May – Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life, with Richard Carrier

Dr. Richard Carrier, one of the leading secular voices today, is offering his course on morality: “Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life.” Join this webinar for important insights into practical secular ethics!

Description: A survey of contemporary moral theory and the scientific study of morality, with an aim to improving your own moral decision-making, and encouraging the same in others. Subjects covered include: what the words “morals” and “morality” can variously mean and how to make use of that knowledge in public discourse; what we must mean when we argue others should share or adopt or agree with a moral opinion and how we can more effectively argue they should; how we can use science and philosophy to determine what our moral values are or should be, and how to reason from values to best actions; and what brain science and sociology tell us about the cognitive errors that impair sound moral decision-making and how to overcome them or control or compensate for them. Unlike religious moral systems, atheist moral systems are evidence and science based, incorporate logic and reason in an informed way, and attend to the factual realities of human life and emotion. Completing this course will help improve your ability to become a better, more thoughtful and aware person, and provide you with information and techniques to help bring others to the same state of being.

registration- $59
start/end dates – May 1 to May 31, 2016
DEADLINE – May 10th

Moodle Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

Course Reading: The required course book is Personality, Identity, and Character (eds. Darcia Narvaez and Daniel Lapsley), available in print and kindle. Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials are provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

Richard Carrier
Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • April workshop – Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It – with Jen Hancock and Ann Fuller

    Jennifer Hancock and Ann Fuller, Humanist educators and organizational activists with several decades of experience between them, are offering an intensive workshop on “Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It” during April.

    There’s plenty of discussion within the Humanist movement about whether and how we should create Humanist communities. Some say that organizing monthly academic lectures is all that is needed. Others think that Humanism is most vibrantly expressed through volunteerism. Still others seek to create Humanist communities that mimic religious models of community. Regardless of what sort of community you may prefer, all successful communities have some common functions and features. In this advanced workshop, Humanist educators and organizational activists Jennifer Hancock and Ann Fuller will identify, clarify, and examine the core issues: The primary communal needs of all people; Finding community – Where to get started; Attracting the right sort of people; and How do we keep our community going?

    Registration: $59
    Start/end dates – April 1 / April 30, 2016
    Registration deadline: April 8th

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for each week, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. Discussions will be guided by our posts and online readings and videos. Everything to be read and discussed is provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. Students can proceed at their own pace and there are no video presentations that could be missed. Visit the class anytime to contribute your thoughts and receive our replies in discussion forums.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Questions about the course? Contact Jen Hancock at jen@jen-hancock.com

    Jennifer HancockJennifer Hancock is considered one of the top writers and speakers in the Humanist world today. As founder of Humanist Learning Systems, Jennifer focuses on teaching people critical thinking, personal ethics and personal responsibility. Her presentations, called “dynamic” and “captivating” by audiences across America, will leave you “a good deal better informed and always inspired.” By sharing her pragmatic Humanist approach, Jennifer has transformed the lives of those who have been touched by her work. Among a small number of people in America raised as a Humanist, she brings her delightful sense of humor, creativity, and compassion combined with a no-nonsense approach to all of her work and her coaching. She will help you focus on what really matters in your life, and she will teach you the practical skills you need to live your life the way you know you should be: ethically, compassionately, and responsibly.

    Ann FullerAnn Fuller has over two decades of board governance experience in both religious and secular non-profit communities. She is a Community Minister, affiliated with UU congregations in Brevard County, Florida. She has served on the board of several Humanist organizations, most recently the Humanist Institute where she is mentoring Class 18 with John Shook. Ann is presently the director of communications for a non-profit youth sports organization. She is active in local church-state separation issues, and speaks regularly on topics as diverse as secular parenting, the human need for ritual, and the critical importance of compassion and reason in contemporary society. Ann is proud of her humanist family, as she and her husband are raising three humanist feminist sons.



  • March – Naturalism as a Worldview: How to Build a Sound Philosophy of Life, with Dr. Richard Carrier

    Dr. Richard Carrier’s one-month course “Naturalism as a Worldview: How to Build a Sound Philosophy of Life” builds the foundations for a practical philosophy of life. Don’t miss this March 2016 class!

    Learn how to develop and defend your own naturalistic worldview from studying and critiquing a model example, and how to employ a naturalist worldview in your daily lives and your understanding of the world. Learn the basics of how to develop and test a philosophy of epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics (theory of existence), ethics (theory of morality), aesthetics (theory of beauty), and politics (theory of government), using logical, evidence-based reasoning. Based on assigned readings, lectures, and weekly class discussion online with Dr. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in the history of philosophy from Columbia University.

