New Bible study groups, bible study courses and the like have become increasingly popular over the past few decades.
Many Bible study courses now teach students to learn about the Bible as a “faith hunter,” and to engage in a type of “journey” that is not usually found in traditional studies.
One such course at the University of Colorado Boulder is called Faith Fellowship.
The course is aimed at the “new evangelical Christian” or “younger, more progressive” Christian who has “sought to understand God’s Word and seek his will through faith.”
The program’s curriculum also features lectures on Jesus Christ, scripture, Jewish culture, Christianity, the Old Testament and a chapter on the Bible’s influence on modern life.
“The program is focused on biblical knowledge in a Christian context and encourages students to become engaged in research about the Old and New Testaments and their influence on the modern world,” the school’s website says.
Faith Fellowship has been offering Bible studies for nearly three years and has a roster of over 400 students, according to its website.
It is also a registered 501(c)(3) organization.
Its website has a link to the university’s website that indicates that it is registered to teach courses for individuals and for groups.
Students who sign up for the program can choose from a variety of subjects, including “the New Testament, the Bible and Jewish history,” “the Old Testament, Jewish cultural, history, Christianity and the Old Testaments,” and “religion and belief.”
Faith Foundation also provides a video series called “Faith Hunters” that offers a guided tour of some of its courses, including its Bible study series.
At least one of its students has written a book on the subject.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote in an email to MSNBC that “the students are all new, some of them coming out of the closet and some of us in the faith are trying to understand them.”
“I’ve had many students ask me, ‘Is there a group of people in the world who are more conservative or more liberal than I am?,'” he wrote.
“I’m sure you have all had this question, but I can assure you that there is.
And you are welcome to join us, too.”
Bloomberg is the co-founder of the anti-gay group Human Rights Campaign and was recently endorsed by Pope Francis.
Bloomberg’s support for the Faith Fellowship program, however, has raised concerns among some Christians.
New York State Assemblyman Anthony Scaramucci, who heads a state-funded watchdog group, the Assembly Reform Coalition, told MSNBC that he would be “very concerned” if the faith-based Bible study program was to be allowed to continue.
He added that the Bible study programs “shouldn’t be allowed in New York because they are not going to serve the people of New York.”
“It’s very concerning that the university and the administration are supporting this,” Scaramuci said.
“It’s not going back to the good old days of the Bible Study Program.”
As MSNBC reported earlier this year, a federal appeals court in Texas has ruled that Bible study classes that are not explicitly Christian are not subject to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which was passed in 1990 to prohibit government discrimination on the basis of religion.
That ruling is based on a 2014 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in its Hobby Lobby case, which held that the Religious Right could object to providing students with Bible study materials in schools, even if the materials were not explicitly Christians.