Small Group Studies

At First Presbyterian Church we believe that small group studies are in integral part of one’s Spiritual journey. 


We offer both traditional Bible Studies along with other Christian Life and Bible focused programs. Our group studies are typically offered at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings after our main service or on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Sessions consist of a short video lesson followed by group discussion and run for approximately 60-90 minutes. Group sizes range on average from 5-15.


We encourage thoughtful discussion in our groups and approach the material with open hearts and open minds. There is no right answer when it comes to faith and often we come to better understand our own beliefs and grow closer to God by taking the time to understand what others believe and how others interpret what they have seen or read.


We have an open door philosophy, come for one session or come for them all. Either way, we’re always happy to have you join us.


Enrollment is free and there is no charge for course materials. One does not need to be a member of the Church to participate.  All are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

Upcoming Group Studies

We’re excited to continue our Small Group Studies program.


  • DALAI LAMA, TUTU'S "THE BOOK OF JOY"

    SUNDAYS, SEPTEMBER 9 - OCTOBER 21

    11:50 AM - 12:50 PM

    Please join The First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford beginning Sunday, Sept. 9, when Rev. Pete will be leading us through the book "The Book of Joy."


    Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than 50 years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships—or, as they would say, because of them—they are two of the most joyful people on the planet. In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness's eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering? This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecendented week together, from the first embrace to the final good-bye.


    The books will be available for pickup from the office mid-August as we will jump right into the first few chapters on our first discussion. The study will take place Sundays at 11:50 a.m. and last about an hour through Oct. 21. (Off Sept. 30 for our field trip to the Hindu Temple in Robbinsville.) The office is located at 1 E Passaic Ave, Rutherford. The study will take place directly across the street in the Karen Kaiser Parish House. The study is free and open to all but registration is required by calling 201-438-3569 so we can put a book aside for you. 


  • Hallelujah: The bible and handel's Messiah

    sundays, november 4 - november 25

    11:50 am - 12:50 pm

    The First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford will explore Hallelujah: The Bible and Handel's Messiah. The four-week program will cover the music of the advent season beginning Nov. 4 through Nov. 25We will explore some of the key Scripture passages about the Messiah. These passages have had a profound effect on the imagination and worship of Christians for two thousand years, leading George Frederic Handel to write one of the greatest expressions of worship and adoration―his oratorio, the Messiah. We hear parts of it sung every year during the Christmas season, but what many listeners fail to realize is that the entire text of Handel's Messiah is drawn from Scripture―and many of the Old Testament passages that shaped Israel's hope for their Redeemer are included in that text. We will be guided through Scripture passages used in Handel's work that highlight who Jesus is and what he came to do while listening to Handel's Messiah. It might change the way you listen to the Messiah. The study will take place directly across the street in the Karen Kaiser Parish House. The study is free and open to all but registration is required by calling 201-438-3569 so we can put a book aside for you.


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Past Group Studies

  • DISCOVER THE TABERNACLE OF MOSES

    The First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford embarked on a 6-week study of the Tabernacle, the sacred place where God chose to meet His people, the Israelites, during the 40 years they wandered in the desert under Moses’ leadership. It was the place where the leaders and people of the 12 tribes came together to worship and offer sacrifices. The Book of Exodus describes an inner shrine, which housed the Ark of Covenant and held up under the veil of coverings suspended by four pillars and an outer chamber (the "Holy Place"). It also housed the Bronze Laver, the alter of Burnt Offering, the veil and items made from the gold, silver, brass, furs, jewels, and other valuable materials taken out of Egypt. The sessions included: The Tabernacle; The Altar of Burnt Offering; The Bronze Laver; The Lampstand; The Table of Bread and the Altar of Incense and The Veil, Ark, and Mercy Seat.

     

  • STUDY OF MARY MAGDALENE

    The First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford held a study of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Two books were discussed in hour-long book groups: "Unveiling Mary Magdalene" by Liz Curtis Higgs and "The Gospel of Mary Magdala" by Karen King.


    Discover the truth about the most myth-understood woman of the New Testament. Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute? An adulteress? The wife of Jesus? An ancient goddess? Higgs, best-selling author of "Bad Girls of the Bible," combines heartfelt contemporary fiction with extensive biblical research to bring to life the real Mary Magdalene of the Bible. In King's book, she tells the story of the recovery of this remarkable gospel lost for more than 1,500 years, and offers a new translation. King's brief narrative presents a radical interpretation of Jesus' teachings as a path to inner spiritual knowledge.


  • 12 WOMEN OF THE BIBLE

    The First Presbyterian Church of Rutherford held a study of the Twelve Women of the Bible. Lysa TerKuerst, Elisa Morgan, Jeanne Stevens and other leaders took participants on a journey of spiritual lessons learned from 12 biblical women and what they mean for your life today. 

  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Life TogetheR"

    The classic exploration of the Christian Community. After Bonhoeffer's martyrdom at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945, he continued his witness in the hearts of Christians around the world. In his book Life Together, we learn of Pastor Bonhoeffer's experience within Christian community. This story of a unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi years reads like one of Paul's letters. It gives practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups. The role of personal prayer, worship in common, everyday work, and Christian service is treated in simple, almost biblical, words.


