Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

IPS Scripture School

Who IS Jesus?


Who is Jesus? If someone were to ask you this question, what would you say? Do you think an answer would come out easily, or with difficulty? Would an answer come out at all? Do you feel you really know who Jesus is, or why you believe in him? Do you want to find out?
Please join us for this fall’s online program as we find out together.

In this 5-week series, we will:
  • Develop our understanding of Jesus through examination of particular Gospel texts, which illuminate his life and teaching!
  • Explore what the Church teaches about who Jesus is, and why!
  • Cultivate and nurture personal relationship with Jesus by engaging in rich, meaningful discussion!

We meet online via Zoom, 2 hours/week, 5 weeks in a row:

Wednesdays, October 13th – November 10th

Morning Section: 10am – 12pm OR * Evening Section: 6:30 – 8:30pm


  • $75.00, includes FREE 3-week Advent Retreat Series 2021, Online!

        *También Disponible en Español durante la sesión de 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

If you would like to contribute to IPS Scripture School to bring this type of program to more people, please feel free to write a check payable to Loyola University Chicago; write in the memo section “IPS-SS.” Send the check through US Postal Service to Loyola University Chicago, P.O. Box 777323, Chicago, Illinois 60677-9056


Welcome to the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago!

At the request of the Office of Lifelong Formation at the Archdiocese of Chicago, the Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) became the new home for the Chicago Catholic Scripture School (CCSS) in the fall of 2017. This has broadened IPS’ mission to educate and form the lay faithful through adult Scripture Studies by offering courses in English and Online as well. IPS has been teaching CCSS courses in Spanish since the fall of 2014. In December 2019, this program was renamed and is now the Institute of Pastoral Studies Scripture School (IPS-SS). The new name reflects the reality of the program's goals, diverse participants, and reach beyond Chicago.

The IPS Scripture School provides in-depth knowledge of the Bible within a Roman Catholic framework. The lay faithful, parishioner leaders, catechists, parish staff, or anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of Sacred Scripture will benefit from this program.

If you're a current student, please let us know your level and location.
If you're an alumnus of the program, we'd also love to know about you so we can keep you informed about the IPS-SS events and learning opportunities as they become available. Just let us know you're an alumnus.

For questions or assistance, please contact Director, Kevin Pease: kpease@luc.edu or 312-915-7457.

The IPS Scripture School (IPS-SS) is a center for comprehensive formation in the area of Scripture for Catholic adults including: laypersons, Deacons, parish catechetical leaders, catechists, RCIA leaders, pastoral associates, youth ministers, parish Bible study leaders, lectors, and others who work with Scripture in various parish ministries.

Our goal is to help bring students into a closer relationship with God's revealed Word in the Roman Catholic tradition. Empowerment of the Word, and one's response, transforms lives.

Program Description
The IPS Scripture School (IPS-SS) uses the Catholic Biblical School Program published by Paulist Press.  The program guides students through every book of the Bible in four years (or twelve units of study, each 10 weeks in length). Students may register for one unit at a time or one year at a time , three units per year.

The IPS-SS can be undertaken in two phases:

Basic Scripture Studies
The first two years (or six units) focus on methods of biblical interpretation and spirituality with the Bible in the Roman Catholic tradition, including a comprehensive study of some major books of the Old and New Testaments. Students who fulfill the requirements of the first two years receive a Certificate of Basic Scripture Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago.

Advanced Scripture Studies
The remaining two years (an additional six units of study) delve more deeply into the Old and New Testaments, covering all other books in the Bible. Students who complete this phase receive a Certificate of Advanced Scripture Studies from the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago. PLEASE NOTE: Currently, this phase of study is only available Online.

Course Offerings for Academic Year 2021-22:

First Year Class

Old Testament Foundations – Genesis through Kings:

ONLINE : Tuesday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON 

  • Unit I:  "The Exodus Experience," September through November (Fall Term)
  • Unit II:  "Reflections on the Origins," January through March (Winter Term)
  • Unit III:  "Taking, Governing, Losing the Land," March through June (Spring Term)

Second Year Class

New Testament Foundations – Jesus and Discipleship

ONLINE :  Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

  • Unit I:  "Jesus: Two Synoptic Views," September through November (Fall Term)
  • Unit II:  "Jesus: A Pauline View," January through March (Winter Term)
  • Unit III:  "Jesus: Johannine Views," March through June (Spring Term)

Third Year Class

Old Testament Continued – Exile and Restoration

ONLINE :  Tuesdays, 10:00 AM  – 12:00 NOON

ONLINE :  Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

  • Unit I:  "Prophecy Before the Exile," September through November (Fall Term)
  • Unit II:  "Exile and Restoration," January through March (Winter Term)
  • Unit III:  "After the Exile," March through June (Spring Term)

Fourth Year Class

Old and New Testaments Concluded – The Word in the Hellenistic World

ONLINE :  Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

ONLINE :  Wednesday, 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON

  • Unit I:  "Wisdom in Israel," September through November (Fall Term)
  • Unit II:  "Judaism in the Hellenistic World," January through March (Winter Term)
  • Unit III:  "Early Christian Development," March through June (Spring Term)

Course Fees:

$125.00 for one unit of study

Program Requirements

  • Access to a computer with Internet 
  • An individual (not shared) email address
  • Purchase of course student workbook (one per year, each covering three units of study and other required texts)
  • Optional purchase of recommended reference books

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the IPS Scripture School (IPS-SS)




Academic Year 2020 - 2021


Year One


Year Two

IPS_Booklist_yr2 (2020)

Year Three

IPS_Booklist_yr3 (2021)

Year Four

IPS_Booklist_yr4 (2021)




IPS Cursos Biblicos en Español


Interview with Dr. Brian Schmisek, on April 28, 2017