Course Expectations

BASILEIA seeks to 'light a fire', providing light, companionship and encouragement—we hope for a lifetime. It is not designed to be content-heavy, simply 'filling a bucket' of knowledge. Though substantive and demanding full engagement from participants, its primary aim is to enable personal renewal through a fresh discovery of the Scriptures, learning, worship and community. 

The curriculum is offered through three 5-week learning modules over a period of 9 months: one each in the Fall, Winter and Spring. The BASILEIA participant is required to commit to all three modules over the 9 months and should expect approximately 10 hours per week of reading, writing and participation including the meetings together.  As the diagram below indicates, each module includes an introductory dinner together, one overnight weekend retreat, one Saturday morning seminar and 3-4 smaller Cohort meetings around a meal in a Basileia's host's home. 

Designed to accommodate those who work and live in Hong Kong, the BASILEIA course is flexible; however it is a learning experience which involves the whole person and will depend upon the participant prioritising commitments and responsibilities before agreeing to all three of the 5-week modules. Intake will be limited and an application is required.

Course Module Description

The Overnight Retreat forms the organising center and impulse for the Orientation dinner, Saturday Seminar and the Cohorts. 

  • An Orientation dinner
  • One overnight weekend retreat at a selected retreat centre near Hong Kong
  • One Saturday morning seminar
  • Participation in a Cohort (usually 5 people) for the duration of each course.  These Cohorts meet for meals, discussion, support and prayer around the study material.  These typically will be guided by Rob Penner, Bob Jones and other BASILEIA facilitators. The Cohorts will agree to meet together approximately 3-4 times during every five-week module.  Where and when these cohorts meet is flexible and up to the discretion of the Cohort. It is most likely these cohorts would meet in the homes of Basileia 'hosts' in the evening.
  • To read the required course material: usually selected readings and a primary text of about 200-250 pages per 5-week period. 
  • To keep a journal, either written or electronic, responding to what you are learning through the retreat times, readings, Cohort discussions and prayer.
  • To write one reflection paper upon the completion of each course underscoring how it applies to your particular situation in your faith-journey now. This paper will be personally discussed with you.
  • Optional offerings during the year:
    • Short-term serving opportunities
    • Personal spiritual direction if requested.
    • Basileia seminars depending upon leaders, need and opportunity.

Module Descriptions

MODULE 1: 'Discipleship and Desire' October 10 - November 10, 2017

  • September 25: Registration closed; Module 1 syllabus assigned by email to the new participants. 
  • October 10: (Tuesday) Orientation Dinner and Meeting and Cohorts assigned
  • October 13-14: Overnight Retreat (Friday night and Saturday)
  • Week of October 15:  First Cohort meetings
  • Week of October 22: Second Cohort meetings 
  • Week of October 29: 3rd Cohort meetings (optional - at the discretion of the Cohort) 
  • November 4: Saturday Seminar
  • Week of November 5: Final Cohort meetings


The first module establishes discipleship or spiritual / Christian formation in the particular realities of creation and our created life, not merely ‘church life.’ Eugene Peterson’s lovely sentence in chapter one from his Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, “Before we are ‘born again’ we are simply born,” forms the touchstone for module 1.  Before we are re-created in Christ, we have been created by God in a created world, involving beauty, mystery and pain. But what does this mean for our understanding and practice of being a Christ follower? The gospel of the kingdom takes seriously our identity as created beings in a material world. 

Secondly, James K.A. Smith’s book You Are What You Love shows that who and what we love and desire (worship) is that which fundamentally shapes us.  Thus it is not primarily what we know about Christ through our powers of reason, or knowledge that makes us who we are, but what we love and desire, whether that is security, prestige, personal and family image or other dimensions of ‘the good life.’   So we are not often aware of how much Hong Kong’s consumer-based culture shapes us. Smith’s book refers often to St. Augustine and his Confessions which we will enjoy, read and discuss. How does the gospel of Jesus Christ shape us to live in a world at odds with his kingdom?

Finally, the participant will engage in a personal Biblical study of what it means to be ‘spiritual’ in a material world. We will practice reading Scripture according to genre, focusing attention on Genesis and the Gospel of John.   


  • Genesis 1-12, John 1, selected Psalms

Text and Supplementary Resources 

You are required to buy the primary texts but you will be provided the selected readings either scanned or photocopied.

  • Primary Texts: Christ Plays in 10,000 Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology and Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson; You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, by James K.A. Smith
  • Selected readings: Seriously Dangerous Religion by IaIn Provan; Confessions by Augustine of Hippo; Praying the Psalms, by Thomas Merton; The Pedagogy of Praise, by Jeff Greenman; The Heart's Desire: Satisfying the Hunger of the Soul by Dr. James M. Houston
  • Your own journal (you are required to purchase your own journal either electronic or paper.)


  • Of Gods and Men directed by Xavier Beauvois; Making Peace with Creation directed by Dr. Iwan Russell-Jones

MODULE 2: 'The Story That is Discipleship' January 9 - February 16, 2018


Basileia’s second module is designed to help the student understand that discipleship is not a program or series of concepts to grasp, but to fundamentally enter into a story-the life of Christ as reflected in the gospels.  We often think of ‘story’ as unreal while ‘history’ is real. But in the Bible these are two sides of the same coin.  So, the goal of this module is help us reflect upon our Christian life as a story, specifically a journey story that is given shape and meaning by the OT journey story of Israel and its fulfilment in the NT journey story of Jesus reflected in Mark’s gospel in particular which like all the gospels is more than a message it’s a story. We indeed are people of ‘the Way.’ As Dorothy Sayers, the novelist once wrote: “Our dogma [doctrine] is a drama.’ Thus, our personal stories, have, like our Biblical roots, a beginning, a place, a plot (and therefore suspense), characters and a desired end and like any good story, is always a ‘what’s next?’ story.  Thus, never predictable and with a meaning and purpose beyond what we can design, understand completely, but one in which we long for.

A desired outcome for the students would be that because of the unique Jesus story, they might live more deeply into their own stories and the stories of others with love, compassion and wisdom, not only within the Christian community, but also to see that all of creation and all people have a story to be determined by the gospel—the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God.


  • PSALM 84 [hard copy] also internet link:

  • PSALM 77 [hard copy] also internet link:

  •  MARK’S GOSPEL [English translation without verse notations or chapter notations]
  • opdf. translation (hard copy) OR
  • oYou can print a version from Bible Gateway
  • oIn settings please uncheck all ‘options’ which deletes verse numbers, footnotes, etc. from the text.
  • MARK’S GOSPEL [AUDIO version read by David Suchet, 1:30 minutes]


  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Chapter 2: ‘Christ Plays in History’ (pp.131-161) Eugene Peterson
  • Audio lecture: (50 minutes) ‘Stories, Your Story, God’s Story,’ lecture, Iain Provan, Regent College. Download $5.00CA.
  • Answering God (Chapter 4, ‘The Psalms as Story’), Eugene Peterson


  • “Your Story:” Questions for small group discussion
  • To Be Told: Reading Your Life as God Has Written It, (Chapter 1), Dan Allender
  • The Celtic Way of Prayer (excerpt: Introduction: ‘Journeying’) Esther De Waal
  • Sacred Journey: Memoir of early days: (Chapter 2) Frederick Buechner
  • Traveling Mercies (‘Overture: Lily Pads’), Anne Lamott
  • Surprised by Joy (‘The First Years’), C.S. Lewis

FILM: The Way directed by Emilio Estevez; other film options: Jesus of MontrealDiary of a Country Priest

Reading List Module 1 (supplementary) We will reference these works from Module-1 during Module 2.

  • The Confessions, (Chapters 1-10), Augustine of Hippo
  • You Are What You Love, James K.A. Smith
  • Eat This Book (Chapters 6-7 “Lectio”), Eugene Peterson 

MODULE 3: 'Discipleship in Community and in the World' April 17 - May 18, 2018

Module Description

The third module explores the community of disciples—the Church as it exists in its worship of Christ and in its mission in the world. To help guide us we will look through the lens of the life and writing of the German pastor, martyr and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by Adolph Hitler’s gestapo at the end of WW2 in 1945 in Nazi Germany. We will use Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus to explore the meaning of the church in the world. We will also focus on the central image and concept of hospitality as it is expressed both in the Church’s worship, the Lord’s Supper, and in its mission in the world.  The retreat will be modeled on Bonhoeffer’s little book, Life Together. 


  • The letter to the Ephesians

Texts and Supplementary Resources:

  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, ‘Christ Plays in Community’ (pp.223-244) by Eugene Peterson
  • Life Together, Letters and Papers from Prison, Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Christian Mission, by John R.W. Stott
  • Selected readings: Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition, Christine D. Pohl
  • Selected readings on the Lord’s Supper


  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Pacifist, Nazi Resister, directed by Martin Doblemeir
  • Babette’s Feast, directed by Gabriel Axel

Apply To Basileia

Wish to become a student in the BASILEIA PROJECT Core Curriculum?

Fill out and submit the application form

Once we receive your form we will contact you to discuss your personal expectations, aims and any concerns you may have. Thank you so much for your interest in BASILEIA. We look forward to this new endeavour together, and hope you do as well!

Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and Lovely in eyes not his,
To the Father through the feature of men's faces.

Gerard Manley Hopkins