For Leaders

Leading Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series

Step right in--the water's fine.  Leading Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series is easier than you think!

Our group leaders are not necessarily the ones with the most Bible knowledge.  Anyone who can help create and maintain a loving and judgment-free atmosphere wiill be an ideal group leader for Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series. The Student Text provides the information and your Leader's Guide tells you how to prepare and what to do for every minute of every session. 

Here are some common questions about group leadership for the Exploring the Bible courses.  Don't see your question here?  Contact us.

Be sure to also check our FAQ.

Who can lead a group?

If you have ever led a group, used a curriculum, or taught a class of any size, you should have no trouble picking up one of the detailed Leader's Guides and running with it.  Each course has its own Leader's Guide with step-by-step instructions for both preparation and in-class activities.  The introduction to each Leader's Guide has tips on how to put a group together, how to deal with difficult class members, sample advertising blurbs, and more.  On the Amazon page for the Leader's Guide for What Is the Bible? you can click on "Look Inside" and see for yourself.

If you want to lead a group and give your group members the opportunity for certification or CEUs, then you will need to become a registered group leader and be in our database.  See that section below for more information--it's not hard.  Becoming a registered leader is not necessary to lead a group, but it does give those in your group some options for having their work recognized that they will not have otherwise.

My Bible knowledge is sketchy.  Can I still do it?

In a word, yes.  The Bible knowledge necessary for the course is in the materials.  Just follow the step-by-step Leader's Guide and you'll be fine.  Will there be questions asked that you can't answer?  Without a doubt.  One of the things you'll learn from the texts is that there are plenty of questions that even the most credentialed scholars or faith-filled pastors can't answer.  When you wade into religious waters, even if only in academic study, you will find that you end up with more questions than you started with.  But your Leader's Guide and Student Text explain what to do with those more difficult questions and how you can still allow your students to learn and go away hungry for more, even when you don't have all the answers.  Which you won't.

How do I become a registered group leader?

If you want to be able to offer your group members the opportunity for certification or CEUs, then you need to get registered with us as an official group leader.  If you have attended one of our Learn to Lead workshops, have other relevant training, or have a couple of references who can attest to your ability to lead a group you'll be good to go.  This sounds more complicated than it really is.  In order to grant certificates and/or CEUs, we need to know that certain basic standards for the class setting and leadership are met. Here's what to do:

Read the Expectations and Requirements for Leading a Group for Credit here.  If you have completed a Learn to Lead workshop and are comfortable with those Expectations and Requirements, you don't need to do anything more.  You're already in our database as a registered group leader. Get your group together and go.

If you haven't done our workshop then you'll need to submit the Application to Lead Groups for Credit. Once you're approved (it's a quick decision and no cost) you can get started.  You only need to do this once.  When you are in our database as a registered group leader, you can continue to lead future groups for credit without applying again.  And, again, if you don't have people in your group wanting credit, there is no need to apply at all.  Apart from the purchase of materials, which are available on Amazon, there are no fees to lead either an informal group or a group for credit.

I'm still nervous.  Is there training?

You don't have to do our training to lead the courses of Exploring the Bible, even if you're leading a group for credit.  However many people find that training makes them more confident.  To meet that need we provide a day-long training event called Learn to Lead: Preparing You to Lead Small Groups.  This six-hour workshop provides general training in leading any small group as well as specific instruction in leading Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series.  The Learn To Lead workshop will also automatically qualify you to be a registered group leader for the series.

In addition to formal training, a number of our group leaders found their confidence by taking a course as a student first.  That allowed them to become familiar with the structure of the sessions and the material in general before launching out on their own.  Others have opted to lead a group jointly with a second, more-experienced leader.

What records do I need to keep or submit?

If you have a group of only informal students (i.e. no certificate or CEU students), then you will only need two things:  The evaluation forms (both student and facilitator) and the Certificates of Participation for whichever course you are leading.  They can all be downloaded from the Forms page, and the evaluations are also in the back of the Student Text (student evaluation) and Leader's Guide (facilitator's evaluation).  Time is allotted to fill out evaluations in the outline for the final session in all courses and instructions for submission are in each Leader's Guide. 

There is also time in that last session to celebrate the accomplishment of your students.  For all informal students you can just download the Certificate of Participation for whatever course you're doing (again, on the Forms page), fill it out and give it to them.  We don't need copies or records.

If you have students doing the Extra Mile work, then you have a bit more to do in order for them to receive credit.  As they do the extra work for each session, they submit it to you.  You don't need to evaluate it, or even read it.  Just hang onto it until the course is complete.  Then download the Application for Certificate of Completion for whichever course has been completed. 

Send that application with all their material to us (e-mail is fine).  We will prepare those certificates and send them to you for your signature before giving to the student.  Students who eventually want to receive the Certificate of Biblical Literacy or CEUs from us will need to be on record with us as having received those special certificates in order to get credit.  Since they have to be part of a group to get credit, you need to be involved and certify to us that the person has indeed completed the course.

Does my church or sponsoring organization need to pay a fee?

No.  The only enrollment fee is for students seeking certification or CEUs from us. There is no fee to start using the material in your church, school, or community.  Purchase the books on Amazon and go.

Some churches, schools or organizations might provide their own credit, which is fine and requires no fee to us as long as those groups are not asking for a fee.  However, if a school or other organization is using our course material and granting credit for a fee, they should contact us about whether a licensing agreement is needed.  No licensing is needed for a school or seminary to simply use one of the student books as a text for a class.  But if you are using our complete material, including the lessons in the Leader's Guide, and receiving money from students to take those courses, licensing may be appropriate.

Some of those same groups might want to provide scholarship assistance for their students who are seeking certification or CEUs with us.  We welcome that kind of institutional support.

Will you help me recruit a class?

In the back of each Leader's Guide are some sample advertising blurbs that you can adapt for your situation to advertise the course.  The introductory material in the Leader's Guide also has some tips for putting together a group.  Soon you will be able to upload your course information on this website so that those seeking a course in their area can find you.  Be sure to indicate whether the class is only for informal students or if you are open to those seeking certification or CEUs.

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