and Pietists); 2) how the Lord formed congregations that supported and loved one another (The Unitas Fratrum and the (Renewed) Moravian Church; and 3) how the preaching of the gospel reached the community they lived in and the whole world (Moravians, John & Charles Wesley, George Whitfield); 4) revealing many truths in the Bible from the person of Christ to the Lord’s return (the Plymouth brethren). If you feel that you could use some encouragement in any of these four areas, please join us Wednesday night at 9pm.
Instructors: Jeff Brown and Kurt Sheu

[+] More Info


 
David: “A man after my heart, who will do all my will” 

Summary: Murderer, liar, adulterer. The source of great suffering for a nation, and despised by family. These are probably not the descriptions you would think of when talking about a man after God’s heart, or someone who served the purpose of God in their generation. Yet that was David. This same David was a man who honored God’s anointed even when it hurt, sought God’s leading when it wasn’t convenient, and fought for God’s kingdom even while he was being persecuted.

David’s life surely is confusing, yet amazing, and reading through his stories brings out anger, joy, conviction, worship, or humility depending on where you are. His life shows us that being a man of God is not cookie-cutter. It’s not about being perfect; David was far from that. But through his great heights and depressing lows, David is the only person in the Bible described as being a man after God’s heart who served the purpose of God in his own generation. While nine weeks is only enough time to scratch the surface, through the course of this semester we will look at snapshots of David’s life, and how utterly human yet truly unique he was. I hope in learning lessons from David’s life we will realize how to be people after God’s heart while we face our own challenging lows and wonderful heights of fellowship with God.
Instructor: Benjamin Sheu
Supplementary References:
David, After God’s Heart, by Titus Chu
The Life of David, by Arthur W. Pink
Meditations on the First Book of Samuel, by H.L. Rossier (Second also available)

[+] More Info


 
Born Again

Summary: Our new birth in Christ opens up a door to another world. It rescues us out of our predictable and otherwise unremarkable human existence and brings us into an environment of righteousness, love, and satisfaction, beyond the wildest human imagination. It is a birth into a divine, heavenly kingdom. Those who grew up in church meetings and summer camps and yet are struggling to find God in their Christian activities should ask themselves if they have opened this door. Parents who regularly pray for their children’s future must know when and how to lead each child into their second birth. Those who have recently entered this new kingdom should prepare themselves for an amazing transformation of how they relate to God, how they see the world, and how they live before others. This class is foundational for all believers. We will discuss the born-again experience and step through the initial experiences of Christ that lie ahead. We will use as our text, Born Again, by Titus Chu. The class will be a combination of PowerPoint teaching and Biblical self-study through the use of E-Sword. 
Teacher: Vern Yoder
Materials: Born Again: Our New Life in Christ, by Titus Chu


 
The Life of Abraham

Summary: “By faith…” Thus begins perhaps the most inspiring chapter of appraisal in the New Testament of eminent men and women of the Old Testament. How could one such man, living in an idolatrous land, respond to a call from God to leave his country, his relatives and his father’s house to go to an unknown land, unsure of the way and the result? What prompted him to pay a high price to undergo a journey fraught with uncertainty and danger, concluding with the ultimate price that would be required of him? What kept him steadfast in his journey with God, despite failures and weaknesses, his eyes fixed on the goal, seemingly ending up with nothing, yet possessing everything? Why did a man who received the promises, oath and covenant from God eventually not receive what was promised, yet whose name is emphatically featured in the distinguished roll call of faith in the New Testament? Join us as we explore together the life of Abraham, a man in the Old Testament whose impact has lasting repercussions, laying a foundation for some of the profoundest New Testament truths.

