Special Studies


Northgate offers Advent and Lent studies, as well as occasional short-term (generally 4-8 weeks) series on selected Biblical and contemporary topics.  Past topics have included David, Historical Paul, Harry Potter Meets Christianity, The Apocrypha, The Minor Prophets, The Torah, and Galatians.   For more information, please contact the church office at (972) 252-8519 or [email protected] .


The Wisdom of Solomon – 5 Sessions, Beginning January 8, 2018

We’re familiar with books traditionally associated with Solomon: Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, Song of Solomon. This five-week study will cover The Book of Wisdom from the Apocrypha.

The study will be primarily based on The New Oxford Annotated Apocrypha – New Revised Standard Version, (Revised Fourth Edition) Michael D. Coogan, Editor, Oxford University Press, 2010. It will not be necessary for students to purchase the book.   The class is open to all.  It will be led by Charlie Walden, and meets Monday evenings at 6:30pm in the New Revelations Classroom (in the Dome building).

For recaps, click here.


2017 Advent Study – Adam Hamilton’s “Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph”

Our Advent Study this year was Adam Hamilton’s “Faithful – Christmas Through The Eyes of Joseph”. Melba Dobbins, who led this year’s study, summarized the class this way:

Joseph’s place in the nativity story is often overlooked. There is relatively little in the Gospels about him. We know he was a compassionate man, evidenced by the fact that he married Mary to save her reputation among her people. Questions such as how old Joseph was when Jesus was born, had he been married before he married Mary, and did Joseph die before Jesus began His ministry were a large part of the discussions.

There are interesting stories about Joseph and his relationship with the young boy Jesus written by the apocryphal writers, but no one knows if they are really true. Joseph was a carpenter, and it is believed that Jesus worked alongside him and learned the trade. Joseph was a loving, compassionate, forgiving man, and he taught these traits to the young Jesus. A quote from the book tells it all: “This is the gift of Christmas: being found and finding, being held and holding, being safe in God’s arms and being saved by God’s arms. I wonder if Jesus didn’t first experience this gift in the loving arms of Joseph.”

The Gospel of Mark – 10 Session Study – Summer 2017

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels.  It was also probably the first to be written – around 70 A.D.   It tells the story of Jesus ministry from his baptism by John the Baptist through his crucifixion, burial and resurrection.  Though in many respects similar to the other Synoptics (Matthew and Luke), Mark’s Gospel has its own distinct style and character.  The Evangelist didn’t just recite the facts of Jesus’ life or provide us a list of Jesus’ sayings.  He crafted a story that gives us insight into the nature of Jesus‘ ministry and mission – how this man of Galilee brought God’s Good News to the world.  Son of ManSon of God?  The Christ?  Who did Jesus think he was, and what did the Twelve Disciples understand him to be?

Primary source for the study: Abingdon New Testament Commentaries  – Mark, by C. Clifton Black.

For recaps, click here.

2017 Lenten Study “Creed:  What Christians Believe and Why” by Adam Hamilton (3/6/17-4/10/17)

Creed, from the Latin word Credo, means “I believe”.  The most essential Christian beliefs are contained in this ancient Creed.  We learned that our beliefs shape who we are and how we relate to our fellow human beings:  not only do we need a church, but the church needs us!


Adam Hamilton, the author of this study, told us that he cannot prove to us that there is a God.  We determined, however, that we do not understand how anyone can NOT believe there is a God when they look at the creative, magnificent creation around us.  Through loving discussion, we agreed, disagreed, and agreed to disagree.  We came out loving each other and knowing that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead, and that there is life everlasting.

The Book of Esther (1/16/17 – 2/6/17)

The Book of Esther is the story of a young orphaned Jewish woman living in exile in Persia under the protection of her uncle, Mordecai.  Esther worked her way into court and ultimately married Persian King Ahasuerus.  Those familiar with the Book of Esther may recall that it never mentions “God” – quite unusual for a book in the Hebrew Bible.

The Greek version of the Book of Esther from the Apocrypha, however, emphasizes how Esther and Mordecai found strength in their dependence on God. The parallels between the story of a plot to exterminate Jews in ancient times in the Greek version of Esther and the modern day Holocaust were striking.

2016 Advent Study  “The Wonder of Christmas” by Ed Robb & Rob Renfroe (11/28/16 – 12/19/16)

The star, the name, the manger, the promise – this series explored each of these key elements of the Christmas story in a new and thoughtful way.



Food for Thought

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.