Methodism Classes Offered

posted on August 16

We are excited that the Catawba Valley District can offer classes on Methodism for clergy and laity who serve in leadership positions in your church.

Dr. Jonathan LeMaster-Smith holds a PhD from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Christian Education and Congregational Studies. He regularly teaches United Methodist studies for Garrett-Evangelical, as well as courses in faith formation and discipleship for various schools. He grew up in Earl, North Carolina, and currently serves as Interim Director of Connectional Ministry for Oak Hill United Methodist Church in Morganton, North Carolina. His wife, Shannon, is an ordained Deacon in the United Methodist Church and currently serves at First United Methodist Newton. They live in Hickory with their two dogs, Jupiter and Biscuit.

Dr. LeMaster-Smith is offering to lead three classes in Polity and Methodism. These classes will be structured as 3-day workshops, held on Thursday evening, all day Friday, and Saturday.  The cost of the workshops will be $25 each, which covers the cost of refreshments and lunches.  There are also books that are required, which you will need to purchase before class and bring with you. The books are available at and/or

Classes will be held at St. Luke’s UMC (52 16th Ave. NW, Hickory, NC 28601).

Please see the class schedule and descriptions below. (A third class, Polity in the Methodist Church, will be offered in the spring. More details to come.)

** Certificates will be issued, which can then be used for CEU credit or for Catawba Valley District Advanced Lay Servant course credit.

United Methodist History

October 11-13 2018

Thursday, Oct 11, 6pm - 8pm

Friday, Oct 12, 9am - 4 pm

Saturday, Oct 13, 9 am - 2pm

Required Books:  (You must purchase the books before class and bring them with you. Books available from Amazon and Cokesbury, and other outlets.)

Wesley and the People Called Methodists, Richard Heitzenrater (2nd Edition, 2013, Abingdon)

American Methodism: A Compact History, Russel Richey, Kenneth E. Rowe, Jean Miller Schmidt, (2012, Abingdon)

While no one course can cover the whole of Methodist history, this retreat seeks to provide a thorough overview of the timeline of Methodism from before John Wesley to the present. We will explore the history of the denomination, the history of our local congregations, and their interconnectedness. There will be two primary books for this retreat, plus resources from various conference and denominational offices. 


United Methodist Doctrine

November 8-10, 2018

Thursday, Nov 8, 6pm - 8pm

Friday, Nov 9,  9am - 4 pm

Saturday, Nov 10, 9 am - 2pm

Required Books: (You must purchase the books before class and bring them with you. Books available from Amazon and Cokesbury, and other outlets.)

Responsible Grace: John Wesley's Practical Theology, Randy Maddox (1994 Kingswood Series)

Partakers of the Life Divine: Participation in the Divine Nature in the Writings of Charles Wesley, S.T. Kimbrough (2016, Cascade)

For United Methodists, doctrine is not a series of right beliefs, but a means of discipleship formation and kingdom building. This retreat explores the scripture way of salvation, the value of practical divinity, the importance of the sacraments, and the theological significance of the mission and connectionalism of Methodism. Along with the primary readings for this retreat, there will be readings from John Wesley’s sermons, Charles Wesley’s hymns, the United Methodist Book of Discipline, and the denominational statements on the sacraments.


Payment Information

Registration fee ($25 per class) includes refreshments, snack breakfast and lunch.

You may pay online through the registration website, or you may mail a check to the Catawba Valley District Office.  All payments must be received 1 week prior to the class you are taking (payment due  October 4 and/or November 1.)

Register Now →

$25 per class, plus cost of books

Jana Alexander

St. Luke's
52 16th Ave. NW

Hickory, NC 28601

Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.