November online course from Ventures highlights the biblical matriarchs

By Kendra Flory

The November online offering from the Ventures in Christian Discipleship program at McPherson (Kan.) College will be “Meet the Matriarchs,” to be presented by Bobbi Dykema. The course will be held on Zoom Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Central time). Continuing education credit is available.

In Matthew 22, as he is teaching the disciples about the resurrection to come, Jesus reminds them of his and their connection to their ancestors in the Jewish faith, describing God as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” It is both a biological and a spiritual lineage to which Christians, Muslims, and Jews to this day lay claim. But the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did not live out their lives of faith and courage alone. They were partnered by powerful and faithful matriarchs: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah, as well as several additional women through whom the promise made to Abraham was borne: Hagar, Zilpah, and Bilhah.

Each of these strong and powerful women are worth getting to know (better), not only through the scriptural texts, but through works of visual and literary art that they have inspired. In this course we will spend time with the matriarchs as they have been envisioned in picture and word, with the hope of strengthening our own faith and courage along the way.

Bobbi Dykema is pastor at First Church of the Brethren in Springfield, Ill. and serves on the pastoral team of the Living Stream Church of the Brethren. She also teaches humanities at Lincoln Land Community College, serves on the Church of the Brethren Standing Committee, and is Convener of Womaen’s Caucus. She completed her master’s degree at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and holds a doctorate in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.

Continuing education credit is available for $10 per course. During the registration process, you will have the opportunity to pay for CEUs and give an optional donation to the Ventures program. To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit

— Kendra Flory is advancement assistant at McPherson (Kan.) College.


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