    Specific topics addressed include “Naturalism, Supernaturalism, Philosophy, and Worldview Theory,” in which we learn what naturalism is, and how it differs from supernaturalism; what a worldview is, and the basics of how to think about and construct a worldview; and what philosophy is, and how to think like a philosopher; “Naturalism and the Universe, Your Self, Your Mind, and Your Freedom,” in which we learn what naturalism can say about the nature and origins of existence, of the universe and all its contents, but also in particular of you as a person, and thus of consciousness, thought, and freedom (your personal autonomy); “Naturalism on Morality, Society, and Politics,” in which we learn what naturalism can say about whether there is any moral or political truth, what it’s nature is, and where it comes from, and what this means for how we should strive to organize society; and “Naturalism on Meaning, Purpose, and Beauty in Life,” in which we learn what naturalism can say about the meaning of life and its purpose or value, and about the nature of beauty and ugliness, and what value they have, what they signify, and where they come from.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – March 1 / March 31, 2016
    DEADLINE for registration – March 10th

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

    Required text: Richard Carrier, Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism which can be purchased at Dr. Carrier’s website from this link.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • September – Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life, with Richard Carrier

    Dr. Richard Carrier, one of the leading secular voices today, is offering his course on morality: “Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life.” Join this September webinar for important insights into practical secular ethics! And talk to Dr. Carrier LIVE in special video sessions (see below).

    Description: A survey of contemporary moral theory and the scientific study of morality, with an aim to improving your own moral decision-making, and encouraging the same in others. Subjects covered include: what the words “morals” and “morality” can variously mean and how to make use of that knowledge in public discourse; what we must mean when we argue others should share or adopt or agree with a moral opinion and how we can more effectively argue they should; how we can use science and philosophy to determine what our moral values are or should be, and how to reason from values to best actions; and what brain science and sociology tell us about the cognitive errors that impair sound moral decision-making and how to overcome them or control or compensate for them. Unlike religious moral systems, atheist moral systems are evidence and science based, incorporate logic and reason in an informed way, and attend to the factual realities of human life and emotion. Completing this course will help improve your ability to become a better, more thoughtful and aware person, and provide you with information and techniques to help bring others to the same state of being.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – September 1 to September 30, 2015
    DEADLINE – September 7th

    Moodle Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: The required course book is Personality, Identity, and Character (eds. Darcia Narvaez and Daniel Lapsley), available in print and kindle. Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials are provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    EXTRA VIDEO SESSIONS: Get the regular Moodle classroom access, described above, PLUS three live video sessions with Dr. Carrier, together for $159.

    Wednesday 16 September 10pm-11pm East Coast time
    Sunday 20 September 5pm-6pm East Coast time
    Saturday 26 September 6pm-7pm East Coast time
    registration- $159

    Do not register for both versions – $159 includes the regular moodle class. NOTE: no refunds for missing a video session.

    Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • January workshop – Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It – Jen Hancock and Ann Fuller

    Jennifer Hancock and Ann Fuller, Humanist educators and organizational activists with several decades of experience between them, are offering an intensive workshop on “Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It” during January.

    There’s plenty of discussion within the Humanist movement about whether and how we should create Humanist communities. Some say that organizing monthly academic lectures is all that is needed. Others think that Humanism is most vibrantly expressed through volunteerism. Still others seek to create Humanist communities that mimic religious models of community. Regardless of what sort of community you may prefer, all successful communities have some common functions and features. In this advanced workshop, Humanist educators and organizational activists Jennifer Hancock and Ann Fuller will identify, clarify, and examine the core issues: The primary communal needs of all people; Finding community – Where to get started; Attracting the right sort of people; and How do we keep our community going?

    Registration: $59
    Start/end dates – January 1 / January 31, 2015
    Registration deadline: January 1

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for each week, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. Discussions will be guided by our posts and online readings and videos. Everything to be read and discussed is provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. Students can proceed at their own pace and there are no video presentations that could be missed. Visit the class anytime to contribute your thoughts and receive our replies in discussion forums.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Questions about the course? Contact Jen Hancock at jen@jen-hancock.com

    Jennifer Hancock

    Jennifer Hancock is considered one of the top writers and speakers in the Humanist world today. As founder of Humanist Learning Systems, Jennifer focuses on teaching people critical thinking, personal ethics and personal responsibility. Her presentations, called “dynamic” and “captivating” by audiences across America, will leave you “a good deal better informed and always inspired.” By sharing her pragmatic Humanist approach, Jennifer has transformed the lives of those who have been touched by her work. Among a small number of people in America raised as a Humanist, she brings her delightful sense of humor, creativity, and compassion combined with a no-nonsense approach to all of her work and her coaching. She will help you focus on what really matters in your life, and she will teach you the practical skills you need to live your life the way you know you should be: ethically, compassionately, and responsibly.