Classes will be lecture style, with a 10-15-minute forum for discussion in break out sessions. Students will be expected weekly to prepare a one-slide powerpoint file of their inspiration based on their reading of the relevant chapters of the book of Genesis and other passages in the New Testament, and present it in class. This same course will also be offered in French for those who are French speaking, more comfortable in French or learning French.
Instructor: Antipas Desai
Resources:
1) Genesis, The Bible
2) A Sketch of Genesis, by Titus Chu

[+] More Info


 
La vie d’Abraham

Résumé: “C’est par la foi …” Ainsi commence peut-être le chapitre d’appréciation le plus motivant dans le Nouveau Testament d’hommes et de femmes distingués de l’Ancien Testament. Comment un tel homme, vivant dans un pays idolâtre, pouvait-il répondre à un appel de Dieu à quitter son pays, sa patrie et la maison de son père pour aller dans une terre inconnue, incertain du chemin et du résultat? Qu’est-ce qui l’a poussé à payer un prix élevé pour entreprendre un voyage chargé d’incertitudes et de dangers, se terminant par le prix ultime qui lui serait demandé? Qu’est-ce qui l’a gardé ferme dans son cheminement avec Dieu, malgré les échecs et les faiblesses, les yeux fixés sur le but, se terminant apparemment sans rien, mais possédant tout? Pourquoi un homme qui a reçu les promesses, le serment et l’alliance de Dieu n’a-t-il finalement pas reçu ce qui lui avait été promis, mais dont le nom est clairement présenté dans l’appel de foi impressionnant dans le Nouveau Testament? Rejoignez-nous alors que nous explorons ensemble la vie d’Abraham, un homme de l’Ancien Testament dont l’impact a des répercussions durables, jetant les bases de certaines des vérités les plus profondes du Nouveau Testament. Les cours seront de type conférence, avec un forum de discussion de 10 à 15 minutes en petits groupes. Chaque semaine, les étudiants devront préparer un fichier PowerPoint d’une diapositive de leur inspiration en fonction de leur lecture des chapitres pertinents du livre de la Genèse et d’autres passages du Nouveau Testament, et le présenter en classe.
Professeur: Antipas Desai
Livres La Genèse, la Bible; Une Esquisse de la Genèse, Titus Chu

[+] More Info

Treasury of Christian Literature II

Summary: This class will explore the rich treasury of truth and spiritual experience left behind in the writings of those who have run the Christian race before us, with the goal of seeing what the authors saw and experiencing what the authors experienced. Thus, our own personal Christian lives will be uplifted and enlarged to love the Lord more and to become a greater blessing to those around us. Last quarter, we dove into the first half of Andrew Murray’s classic, The Spirit of Christ, and this quarter we will do the same with the second half. Students will read 2-3 chapters per week and post weekly what they enjoyed to an online class blog. The weekly class will consist of class discussion over the reading in which everyone will have the opportunity to share something and ask questions.
Instructor: Dave Shields
Materials: The Spirit of Christ, by Andrew Murray

[+] More Info

 


The Song of Songs: A Journey of Loving the Lord

Summary: For centuries, countless Christians have embarked on a journey to love the Lord and to be drawn into a deeper relationship with Him. Thrilled are those who discover that God Himself has laid out a healthy pattern for this journey in His Word, a wonderful book of poetry called “The Song of Songs.” In this class, we will cover the first two stages in this book (1:1-3:5), seeking that we would not only find ourselves in the Lord’s song that is better than all other songs, but also that we would be drawn into more and deeper experiences with Him.
Instructor: Mark Miller and Ben Sheu
Materials: The Song of Songs: A Divine Romance, by Titus Chu

[+] More Info

 


Romans

Summary: If the New Testament were a ring, Romans would be the diamond on that ring. This book, like no other, reveals a full picture of the gospel of God, which powerfully delivers people from corruption worthy of God’s wrath all the way to being mature sons of God and members of the body of Christ. Wow! Other books tackle a piece of the story. Romans presents the whole. This class will cover nine lessons from the book of Romans that will lay a solid groundwork for new believers. It is also a good class for people who are familiar with Romans and would like to see it in a fresh way. Classes will be in lecture form, with time for small-group discussions after the lecture.
Instructor: Rex Beck

[+] More Info

 


