Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS PORTERBROOK VENTURA COUNTY?
In a nutshell, Porterbrook is biblical training for men and women to make disciples in their unique, everyday context for the glory of God. It's training for people who do not have the time, resources, or desire to attend a full seminary program.
WHO IS PORTERBROOK FOR?
Porterbrook is split into two years, with each having a distinct target for each of those years.
Year 1 is a phenomenal resource for anyone looking to grow in their relationship with Jesus, knowledge and confidence in the Bible, and their readiness to be used by God for his Kingdom. While it is a thorough and rich study program, it is designed for people in any life stage to be able to participate. Single moms, college students, empty-nesters, etc. have all told us that the Porterbrook curriculum worked well for them.
Year 2 shifts a bit, and builds off of Year 1. While there is still foundational learning done, the focus shifts to those people who are interested in taking more active leadership roles in the church (Community Group leaders, elders, deacons, church planters, overseas missionaries, etc.), or even those who just have a deep desire to explore more opportunities to be used by God.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The cost is $415 per person for one year. Married couples can register together for $675. These costs cover the curriculum itself, as well as costs associated to the quarterly Conference Weekends. This is not a money making thing for us! If money is what's holding you back from participating, please let us know (here) and we can discuss a scholarship.
WHAT'S THE TIME COMMITMENT?
Porterbrook is built on learning in community. You do not meet in a classroom setting, other than once a quarter (we call these Conference Weekends), where we gather for a Friday night, and most of a Saturday together. On a weekly basis, there is flexibility. You'll be meeting with your Study Group once a week, but you can meet at a time and place that fits best for your group.
You can anticipate that the reading and coursework will take about 4 hours per week. While this may seem daunting, we've seen many busy people who were able to accommodate the work load.
WHAT IS A STUDY GROUP?
At the heart of Porterbrook is study-group based learning. A Study Group is a few people who meet weekly and discuss the assigned readings and assignments. On their own, the content of the learning materials and Conference Weekends is exceptional, but a Study Group is the glue that binds learning, growth, and community with strong theological foundations.
Our desire is that Study Groups are multi-generational, non gender specific, and made up of people who are part of the same church.
WHAT DATES DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Introduction Night - September 11, 2020
Conference Weekend #1 - November 15-16, 2020
Conference Weekend #2 - February 12-13, 2021
Conference Weekend #3 - April 16-17, 2021
WHAT HAPPENS ON A CONFERENCE WEEKEND?
There are four Conference Weekends per academic year. The highlights of the time will be spent hearing from a key note speaker who will be teaching on some topic that's applicable to the curriculum for that term, as well as listening to each student give an 8 minute presentation from that term's curriculum. These are incredibly encouraging times, and are the backbone of the Porterbrook experience. Lunch and snacks will also be served and often there will be a time of worshipping Jesus together.
WHERE DOES IT MEET?
Conference Weekends will be held at the Anthem TO Office. 2667 N. Moorpark Rd. Suite 200. Thousand Oaks 91360.
Weekly Study Groups will be held at times and locations decided by each Study Group.
WHO HOSTS PORTERBROOK VENTURA COUNTY?
The Porterbrook Network is an international program based in Sheffield, UK and is administered by the Acts 29 Network. In Ventura County, Porterbrook is sponsored by Anthem Church. Anthem believes that the church should be the basis for the theological training of its people. Porterbrook is a great resource for this.
While it's not a teaching-intensive program in the traditional sense, leaders from these churches administrate and oversee Porterbrook's various courses and Conference Weekends. The conference speakers will be qualified, seasoned pastors and teachers from around the region. Additionally, we invite other churches - regardless of theological or philosophical convictions – to encourage their people to be involved.
WHAT IS PORTERBROOK'S LEARNING PHILOSOPHY?
Let's face it, we want to learn more, but where do we fit it in our schedule? Some of us are great at self-study, and some of us do better in a classroom environment. We believe that our hybrid approach of an online delivered curriculum, done in study groups, and gathered for Conference Weekends is an excellent solution.
CAN I JOIN MID-YEAR?
No. The courses follow the basic academic calendar of most schools. We start in early fall, and wrap in in the late spring.
CAN I PARTICIPATE IF I DON'T LIVE IN VENTURA COUNTY?
Absolutely! The only requirements are that you register alongside at least two other students from your region (to form a Study Group) and that you attend every Conference Weekend in Thousand Oaks.