  • BIBLE STUDY: PAUL'S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS

    The course consisted of a 20 minute DVD presentation by James M. Efird. He is an ordained Presbyterian (USA) minister committed to making the Bible understandable and properly understood for pastors and laity alike. 


  • The Dead Sea Scrolls: Discovery and Impact

    The 12-week group study was presented by Prof. James VanderKam, Ph.D., one of the world’s leading experts on the Dead Sea Scrolls and professor of Hebrew Scriptures at the University of Notre Dame. The course was intended to provide background on the history and significance of the scrolls and was designed to give participants a solid understanding of what the scrolls actually are and of the community associated with them. The course also examined the meaning of the scrolls and the implications for the texts of the books in the Old Testament.


  • A Brief Survey of the Bible - Discovering the Big Picture of God's Story from Genesis to Revelation

    The study was presented by Dr. John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School and Dr. Mark Strauss, professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary and provided an overview of the Bible’s key themes, showed what the teachings meant to the people at the time, and explained how those teachings apply to our lives today. The course was designed to provide participants with an understanding of Scripture, knowledge of how all the books work together, and an understanding of what God has done to make a way for us to be in relationship with Him. 


  • why in the world

    Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries (NPM) which was formed in 1995 with the vision of creating churches that un-churched people love to attend. Since its inception, NPM has grown from one church to five in metro-Atlanta and has developed a global network of more than thirty strategic partner churches. His father is Dr. Charles F. Stanley, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and founder of InTouch Ministries.

    In this series, Stanley boldly proclaims that Christians believe a lot of really unbelievable things—including that God showed up in a human body and lived among humankind.  Stanley challenges participants to reflect upon Why - Why would God want to become one of us and live in a world of anxiety, chaos, and heartache? Why would God leave the comfort and recognition of heaven to live in this world? We think we know why He died. But what compelled Him to live as one of us?

  • five things god uses to grow your faith

    Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries (NPM) which was formed in 1995 with the vision of creating churches that un-churched people love to attend. Since its inception, NPM has grown from one church to five in metro-Atlanta and has developed a global network of more than thirty strategic partner churches. His father is Dr. Charles F. Stanley, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and founder of InTouch Ministries.

    In this series, Stanley challenges participants to imagine how different their outlook on life would be if they had absolute confidence that God was with them.  Participants explore how differently they would respond to difficulties, temptations, and even good things if they knew with certainty that God was in all of it and was planning to leverage it for good and see what it might be like to have PERFECT faith.

  • christian: it's not what you think

    Andy Stanley is the founder of North Point Ministries (NPM) which was formed in 1995 with the vision of creating churches that un-churched people love to attend. Since its inception, NPM has grown from one church to five in metro-Atlanta and has developed a global network of more than thirty strategic partner churches. His father is Dr. Charles F. Stanley, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta and founder of InTouch Ministries.

    In this series, Stanley unpacks the unique qualities that identify followers of Jesus Christ.  He boldly points out that if you ask 100 people to define Christian, you'll get 100 different definitions and it’s likely that all 100 will be incorrect. He notes that curiously, the term Christian is actually never defined in Scripture. Rather, the term is only mentioned three times in the Bible where it was used as a derogatory label created for Jesus' followers by outsiders. Stanley challenges participants to embody the characteristics used in Scripture to define followers as more than merely ‘Christian’ and reminds Christians that Jesus used the word ‘disciple’ to describe his followers and proclaimed that disciples should be known for their love – a novel concept for their time – and ours today.  What if believers today embodied these traits? Would the non-believing world put aside its definition of ‘Christian’ and instead know Christian by their love?

  • efird bible studies

    Efird Bible Studies feature video sessions of actual Bible Study classes led by Dr. Mickey Efird. Dr. Efird is an ordained Presbyterian Minister and has been a professor at Duke University Divinity School since 1962. The Series is currently used at over 1,700 Churches.


    Small groups at First Presbyterian have completed the following studies:


    •    Acts of the Apostles
    •    Ecclesiastes
    •    Esther
    •    From Genesis to Revelation: A Comprehensive Overview of the Bible
    •    Genesis
    •    Isaiah
    •    How to Get the Greatest Benefit from Bible Study
    •    Job
    •    Paul’s Letter to the Romans
    •    Psalms
    •    Ruth and Jonah
    •    Song of Solomon, Apocrypha, Daniel and New Testament Wisdom
    •    The Birth Narratives
    •    The Book of Revelation
    •    The Gospel of John
    •    The Gospel of Luke
    •    The Gospel of Matthew
    •    The Passion Narratives

  • bible in 90 days

    The Bible in 90 Days® program was first introduced in 2001 at the First Presbyterian Church in Houston and has been offered in a variety of churches across six different denominations since then.  Participants in the program read the entire Bible from cover to cover in 90 Days by reading only 12 pages a day.

    The program has been offered multiple times at First Presbyterian.

    Read the story here.