Why do we conduct the CrossExamined Instructor Academy (CIA)?
As you know, 75% of churched youth leave the church after high school. Intellectual skepticism is a major reason they leave, much of which they get at college. This will be the last Christian generation in America unless the Body of Christ acts immediately.
CrossExamined.org exists to engage primarily colleges, but also high school campuses and churches, with a reasonable and engaging case for Christianity. We do that by conducting I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist seminars at college, high schools, churches and other venues to which we are invited. Due to the magnitude of the problem, we are training a team of other qualified people to do this as well. That’s why we have established the CIA.
What is the CrossExamined Instructor Academy?
CIA is an intense three-day program where you will learn how to present I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist—which involves four main topics: Truth, God, Miracles and the New Testament—and how to answer questions about those topics in a hostile environment. During those three days, in addition to hearing lectures and participating in discussions, you will be asked to present a portion of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist and answer questions from several instructors including Frank Turek, Greg Koukl, Richard Howe, and others.
What is new about the 2015 CrossExamined Instructor Academy?
We are continuing a format that worked well the past two years. Prior to 2013, all students attended the same teaching sessions. This year each student will be able to choose from a series of breakout sessions, and then will have two opportunities to present to CIA instructors. We have made this change for two reasons.
First, presenting is more difficult to master than content. You can learn content by reading books and watching lectures, but learning to present that content takes actual practice before qualified instructors. So we want to spend a bit more time honing your presentation skills than we have in the past.
Second, breakout sessions provide several advantages including the opportunity to learn new content, go deeper into the arguments, and ask questions. It will also provide CIA graduates who attend again to learn some new material and tactics.
Who teaches at the Academy?
In addition to the main elements of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, the following instructors will present these topics (subject to change):
Dr. Frank Turek
– Answering the Five Toughest Questions in Five minutes or Less
– Science Doesn’t Say Anything: Scientists Do (a critique of Darwinism)
– How to Present Persuasively (co-presented with Greg Koukl)
-The Most Important Skill an Apologist Must Develop
– Developing the Qualities of an Ambassador
– The Top Five Tactics
– How to Present Persuasively (co-presented with Frank Turek)
Dr. Richard Howe:
– How philosophy can help your theology
– Answering the Arguments of Popular Atheism
– The Existence of God
– Can We Be Good Without God?
– Why I Take Students to Berkeley & What I’ve Learned
– If God is Good, Why is There Evil & Suffering?
J Warner Wallace
– Cold Case Christianity
Since the CIA class is deliberately kept small, this will be a unique opportunity for you to be instructed personally by some of the world’s best Christian apologists. Don’t miss out. Apply now!
What are the qualifications?
CIA is not a course where beginners learn apologetics, but a place where those with a solid foundation have their skills deepened and sharpened. It is NOT necessary to have a degree in apologetics or philosophy, but you should have a good working knowledge of the material. If you have good presentation skills, that will help too (CIA will improve those as well).
How can I prepare?
The Essentials: Don’t just read or listen, but study and outline our book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. This can be purchased along with the 12-show DVD series called Why I Still Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist at impactapologetics.com. At that same link, you can get the student workbook and teacher workbook that goes along with the DVD set. Those workbooks are great for teaching the material to a class or small group, but the full I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist curriculum goes much deeper. You need the curriculum because it supplements and updates the book, even if you just use the workbooks to teach.
Also read, outline and study Frank Turek’s new Stealing from God: Why Atheists need God to make their case, Greg Koukl’s Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions (the DVD version is available at STR.org), and J. Warner Wallace’s Cold Case Christianity. In addition, each week listen to the STR, William Lane Craig, J. Warner Wallace, and CrossExamined podcasts.
There are several other important works you should read or have for reference:
-Lee Strobel: The Case for the Real Jesus; The Case for Faith; The Case for the Creator (these are great because you get the main arguments from the best scholars)
-William Lane Craig: Hard Questions, Real Answers; God: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist; Reasonable Faith, On Guard.
– William Dembski: Evidence for God (with Mike Licona); Intelligent Design Uncensored (with Jonathan Witt)
– Paul Copan: Is God a Moral Monster?
– Timothy J. Koegel: The Exceptional Presenter: A Proven Formula to Open Up and Own the Room
– Norman L. Geisler: The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Answering Islam, When Critics Ask (This book may now be called The Big Book of Bible Difficulties.)
– You also will need to be familiar with the works of the popular atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.
During CIA, we are not going to present all portions of the presentation to you. We are going to spend more time helping you with presentation skills and how to answer questions. However, you will be asked to present a short portion of I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. As a result, you’ll want to get the Why I still Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist TV series on DVD and the PowerPoint from impactapologetics.com. Then practice presenting 15 minutes of it from any section of the presentation you want. (More details will come if you are accepted to CIA.).
What happens after completing CIA?
We would like you to present I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist wherever you can get invited—your church, youth groups, middle and high schools and anywhere else people will hear you. Bloom where you are planted! You will also become part of the CIA network of instructors that gives you exclusive access to our email forum where you can ask questions and exchange ideas about apologetics, Christianiity and related topics.
CrossExamined is not a speaker agency–we don’t schedule speaking opportunites for you. However, we are looking for seasoned apologists that CrossExamined may call on to present I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist on college campuses or other venues. CIA will help us identify potential candidates, but attending CIA does not guarantee you will be offered such opportunites. If after attending CIA you are interested in speaking when such opportunities arise, then you may submit your name for consideration.
When is the next CIA training program?
August 13-15, 2015 at Southern Evangelical Seminary near Charlotte, NC. Details will be announced in our ministry email. To be notified on this and future CIA programs, join our mailing list.
Where do I apply?
Click here to apply by June 25, 2015.
How much is tuition?
Tuition for the three-day program is $695. Students or alumni of Southern Evangelical Seminary (our host) may attend for $495. Graduates of previous CIA classes may attend for $350. This fee includes course notebook, lunches each day, dinner one night, and the non-refundable application fee of $25. See application above for details and the possibility of financial aid.
What about transportation and lodging?
Transportation and lodging are your responsibility. For lodging options near SES see the lodging page. Another option a bit further away (about 20 miles) but cheaper, is the Heritage Grand Hotel in Fort Mill, SC. Call the hotel directly at 1-800-542-0278 for rates. Once the final class has been selected, we will send out an e-mail to everyone to allow students to coordinate sharing accommodations.
What if I have other questions?
If you have any questions, please drop us an e-mail at JGil@crossexamined.org or contact us via the Contact page. We hope to see you at our next CIA training program!