    Ann FullerAnn Fuller has over two decades of board governance experience in both religious and secular non-profit communities. She is a Community Minister, affiliated with UU congregations in Brevard County, Florida. She has served on the board of several Humanist organizations, most recently the Humanist Institute where she is mentoring Class 18 with John Shook. Ann is presently the director of communications for a non-profit youth sports organization. She is active in local church-state separation issues, and speaks regularly on topics as diverse as secular parenting, the human need for ritual, and the critical importance of compassion and reason in contemporary society. Ann is proud of her humanist family, as she and her husband are raising three humanist feminist sons.



  • October – Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life, with Richard Carrier

    Dr. Richard Carrier, one of the leading secular voices today, is offering a new course on morality: “Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life.” Join this October webinar for important insights into practical secular ethics!

    Description: A survey of contemporary moral theory and the scientific study of morality, with an aim to improving your own moral decision-making, and encouraging the same in others. Subjects covered include: what the words “morals” and “morality” can variously mean and how to make use of that knowledge in public discourse; what we must mean when we argue others should share or adopt or agree with a moral opinion and how we can more effectively argue they should; how we can use science and philosophy to determine what our moral values are or should be, and how to reason from values to best actions; and what brain science and sociology tell us about the cognitive errors that impair sound moral decision-making and how to overcome them or control or compensate for them. Unlike religious moral systems, atheist moral systems are evidence and science based, incorporate logic and reason in an informed way, and attend to the factual realities of human life and emotion. Completing this course will help improve your ability to become a better, more thoughtful and aware person, and provide you with information and techniques to help bring others to the same state of being.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – October 1 / October 31, 2014
    EXTENDED DEADLINE – October 7TH

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: The required course book is Personality, Identity, and Character (eds. Darcia Narvaez and Daniel Lapsley), available in print and kindle. Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials are provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • September workshop – Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It – Jen Hancock and Ann Fuller

    Jennifer Hancock and Ann Fuller, Humanist educators and organizational activists with several decades of experience between them, are offering an intensive workshop on “Why Create Humanist Community, and How To Do It” during September.

    There’s plenty of discussion within the Humanist movement about whether and how we should create Humanist communities. Some say that organizing monthly academic lectures is all that is needed. Others think that Humanism is most vibrantly expressed through volunteerism. Still others seek to create Humanist communities that mimic religious models of community. Regardless of what sort of community you may prefer, all successful communities have some common functions and features. In this advanced workshop, Humanist educators and organizational activists Jennifer Hancock and Ann Fuller will identify, clarify, and examine the core issues: The primary communal needs of all people; Finding community – Where to get started; Attracting the right sort of people; and How do we keep our community going?

    start/end dates – September 1 / September 30, 2014

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for each week, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. Discussions will be guided by our posts and online readings and videos. Everything to be read and discussed is provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. Students can proceed at their own pace and there are no video presentations that could be missed. Visit the class anytime to contribute your thoughts and receive our replies in discussion forums.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Questions about the course? Contact Jen Hancock at jen@jen-hancock.com

    Jennifer Hancock

    Jennifer Hancock is considered one of the top writers and speakers in the Humanist world today. As founder of Humanist Learning Systems, Jennifer focuses on teaching people critical thinking, personal ethics and personal responsibility. Her presentations, called “dynamic” and “captivating” by audiences across America, will leave you “a good deal better informed and always inspired.” By sharing her pragmatic Humanist approach, Jennifer has transformed the lives of those who have been touched by her work. Among a small number of people in America raised as a Humanist, she brings her delightful sense of humor, creativity, and compassion combined with a no-nonsense approach to all of her work and her coaching. She will help you focus on what really matters in your life, and she will teach you the practical skills you need to live your life the way you know you should be: ethically, compassionately, and responsibly.

