Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity Celebrates Anniversary

January 11, 2019

In an effort to live out its motto, “to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph.4:12), The School of Theology for the Laity (STL) officially launched its pioneer venture in January, 1979. In 1978, members of East Dallas Christian Church celebrated the congregation’s 75th anniversary by pledging a $75,000 birthday gift which was to begin the operations of the school. The conception and design of the school was largely the work and product of Joe A. Stalcup, the founding Dean.  Following his resignation in 1980, Joe served twice more as Dean from 1992-1996 and 2003-2006. In the intervening years, leadership of the School was provided by Jan Tatlock, Louis Saunders, Roger Wedell, Ralph Stone, Sondra Stalcup, David Cobb, and Sharon Baker.

The catalog announcing STL’s 29th series of courses and seminars set forth its aims: “These events are designed primarily to offer adult laypersons a variety of opportunities to strengthen the basis of their commitment to Jesus Christ and the Church, to learn how to better understand the intersections of life and faith and how to prepare more effectively for work in service to God and humanity.” The 29th series marked a new beginning for the School. In response to the generosity of STL’s Dean, Joe Stalcup, and his wife, Nancy Vaughn Stalcup, and the gifts of others who share their commitment to theological education, the Brite Board of Trustees voted in 2006 to take responsibility for the continuation and eventual expansion of the program. In addition the Board voted to change the name to The Stalcup School of Theology for the Laity. Eilene Theilig was appointed as Director of Lay and Continuing Education to manage the program.

In January, SSTL will offer its 350th offering of courses and seminars. The following sampling of presenters demonstrates the quality and diversity of the faculty. Disciples have included: William R. Baird, Eugene Boring, Warren Chrisman, K. David Cole, Fred Craddock, Paul A. Crow, Jr., Kristine A. Culp, Duane Cummins, James O. Duke, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Richard L. Harrison, Jr., Pearl and Kenneth Henry, Patrick Henry, Jack Hill, Joe R. Jones, Serene Jones, Belva Brown Jordan, Leander Keck, Charles Kemp, Michael Kinnamon, Nadia Lahutsky, T.J. Liggett, Ronald Osborn, Lance Pape, William O. Paulsell, Albert Pennybacker, Tim Robinson, Ann Updegraf Spleth, Sondra Stalcup, Marti Steussy, James C. Suggs, M. Jack Suggs, Kenneth L. Teegarden, Rhodes Thompson, Mark Toulouse, D. Newell Williams, and Kathryn M. Williams.

Faculty members from other Christian communions have included: Elizabeth Achtemeier, Joette Bassler, Eugene Carson Blake, Walter Brueggemann, John Caputo, Warren Carter, Jamie Clark-Soles, John Cobb, Ron Cole-Turner, Wil Gafney, Toni Craven, Verna Dozier, Judy Fentress-Williams, Danna Nolan Fewell, Victor Paul Furnish, David Grant, William Richey Hogg, John C. Holbert, Zan W. Holmes, Jr., Luke Timothy Johnson, Catherine Keller, Jorge Lara-Braud, Joretta Marshall, William McElvaney, Virginia Mollenkott, Schubert M. Ogden, Carolyn Osiek, Albert Outler, W.J.A. Power, Nancy Ramsay, Letty Russell, Katherine Sakenfeld, John Shelby Spong, Marjorie Suchocki, Phyllis Trible, Eldon Trueblood, Rosendo Urrabazo, Namsoon Kang, Peggy Way, David Hogue, Stephen Ray, Jr, and William Willimon.

For more information concerning the 41st Series (September 2018 – April 2019), call the director at 817-257-7582 or e-mail: