Course Expectations

The curriculum is offered through two 7-week experiential learning modules, one in the Fall, and one in Winter/Spring. The BASILEIA participant is required to commit to both modules  and should expect approximately 5-hours per week of reading, writing and participation together.  As the diagram below indicates, each module includes an introductory dinner together, one 2-night weekend retreat, two Saturday morning seminars and 4-5 smaller small group meetings around a meal in a Basileia's host's home. 

BASILEIA is flexible and rewarding, but it is demanding of your time and personal engagement for the two 7-week modules.  While it has been designed to accommodate those who work and live in Hong Kong it requires the participant to prioritise commitments and responsibilities before agreeing to the programme. The retreat and seminars should not be considered optional but central to the experience.  We understand that 'life happens' but BASILEIA only 'works' if the participant can safely set aside the time to commit.  Intake is limited and an application is required.

Course Module Description


For each of the two modules, the Weekend Retreat forms the organising center and energy for the structures and events of the Module.   We anticipate that what you learn and experience at the retreat will have a 'ripple effect.' Below are the details for each 7-week Module:

  • An Orientation dinner
  • One Weekend Retreat at a selected retreat centre near Hong Kong
  • Two Saturday Morning Seminars
  • Participation in a Small Group (usually 5-7 people) for the duration of each course.  These groups 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 Small Groups will agree to meet together approximately 4-5 times during every 7-week Module.  Where and when these cohorts meet is flexible and up to the discretion of the Small Group. It is most likely these groups would meet in the homes of Basileia facilitators or 'hosts' in the evening or other venues in which a meal, study and discussion can take place.
  • To read the required course material: usually selected readings and a primary text of about 200-250 pages per 7-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. 
  • Optional offerings during the year:
    • Short-term serving opportunities
    • Personal spiritual direction if requested.
    • Basileia seminars depending upon leaders, need and opportunity.



'Before we are born-again, we are simply born.' 



  • September 30: Registration closed; Module 1 syllabus assigned by email to the new participants. 
  • October 9: (Tuesday) Orientation Dinner 
  • October 13: First Saturday Seminar 
  • Week of October 14: Small group meetings
  • Week of October 21:  Small group meetings
  • October 26-28 Weekend Retreat (Friday-Saturday night return Sunday noon)
  • Week of October 28: Small group  meetings 
  • Week of November 04 Small group meetings
  • Week of November 11: Small group meetings
  • November 17: Second Saturday Seminar (Introduction of Module 2).
  • Week of November 18: Final Cohort meetings (if needed)


The first module establishes discipleship or spiritual / Christian formation in the particular realities of creation and our created life, not only ‘church life.’  “Before we are ‘born again’ we are simply born,” forms the touchstone for Module 1. (Eugene Peterson’s lovely sentence from his Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places.)  The gospel of the kingdom takes seriously our identity as created beings in a created world.  "Matter matters."  

We live as Christ lived, in bodies in a material world, bounded by specific cultures, time and space, involving beauty, complexity, mystery.  We are not angels but human beings. We live on earth, which Genesis calls a 'garden' in which we are stewards even as we are destined for a new and renewed earth and heaven. 

But what does this mean for our understanding and practice of being a disciple of the God-Man, 'Jesus of Nazareth?' We also introduce Module 2 in the latter part of this module as we reflect on discipleship as a journey story. We will listen and learn from Mark's gospel and look more closely at our own 'gospels'-the stories we find ourselves in before and after we became followers of Christ.  


  • Genesis 1-4, John 1, selected Psalms

Primary Text 

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

  • Christ Plays in 10,000 Places: A Conversation in Spiritual Theology by Eugene Peterson, 'Christ Plays in Creation'

Literature Resources

  • Selected readings will include several different authors from different time periods within the historic church's life, from the 2nd century to contemporary authors, who have contributed to the life and thought of the people of God. Topics will include the role of the Psalms in the Church's worship, the Lord's Prayer and fixed prayer, reading the Scriptures for transformation not information, the meaning of friendship, silence and solitude and love and desire in the life of the Christian.


  • Of Gods and Men directed by Xavier Beauvois; 'Paris I Love You' directed by Alexander Payne, Babette's Feast directed by Gabriel Axel



February 12-March 30, 2019 


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 Story, the life of Christ as reflected in the gospels and interpreted in the letters of the New Testament. Christ's own story emerges from the story of Israel.  We enter this Story alone, as do all disciples, but we don't remain alone.  We are called into community, a life together with other disciples, 'friends' as Christ calls us. 

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.’ 

Finally we will reflect on our life in community through the letter of Ephesians.  While we enter the way of Christ alone, we join others, the 'communion of saints,' living and dead.  We travel with others bound together by the 'fellowship of the Holy Spirit.' But how do we live in communities in such a way that they don't become religious clubs, simply escapes from the problems of the world, but communities that make us compassionate and open in addressing these human problems, bearing Christ's cross in the world? 


  • February 12: Orientation Dinner
  • Week of February 17: Small group meetings
  • February 22-24: Weekend Retreat (Friday-Saturday nights)
  • March 9: First Saturday Seminar
  • Week of March 10: Small group meetings
  • Week of March 17: Small group meetings
  • March 23: Second Saturday Seminar 
  • Week of March 24: Small group meetings

Biblical Texts 

  • Psalms 77, 84
  • Mark's Gospel
  • Paul's letter to the Ephesians

Primary Texts 

  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, Chapter 2: ‘Christ Plays in History’ (pp.131-161) Eugene Peterson
  • Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, ‘Christ Plays in Community’ (pp.223-244) by Eugene Peterson
  • Answering God (Chapter 4, ‘The Psalms as Story’), Eugene Peterson

Literature Resources 

The Church has a rich tradition of understanding discipleship as a journey story traveled both alone and with others in community to a desired for destination-a pilgrimage. The readings will reflect these realities. 


  • The Way directed by Emilio Estevez; Diary of a Country Priest, directed by Robert Bresson
  • Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Pacifist, Nazi Resister, directed by Martin Doblemeir
  • Weapons of the Spirit by Paul Savage

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