Ethics & Issues

Good Call: Ethics for Churches in the 21st Century


We make decisions all the time – often under pressure because of time constraints, or the expectations of people around us. How can we be sure that the decisions that matter are good decisions? How can we be sure that these decisions are made well, that good outcomes are sought, and that the decision-making process honours God and respects those around us? 

This course explores ethics for the local church and aims to equip individuals and churches to make good choices. It outlines some of the key ethical principles relating to making moral (good/bad) choices, and the riches that the Christian church brings to the task of doing ethics.  


A 5-week topical course which can easily be expanded to include additional topics.

Format Available On-site; Online (zoom); or Gateway Online (by summer 2022)

Initial Topics 

    • Session 1 Principles and Resources – making ethical decisions
    • Session 2 Caring for the Environment
    • Session 3 Medical Dilemmas
    • Session 4 Sex & Marriage
    • Session 5 Ethical Talk – and Listening

Additional Topics

  • Session 6 Reproductive Technologies
  • Session 7 Computing and Artificial Intelligence
  • Session 8 Just War Theory
  • And others…

Rev Dr Stephen Goundrey-Smith is an experienced parish priest, a pharmacist, scholar in Christian ethics and Associate Tutor in Christian Ethics at Cuddesdon College – Gloucester & Hereford.

Format On Site & Online

Facilitator Dr Ian Donald

Ageing Gracefully: A Practical Theology of later life


We all like to pretend that ageing only happens to others and not us. “Ageing gracefully” is a course for those who are ready to face up to this reality. Through biblical themes we will try to understand God’s purposes in a long life.

Together we will explore how Christians might respond to the challenges we often face towards the end of our earthly life – both in ourselves and in caring for those we love. What might it mean to remain fresh and green still bearing fruit into old age?

And two things the course is NOT about: it is not top tips for retirement; secondly, although it will include medical perspectives on the issues raised, it is not primarily a guide on how to stay healthy in old age.


A six week course for Christians who wish to explore some of the theological issues raised by an ageing society.

  • Session 1: What do I mean by ageing?
  • Session 2: God’s purpose on ageing – biblical themes
  • Session 3: Finding Healing in the Fourth Age
  • Session 4: Giving and receiving Care
  • Session 5: Dementia and personhood
  • Session 6: Dying well

Dr Ian Donald is a Consultant in Old Age Medicine, recently retired from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

creation, climate and christianity logo

Format: On-site or Online interactive

Facilitator Daniel Button

Creation, Climate and Christianity


Climate change is an issue that has become front and centre in the world today, in the news, politics, finance, and international relations.  Scientists have been sounding the warnings for decades, and year by year the situation for humanity and the earth seems more dire.  Yet the Church has been slow to respond.  Is this really an issue that Christians should be concerned about?  Doesn’t God have a plan for the future, and shouldn’t we trust him to bring it about?  Should we really be trying to take matters into our own hands?  

Or rather, should Christians be leading the way?  After all, God is the Creator of this incredible planet with all its life and diversity!  He’s the sustainer and redeemer of ALL creation, not just human beings – and he’s given us a key role to play in that future plan. The growing movement of ‘Creation Care’ amongst Christians around the world recognises this reality and sees our relationship to creation as a vital and neglected aspect of our Christian faith.  It sees humanity as unique yet intrinsically part of creation.  Creation care is therefore a gospel issue!  It’s different from the secular cry to ‘save the planet’ yet there’s also common ground.  But what is the theological justification for such a radically different perspective on our faith and mission?


This course explores the challenges of climate change in relation to our Christian faith, together with unique insights into the theology of creation, our role as God’s image-bearers and caretakers, and our response as individuals and as members of a wider church and society.
  • Climate Change – exploring the Science
  • God, Creation, Humanity – exploring a relational theology of Creation
  • Creation care – exploring our biblical and theological justification for Christian action
  • The Future – exploring perspectives on God’s future plan for humanity and the earth
  • Our Response – exploring how we might think and what we can do

Format On Site

Facilitator Daniel Button

Contemporary Issues in Christian Perspective


Most people today feel overwhelmed by the rapid pace of social and cultural change – and how to respond to it all.  Governments, scientists and policy-makers all struggle to keep up, so what hope is there for the Church?  And yet as Christians we are called to be ‘salt and light’, to speak truth to power, to be a prophetic voice in our own culture and society.  What resources can we draw from theologically and biblically to respond to new and unprecedented challenges like climate change, same-sex marriage, gender dysphoria, and artificial intelligence?  How can we become more confident in responding to the pervasive challenges and the inexorable shifts in culture, morality, and society?   This course provides a forum for a deeper engagement with today’s challenges from a Christian perspective.


