The Christian story—the metanarrative of salvation history—is shaped by biblical figures that continue to inspire us, guide our faith, and ground our hope and our lives as believers. Inspired by the Jesse Tree, this course unpacks the Advent theme of hope as lived out by our forebears in faith. Using Scripture, videos with Fr. Michael Himes, and essays by the late Fr. Raymond Brown and Dr. Colleen Griffith, we look at some of the people in Matthew’s genealogy and others—people of hope who readied the way for Jesus and for us. With these stories in view, participants are invited to reflect on what it means to embrace and live out Christian hope today.
Getting Started Week: A Cloud of Witnesses
Week 1: Deep Remembering with the Gospel of Matthew
Week 2: Living into Hope with Friends of God and Prophets
- This course includes:
- Weekly Introductory Comments for each new topic;
- Two video presentations by Fr. Michael Himes;
- Transcripts of the video presentations;
- Downloadable pdf essays by Raymond Brown, S.S., and Dr. Colleen Griffith;
- Weekly questions for reflection and discussion; and
- A regularly updated Resources page for further study of topics discussed in this course.
All STM Online: Crossroads courses include these features
- Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password-protected web site.
- Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
- The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course has ended.
- An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
- Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
- A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.
A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 3-4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.
- The late Rev. Raymond Brown, S.S. (text), Auburn Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies at Union Theological Seminary, prolific author, and served as president of the Catholic Biblical Association, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Society of New Testament Studies.
- Dr. Colleen M. Griffith (text), is professor of the practice of theology and faculty director of spirituality studies at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry;
- Rev. Michael J. Himes (video), priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, and professor of theology, Boston College Theology Department.
Certificate Requirement Categories
- Spirituality and Prayer
- Sacred Scripture
- Themes from Our Christian Tradition