First Principles

July 12th - October 25th, 2018

$79 - $109

Gateway Downtown is pleased to offer this First Principles course from the Charles Simeon Trust with the hope to build up better students and teachers of the Bible among men. Charles Simeon Trust exists to equip faithful Bible teachers.


This course covers the basic principles of studying the Bible that any preacher, teacher, student, or faithful Christian who wants to read God's Word should know. It begins with our basic conviction about Staying on the Line of Scripture. It then tackles the use of context, structure, and a book’s big ideas, and begins to answer the question of how to make applications for yourself and others while reading and teaching. The lessons included are:

  1. Staying on the Line (a conviction about not saying more or less than the Bible says)
  2. Pathway for Preparation (an overview of how one should prepare for exposition)
  3. Context (using the literary and historical context to rightly interpret a text)
  4. Structure (understanding how a text is organized to emphasize a particular point)
  5. Melodic Line (using the message of the whole book to understand the message of a particular text)
  6. Text and Framework (being aware of the agendas we bring and submitting them to the text)
  7. Seeing Jesus (rightly relating each text to the death and resurrection of Jesus)
  8. The Bible for Life (wrestling with how to move from the text to applications/implications)


The First Principles course has 8 lessons (listed above) and is designed primarily for those who are interested in getting started in Bible study with an eye toward teaching. This course features Simeon Trust Chairman, David R. Helm (Lead Pastor of the Hyde Park congregation of Holy Trinity Church in Chicago, Illinois).


Please note: There is homework and significant preparation involved in this course. We do not want to see anyone dropping out, so we ask only those making a serious commitment to register for this course. You may check the course syllabus to get a better sense of the scope.

Course Syllabus


We plan to start promptly at 6 PM. We will provide a catered dinner each night to be eaten while we watch/discuss the lesson video (about the first 30 minutes). This will ensure that dinner will not be an issue for any participants.

If you have special dietary needs that require you to provide your own food, please contact us about how we can accommodate you.

Additional Costs

In addition to the costs below, which cover food and set-up considerations, there is a $19 cost for the course that needs to be paid directly to Charles Simeon Trust. A link to do so will be provided after the completion of your initial registration. There are also recommended (but optional) books that you may consider purchasing.