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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

Ministry Associate, McLean Bible Church

Abi serves on staff as a Ministry Associate at McLean Bible Church, Loudoun Campus. She works in women’s ministry, discipleship, and coaching for Church Groups. 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.


Colleen McFadden

Director of Women's Workshops

Colleen serves as the Director of Women’s Workshops for the Charles Simeon Trust where she is responsible for all activities related to the Workshops for women Bible teachers. She helps teach in the women’s ministry at Windsor Baptist Church where she and her husband are members. Colleen was previously in the corporate world for several years in sales and marketing. She earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She also serves on the board of Matthias Media Ministries.


Kristie Anyabwile

Bible Teacher

Kristie is a pastor’s wife, mom, speaker, and Bible teacher. She has bachelor’s degrees from NC State University in History and African American Studies. She joyfully supports her husband, Thabiti, as he pastors Anacostia River Church in Washington D.C. She edited the volume His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God and she has written or spoken at conferences for the Front Porch, the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC), The Gospel Coalition, Desiring God, Revive Our Hearts, and Christianity Today. You can follow her on Instagram at @kristieanyabwile or Twitter at @kanyabwile.


Kathleen Nielson

Author, Speaker

Kathleen loves working with women in studying the Scriptures. She has taught literature, has directed women’s Bible studies, and has a heart for training in biblical exposition. Kathleen holds an MA and a PhD in Literature from Vanderbilt University and a BA from Wheaton College. From 2010 to 2017 Kathleen directed The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Initiatives. She is on the Board of Directors of the Charles Simeon Trust. She and her husband, Niel, make their home partly in Wheaton, Illinois, and partly in Jakarta, Indonesia. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and six granddaughters.


Nancy Guthrie

Bible Teacher, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church

Nancy Guthrie teaches the Bible at her home church, Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Franklin, Tennessee, as well as at conferences around the country and internationally, including her Biblical Theology Workshop for Women. She is the author of numerous books and is the host of the Help Me Teach the Bible podcast at The Gospel Coalition. She and her husband host Respite Retreats for couples who have faced the death of a child and are co-hosts of the GriefShare video series.


Susan Jahns

Bible Teacher, College Church

Susan has taught in the College Church Women’s Bible Study in Wheaton, Illinois since 2003. A longtime member of College Church, 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


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 4


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 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.

Course Resources

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