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Encountering Mark, Matthew, and Luke:
The Synoptic Gospels


featuring video with Rev. Michael J. Himes and articles by Dr. Philip A. Cunningham

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.


Introductory Week: Video and/or 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

Special Features

This course includes:

  • Guide for reading the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke by Dr. Philip A. Cunningham;
  • Bonus article and video on the "Writing of the Gospels" and research about the historical Jesus;
  • Video presentation by Fr. Michael J. Himes for each Gospel;
  • Text transcripts of each featured video; and
  • Weekly questions for reflection and discussion.

All Crossroads courses 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.
  • The course site is usually available to participants at least three months after the course.
  • An orientation in how to navigate the web site is always available.
  • Technical assistance is easy to contact and prompt in returning a message.
  • A Certificate of Active Participation is awarded to those who post at least three messages of substance for each week of content.

Additional Materials Needed:
Although there will be a Bible available online, you may also wish to have a Bible available in hard copy.  Other course materials are available on the course site.

For online Bibles, we recommend:

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:  
Dr. Philip A. Cunningham (text), professor of theology and religious studies, St. Joseph's University, and Rev. Michael J. Himes (video), priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, and professor of theology at the Boston College Theology Department.