Church of the Brethren
Virlina District
3402 Plantation Road, NE
Roanoke, Virginia  24012
(800) 847-5462
(540) 362-1816
Virlina District

Church of the Brethren
Continuing the Work of Jesus.  Peacefully. Simply. Together.
Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.



Music and Worship Resources


Continuing Education for Ministers

“White Privilege- Let’s Talk: A Resource for Transformational Dialogue”

The Virlina District Peace Affairs Committee (part of the Commission on Witness) invites you to participate in an ongoing Sacred Conversation on Race. The focus will be on White Privilege and its manifestations and impact. The six-session series, entitled “White Privilege- Let’s Talk: A Resource for Transformational Dialogue,” will meet on Monday, March 26 and April 2, 9, and 16 from 7:00-9:00 p.m at the Virlina District Resource Center (3402 Plantation Road, NE, Roanoke, VA 24012-3732).

Continuing Education Units (.9 CEUs) for $10, through the Brethren Academy are available for those who register for CEUs and complete the entire course (participant information and fees will be collected at the first session - contact Eric Anspaugh for more information about CEUs -

The curriculum is published by the United Church of Christ and is designed to help white people to see and understand how white privilege functions in the United States. The curriculum’s introduction states, “If you are a person of color in America, the seeing of privilege is inescapable. If you are white, you have most likely not been conditioned to even look for, much less see, where your privilege functions.”

Each session will include a time of coming together to:

  • set the tone for the conversation
  • discussing the printed material for the session
  • watching and listening to media to engage together
  • discussion questions and related activities
  • a blessing and sending forth which includes a handout to help prepare for the next session

The curriculum is centered on story: the stories of the writers as well as the participants. As a part of the curriculum, each participant will be composing a spiritual biography written through the lens of race. Since the focus of the course is on white privilege, persons of all racial and ethnic identities are welcome.

Due to the curriculum content and space requirements, the class will be limited to the first 20 registrants. Please register by contacting Tabitha Rudy, Interim Associate District Executive Minister, at 540-362-1816 or  Registration closes on Friday, March 2. Class participants are required to download and print their own reading material from


When is it?  Friday, April 20th; 2-4 p.m.

Where is it happening?  Camp Bethel

Who should come?  Ministers and congregational leaders interested in how we are called to call others into ministry.

What will happen?  The Calling the Called committee is sponsoring this pre-conference event entitled Creating a Culture of Call.  Led by Nancy Sollenberger Heishman (Director of the Office of Ministry) is intended to help congregations consider how they may maintain a steady focus of identifying, calling, and training pastoral leadership from within their own congregations.  How many of our future church leaders are currently sitting in our pews?

How much is it?  $10 per person 

For more information and for registration forms, visit our Calling the Called 2018 page.

"Ventures in Christian Discipleship" - Online Classes by McPherson College

The “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College is moving into its sixth year of providing useful, affordable education to small church congregations.  Ventures courses, while not for college credit, offer high-quality instruction. The goal of the program is to empower lay people, especially in smaller congregations, to more effectively carry out the work of discipleship, following in Jesus’ footsteps to transform ourselves and the world. 
Technology Requirements for Live Courses: If you can surf the web, you will be able to participate in our online courses! For the best experience, we recommend that you have a computer with high-speed internet connection and external powered speakers. We encourage several people to share a computer to participate in a course together! No camera or microphone needed for most courses.
Classes are held on their appointed days from 9 am - 12 pm CST.  All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available for $10 per course. To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit

The classes being offered include the following:

  1. September 16, 2017: "Welcoming Muslims: Understanding the Differences between 98% of the World’s Muslims, Islamists, and Jihadists” by Dr. Kirk MacGregor, Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religion at McPherson College
  2. October 14, 2017: “Navigating Religious Diversity: An Introduction to Interfaith Cooperation” by Rev. Zandra Wagoner, Ph.D., Interfaith Chaplain at the University of La Verne
  3. November 11, 2017: “Welcome to Transformation” by Irvin R. Heishman, Pastor of West Charleston Church of the Brethren & Beth Gunzel
  4. January 20, 2018: “Congregation in Mission” by Jim Tomlonson, Retired Church of the Brethren pastor, district executive, & teacher
  5. February 10, 2018: “How the Bible Came to be The Bible” by Carol A. Scheppard, 2017 Moderator of the Church of the Brethren & Professor of theCollege at Bridgewater College 
  6. March 17, 2018: “Revitalizing Worship through the Arts” by Rev. Dr. Bobbi Dykema, Pastor & professor serving in the Pacific Northwest Districtof the Church of the Brethren 
  7. April 14, 2018: “Congregations Nurturing a Culture of Call: Why It Matters” by Joe Detrick, Retired district executive minister in the Church of the Brethren

Brethren Academy Classes and Information

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership (BAML) now has the ability to accept online registrations and payments for many of our programs. Students may register for English-language courses as well as make payments through the Bethany website. In addition to course fees, Directed Independent Study Unit fees, TRIM/EFSM enrollment fees and TRIM student yearly fees, are accepted online.