The Life and Work of Jesus

Summary: There is no substitute in your Christian life for knowing the life and work of Jesus. From His virgin birth to His amazing resurrection, every day of His life is filled with profound lessons. The problem with people today is that they think they know about Jesus’s life, but they don’t know what they don’t know. This class will fill that gap. Jesus was God and man. That’s what makes His life so unique--mysterious yet relatable. Jesus was a revolutionary, pacifist, teacher, mystic, prophet and exorcist, but not in the way you might think. We will cover step by step the path of Jesus and highlight significant milestones. We’ll cover his birth, gospel, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection. At the end of this class, we hope every student will be able to say, “I know Jesus.” We expect every student to invest 30 minutes every week on homework.
Instructors: Samuel Kuo and Philip Tsao

[+] More Info

 


Hymns II | Bringing History To Your Personal Devotions

Summary: When you have a hymnal in hand, you have a special treasury of gems from church history. A good hymn is a costly product of a consecrated Christian’s spiritual life, whose sentiments oftentimes speak out longings that are found unvoiced in our own hearts. Rarely does a hymn tell us of the events in the writer’s life, but they give us a window into the inner trials, resolve and hope they experienced as they made history. It’s our hope that through this course, your spiritual life would be enriched, your experience broadened, and your person deepened. It’s our prayer that there will always be a hymn that could help you in every situation as you grow in faith. Join us as we explore the history of hymn singing and hymn writers and learn together how to enjoy them devotionally.
Instructors: James Reinarz, Bob Brenneman and Eric Yeh

[+] More Info

 


Introduction to Hebrew

Summary: God in His wisdom ordained the Hebrew language to be the original language of the Old Testament. The value of learning Hebrew is that the student is able to know the original meaning of God’s Words regarding God, His messages and His work for both the Israel and the nations. All believers, no matter their background, are encouraged to dive into this language. Today there are many Hebrew tools available to help every believer study and understand the original meaning of God’s words in the Old Testament. Students will learn to read and write Hebrew and will be given the proper tools to understand and interpret the Hebrew Old Testament.
Instructor: Steven Chu

[+] More Info

 


Church History II

Summary: We will continue our study of the growth and the spread of the church over the past 2000 years. The time period for this class will be from 1500AD to 1750AD. A few of key servants of God, and the movements of Holy Spirit will be studied. Special emphasis will be given to standard theological themes, to understand their historical context, along with the people, places, and events involved. We will also study the spreading of the gospel of the kingdom. The experiences of common Christians, in all their triumphs and struggles will be discovered. Ultimately, we will reflect on how the experiences of our brothers and sisters who have gone before us can prepare us to more effectively serve Christ and His church in this present age. Classes will be part lecture, part presentations by students and part discussions.
Instructors: Jeff Brown and Kurt Sheu

[+] More Info

 


Born Again

Summary: Jesus said, “…Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:6). To be born again is our first personal experience of God and the prerequisite of entering into the kingdom of God. But what does it mean, when does it happen, and how does it change us? We will take a journey through the New Testament to study the dynamic life experience of being born again, the new environment it brings us into, and how it changes our behavior. Most importantly, we will consider how the born again experience leads to a practical church life with a meaningful participation in the Body of Christ. Our textbook will be “Born Again,” by Brother Titus Chu. We will incorporate word studies and learn how to use basic online Bible tools. Students will learn to make short presentations both orally and in writing. 
Instructor: Vern Yoder
Materials: Born Again: Our New Life in Christ, by Titus Chu

[+] More Info

 


The Sweet Church Life Portrayed in the Book of Ruth

Summary: Why would a Moabitess widow leave her homeland and accompany her mother-in-law to a country where she would not be welcomed? How could she consecrate herself to a God whom she had not known during her youth? Why would a righteous Jewish man of high standing marry a Moabitess widow? Who are these three mysterious characters whose lives diffuse a sweet fragrance against a backdrop of a dark and tumultuous period of Jewish history? Join us in our study of the sweet book of Ruth as we trace the romantic journey of two great women of the Bible whose lives were intricately interwoven with each other, and the tender yet compelling response of a righteous man of God, who together portray our journey with Christ in the church life, culminating in a union with Christ in His death and resurrection. Classes will be lecture style, with a 10-15-minute forum for discussion in break out sessions. Students will be expected weekly to prepare a one-slide powerpoint file of their inspiration based on their reading of the book of Ruth and present it in class. This same course will also be offered in French for those who are French speaking, more comfortable in French or learning French.
Instructor: Antipas Desai
Reference Text:
Ruth, Growth Unto Maturity, Titus Chu

