One Saturday a month nearly 100 adults — men and women, lay and religious — gather from across the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the surrounding areas to study scripture at the Catholic Bible Institute. Since its inception in 1993, the Catholic Bible Institute has been co-sponsored by the Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Center for Religion and Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University. The Institute is a three-year formation program of studying, sharing and praying God's word. The first two years provide overviews of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures while a third year introduces adult participants to facilitation skills in order to plan and organize Bible study groups in local parishes. Graduation and certification take place at the end of the third year.As with all efforts in evangelization, one of the challenges is fostering an ever-deepening commitment to discipleship of Jesus through experience with the Scriptures. The Catholic Bible Institute seeks to answer the needs of adult education and bible leadership formation. The Institute provides a pastoral, professional, prayerful and personal experience of the Word of God:Pastoral: The Institute strives to train leaders to present Bible Study Programs at the parish level. Professional: The Institute presents a Catholic approach to the study of the Scriptures using contemporary scholarship. Prayerful: Participants get a sense of the rich spiritual tradition of our Catholic heritage.Personal: Participants are challenged to grow in a deeper understanding and practice of the Word of God in their lives.Classes are held at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood and by video link at St. Louis de Montfort church in Santa Maria. The Institute accepts new students only every other year. A new cycle of classes begins this December. The fee for the program is $250 per year for Certification in Bible Study Leadership. Participants who seek to engage the scriptures for their own personal enrichment may do so at the reduced rate of $190 per year. Kay Murdy is a team member of the Catholic Bible Institute. For information, visit http://www.la-archdiocese.org/org/ore/aff/Pages/cbi.aspx or contact Melinda Evangelista, (213) 637-7358 or [email protected]