View THE Art of Engaging Holy Scripture video here

The ART of Engaging Holy Scripture (TAEHS)

Adult Small Groups Curriculum

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,

and do not return there until they have watered the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;

it shall not return to me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. 

Isaiah 55:10–11

The ART of Engaging Holy Scripture is a unique small group Bible study curriculum that is much more than a typical “Bible Study.” TAEHS imparts a lively method of engaging the Scriptures through reading and study, conversational prayer and silent prayer, and group sharing. This dynamic method gradually leads to the experience of the Holy Spirit’s presence – in the Scriptures, one’s self, and the people around us.

The TAEHS curriculum is currently in use by several Episcopal churches in Texas, Arizona and California. One long time participant, a member of an Arizona Episcopal church, shared her feelings regarding the program: “The ‘engaging’ is what I enjoy most about the curriculum. Instead of ‘studying’ the book we learn to have a conversation with the Living Word. We respond honestly (which may be confusion, surprise, anger, joy, doubt, or comfort), take those questions and thoughts to God and seek to perceive a response. It’s amazing what we learn from listening to each others’ experiences. Each group member has become my comrade on a journey. We may be stumbling along, but we are not alone and God has not been silent.”

Known by the acronym TAEHS, and over 10 years in the making, the curriculum was developed by the Rev. Jim Clark, Rector of St. Barnabas on the Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona, in association with clergy colleagues, parishioners, and biblical scholars. The idea for development of a different kind of Bible study curriculum came to Clark and his colleagues shortly after he entered parish ministry. He noticed that even though Episcopalians placed high value on the Bible, they did not seem comfortable approaching the Bible on their own. On the one hand, he saw people looking to scholars to tell them what the Bible said, and on the other hand, shying away from the overly-literal approach they observed in the “Bible churches.”

“Our goal developed from that experience,” Clark says. “We wanted to put the Bible back in the hands of the people as a foundational source for their spiritual journey. What was interesting to us was that Episcopalians valued the Bible so highly yet seemed afraid of it. Then, as the idea of a curriculum developed, we noticed a great hunger not just for the Bible but also for small groups. As a result, TAEHS developed over time as a small group curriculum for Episcopalians. It is the result of extensive research in small group dynamics, adult learning models and methods, small group leadership, and Benedictine spirituality.”

For people who are new to the Bible, the Study Guide includes clear instructions for how to navigate one’s way. Such things as what the Bible actually consists of, how to look up Biblical references, why there are so many translations and how to evaluate them, and how to choose a study Bible are included.

The Study Guide also provides a succinct portrayal of the Story line of the Bible such that the entire Biblical Story is quickly comprehended. It then concisely relates this Story line to our Eucharistic worship. In this way the curriculum provides a Biblical and Ecclesiological framework that dramatically aids learning.

The TAEHS curriculum is designed for Episcopal small groups, but can be used by participants in other Christian traditions. Groups are led by trained facilitators in weekly sessions based upon Study Guides that all participants use. The Study Guides also provide careful directions for participants to engage in reading, praying, and studying the Bible on their own. At weekly meetings, participants begin with prayer, share responses to theme questions, engage Scripture texts together, and report their experiences from their personal studies.

New groups begin each fall. Weekly daytime and evening groups are available. Contact St. Luke's Director of TAEHS, Glad Curlee here for more information.

Empowered by Extend, a church software solution from