[+] More Info

 


La Douce Vie de l’Église Illustrée dans le Livre de Ruth

Résumé: Pourquoi une Moabite, qui était veuve, quitterait-elle son pays natal pour accompagner sa belle-mère dans un pays où elle ne serait pas accueillie? Comment pouvait-elle se consacrer à un Dieu qu’elle n’avait pas connu dans sa jeunesse? Pourquoi un Juif juste de haut rang épouserait-il une Moabite? Qui sont ces trois personnages mystérieux dont la vie diffuse un doux parfum sur fond d’une période sombre et tumultueuse de l’histoire juive? Rejoignez-nous dans notre étude du doux livre de Ruth alors que nous retraçons le cheminement romantique de deux grandes femmes de la Bible dont les vies étaient intimement liées l’une à l’autre, et la réponse tendre mais convaincante d’un homme juste de Dieu, qui, ensemble, dépeignent notre cheminement avec Christ dans la vie de l’église, aboutissant à une union avec Christ dans Sa mort et Sa résurrection. Les cours seront de type conférence, avec un forum de discussion de 10 à 15 minutes en petits groupes. Chaque semaine, les étudiants devront préparer un fichier PowerPoint d’une diapositive de leur inspiration en se basant sur leur lecture du livre de Ruth et le présenter en classe.
Professeur: Antipas Desai
Texte de référence: Ruth, la croissance vers la maturité, Titus Chu

[+] More Info

A Treasury of Christian Literature

Summary: Over the last 2000 years, many godly men and women have gained great insight into the Word of God which led them to have rich experiences of Christ. Often, these pioneers have written books in the hope of benefiting the Christians of their day and in the future. Together, their works have become a treasury of Christian literature. This semester and the next we will delve into one acknowledged classic from this treasury: The Spirit of Christ by Andrew Murray, covering half of the book each semester. Students will read 2-3 chapters per week and post weekly what they enjoyed to an online class blog (If you have never done this, don’t worry, it’s easy!). The weekly class will consist of class discussion over the reading in which everyone will have the opportunity to share something and ask questions.
Instructor: David Shields
Reference text: The Spirit of Christ, Andrew Murray

[+] More Details on this Class

 


Young People in God’s Plan

Summary: Throughout history, God has touched the lives of young people, causing them to live for Him and for His purposes in their generations. We will study several examples in the Bible of young men and women under the age of thirty who interacted with God and saw His plan advanced through them. This class is best for those aged 30 and below, but we hope all who participate would be encouraged that God can work with them, no matter how young or old, to gain something that is in His heart.
Instructors: Mark Miller and Ben Sheu

[+] More Details on this Class

 


The New Testament Survey

Summary: An important rule when studying the Bible is not to miss the forest for the trees. Rarely do we lift ourselves up and see the New Testament from a high vantage point. This class will cover the big picture view of the New Testament, answering questions like, “Where does the New Testament fit in relation to the Old?” “What are the four gospels and how are they different?” “What makes the particular acts of “Acts” so special?” “As the church developed throughout the New Testament, how do each of the New Testament letters speak to its needs of that time?” “How can all the events in Revelation be summed up in thirty minutes?” Charts and maps will be used. Classes will be lecture style with time for discussion. Students will be expected to complete short reading assignments. It is fitting for new believers as well as veterans who wish for a refresher.
Instructor: Rex Beck
Reference text: A Concise Survey of the Bible, G. Campbell-Morgan

[+] More Details on this Class


 

