Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Encountering Mark, Matthew, and Luke:
The Synoptic Gospels


featuring video with Father Michael J. Himes, Boston College professor of theology, and articles by Dr. Philip A. Cunningham, former executive director, Boston College Center for Christian-Jewish Learning

Let the Scriptures enrich your spiritual life! In this course, explore the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, with two weeks devoted to each Gospel.  Articles by Dr. Philip A. Cunningham help participants gain an overview of each Gospel's features, learn about its setting, the evangelist who wrote it, and the community for which it was written.  Videos featuring Fr. Michael J. Himes focus on key insights.  Then, explore practices to use the Gospel in prayer and reflection on your life.  No previous experience in Scripture study is necessary.

Check the course schedule for future offerings of this course.

Special Features:

  • Guide for reading the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke by Dr. Philip A. Cunningham;
  • Bonus articles on the "Writing of the Gospels" and research about the historical Jesus;
  • Video presentation by Father Michael J. Himes for each Gospel;
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion;
  • Town Meeting forum for announcements;
  • Those who actively participate (a minimum of three substantive posts each week) receive a Certificate of Active Participation for the course.

All C21 Online courses and workshops include these features:

  • Participants have access 24 hours/7 days a week to the course's password protected web site.
  • Each participant belongs to a small Community for Conversation and faith sharing guided by a facilitator.
  • Site is open to participants at least one week before and one week after the course.
  • Orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.


Introductory article: The Writing of the Gospels
Week 1: The Suffering Son of Man: Mark's Portrait of Jesus
Week 2: A Closer Reflection on Key Themes in Mark
Week 3: The Living Wisdom of God: Matthew's Portrait of Jesus
Week 4: A Closer Reflection on Key Themes in Matthew
Week 5: The Healing and Reconciling Savior: Luke's Portrait of Jesus
Week 6: A Closer Reflection on Key Themes in Luke

Additional Materials Needed:

Although there will be a Bible available online, you may also wish to have a Bible available in hard copy.

Time Commitment:
A participant can expect to spend an average of approximately 4 hours each week. This commitment includes both the assigned reading and interaction online.


Content Scholars:
Father Michael J. Himes (video) and Dr. Philip A. Cunningham (text)