    Ann FullerAnn Fuller has over two decades of board governance experience in both religious and secular non-profit communities. She is a Community Minister, affiliated with UU congregations in Brevard County, Florida. She has served on the board of several Humanist organizations, most recently the Humanist Institute where she is mentoring Class 18 with John Shook. Ann is presently the director of communications for a non-profit youth sports organization. She is active in local church-state separation issues, and speaks regularly on topics as diverse as secular parenting, the human need for ritual, and the critical importance of compassion and reason in contemporary society. Ann is proud of her humanist family, as she and her husband are raising three humanist feminist sons.



  • New August course – Can Humanism Reorient Unitarianism, Before It’s Too Late? – with Mike Werner

    Join one of America’s foremost Humanists, Mike Werner, for an extended discussion of his controversial new book Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA, during the month of August.

    Mike Werner’s book Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA is not an obituary for Unitarianism, but a prescription for recovery. A recovery is urgently needed. Once one of America’s most influential Protestant denominations, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has imploded over the past 40 years, shrinking to 0.05% of the population. Why? Former American Humanist Association president Michael Werner has assembled the reasons, from a fuzzy obsession with pluralism to a disdain for the Humanist values that drove the UUA’s rise to prominence in the first place. “Follow the money,” Werner urges, as he analyzes one policy failure after another. The UUA is a proud institution that retains valuable human assets, carefully catalogued by Werner, that can seize the opportunity presented by today’s sea change in religious attitudes if it will get back to its Humanist roots. The evolution of the UUA from a focus on reason in religion to one of radical tolerance is a primary topic for discussion. Postmodernism, process theology, second wave feminism, value theory, new age, theological education, the “religious redefinition” game, population dynamics, and the age of narcissism in religion are implicated for taking the UUA to ideological extremes of indiscriminate pluralism. Mike Werner is eager to share his many insights and his proposed secular and humanist revolution for Unitarianism before it is too late.

    “In this book Mike Werner analyzes what is wrong with the UUA and suggests how we can correct our problems and become once again a vital and growing religious movement. It should be read by every UU who cares about the future of our Association.” William R. Murry, Former President and Dean, Meadville Lombard Theological School, IL.
    “Mike Werner has penned a must-read for every humanist interested in restoring the Unitarian Universalist Association to soundness. Better yet—every UU should read Werner’s eye-opening insights, and let the discussion begin!” Marilyn Westfall, co-founder of The Eloquent Atheist and former director of First UU in Lubbock, TX.
    “Michael Werner here chronicles the ways that the Boston UUA establishment has been transforming non-creedalism into anythingism, with no significant results in expanded membership. He urges restoring the Enlightenment humanism that had once been emerging.” Robert Tapp, former Dean and Faculty Chair emeritus of The Humanist Institute.
    “There is no one more dedicated to both Unitarian Universalism and Humanism than Mike Werner. It’s a pleasure for me to recommend his thoughtful new book. I’m looking forward to the vigorous dialogue that I’m certain it will provoke.” John Hooper, President, HUUmanists Association, UUA.

    start/end dates – August 1 / August 31, 2014

    Schedule: Participants should get their own e-book or print copy of Regaining Balance: The Evolution of the UUA through the bookstore using this link to Humanist Press. Additional materials are available for free from inside the the virtual classroom, where forums for discussions are also located. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Mike’s replies in discussion forums. Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Your instructor will not be on video and you won’t be either – there is nothing on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Mike Werner about his class: mwerner@ec.rr.com

    Mike Werner About the instructor: Fighting for civil rights at an early age, and later working in many Humanist, atheist, and freethought organizations, much of Mike Werner’s life has revolved around progressive activism. Besides a career that included teaching at major universities, Mike has been President of the American Humanist Association, a Board member of the HUUmanists of UUA, a member of the North American Committee for Humanism, and a faculty member of the Humanist Institute. He also was one of the founders of SMART Recovery, a Self Management and Recovery Training recovery program for addictions. Mike presently lives in Wilmington, N.C.



  • New July course – Become a Humanist Celebrant – with Han Hills, Professional Celebrant

    Han Hills is one of the busiest nonreligious celebrants in his state, and his July class “Become a Humanist Celebrant” will explain how he does it.

