In Pursuit of Wisdom


The goal of the Discipleship ministries at FPC is to encourage and equip adults to take the next step on their own road to Emmaus. Part of this journey involves cultivating a faith that seeks understanding through thoughtful study and reflection. Towards this end, we offer a number of opportunities in Christian education, including short-term courses, Bible studies, lectures, podcasts, and TED-style talks.

We believe that discipleship also involves nurturing one’s spiritual formation and sense of Christian community. Whether in the form of weekday small groups, men’s and women’s ministries, book clubs, or Sunday school classes, there are opportunities for you to join with others to engage in honest conversations about the joys and challenges of everyday faith.

Wherever you are on your journey of faith, we hope that you will take advantage of some of these opportunities for cultivating your own spiritual and theological growth.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date!  Men’s Breakfast Friday, October 18. 7:30-8:45 a.m. Stembler Scholar Rev. Dr. Chris Holmes will be speaking on Rubbish and Other Noteworthy Things.

Grow your faith this fall by joining a group of study, prayer, and fellowship. Small groups open this fall include Bible studies, book club, men’s small groups, moms’ groups, 20s + 30s offerings, and women’s circles.

Email Jamie Butcher for more information.

FPC has a new Sunday morning offering for newcomers: Newish. If you are new to FPC, new to Sunday school, new to Christianity or just feeling “new,” this class is for you. Spend five weeks learning what it looks like to follow Jesus in the FPC context. Join newcomer pastors Rev. Rob Sparks and Rev. Dr. Chris Holmes in the chapel at 10 a.m. for essential content and lively discussion. Email cholmes@firstpresatl.org for more information.

There are two general reactions to the book of Revelation: outright obsession and intentional neglect. The writing seems too strange and violent for many readers. And, besides, it’s been used to create a whole industry focused on the end of the world. Who needs that?

In this 4-week study taught by Chris Holmes, we will seek to reclaim Revelation as a writing to inform and invigorate our faith lives.
Thursdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m. | October 3, 10, 17, 24 | Fifield Hall

Contact Chris Holmes at cholmes@firstpresatl.org to register.

Register now for two new Stembler courses. The “Understanding Theology” course on Thursday mornings is the latest in a series of foundations courses exploring the Bible and theology. “Reclaiming Revelation” is the next class in the Theology Matters series on Thursday nights. More information and registration links provided below. Contact Chris Holmes if you’d like more information.

Understanding Theology is a 6-week course that provides an introduction to theology and theological reflection. The course explains why everyone is a theologian (not just “professionals”) and introduces the resources, methods, and topics for theological reflection. Taught by Chris Holmes.
Thursdays, 10:00-11:15 a.m. | 6 sessions | September 26 – October 31 | Room B-111.


Initiatives in church-based theological education

An Exciting Study Opportunity!

Explore the Mediterranean world on a twelve-day cruise of Greece, Italy, and Turkey with Old Testament experts Carol Newsom, the C. H. Candler Distinguished Professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and the Graduate Division of Religion, and Brent A. Strawn, Professor of Old Testament at Duke University and Senior Fellow in Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion. Carol and Brent will place Rome, Ephesus, Athens, and Corinth in a longer and larger story of human history, enriching your experience and broadening your understanding of the world that produced the Bible. To sign-up and learn more about this extraordinary opportunity, visit the Bible Odyssey website.

TheoEd Talks

What is TheoEd Talks?

TheoEd Talks is a faith-based speaker series launched by the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta in 2017. Guided by FPC's Scholar in Residence, Ryan Bonfiglio, and through strategic partnerships with Atlanta-based churches and seminaries, this series brings together leading thinkers in the church and the academy to give the talk of their lives in 20 minutes or less. These talks are neither sermons nor lectures. Rather, they are TED Talk-style presentations that seek to spark conversations about God, religion, and the power of faith to shape lives and communities.


Theology Matters

This unique series of short, Christian education courses is designed to explore why theology matters in our everyday life and faith. These courses aim to equip believers of all ages to go deeper in their intellectual and spiritual formation by offering thoughtful, in-depth lectures in a format that is accessible, engaging, and relevant. Courses are free of charge and taught by Ryan Bonfiglio, FPC’s Stembler Scholar and Director of Biblical & Theological Studies. Please contact Rev. Jamie Butcher.

John H. Stembler Jr. Scholar in Residence and Director of Biblical and Theological Education

Rev. Dr. Christopher Holmes

Chris Holmes holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Emory University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Religion and Spanish from Whitworth University. Chris comes to FPC from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, where he has been in the position of Director of Curriculum Development. Chris has lectured, taught, and published on numerous biblical texts and topics, and his dissertation is titled The Function of Sublime Rhetoric in Hebrews: A Study in Hebrews 12:18-29. Chris is a Teaching Elder (Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and will be a contract call associate pastor at FPC. Chris is married to Jenelle Holmes, Organizing Pastor and Head of Staff of the Ormewood Church, a new church development in Atlanta’s Ormewood Park. Chris and Jenelle are parents of Micah (11) and Darcy (9). Chris will start at FPC July 8, 2019. 
The Stembler Search Committee was co-chaired by Mary-Ellen Vian and Zeb Chandler and included Anne Dantzler, Paul Dimmick, Florida Ellis, Joel LeMon, Cassandra Leverette, Ginny Munger, and Theo VanderBoom.