Emilie Townes: Learning and the Church

Rev. Dr. Emilie Townes suggests that the best place Christians can go to learn about important issues should be the church, if the church is open enough for questions to be asked.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Emilie Townes: Learning and the Church?

Reflecting on "Learning and the Church"

The following reflective questions are based on Emilie Townes' video, "Learning and the Church." You can discuss them in a group or reflect on them individually.

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Take what you learned from Emilie Townes' "Learning and the Church" and spend more time reflecting on the ideas she presents. Use these questions for your own reflection or bring them to a group conversation. Learn, Reflect, Grow.


  • Do you view the church as a place for Christians to learn? Why or why not?
  • In today’s culture, churches are often characterized as close-minded, but Emilie Townes’ statements fly in the face of this way of viewing churches. How can we cultivate this kind of openness in our churches?
  • What are issues or events happening in your community that you would want to know more about? How can you learn about these things in church?
  • How can we recognize the validity of people’s feelings while also educating members of the church? 

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Emilie Townes: Learning and the Church?

Take Action

Creating Openness to Learning in the Church

This action offers tangible ways to cultivate the church as a community and a space where members can learn together about issues they care about.

An important part of making the church a place for learning is cultivating an environment that is open to educational opportunities and wants to address cultural issues. Yet how can we create this openness in the church? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Listen: Ask church members what they want to learn and know – be open to every person’s question. Use their ideas as a starting place for educational opportunities.
  2. Use the knowledge of church members: Most churches are filled with people who have knowledge in all kinds of fields – allow members to speak up and share what they know with others in the church.
  3. Invite: Bring in educators, activists, and scholars into the church’s space to share their knowledge about important issues going on right now. By inviting others in, the church would show their openness to conversation.
  4. Create an investment: If you are a leader of a church community, talk with church members and create a feeling of openness to learning in the church.
  5. Be brave and patient: Asking questions and learning together in community isn’t always the smoothest process, but it is beneficial! As the community begins to address the church’s questions, work together to be patient with each other. Learning takes time, so patience is necessary.

What You Do Matters

What would you like to do next with Emilie Townes: Learning and the Church?

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