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Praying with the Church Fathers | Spring

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…" Hebrews 13:1-2

The author to the Hebrews had Old Testament saints in mind as the "great cloud of witnesses," but today that cloud of witnesses includes all those who have gone faithfully before us. This class will seek to listen to the early church fathers as a guide to following Jesus in prayer. We will read a variety of works, particularly on the Lord's Prayer, seeking to assimilate what is learned into our own pursuit of Jesus in prayer.

For centuries the Lord's Prayer has been an integral part of a life of faith. It is, of course, the way our Lord Jesus taught us to pray! These Fathers will guide us through the Lord's Prayer, and we will learn about some of their practices in prayer, too!

Spending time with these fathers will encourage us to be more faithful and more consistent in prayer. We will learn some particular practices, and practice some of those practices together! We will learn to sit in the school of prayer, eager to both hear and speak to our Father in heaven who is eager to hear our prayers!

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

  • Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen On the Lord's Prayer (Popular Patristics Series)
    • ISBN: 978-0881412611
  • St. Gregory of Nyssa: The Lord's Prayer, The Beatitudes 
    • ISBN: 978-0809102556
  • Worshiping with the Church Fathers by Christopher Hall
    • ISBN: 978-0830838660
  • Other selections provided by the instructor

Nathan Dickinson holds a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently serves as a deacon at Christ the King Anglican Church in Beckley, West Virginia. He is a West Virginia native who has had approximately a decade of teaching experiences in local churches and missionary settings. He has taught the Bible in Kenya, Zambia, Myanmar, and Jamaica, and has taught English (among other things) to students in a Christian school setting. He loves helping students see the beauty of God in Holy Scripture and helping students learn to engage in meaningful dialogue.
His two boys (Barnabas, 5, and Martin, 3) keep his home life interesting and full of adventure! When he is not adventuring with his wife and boys, he is looking for a good cup of coffee, a good book, and a good conversation.

Quarter 3

  1. The Foundation for Prayer in the Church Fathers (Worshiping with the Fathers)
  2. The Basics of Prayer in the Fathers
  3. The Lord’s Prayer with the Church Fathers

Quarter 4

  1. Difficulties in Prayer
  2. Lectio Divina and Other Practices
  3. Personal Prayer with St. Augustine
  4. Discipline in Prayer with the Church Father

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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