BIO Study Cohorts

There are two ways to study the BIO material in a group:

1) Form your own study group. We can help promote the study group, and give you a discount on buying all five classes at once. You will schedule and facilitate your own conversations about the material (Elaine and Ched and the BCM platform will not be involved). Please contact us if you would like to start a group. Or: 

2) Join one of our hybrid BIO study cohorts, which include attending a Bartimaeus Institute; regular online meetings with Ched and Elaine to discuss course materials; and a group project.  Study cohorts have a minimum 5 and maximum 10 persons in each group.

If you are interested in a BIO Study Cohort for 2010, please contact us..

Third BIO Cohort 2017-18

August 2017 - May 2018

Our third BIO cohort will be a “hybrid” course that draws on the theology and ethics of Elaine Enns and Ched Myers (supplemented by interviews with and /or material from other colleagues, and bibliographies for further reading). The course overviews BCM’s take on embodied Radical Discipleship traditions and engagement, and mentors participants in the work of scaffolding their own theology and practices. It consists of five primary components:

  • two in-person gatherings (Sept 22-24, 2017 and Feb 19-23, 2018 in Oak View, CA); 
  • five online classes (BIO-A01 thru A04 and BIO-B01); 
  • monthly online conversations with Elaine and Ched (additional conversations as a cohort if desired); 
  • six to eight sessions of spiritual direction and/or relationship counseling; and
  • a final project. 

Participation requires an average of 3-4 hours per week of study and discussion; we estimate that this course material is equivalent to six units of seminary curriculum. Tuition is $725, and seminary credit is available through St. Andrews College, Saskatoon Theological Union (for an additional fee). Limit ten participants (there must be a minimum of five participants for the cohort to go forward). Let us know if you are interested and encourage your friends to join you!

See FLYER here. (PDF 1.0 MB)

The SYLLABUS is available here. (PDF 343KB)


- stay tuned for future Study Cohorts or contact us to find out how you can organize a study cohort.

Testimonies from the third BIO Cohort (2017-18):

Photo L to R: Travis Meier, Ched, Elaine, Tom Bozeman, Kristen Snow, Rhonda Newby, Ed Katzenberger

The Rev. Tom Bozeman is a Unitarian Universalist minister living in the Salish Sea Basin:

   It was wonderful to get to drink deeply from this font of radical discipleship. Ched and Elaine not only offer such rich and deep reflections on the core theological issues for most North Americans, but also an entry-way into a community of practitioners. There is a stream of wisdom and practice here that is so vital for this age - and I feel a great deal of gratitude for such simply hospitable access to it. - the Rev. Tom Bozeman

Rhonda Newby is from Albuquerque, NM: I spent much of the last two decades working with Immigrant women and raising my children. Now I'm a first year seminarian working to spread Radical Discipleship in my own community.

   My journey in the 2018 BIO Cohort was a time of remembering.

I was somewhat involved with Ched and Elaine many years ago through Word and World. At the time I worked for a small community development ministry and Word and World was my bridge from what felt like a somewhat isolated community of believers to a larger network of like minded folks, and of course extraordinary mentors. Word and World is where I felt I was leaning in to my true calling, although I was never truly able to make the transition to fully connect to that movement. So when I saw the chance to work with Elaine and Ched after a decade of being away from the movement, I jumped at it.

As the Cohort began, so did a new journey for me. The program corresponded to a time of struggle and transition in my life and allowed me to remember who I am. Each chapter, each step of the process presented new and radical ways to perform in the world but also new and radical ways of thinking within myself. Every topic was both profoundly needed in the world and within each of us. It was a rocky journey for me and for many of us. The vulnerability within the group lead to relationships that run deep and wide, connecting us for years to come.

Those relationships, that re-membering of the movement, of the community, is what is most precious to me from the Cohort. I can certainly read Elaine and Ched’s books and articles and partake in their wisdom from my own couch. But it is the community that is the true gift. Being grounded in a sense of place, of belonging, in a community of like minded folks is something that books and podcasts simply can’t provide. The BIO Cohort is something that we will be participating in years after the official program is over.

