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First Principles (Women)

The best place to start is here with our First Principles course. It focuses on  the most fundamental principles for studying and teaching the Bible.
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Abi Byrd

Deacon of Women's Ministry

Abi serves as Deacon of women’s ministry at Loudoun Valley Baptist Church where she mentors and disciples women and teaches a Bible Study. She also speaks for evangelistic events and retreats at other churches. Abi has a BEd Honors degree in music and education from Cambridge University. She has been a teacher in elementary school and served with the children’s ministry on staff at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. She and her family have also served as missionaries in the UK and Kosovo with Radstock Ministries, of which she is part of the Board.


Colleen McFadden

Director of Women's Workshops, Charles Simeon Trust

Colleen joined the Charles Simeon Trust in 2007 and serves as the Director of Women’s Workshops, where she is responsible for all activities related to the Workshops for women Bible teachers. Prior to working with the Trust, she was in the corporate world for several years in sales and marketing. Colleen earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the College of Business, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She also serves on the board of Matthias Media Ministries. Colleen and her husband, Kevin, live in the Philadelphia area, where he teaches New Testament at Cairn University. Colleen enjoys teaching women and training women to read the Bible in her local church context.


Kristie Anyabwile

Associate Director of Women's Workshops, Charles Simeon Trust

Kristie joined the Charles Simeon Trust in 2017 and serves as the Associate Director of Women’s Workshops. In this role, she helps the Director of Women’s Workshop with all of our ministry related to women. Kristie is a pastor’s wife and mom as well as a Bible teacher and writer. She has bachelor’s degrees from NC State University in History and African American Studies. She joyfully supports her husband of 25 years, Thabiti, as he pastors Anacostia River Church in Washington D.C. She has written contributions to the ESV Women’s Devotional Bible, Word-Filled Women’s Ministry: Loving and Serving the Church, Women on Life, and Hospitality Matters. You can follow her on Twitter at @kanyabwile.


Kathleen B. Nielson

Author, Speaker

Kathleen holds an MA and a PhD in Literature from Vanderbilt University and a BA from Wheaton College. She has taught in the English departments at Vanderbilt University, Bethel College, and Wheaton College. She is on the Board of Directors of the Charles Simeon Trust and serves as the Director of Women’s Initiatives for the Gospel Coalition. She is the author of numerous Bible studies including Proverbs1 & 2 Thessalonians, and several others in the Living Word Bible Studies series. Kathleen has directed and taught women’s Bible studies at several churches and speaks extensively at conferences and retreats. Kathleen is married to Dr. Niel Nielson, former President of Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.


Nancy Guthrie

Teacher and Conference Speaker

Nancy teaches the Bible at conferences nationally and internationally and contributes to the Gospel Coalition blogs. She and her husband host Respite Retreat, a weekend retreat for couples who have faced the death of a child. She is presently engaged in graduate studies via Reformed Theological Seminary Global. Nancy is author of numerous books, including Holding on to HopeHearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow and the five-book Seeing Jesus in the Old TestamentBible Study series.


Susan Jahns


Susan has taught in the College Church Women’s Bible Study since 2003. A longtime member of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, she served on staff for six years as a Children’s Ministry Associate. She earned her BA in Christian Education at Wheaton College.


The best place to start is here with our First Principles course. It focuses on  the most fundamental principles for ...More
The best place to start is here with our First Principles course. It focuses on  the most fundamental principles for studying and teaching the Bible.
Download Syllabus
Lesson 1

Staying on the Line

Nancy GuthrieIn this first lesson of First Principles, Nancy Guthrie tackles the sufficiency of the Scriptures and what happens when we add or subtract from them.
Lesson 2

Pathway for Preparation

Colleen McFaddenIn this lesson of First Principles, Colleen McFadden shares an overview of how an expositor might begin to approach the Word of God, a pathway for working through a text.
Lesson 3


Susan JahnsIn this lesson of First Principles, Susan Jahns explores how understanding both the literary and historical context can help you better understand and apply the text.
Lesson 4


Colleen McFaddenIn this lesson of First Principles, Colleen McFadden works through strategies for uncovering the structure of a particular text of Scripture, so that the emphasis of the text might be discovered.
Lesson 5

Melodic Line

Kristie AnyabwileIn this lesson of First Principles, Kristie Anyabwile suggests that one key to understanding a text is understanding the big idea of the whole book and how it relates to a particular text.
Lesson 6
Lesson 7

Seeing Jesus

Kathleen B. NielsonIn this lesson of First Principles, Kathleen Nielson makes the case that the Scriptures revolve around the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and, given that, that exposition should always relate the text to the gospel.
Lesson 8

Bible for Life

Colleen McFaddenIn this final lesson of First Principles, Colleen McFadden asks the question of how we move from exegesis and theological reflection to teaching and applying our text today.
Lesson 9

Course Summary

David R. HelmHere you'll find course documents and other helps for the course that are all available for download.