Jesus Seminars on the Road

Westar’s regional programs, called Jesus Seminars on the Road (JSOR), bring Westar Fellows into conversation with interested non-specialists across North America. Led by Westar Fellows, these regional programs address significant issues in current biblical and theological research and scholarship. These programs are locally hosted, and any community group can host a JSOR. Explore the JSOR course catalog for a sampling of available topics.

JSOR topics have included:

  • Jesus of Nazareth: 
Savior, Lord, or Wisdom Teacher?
  • Archaeology & the Origins of Christianity
  • What Did Jesus Really Say and Do?
  • Women and the New Testament
  • Jesus in the First and Twenty-first Centuries
  • Peter, Paul, and Mary: Three Early Christian Voices
  • The Fifth Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas and the Wisdom of Jesus
  • The Growth of Early Christianity:
Orthodoxy & Heresy
  • The Parables of Jesus
  • Homosexuality and Marriage in the Bible: The Use and Abuse of Scripture

The program usually comprises a Friday evening lecture and four hours of presentations and discussions on Saturday. Programs are usually held in churches and often jointly sponsored by churches of various denominations. However, Westar is not affiliated with any religious institution and does not advocate a particular theological point of view.

Attendee Feedback

I love the Jesus Seminar on the Road series, bring more of them to the Midwest. We need you!

JSORs have been a tremendously enlightening resource. I've attended about four, and each one has dazzled me with aspects of my Christian tradition about which I had no clue. … I go whenever they are offered in my city, regardless of the topic, because I've learned I will be fascinated no matter what.

I was just awed by the scholars at the Jesus Seminar on the road that I attended. I especially was impressed that the group could discuss their differences and point out why they thought like they did without trying to beat down colleagues with different views.

We thought it was great to hear some of the well-known theologians at convenient locations, and it takes the place of our not being able to attend the spring and fall meetings but we still feel connected through attending JSOR along with our library of books. We feel our lives have been greatly enriched.

I would like to see more Jesus Seminars on the Road. … The interaction with the scholars is priceless. It puts a face on the Westar Institute and the Jesus Seminar for many people.

Westar has done an excellent job of providing a forum for the discussion of current topics in religion and bible. I have attended a dozen or so JSOR and have thoroughly enjoyed the form, tone, and content of the presentations.

Through JSOR Westar has given my Christian beliefs a 'new lease on life.'

I truly enjoy the Jesus on the Road seminars. The topics are always of interest, thought provoking, and insightful.

I love the JSOR meetings. It is affirming to hear the scholars, and to see other like-minded people who are there. The publications are also very helpful. It is so important that these be out there for folks to read.

Jesus Seminar on the Road presentations were excellent. The presenters were able to provide the information in everyday language to understand easily.

It is a struggle out in the field. When I see the brochures announcing another Jesus Seminar on the Road, I brighten to know the institute is going on, no matter what. I am not alone.