Training Weekends

Next Zacharias Trust Training Weekend

Date: Friday 24th – Sunday 26th April 2015

Location: The Zacharias Trust, 76 Banbury Road, Oxford & Wycliffe Hall, 52-54 Banbury Road, Oxford

Phases being run: Foundation & Advanced A (Formerly Phase 1 & Phase 2)

Cost: £125 per person (including lunch and dinner but not including accommodation)

Want to deepen your understanding of your faith and be equipped to defend, commend and give clear reasons for the Gospel? The Zacharias Trust Training Weekends are for you.

The Zacharias Trust Training Weekends, running from Friday morning through to Sunday afternoon, provides in-depth teaching in apologetics and the spiritual disciplines in the stimulating environment of Oxford.  Our aim is to equip each participant to be a dynamic witness in whatever context God has placed them in, by helping them to grapple with the heartfelt questions and intellectual challenges of contemporary society, as well as to grow significantly in spiritual life and character.  Speakers from the Zacharias Trust will lead all sessions. The training is structured to allow for a lot of interaction with speakers and opportunities to ask questions.

Accommodation

The weekend will run from the morning of the Friday to the afternoon of the Sunday. The cost of attending does not include accommodation, although the teaching material and most meals (lunch and supper) are provided. Please note that we strongly recommend booking early, as, if left to the last minute, weekend accommodation can be more difficult to find in Oxford. For suggestions of places to say, see the ‘Accommodation Guide’ below (at the bottom of this page).

Booking

Booking for the next Training Weekend (Foundation Phase and Advanced Phase A) open on Monday 12th January 2015. Bookings are taken over the phone, so please call the office on 01865 302900 and Steph will be able to take your booking for you. Payment will be by credit/debit card so please ensure that you have this to hand when you call.

The weekend will see the Foundation Phase and the Advanced Phase A (previously known as Phase 1 and Phase 2) running alongside each other, so both new and returning delegates (those who have done the Foundation Phase and/or Advanced Phase B) are welcome to book on. If you have been before and are unsure which Phase you have done, then please contact the office.

Course Content

Foundation Phase: This forms the basis of the course.  Topics include an introduction to conversational apologetics, spiritual disciplines, the nature of truth, God as Trinity, and the belief that Jesus is God.  We examine worldviews that seek to deconstruct or distort the concept of Truth, and grapple with questions of faith and doubt.  The focus is to provide tools through which to answer the question ‘How can I know?’, to address doubt, and to grow in confidence in communicating the Gospel in our own context.

Advanced Phase A: This examines the reliability of the Bible, the problem of suffering, the evidence for the resurrection, and the understanding of Christian hope.  We consider issues surrounding science and faith, including the worldview of New Atheism and the concept of miracles, and focus on the doctrine of God as creator in exploring the origins of the universe.  The discussions are aimed to not only give an explanation of the challenges presented by these themes, but to provide practical help in sharing Christ amidst them.

Advanced Phase B: This considers the challenge of Islam and presents ways of understanding its influence in the world, as well as exploring the increasingly popular eastern spirituality of pantheism.  We also address some of the more difficult questions of morality and justice that are raised from the Old Testament, such as the slaughter of the Canaanites, and consider the question of a loving God and judgement.  We discuss the twinning together of social justice and evangelism and finally look at ethics as the touch point of colliding worldviews as we explore how difficult ethical questions and dilemmas can be opportunities to present the person of Christ.

The Foundation Phase is offered three times a year (i.e. at each weekend), while Advanced Phases A and B alternate and can be taken in any order.

Accommodation Guide

There are many different forms of accommodation in Oxford and they range from the more expensive hotels to cheaper accommodation in a college or bed and breakfast. Please note that we strongly recommend booking early and we also also recommend shopping around online (and checking the reviews), as you can sometimes find discounted deals. If you are intending to drive then please check with the hotel about their parking arrangements (as some hotels do not provide parking) and also bear in mind that traveling through the city can be slow during rush hour.

The closest places to stay are:

81 Banbury Road (300m from the venue) A guest house run by Tim and Miriam (friends of the ministry). Normally £80 per night, but prices negotiable on length of stay (mention that you are coming to an RZIM event): 01865 557236

Cotswold Lodge Hotel (300m from the venue) Rooms approximately £170 per night (through www.booking.com).

St Hugh’s College (500m from the venue). College rooms rented out to guests for around £50 a night (on www.universityrooms.com)

Best Western Linton Lodge (0.5 miles from the venue). Rooms range from around £100 a night (without breakfast) to around £115 with it (book through their website).

Rewley House: (0.5 miles from the venue): Student accommodation from around £67 a night (via www.laterooms.com).

The Buttery: (0.6 mile from the venue): City centre accommodation from £80 upwards (through their website).

The Galaxie Hotel (0.9 miles from the venue): Rooms from around £80 a night (www.booking.com).

Other options: There are many different bed and breakfasts on the Banbury Road that are over a mile away from the venue, but which can be accessed easily by bus (as there are regular buses to and from the centre). These include Cotswold House and Burlington House.  There are also many hotels in the city centre, although these tend to be more expensive than those outside of it.