Academy for Faith and Life

The Academy for Faith and Life provides short-term and ongoing adult education for the members and friends of Fourth Presbyterian Church and for the larger community. Its mission is to draw participants into the many realms of God’s activity, emphasizing the intersection of faith and life.

Below is a listing of the opportunities you can look forward to this winter and spring. These offerings give you a range of options that will help you engage the important questions of faith in your life and the opportunity to gather with others on their journey of faith.

This winter we will continue our observance of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation through a variety of courses. We will explore our deep Reformed heritage and discern what challenges and excitement will greet us in this new era of Christian faith.

Come with your questions and curiosities, your confidence and your doubt. Come whether you are steeped in knowledge or new to your Christian journey. Come and explore this wild and wonderful life of faith!

Academy Classes

The Confession of 1967
Sundays, May 6–20 at 9:30 a.m.

Additional Adult Education Opportunities

Race: The Power of Illusion
Sundays, May 6–20, June 3–17 at 11:00 a.m.

Bible Studies | Newsletter | Contact Us | Child Care


Reconciliation in Christ:
A Discussion of The Confession of 1967

Sundays, May 6–20 (3 weeks)
9:30 a.m. in Room 5E

Led by Jeff Doane

The 1960s were a tumultuous time in the United States. The social change and political drama unfolding on the national stage caused believers and disbelievers alike to question what they had known for centuries. How were Christians to respond to the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam war, controversies surrounding Biblical interpretation, and more?

The United Presbyterian Church (USA) responded by adopting a new affirmation of faith, as well as a Book of Confessions dating back to The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. The words of the Confession of 1967 shed light on the challenges of faithful living in our own day. Join us to discuss their insights which continue to guide our journey as followers of Christ in this new era of Christian discipleship.

Jeff Doane, Pastor Emeritus of Lincoln Park Presbyterian Church, is on staff at Fourth Church as Parish Associate for Older Adults.

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Race: The Power of an Illusion

Sundays, May 6–20, June 3–17 (6 weeks)
11:00 a.m. in Room 5D

Led by Victoria G. Curtiss and Robert Crouch

Through the video series “Race: The Power of Illusion” we will learn about the contradictory assumptions and myths we believe about race. We will examine the underlying social, economic, and political conditions that disproportionately channel advantages and opportunities to white people. After each video presentation, Vicky Curtiss and Robert Crouch will facilitate discussion as we seek to learn how to build a more just and equitable society.

Statement from the Executive Producer
“In producing this series, we felt it was important to go back to first principles and ask, What is this thing called ‘race’?—a question so basic it is rarely raised. What we discovered is that most of our common assumptions about race—for instance, that the world’s people can be divided biologically along racial lines—are wrong. Yet the consequences of racism are very real.

How do we make sense of these two seeming contradictions? Our hope is that this series can help us all navigate through our myths and misconceptions, and scrutinize some of the assumptions we take for granted. In that sense, the real subject of the film is not so much race but the viewer, or more precisely, the notions about race we all hold.”

Victoria G. Curtiss is the Associate Pastor for Mission at Fourth Church.
She is also a spiritual director.

Robert Crouch is the Director of Volunteer Ministry at Fourth Church.

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Academy Newsletter

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

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Staff and Contact Information

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

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.