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Reading the Gospels (starting Jan. 18) Six-Session Zoom Course with Ann Naffziger, MDiv, MA

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Reading the Gospels (starting Jan. 18)
Six-Session Zoom Course with Ann Naffziger, MDiv, MA

Priced per participant (sliding scale) • Great for continuing education for teachers, catechists, or staff members

Whether you’ve never cracked open that family Bible on your mantle or you have some background with Bible study groups or scripture classes, this course will have something for everyone. Perhaps you've wanted to read the four Gospels in their entirety but didn’t know how to begin? Or maybe you tried but gave up in confusion. 

Join scripture instructor Ann Naffziger, MDiv, MA, as she guides participants through reading all four Gospels while giving historical and literary context to better understand these fascinating, but sometimes confusing, books of the Bible. At the end of the course you’ll know for yourself just what is in the Gospels and what isn’t, plus what from the Catholic tradition comes from these writings and which teachings come from outside of the Gospels. 

We’ll explore the Gospels in a thought-provoking manner, from the very basics (“Who were Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and when did they write the Gospels anyway?”) to more complex questions (“Why is Jesus portrayed so differently in each Gospel?” and “What are the apocryphal gospels?”). You’re guaranteed to learn something new and you’ll come away with greater insights about who Jesus is and who he can be to you.

There will be no “homework” except that you’ll read all four Gospels in their entirety in the 6 week period. (It won't take that long!)

Course schedule

The course consists of six weekly classes, each offered on both Tuesday and Wednesday (covering the same content). Participants can come to either session, even switching days if needed for your schedule. Each session will be 90 minutes.

Each class will be recorded so students who miss a class can watch the recording. Registrants can also follow the entire course through the recordings if they cannot make them live. 

Class Session Option 1 Session Option 2
1. Introduction and Overview of the Gospels Tue. Jan. 18, 7-8:30pm (PST) / 10-11:30pm (EST) Wed. Jan. 19, 1-2:30pm (PST) / 4-5:30pm (EST)
2. The Gospel of Mark Tue. Jan. 25, 7-8:30pm (PST) / 10-11:30pm (EST) Wed. Jan. 26, 1-2:30pm (PST) / 4-5:30pm (EST)
3. The Gospel of Matthew Tue. Feb. 1, 7-8:30pm (PST) / 10-11:30pm (EST) Wed. Feb. 2, 1-2:30pm (PST) / 4-5:30pm (EST)
4. The Gospel of Luke Tue. Feb. 8, 7-8:30pm (PST) / 10-11:30pm (EST) Wed. Feb. 9, 1-2:30pm (PST) / 4-5:30pm (EST)
5. The Gospel of John Tue. Feb. 15, 7-8:30pm (PST) / 10-11:30pm (EST) Wed. Feb. 16, 1-2:30pm (PST) / 4-5:30pm (EST)
6. Revisiting the Gospels Tue. Feb. 22, 7-8:30pm (PST) / 10-11:30pm (EST) Wed. Feb. 23, 1-2:30pm (PST) / 4-5:30pm (EST)


Course Format

The majority of the class will consist of Ann presenting content utilizing visual slides and soliciting responses to the Gospel readings. Participants will have the opportunity to post questions and discussion points in the chat to be addressed during the sessions.

Course Requirements

The only assigned reading for the course will be each of the four Gospels in their entirety. Between Weeks 1 and 5 you’ll be asked to read one Gospel each week in the order of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John. Each will take between 1-2 hours of reading total. If you don’t get to all the reading, you are still most welcome to join the class, but the more you are able to read, the more you will get out of the class. 

Course Goals

  1. Learn the basic background about how the Gospels came about, the history behind when and where they were written, who they were written for, and how they came to be passed down to us today. Discover for yourself what parts of our faith tradition are included in the actual Gospel themselves, and what comes from outside of the Gospels and the New Testament. 
  2. See the similarities and differences in emphases in each Gospel and learn why Mark, Matthew, and Luke are so different from John.
  3. Notice the four different pictures of Jesus – the different ways that Jesus was remembered by four different authors and communities.
  4. To help you to hear what God wants you to hear about Jesus in your life right now. It might be a comfort or reassurance, a challenge, an invitation to make a change in your life, etc. 

Ann has taught Scripture courses at the parish and diocesan level, has worked in adult faith formation, and written a scripture column for

Parishes and Schools

The pricing of the course is per-participant. Please contact us for pricing and more information if your organization would like to schedule Ann to present the course just for your group.

Format: eResource
Product code: PC710
The Pastoral Center
Written by Ann Naffziger


Ann Naffziger has her MDiv from the Jesuit School of Theology and MA in Biblical Languages from the Graduate Theological Union, both in Berkeley.  Ann has worked in a variety of parish roles, as well as serving as a hospital chaplain, spiritual director, scripture instructor, and adjunct faculty member at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. She has written articles in the field of spirituality and scripture for AmericaBustedHalo.comCommonwealThe National Catholic ReporterSpiritual Life: A Journal of Contemplative Spirituality, and other publications. Ann is the author of The Catholic Way, annual Advent & Lent bookets, and a variety of other pastoral resources published by The Pastoral Center, which she co-directs with her husband Paul Canavese. She is also a Master Gardener and girls' softball coach. She lives in Alameda, CA, with her husband and two daughters.

View all resources by Ann Naffziger