    Learn how to become a paid professional Humanist celebrant and officiant in your region. The demand for nonreligious and Humanist ceremonies is growing every year and there is a shortage of trained professionals to meet that need. This introductory course alone will not ‘certify’ you or guarantee that you can declare a marriage legally binding, so we’ll make sure you understand your state’s laws. You will acquire core skills and knowledge to start practicing and taking bookings immediately. You will learn how to find clients, and get known in your area for being the officiant to choose. Learn the basics about assembling wedding ceremonies and memorials, helping people unfamiliar with humanism be proud of their choice. I can’t ‘walk’ you through an actual ceremony online, but I can help connect you with those who can lend some practical experience. In my online class, you will be introduced to professional standards for both being a celebrant and a person earning good money. Learn how to network with other professionals in your region to build your business using online and offline strategies. Understand the legal and professional requirements you need to officiate and take your business to the highest level. Take advantage of this growing opportunity to practice professional humanism in service to your community, and make a very real income along the way. This course will give you all you need to begin and succeed!

    start/end dates – July 1 / July 31, 2014

    Schedule: Han’s presentations and materials are all provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. Students can proceed at their own pace and there are no video presentations that could be missed. Visit the class anytime to contribute your thoughts and receive instructor replies in discussion forums. GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    You can ask Han questions about his course: han@wilmingtonweb.com

    Han Hills is one of the most experienced Professional Humanist Celebrants in America. Visit his professional web site at www.leapofhumanity.com. He has been officiating ceremonies since 2006. He recently won the coveted WeddingWire Couples Choice 2014 Award as one of the top five percent of American wedding professionals. Han performs all types of Humanist ceremonies around the Carolinas and the East Coast, and is an experienced speaker, lecturer, tutor and mentor on both celebration and Humanism. Han is a 2014 graduate of the Humanist Institute, as well as a founder of the Carolinas Secular Conference and the Carolinas Secular Association. Han’s background in acting and theater includes an Edinburgh award for theatrical direction. Han is a former President of the Cape Fear Humanists and continues to serve on the board of several local, regional, and national secular organizations.



  • August course – Kile Jones and Ryan Bell on Boundary Crossings: Talking, Thinking, and Working with Christians

    Join Kile Jones of “Interview an Atheist at Church Day” and Ryan Bell of “A Year Without God” during the month of August as they discuss ways that atheists and Christians can talk, think, and work together.

    Kile and Ryan will apply their experiences of working with Christians to describe methods, pedagogies, and projects that can build coalitions between atheists and Christians. Part 1 will examine the ‘dialogical strategies’ one can use to talk with Christians, and religious people generally. Part 2 will examine the texts, authors, and philosophies one can use to think with Christians about important social and political issues. Part 3 will cover some of the work atheists and Christians can do together: separation of Church and State, inter-faith dialogue, civil rights (including race, gender, and LGBT rights), volunteering, building coalitions, and other forms of social advocacy.
    Hear us on podcasts:
    religionforlife.me/2013/10/01/kile-jones-interview-an-atheist-at-church/
    www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/media/
    Recommended videos about atheists interviewed at churches are at interviewatheists.wordpress.com/

    start/end dates – July 1 / August 31, 2014

    Schedule: Among the books that will come up for discussion are Religion without God by Ronald Dworkin, Faitheist by Chris Stedman, and Religion for Atheists by Alain de Botton, so students can purchase one or more of these optional texts if they choose. Additional readings and videos are available for free from inside the the virtual classroom, where forums for discussions are also located. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Kile and Ryan’s replies in discussion forums. Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Your instructor(s) will not be on video and you won’t be either – there is nothing on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Kile or Ryan about this session by posting on their facebook walls, at www.facebook.com/kilebjones or www.facebook.com/ryanjbell

    Kile Jones
    Kile Jones has been involved in interfaith work for over a decade. He speaks around the U.S. and the U.K. on issues relating to atheism, religion, and philosophy. He holds two Masters degrees from Boston University (M.T.S., S.T.M.), is the Founder of the Claremont Journal of Religion, and is the Director of “Interview an Atheist at Church Day.” Mr. Jones has been published in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Free Inquiry, Routledge Guide, Philosophy Now, and Reviews in Religion and Theology. He also blogs for Patheos, Feminism and Religion, and The Secularite, and is known to publicly debate Christians now and then. He currently lives in San Diego, California.

    Ryan Bell
    For 19 years Ryan Bell was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In March 2013 he resigned his position due to theological and practical differences. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics. Currently he is a researcher, writer and speaker on the topic of religion and irreligion in America. In January 2014, Ryan began a yearlong journey exploring the limits of theism and the atheist landscape in the United States and blogs about that experience here at Year Without God. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.