At this time, district fees, congregational fees, and Spanish-language program fees still need to be made by mailing a check to the Brethren Academy office.

To register or pay online, please visit Look for the green Registration/Payment button on our home page or course listings page.

  • Clergy Tax Seminar  –  Saturday, January 27, 2018Students, pastors, and other church leaders are invited to attend either in person at Bethany Theological Seminary or online.
  • Elements of Preaching
    Instructor: Dawn Ottoni-Wilhelm
    January 17-19, 2018 (Bethany Theological Seminary)
    Registration deadline: December 11, 2017
    Course Brochure
  • The Gospel of John
    Instructor: Andrew Hamilton
    January 29-March 23, 2018 (online)
    Registration deadline: December 18, 2017
    Course Brochure
  • Now the Silence, Now the Songs: An Introduction to Worship in the Church
    Instructor: Lee-Lani Wright
    March 14 – May 8, 2018 (online)
    Registration deadline: February 7, 2018
    Course Brochure
  • What Brethren Believe
    Instructor:  Denise Kettering-Lane
    April 12-15, 2018 (McPherson College)
    Registration deadline: March 5, 2018
    Course Brochure

Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Event: Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders
Date: Monday-Friday, March 12-16, 2018
Host: Forest Lake Presbyterian Church
Location: Columbia, SC

This five-day training is intended to equip church leaders with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  It includes lectures, discussion, and guided practice in role plays.  Active and practical in focus, the sessions emphasize hands-on skills training and real life role-plays, based on the types of conflicts faced by participants.  This training is useful for pastors, judicatory staff, lay leaders, and others who serve with churches and church ministries.  The brochure can be downloaded from the LMPC website at



The first class at the Roanoke center for 2018 is BRETHREN LIFE AND THOUGHT, taught by David K. Shumate.  District Executive Minister. These Sunday afternoon classes will be held January 14, January 28, February 11 and February 25, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. (weather permitting) at the District Resource Center, 3402 Plantation Road, NE, Roanoke, VA. Tuition for the class is $75.00 and students are responsible for purchasing the required textbooks which are: Fruit of the Vine, Donald F. Durnbaugh, Brethren press, 1997 and Another Way of Believing: A Brethren Theology, Dale W Brown, Brethren Press, 2005. For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact Judy Mills, Center Coordinator at (540) 992-1980 or <>. Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail to: Judy Mills, Roanoke Center Coordinator, 2805 Nace Rd, Fincastle, VA 24090-4515. CEU credit is available for ordained ministers who choose to audit CGI classes.


"Teaching and Learning in the Church" will be taught by Tabitha H. Rudy, Interim Associate District Executive Minister, on the following Saturdays: January 13, January 27 and February 10.  Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Coulson Church of the Brethren.  Students will need to purchase the following books: Powerful Lesson Planning: Every Teacher's Guide to Effective Instruction by Janice Skowron (ISBN 978-1-63450-353-2) and Christian Education and the Emerging Church: Postmodern Faith Formation by Wendi Sargeant (ISBN 978-1-4982-0430-9).  They are available on Amazon and at other major book stores.  Other reading materials will be provided in class.  Because of scheduling conflicts, there are only three sessions.  It is important that students get a syllabus and come prepared for the first session of class. For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact Sue Morris, Center Coordinator at (540) 651-8331 or <>.  Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail to: Sue Morris, Roanoke Center Coordinator, P.O. Box 8, Copper Hill, Virginia 24079-0008. CEU credit is available for ordained ministers who choose to audit CGI classes.


The Old Testament Class will be offered by the Shenandoah Center of the Christian Growth Institute during the Winter Session. Ryan Cooper, pastor of the Emmanuel Church of the Brethren in Mount Solon, Virginia, will be the instructor. The dates are January 6, January 27 and February 17, 2018. The Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament will serve as the text book for the course. For more information or to obtain a registration form, please contact Sarah Long, Center Coordinator at (540) 908-0423 or <>. Tuition for the class is $75.00. Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail to: Sarah Long, Shenandoah Center Coordinator, 205 South Willow Street, Apartment C, Harrisonburg, VA 22801-1937. CEU credit is available for ordained ministers who audit class sessions.

To learn more about the Christian Growth Institute, check out it's page here

Church of the Brethren office of Ministry

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Christian Education Resources

Coming soon!    :)