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Welcoming the Stranger

Welcoming the Stranger Online Course

February 17 – March 26, 2021

Instructor: Dr. Amy Oden
Course Fee: $200.00 (includes 2 CEUs)

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In a time of fear and anxiety, Christians have an opportunity to make a powerful, counter-cultural witness to God’s love through welcoming the stranger. This course will examine the biblical, theological and historical roots of hospitality in Jesus’ teaching and Christian tradition. Together we’ll read God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World, exploring the dynamics of risk and change that accompany gospel hospitality. The strangers we welcome inevitably transform us, our churches, and communities. Through hospitality, we may come to know Jesus in the stranger, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matt. 25:35).

Course Information

This is a fully online six-week course. Each week you will complete one module at your own pace. Plan to spend about 3.5 hours per week reading, trying out assigned practices, reflecting on practices, posting your responses on Moodle Forums, and responding to postings of other members of the class. Post your Forum assignments by 5:00 p.m. (CST) on Saturday and responses to peers by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Tuesday each week of the course. There will not be any time that all group members must be present simultaneously during the course.

Required Reading

Amy G. Oden, God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel-Hungry World. Pilgrim Press, 2008.

Course Instructor

Dr. Amy OdenBorn and raised on the prairies of Oklahoma, Amy has found her spiritual home under the wide-open sky. She earned her PhD in Religious Studies at Southern Methodist University, writing her dissertation on Augustine. Over the last 30 years, she has served on the faculties of Oklahoma City University, Saint Paul School of Theology, and Wesley Theological Seminary, where she also served as Dean. She now is an itinerant professor, teaching at several schools. She is also a spiritual director. Amy is committed in her scholarship to illuminating ancient voices for Christian life today, introducing spiritual practices that can ground and nourish lives of following Jesus into the world. She published a book on early Christian sources on welcoming the stranger, And You Welcomed Me (2001), and a book on hospitality for contemporary Christians, God’s Welcome (2008). Her most recent book is on Christian mindfulness.


Please visit the Connectional Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the full list of our frequently asked questions.

Want to learn more about the online courses offered through the Rueben P. Job Institute? Please visit the Rueben P. Job Institute Online Courses in Spiritual Formation/Direction webpage.

Cancellation Policies

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Course Cancellation Policy

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary reserves the right to cancel the course if a minimum participation level is not reached. If we cancel this offering, participants will be notified of the cancellation 7 business days before the offering’s start date and will receive a full refund.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Policy for Participant Cancellation

Participants can withdraw from the course in writing via e-mail to

Refunds will be provided according to this schedule:

  • Withdrawals received more than 30 days prior to the course's start date will receive: 100% refund.
  • Withdrawals received between 29 to 16 days prior to the course's start date will receive: 50% refund.

No refunds will be issued for withdrawals received 15 days or less before the course starts.