Academy for Faith and Life

Welcome to the Academy for Faith and Life, an anchor component of Fourth Presbyterian Church’s adult education program. Through this program we provide short-term and ongoing education for our members, friends of the church, and the wider community.

The Adult Education Committee is committed to offering learning opportunities that invite participants to engage in a range of study options. You will find biblical and theological offerings for those who have years of prolonged study as well as for those who know little about Christian theology or the Bible. Some of the courses integrate issues of social and ethical importance with Christian principles and values. There are classes on spiritual development and practice and others that consider arts and culture. No matter your particular interests, we trust the Academy’s offerings will provide opportunities for growth and Christian community.

Look below for more information about this season's Academy for Faith and Life opportunities!


Online Adult Education Opportunities

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels
May 31, June 7, and June 14 at 12:30 p.m.

Adult Education Video Archive

Zoom Bible Studies

Course Recommendations and Proposals

Contact Us | Child Care


Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America:
The Battle for Our Better Angels

With Jeff Doane

Sundays, May 31, June 7, and June 14
12:30 p.m.

Register online here:

Have you missed our Sunday morning Academy for Faith and Life classes? If so, you won’t want to miss a new class being offered via Zoom later this month!

Join us as Jeff Doane leads a discussion of Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels beginning Sunday, May 31.

As this tumultuous election year leads us to wonder how we might respond as faithful citizens, The Soul of America invites us into a consideration of the historical perspective. In these three Sunday sessions we will look together at selected chapters from Jon Meacham’s book in our quest for insights into a hopeful, rather than fearful, approach to the topic.

Participants are encouraged to read the book prior to the class.

To receive the course syllabus and the Zoom link, simply register online. We look forward to “seeing” you May 31!

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Adult Education Video Archive

While we are not gathering for adult education classes in these weeks, we encourage you to explore—or revisit, if you already attended the classes—the videos from two of the courses we offered earlier this year: the important and eye-opening “Black History: Impact on Our Faith Traditions” course taught by a marvelous faculty of outside lecturers and the engaging “Foundation of Faith: A Year with the Bible” class, which was led by our pastoral staff.

Black History: Impact on Our Faith Traditions

The history many of us learned about our country and institutions—including churches—often overlooks the contributions, perspectives, and experiences of African Americans. This series highlights several aspects of history in the United States to help viewers gain a more complete picture of who and what has shaped our faith communities.

To watch “Black History: Impact on Our Faith Traditions,” click here.


Foundation of Faith: A Year with the Bible

This series, led by Fourth Church clergy, gives viewers the opportunity to explore the biblical narrative of our Jewish and Christian heritage, focusing on passages that chronicle this faith journey. Each session considers a passage in its historical setting and addresses how the passage is relevant to the contemporary world. Each session is self-contained, so watch as many sessions as you like, or the whole series!

To watch “Foundation of Faith: A Year with the Bible,” click here.

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Zoom Bible Studies

  • Horizons Women's Bible Study, based on the guide from Horizons magazine, meets on Zoom at 12:00 noon on second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.
  • Men's Bible Study meets on Zoom every Tuesday morning at 7:30 a.m.

For more information about joining either of these studies, contact Anne Ellis.

Academy Newsletter

To receive periodic email updates from the Academy for Faith and Life, send email addresses to

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Course Recommendations and Proposals

Suggestions for future course offerings can be submitted to or dropped off at the church reception desk.

Please use this Recommendation Form if you have an idea for a class or speaker; use this Proposal Form if you would like to submit a class of your own for consideration.

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Staff and Contact Information

    Lucy Forster-Smith
    Senior Associate Pastor for Leadership Development and Adult Education

    Allison Santos
    Adult Education Program Assistant


Contact Information
   • general questions or requests for information,
   • requests for class tapes,
   • evaluative comments,
   • suggestions for courses and speakers

—please contact the Academy office at

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Child Care

On Sunday mornings: Childcare for infants up to age two is available in the Nursery from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sunday School classes for all other children are offered at both 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. from September through May. For information about Sunday School and children’s and family programs, contact Matt Helms at 312.573.3362.

On weekdays
: To arrange childcare for weekday courses or events, contact Matt Helms (312.573.3362) at least one week prior to the event.

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View the Academy for Faith and Life calendar here.