Hymns | Bringing History To Your Personal Devotions

Summary: When you have a hymnal in hand, you have a special treasury of gems from church history. A good hymn is a costly product of a consecrated Christian’s spiritual life, whose sentiments oftentimes speak out longings that are found unvoiced in our own hearts. Rarely does a hymn tell us of the events in the writer’s life, but they give us a window into the inner trials, resolve and hope they experienced as they made history. It’s our hope that through this course, your spiritual life would be enriched, your experience broadened, and your person deepened.  It’s our prayer that there will always be a hymn that could help you in every situation as you grow in faith. Join us as we explore the history of hymn singing and hymn writers and learn together how to enjoy them devotionally.
Instructors: James Reinarz, Eric Yeh
Reference text: Christ in Hymnology, Chen & Mallon

[+] More Details on this Class

 

Key Figures in Church History

Summary: The growth and the spread of the church through past 2000 years will be considered. A few of key servants of God, and the movements of Holy Spirit will be studied. Special emphasis will be given to standard theological themes, studied their historical context, with people, places, and events, as well as the spreading of the gospel of kingdom. The experiences of common Christians, in all their triumphs and struggles will be discovered. Ultimately, we will reflect on how the experiences of our brothers and sisters who have gone before us can prepare us to more effectively serve Christ and His church in this present age.
Instructors: Kurt Sheu and Jeff Brown
Reference texts: The History of the Christian Church, Philip Schaff; Extraordinary Women of Christian History, Ruth Tucker; Church History in Plain Language, Bruce; Miller’s Church History, Andrew Miller; The Pilgrim Church, E.H. Broadbent.

[+] More Details on this Class

 

The Old Testament Survey

Summary: The hills are filled with the dead and dying. Many valiant believers started to read the Old Testament only to languish in Leviticus, fearing to start again, ashamed of failure. This course seeks to shatter the mysterious barriers of tabernacle furniture, weird Jewish rebellions and land allotment minutiae. It will give a picture of the arc Jewish history in the context of world history. It will demonstrate how the romance of Song of Songs and the book of Esther fits in. It will broad brush the Psalms and present a concise survey of the prophets’ times and messages. Reference will be given on prophecies of Christ that grow in clarity and intensity as the nation of Israel navigates its checkered history with God. Charts and maps will be extensively used. Classes will be lecture style with time for discussion. Short reading assignments will be given.
Instructor: Rex Beck
Reference texts: A Concise Survey of the Bible, G. Campbell-Morgan; 156 Pictures of Christ in the Old Testament, Rex Beck

[+] More Details on this Class

 

Basic Greek Class

Summary: God in His wisdom ordained the Greek language to be the original language of the New Testament. The value of learning Greek is that the student is able to know the original meaning of God’s Words regarding Jesus Christ, His messages and His work for both mankind and the church. All believers, no matter their background, are encouraged to dive into this language. Today there are so many Greek tools available to help every believer study and understand the original meaning of God’s words in the New Testament. Students will learn to read and write Greek and will be given the proper tools to understand and interpret the Greek New Testament. After taking this class students will never be able to shy away from the Bible with the excuse, “It’s all Greek to me.” 
Instructor: Steven Chu

[+] More Details on this Class

 

Born Again

Summary: It is a momentous, metamorphic change of one’s life. It is an entry into a vibrant world of excitement and hope. It is a change of citizenship, an immigration to a new kingdom. It ignites a dynamic life with Christ that grows more profound each day. To be born again is like no other human experience. Those who think that the born-again experience is simply a door into heaven miss out on an ocean of riches and experiences of Christ. But how do you talk about it? How do you express this monumental change within? This class will use the book, Born Again, by Titus Chu to discuss three changes that the born again experience brings to our life: what happened within us, how it changed who we are, and how it changed the way we live. Using the content of this book, students will be expected to present a 3-minute gospel prepared for the unbeliever and a 3-minute exhortation prepared for the believer, each of which will be critiqued during class. Each student will also be expected to write a series of devotionals from their learning and experience.
Instructor: Vern Yoder
Reference text: Born Again, Titus Chu

[+] More Details on this Class