First Baptist University


First Baptist University (FBU) is an intentionally curated rotation of courses designed to help you grow both personally and spiritually in the context of community. 

FBU aligns with our church's mission to make disciples of Jesus who boldly enter into their communities to see Heaven invade Earth.

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First Baptist University is FREE to all participants and courses begin Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm during each term. (Occasionally, some instructors will ask you to purchase study materials for their classes.)

All courses are led by qualified teachers or facilitators and are free with the exception of any study materials. 

An optional dinner is available in our Carreker Fellowship Hall for $7 starting at 5:30pm.

Course Registration and Childcare

While registration is not required, it would help our planning to know if you are coming—and especially if you are bringing children and/or teenager! 

Please contact Edwina Cowgill ( or 404-373-1653 ext 2230) to let us know about your attendance and childcare needs. Thanks!


The following classes begin September 27th and run through November 15th. Click on a course name to learn more.

FBU FALL 1 — FALL 1 Term Courses 2017

Eight Week Term: August 2 through September 20
Each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Parent Enrichment
Conversations with the Sermon on the Mount
Total Body Conditioning
FBCD Missions: God's Call—Our Response

Yoga with Jotholyn
Eco-Theology Through Woman Wisdom in Proverbs
FBU Kids
FBU Youth



The PREPARE/ENRICH for Couples, Parenting version, contains 11 categories of skill-building exercises that will help you to understand and apply the insights from the assessment. You will gain insight into parenting styles, family dynamics and couple communication. Couples will need to pay $35 fee (per couple) to take the parenting assessment that uniquely assesses parenting styles and parenting stress. Also provides condensed insight into a couple's relationship, including communication and conflict resolution.

Facilitator: Monique Wischusen
Monique Wischusen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of New Orleans and her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is currently licensed in the state of Georgia. Monique is trained in PREPARE/ENRICH, an assessment and counseling approach for couples preparing for marriage or seeking to improve their marriage.

In S-216 (Sanctuary Bldg., 2nd floor)


A serious analysis of the Sermon on the Mount with attention to its capacity to change the course of history, doability or lack thereof, its programmatic agenda, its beatitudes, antitheses and prayer, its implications.

Facilitators: Peter Rhea Jones and Aaron McGinnis
Peter Rhea Jones, is a former professor at McAfee School of Theology and Southern Seminary, and served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur.
Aaron McGinnis, assisting, MDiv from McAfee

In Carreker Hall (Sanctuary Bldg.,1st floor)


A one-hour high-intensity exercise program which includes a full body workout with a fun and challenging mixture of stretching, cardio and resistance training set to high energy music. Continue sweating out that stress and working on cardio and strength training.

Facilitator: Kristian Smith
Kristian Smith is a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
Space may be limited. Contact Kristian to sign up. You may also ask questions about the class. Kristian: 256-508-2930 or

In S300—Dance Studio (north end of Sanctuary Bldg, 3rd floor)

FBCD Missions: God's Call—Our response

An in-depth look at FBCD mission endeavors through stories of faithfulness in responding to God's call in our community and globally. And asking where is God leading us now and what is our response?
Facilitators: Ruby Langford and Devita Parnell
Ruby Langford is the leader of Women on Mission, a teacher in pre-school on Sunday mornings, and a clothing room volunteer. She has also served faithfully as a deacon and as a member of various FBCD committees. Ruby is a graduate of William Carey College.
Devita Parnell is the Young Baptist Ecosystem Manager for CBF, the pianist in Sanctuary Worship, and a first grade teacher on Sunday mornings,. A member of FBCD since 2008, Devita is currently serving on the Deacon Council. She received her MDiv degree from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.

In Room S-127 (Alert Classroom, Sanctuary Bldg.,
1st floor)

Yoga with Jotholyn Mason

Jotholyn Mason will facilitate a Yoga Class.