The Rev. Travis Meier is a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and currently serves Peace Lutheran Church in College Station, Texas, located in the Brazos Valley Watershed. 

   The journey of the BIO Cohort was enriching, challenging, and formative. We build relationships across the country and deepened companionships of support for the world of radical discipleship. We were challenged Theologically and Spirituality to think and act based on the deeper wisdom and practices from a long line of witnesses to the power of God’s love and grew in our ability to create relationships that nature and heal the community and world around us. 

I highly recommend this educational and practical gift to anyone. It is needed and timely work, especially for our North American context facing deep and significant questions about the role of Christianity and discipleship in the healing and nurturing of communities.

Kristen Snow: I am a resident of the Delaware watershed, in Philadelphia. I play many roles in my community, Circle of Hope, as a leader and organizer. I spend my time cooking, reading, gardening, making art and writing, participating in social justice work and community development.

   My time spent with the BIO cohort has helped me to reconcile and identify spaces of renewal and transformation within myself, my community and my watershed. It has added meat to the bones of a newly awakened form of myself. The process of studying biblical texts, our personal and shared histories, watersheds, finances and more has been deeply impactful to my experience of living. Beginning to search back through my bloodlines, songlines and landlines has helped me recognize and realize where my self has been all along, to recognize the value of being, and the deep importance of truth and reconciliation work - first with oneself, then with the world. Watershed Discipleship has helped me to orient my desire to live with and in the land with purpose, connected to my passion for reconciliation in varying spaces and community building. Sabbath economics has helped me gain footing in the financial habits that I want to improve on, as well as helping me recognize the valuable practices I’ve learned from my life with my church community Circle of Hope. The opportunity to learn alongside my fellow cohort peers and to be guided by Elaine, Ched and Solveig has been integral to my development. The experience was not just an opportunity to discuss various theologies and ideas over the internet, but instead an invitation to live intentionally with a group of dedicated learners and faith leaders for 10 months, vulnerably sharing our experiences and journeys along the way. We shared our lives openly through death, loss, transition, moving, marriage, triumph and change. I felt well loved and cared for in this endeavor, and finish it knowing that this is not really an end, but the beginning of many new friends, peers and mentors to continue living and learning with. The biocohort has changed my life, and I will be forever grateful for the experience. 

Testimonies from the second BIO Feminary Cohort (2016-17):

Lindsay Airey

Chelsea Page:

I signed up for the Feminary because I wanted to inhale Ched and Elaine’s curriculum, knowing it would give me strength and passion as I bridge my worlds of radical discipleship in the Catholic Worker and an apostolate to middle class white Christians in a mainline Protestant congregation. What is surprising is the way these two scholars gave not just of themselves over the year, but gave us to each other in a powerful way by cultivating an incredibly bonded and trusting community among the fellow Feminarians.

Testimonies from the first BIO Feminary Cohort (2015-16):

Sarah Holst:

The best part of being a part of the inaugural BIO cohort was making connections and sharing from the heart with other women doing work within the intersection of seminary, sanctuary, streets, and soil. As we read and watched the content created by BCM with one another I experienced Kingdom sisterhood. The power of being together in this struggle, being held, seen, heard and challenged, will continue to grant me courage as I go deeper into my calling journey. 

Grace Aheron:

Every day I think about how my body moves through the world and what power it does and doesn't carry. Every time I swipe my credit card I wonder what shock waves my transaction is sending out into the world. While these types of meditations threaten to overwhelm and render me immobile, I know that there are other powerful, beautiful peers processing the same issues. Being a part of the Feminary was deepening, challenging, and nourishing both spiritually and politically for me, and I loved being able to process the material each week within the safety, love, and support of our virtual circle.

Adella Barrett:

As a young adult on a hiatus from conventional theological study, engaging the material of BIO with a cohort allowed me to continue exploring pressing social and political questions from a place of discipleship, at a pace and with a flexibility that lent itself to a full schedule. The material is varied and invites participants to reflect theologically, politically and personally on how our convictions intersect with the crises of our time. The BIO cohort was a rich and formative experience that provided space to answer important questions communally while provoking further issues to explore.