The Adult Education Committee presents a selection of classes each Spring and Fall. Selections are based on member interests or projects with which the church is involved. Participants enjoy thought-provoking and dynamic topics. All points of view are welcomed. We also host “Jesus Seminar on the Road” lectures, Sunday Starter, and the First Tuesday Book Group, as well as sponsor a resource library on a variety of subjects.

Our committee meets on the first Thursday of each month and is always looking for new members to help plan and oversee our activities.  We are currently looking for volunteers interested in developing and presenting modules for Sunday Starter. Our past regular leader, Jeff, moved away recently. Contact Kathleen Huddleston or the church office to talk about how you can get involved, and definitely join us for an upcoming event. All are welcome.

Church Activism – Ongoing

The Adult Education and Mission Committees are working together to encourage new Southminster Activism efforts.  Several will be focused on with Sunday Starter modules this year.  Activism teams are Gun Violence Prevention; Climate and Environmental Justice; Women’s Health Justice; Immigration Justice; Mental Health and Criminal Justice; and Homelessness and Hunger.  Watch the Southminster News for more information or to join a team. Learn more >>>

First Tuesday Book Group

Adult Education leads a book study on the first Tuesday of each month with books on Social Justice and Progressive Theology.  This is a drop-in club.  Some people come every month, and others come when the topic or book is of particular interest. All are welcome to a time of fellowship and lively discussion for readers. Click here to view the 2019-2020 reading list PDF. You can also join our Group on

Sunday Starter

The Adult Education Committee is excited for this year’s schedule for Sunday Starter, 9:00 AM in Room 7. We believe that we have selected topics that will educate, energize and encourage debate.  As always, we try to select a cross current of topics that cover both religion and social justice topics.

Past Events:

How the Right is Wrong: Understanding and Overcoming Fundamentalism

November 8-9, 2019 at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton with Westar Scholars Mary Keller and Michael Zbaraschuk : This multi-disciplinary event provided an analysis of and response to Christian fundamentalism, drawing on work on the religious engagement of climate science, the religious decline among millennials in North America, comparative religious studies, and religious pluralism and spiritual practice.

  • Mary L. Keller (Ph.D., Syracuse University) is a historian of religion who works at the intersection of feminist theory, postcolonial theory, and Indigenous studies theory to study the relationship of religious lives to struggles for meaning and power. She teaches Introduction to World Religions, African Spirits in the New World, African American Religious Culture, and a field course on Heart Mountain. Keller emphasizes the geographical, historical and social context in which religious lives are embedded and focuses on questions of personhood within religious traditions. Current research examines the role of sacred land in a world of global capital, money and agency, recent developments in theory and method in the study of spirit possession, and the religious dimensions of climate change.
  • Michael Zbaraschuk (Ph.D. The Claremont Graduate University) is an Associate Professor of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.  He received his M.A. in 1998 and his Ph.D. in 2002, both from The Claremont Graduate University, and both specializing in the philosophy of religion and theology.  His research interests include process theology, radical theology, constructive theology, religious pluralism, and millennials and religion (especially their declining interest in it).  He has led study tours to southern Mexico and is investigating religious diversity there. His latest research project is conceptualizing a theoretical explanation of religious decline in millennials across North America, including Canada, the USA, and Mexico.

The Contemporary Challenge of Easter with Dr. John Dominic Crossan, April 5-6, 2019

In April 2019 we were proud to host Dr. John Dominic Crossan. Dr. Crossan is a beloved and respected scholar and author of more than two dozen books about the New Testament, early Christianity, the historical Jesus and much more. His lectures are invariably insightful and inspiring, whether the listener has read all his books or none.

This program took place just weeks before Easter and focused on how Jesus’ death and resurrection are presented in the texts, and how those events have been interpreted through the ages.

Learn more about Dr. Crossan and Resurrecting Easter:

In addition to three lecture sessions with Dr. Crossan, we hosted a panel discussion, Putting Easter into Action, with three local pastors who have been on the front lines of turning Christian beliefs into meaningful action:

  • Rev. Barbara Nixon of First United Methodist Church, Corvallis. Author of Things I Wish Jesus Said, and coordinator of the feature Interfaith Voices in Albany and Corvallis newspapers.
  • Rev. Aric Clark, Presbyterian pastor, and advocate for multiple causes. Author of Never Pray Again: Lift Your Head, Unfold Your Hands, and Get To Work
  • Rev. Mark Brocker of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Beaverton, a leading congregation in environmental stewardship. Author of Coming Home to Earth and a leading scholar on the works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

We thank everyone who joined us and contributed to a successful and insightful event.