Facilitator: Jotholyn Mason
She has seriously practiced yoga since the late 90’s and has spent the last 10 years studying and training with teachers from around the world. Students have referred to Jotholyn’s classes as “yoga therapy.”

Location: S-304, Third Floor Sanctuary Building

Eco-theology through womAn wisdom in proverbs

Today we are facing an unprecedented environmental and ecological crisis. Responding to this crisis one prominent Christian ethicist suggests, “Wisdom may be the biblical eco-theology and ethic.” What can Proverbs 8:22-31, with its autobiographical account of Woman Wisdom’s role in creation, contribute to an eco-theology needed to make our world today sustainable? By closely exploring Woman Wisdom’s roles in this passage through the lens of biblical commentary,
eco-hermeneutics, and feminist theology, three ways Woman Wisdom suggests about how to live in the world today include thinking less dualistically, being more playful, and looking at creation through the eyes of wonder and awe. Class sessions will include an overview of the book of Proverbs; a detailed analysis of chapter 8:22-31; who or what is Woman Wisdom; how and why non-dual thinking, playfulness, along with wonder and awe, are important for Creation care; and Woman Wisdom’s call to action for us today.

Facilitator: Linda Cobb Ott
Linda Cobb Ott recently began work as the director of the South Carolina Interfaith Power and Light (SCIPL), a part of a nationwide state affiliate organization. It is inspired by diverse faith perspectives to respond to climate change and to care for the Earth and all its inhabitants by engaging people of faith to work together for a just and sustainable future.

In this role Linda is responsible for collaborating with congregations, environmental organizations, businesses, and other non-profits across South Carolina, to confront the environmental challenges of our time as moral and ethical issues. Linda will oversee the development of programs and resources for action, advocacy, energy conservation, education, networking and worship. A native of Atlanta who has lived many places across the county, Linda has many diverse educational and vocational experiences.

Her early life experience included being a social worker in Georgia, an officer in the US Navy and a marketing business developer in the information technology industry. Following a varied and rich professional life and retiring from twenty-year career with Hewlett-Packard as a corporate attorney, Linda found herself drawn to follow her dream to complete her theological education. It was during that journey through theological education that she found a passion for understanding and helping others to understand the intersection of ecology and faith.

In Room S-118-120 (Parlor, Sanctuary Bldg., 1st floor)


This fall, starting on August 2, our PreK-5th grade children will begin using the Godly Play curriculum. “Godly play” is a term coined by Jerome Berryman to describe an approach to children’s spiritual formation that is based on creating a sacred space in which to present the stories of our faith, wonder about them together, and then allow the children open-ended opportunities, usually with art supplies, to engage the story on their own terms.

The stories are told very simply, with simple props, and without interpretation or moral instruction. After a story is presented, the children and the storyteller wonder together about aspects of the story that draw their interest. For instance, with the parable of the Good Shepherd, they might wonder together how the sheep felt as they followed the shepherd. Or whether the sheep have names. Or how it might feel to be inside the sheepfold. Finally, the children choose art supplies and create pictures, sculptures, or other projects that represent what they most related to in the story during a time of personal reflection and response.

This is play. It is Godly. It is meeting God along with children rather than teaching them what we adults think they ought to know. Our faith stories are very powerful and offer plenty to think about even without our elaboration on what they “mean.” You and your children are invited to join us as we sit and wonder together.

Children infant-3 will be in childcare with two of our paid workers. 

Facilitators: Kristen Koger and Team
Kristen Koger is the new FBCD Pastor for Children and Families.

Location: Education Building
Kids — Room assignment E-216
Childcare — Room assignment TBD


Youth from sixth to twelfth grade are invited to spend time growing in community. Activities will include Story Time relating to what we’re experiencing in our lives and faith journey. We will also have Current Event Discussions focused on the world’s tough topics. Sprinkled throughout will be weeks for board/card/video games

Facilitator: Billy Roberts, FBCD Pastor for Youth and Families

In S-320 (Youth Room, Sanctuary Bldg., 3rd floor)