  • Introduction to Contemporary Issues
  • Exploring a Christian Response to:
  • Globalization
  • Same Sex Relationships
  • Artificial Intelligence and Bio-tech
  • Digital Technology and Social-Media
  • Gender Issues & Dysforia
  • Climate Change and Environmental Issues
  • Refugees, Migration and Immigration
  • Wealth, Inequality, Poverty & Justice

Format On-site only

Facilitator Marilyn Baldwin

Course motto: ‘Theology is how we think about the world, ourselves, and everything – in relation to God.’  Dan Button, GTS website. 

Who Cares?


From an early age we realise that other people have expectations of us: we need to become civilised, conform to rules, work hard, pass exams and achieve in life.  Sometimes the favoured goals seem unattainable.  We can’t manage on our own.  We feel inadequate. Where can we turn for trustworthy support?

In our current environment of fast pace, electronic noise and exposure to glitzy advertisement, where can we find sound guidance?  In this Facebook era, which encourages us to claim many ‘friends’, some of whom we may have met once or less, where do we find a reliable friend on whom we can depend?  We will reflect on the bewilderment of modern life, the temptations to be always part of the ‘in crowd’ and turn to the story of God’s People for guidance. 

Can the experience of a group nomads in a desert really relate to us now?  Come and find out.  Just remember to bring a bible; any translation welcome, we shall be going exploring.

Overview:  This course explores some of the difficulties faced in 21st century life, ways in which help can be offered and, most importantly, how life situations relate to our understanding of God.

  • Life’s Rich Tapestry – what do we need in life?
  • When things fall apart – who offers help?
  • Relationships; Learning to trust – how does God come into this?
  • Looking to the Future – practicalities and promise.
  • Our relationship with God’s creation – God made pangolins as well.
  • Our response – exploring our responses and talents.

Format Online (Zoom) or On-site

Facilitator Rev Dr Daniel Button

Israel – Palestine: Past and Present


Everyone is aware of the horrific, ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, with the Palestinians of Gaza caught in the middle. The repercussions have rippled all around the world, as the war continues with no end in sight. But what’s it all about? Why is the world so up in arms over a tiny strip of land? What has caused such fierce animosity between peoples, regions, & nations? And how far back does one need to go to really understand this deeply complex and impossible situation? It may be tempting to see the conflict through a ‘biblical lens’, but that misses out 2,500 years of crucial history and development.

As Christians, we believe that God loves the Palestinians and the Israelis, and they each hold a special place in God’s heart. With that premise, this course traces the history of both peoples, exploring the origins, developments, worldviews, and complexities leading up to the present conflict. This course does not deal with the current conflict directly. Its purpose is not to be controversial, nor to explore solutions. It provides a thorough background and framework for deeper understanding, from which constructive conversations can emerge.


This course explores the background, history, religious views, and geo-political developments of both peoples, the Palestinians (Arabs) and the Israelis (Jews).  The course is short and informative rather than discussion-based, comprised of a sweeping overview in three historical periods:

  1. Ancient history: from Abraham to the Roman empire
  2. Middle history: from the Bar Kochba revolt (Rome) to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire
  3. Modern history: from WW1 British Palestine to the post-WW2 UN solution (and beyond)
  4. Optional – Modern Context: the further developments of modern Israel & Palestine to the present

Format On Site

Facilitator Rev Dr Daniel Button

Issues in Science and Faith


This course explores the dynamic and fascinating relationship between science and faith.  Despite the common perception that science and faith are in conflict, this is a very misleading view – science and faith are in fact two unique perspectives on God’s reality, and there is so much interaction between them that it actually boggles the mind – if only we stop to look, instead of focusing on the cultural and media portrayal of conflict, where the aim is to defeat the other.  Conflict makes the news, but the reality is an extraordinarily fruitful – yet challenging – relationship.  In fact there’s far more conflict within science and within religion than there is between the two.  This course takes the ‘Two Books’ view:  The book of God’s works (accessible through science), and the book of God’s words (the revelation of Scripture).  Both are complementary, valuable and unique perspectives on reality – a reality which includes both the physical and spiritual realm, and demands a fuller interpretation than either can achieve alone.


This course explores several aspects of science and faith:

  • Their inter-relationship (historically and today)
  • Historical examples of conflict and resolution
  • A pathway to positive interaction
  • Our Christian perception and response to issues today

Dan is a passionate teacher with an interdenominational background and teaching experience in 5 countries. He believes that every Christian is a theologian at heart, just needing the opportunity to explore God’s word and God’s world more deeply.  

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