Genuine Christian transformation does not occur, as we know, by simply sitting in a classroom taking notes, by resolving to be a better Christian, by seeking prescribed spiritual experiences, or by conforming to a certain set of group expectations. BASILEIA is an integrative nine-month experience and curriculum for Christian formation, which takes a 'whole' approach:
Whole Learning: learn in the context of a single group cohort with whom you will see the journey through. We learn in community and in the community of Father, Son and Spirit. So, together and apart, we engage in Bible study, prayer, reading, films, journaling, worship, cohort retreats and discussion all of which contribute to the curriculum involving all of our faculties-mind and heart, body and soul.
For the Whole People of God: BASILEIA's 3-module, 9-month, 1-cohort approach is not designed to help God's people become 'Bible experts' or ''prayer warriors' but to help ordinary Christians in the renewing and re-envisioning of their actual Christian faith,and learn to integrate that faith with all the dimensions of their lives: public and personal, family and careers, their desires and affections, their imaginations and will.
For the Whole of Life: [BAS-IL-I'-AH] means ‘kingdom’ in New Testament Greek. Used in phrases like ‘the gospel of the kingdom’ or ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ it’s short-hand for God’s will and ways 'on earth as in heaven.' The kingdom of God is embodied in Jesus of Nazareth, who Himself is the ‘good news.' God's 'kingdom come' then is dynamic, integrative and comprehensive, there is no dimension of life that falls outside Christ's will and ways for us. Thus the BASILEIA curriculum seeks to help participants bring together the Biblical story with their own stories, knowledge of self with the knowledge of God, reason with imagination, learning with doing and love, and personal devotion with the public realm within which they live and work.
We do not progress in the Christian life by becoming more competent, more knowledgeable, more virtuous or more engergetic...We are always beginners. We hear Jesus say, 'Unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.' And so we become as little children...We adore and we listen.
BASILEIA seeks to:
- INTEGRATE the Biblical story with our own stories, the intellect with the imagination, the love of learning with a desire for God, and personal faith with public life—its work, institutions, ideas, privileges and obligations.
- APPROPRIATE the ‘habits of the heart’ - those established spiritual practices the historic Church has found to sustain one's life and devotion, not simply for a month, but for a lifetime: reading, study, praying the Psalms and worshiping in community and in solitude.
- CULTIVATE community. Jesus now calls us, 'friends' so friendships are central to Christian formation but friendships that are enduring and honest, yet safe. Friendships are nutured through hospitality, prayer, meals and learning together.
Rob Penner on BASILEIA:
Where is BASILEIA located?
BASILEIA has no campus as such, but will use a variety of facilities in Hong Kong. Some of the learning events will take place at the Gospel Community Church's Ministry Centre at 41 Mody Road, 2/F, Ocean View Court, East, Tsim Sha Tsui. The retreats will meet in one of the many retreat centres around HK; Saturday seminars will meet at selected venues belonging to participating churches; the Cohorts will meet in the homes of Basileia 'hosts' for a meal, prayer and discussion.
BASILEIA is sponsored by the Regent College (Hong Kong) Foundation Limited, which supports graduate-level theological education at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Regent cultivates intelligent, vigorous, and joyful commitment to Jesus Christ, His church and His world. Upon acceptance into a degree program at Regent College, students who have successfully completed all three Basilea modules may apply for 3 credit hours towards their program of study.
You may donate to the BASILEIA Project through Hong Kong's Regent Foundation. All funds will go to the development of this new initiative which we hope will encourage and nurture the whole people of God living in Hong Kong for the whole of their lives.