Simpson University for Seniors

Simpson University for Seniors is a series of month-long courses offered to adults of all ages. Classes are offered on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:20 – 11:20 a.m. in the Owen Student Services Center on the Simpson University campus.

The cost per course is $95 per person or $145 per married couple. Participants can take classes in eight areas of study: history, science, literature, music and art, Bible, theology, and personal development. Space is limited, and students will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis. Early registration is highly encouraged.

Simpson for Seniors is an educational program at Simpson University, designed for the community's senior citizens. KRCR-TV Anchor Mike Mangas interviews the program director and several people who have taken the courses.

If you do not wish to register online, please download the 2013-2014 Registration Form (PDF). Please send the completed form and a check for the total amount to:
Simpson University for Seniors
2211 College View Dr., Redding CA, 96003

Spring 2014 Courses

View Instructor Bios and Videos

January 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 22, 24, 27, 29

Political Economics and the World Today: It is well known that governments influence the economy, and in turn the economy affects how societies view their governments. For example, socialists and capitalists see what is happening through different lenses. This course will focus on some of the ways that politicians, investors, merchants—and gangsters—look at and behave in our world. Presented by Professor Gary Schmidt.

Discovering a “Forgotten Book” of the Bible: I & II Chronicles: There are two major histories recorded in the Old Testament—the one that begins in the book of Joshua and ends with II Kings. Centuries later, a second history was written, often covering the same historical content. The course will compare and contrast the two histories, but focus primarily on the Chronicler: his audience and his presuppositions. Presented by Dr. Glenn Schaefer.

February 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 19, 21, 24, 26

Where We Began: A Geography of Africa and Asia: A highly visual overview of the “Dark Continent” of Africa and the “Exotic Lands” of Asia. Modern geographers divide these continents into the realms of North Africa-Southwest Asia, Subsaharan Africa, South Central Asia and East Asia. Each realm will be viewed through the lenses of physical geography, cultural geography, economic geography and political geography. Presented by Professor Don Claspill.

The Dead Sea Scrolls: This course will examine one of the most amazing archaeological finds of modern times, along with the intense political intrigue surrounding their discovery. Who wrote them and why? When and where were they composed or copied? What has over half a century of scholarship taught us about these documents? What factors make them so vital to our understanding of ancient Judaism and Christianity today? Presented by Dr. Len Wallmark.

March 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21, 24

Seven Events that Shaped Christian Doctrine: This course will trace the development of the doctrines of the Church from the time of Constantine until the split between eastern and western Christendom in 1054. With only a few exceptions, they are the doctrines that Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches have in common. But they were hotly debated in the first Christian millennium, and required councils convened by emperors and backed by state authority to resolve. Presented by The Rev. Jeffrey Smith.

March 26, 28, 31 and April 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16

Lincoln: The Man behind the Film: Daniel Day-Lewis’ Academy Award-winning performance in Steven Spielberg’s film, Lincoln (2012), captivated moviegoers and brought renewed attention to our sixteenth president. Abraham Lincoln is understood by many to be nothing short of an American hero—even legendary. But who was Lincoln, really? In this course we'll examine Lincoln's writings on politics, slavery, marriage, family, religion, war, and freedom, drawing our own conclusions about the man we simply know as "Lincoln." Presented by Dr. John Ayabe.

Christian Apologetics: Exercising Faith in a Doubting World: Apologetics is the branch of theology and philosophy that focuses on giving a reasoned defense for our Christian faith. This class is an introductory but serious course focused on the major issues and approaches to Christian apologetics. Topics include the nature and limits of apologetics, approaches to apologetics, the problem of evil, and apologetics in everyday life. Presented by Dr. Brian Larsen.

Summer 2014 Courses

View Instructor Bios and Videos

NOTE: The six class sessions meet from 10:00-11:40 over a two-week period. Therefore, a person may register for both classes.

April 28, 30 and May 2, 5, 7, 9

Here I Stand! - The Protestant Reformation: An overview of the massive spiritual reform movement that swept Europe in the 16th century drove the great colonial rivalries of the 17th-19th centuries, and has profoundly impacted the whole world into the 21st century. Special focus will be placed on leading reformers such as Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, John Knox and John Wyclif; as well as auxiliary reform movements such as the English Reformation and Anabaptism. Presented by Professor Don Claspill.

May 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, 23

The Transition from Judaism to Christianity in the New Testament: This course will look at the shift from a Judaism-centered belief system to a Jesus-centered belief system in the time before Jesus' death and immediately following. It will examine the cultural, spiritual, and political culture clash therein. Moreover, it will underscore how revolutionary the idea of "righteousness through faith" truly was and is. Presented by Professor Dawn Bulchandani.


Q: When do the classes meet?

A: Classes offered from September to April meet ten times on a M-W-F format from 10:20-11:20 a.m. The May courses meet six times on a M-W-F format from 10:00-11:40 over a two-week period.

Q: Where are the classrooms?

A: Classes meet on campus in the Owen Center.

Q: Are there restrooms near the classroom?

A: They are on the same floor as the classroom.

Q: Is the classroom "user friendly" for people in wheelchairs?

A: Yes.

Q: Do I have to climb stairs?

A: No. There is an elevator that one can take from the Owen Center lobby to the second or third floor.

Q: Is there a limit to the size of the class?

A: The classrooms used determine the size of the class. The largest room seats 45 people.

Q: Is there any homework?

A: None is required, although a presenter may suggest readings or writing assignments.

Q: Are there textbooks that have to be purchased?

A: None is required, but the presenter may recommend that you bring something to the class.

Q: Can these courses be taken for college credit?

A: No. These courses are not-for-credit.

Q: Can the courses count for "Continuing Education Units"? [CEU]

A: Check with your employer to see if he/she will accept these courses for CEU "credits".

Q: How can I register?

A: You can register online at It will open in “Academics.” In the left column, scroll down to “SU for Seniors.” That allows you to pay by credit card. If you prefer, you can complete a paper registration form & pay with a check.

Q: Can I come to campus to register?

A: You can register and pay by check in the Advancement Office, third floor of the Owen Center.

Q: Where do I send in my registration form?

A: Simpson University for Seniors, 2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003.

Q: To whom do I make out the check?

A: "Simpson University"

Q: Can I register for courses scheduled for spring 2014?

A: Registration for spring courses opens on October 1, 2013.

Q: What is the cost for the course?

A: Each course costs $95 per person. If a couple registers for the same course, the cost is $145 - a savings of $50.

Q: Can my spouse and I sign up for two different courses and pay still $145 (instead of $95 per course)?

A: No. To receive the discount, the couple must register for the same course.

Q: Is there an incentive for taking multiple courses?

A: There is! If one registers for three courses, the fourth one is free.

Q: Are there any scholarships?

A: No.

Q: Is there a discount if one registers for two or more courses at the same time? For veterans or SU alumni?

A: No.

Q: How can I pay?

A: If you register online, you can use a credit card. If you mail in the completed registration form, you can pay by check.

Q: Can I register and pay later?

A: No. One is registered only after one completes the registration form and pays the fee.

Q: What is your refund policy?

A: There are no refunds. (If the class is full when you seek to register for the class, your payment will be returned to you.)

Q: Where can I park?

A: The closest spaces are in the parking lot of the Heritage Center (gym). However, you may park in the lot to the west of the Owen Center.

Q: Are there spaces for handicap parking?

A: Directly facing the Owen Center lobby are three spaces.

Q: Can I park on the street parallel to the Owen Center?

A: Unfortunately, no parking on campus streets is allowed.

Q: Who are the instructors?

A: The presenters are current or semi-retired professors or experts in their fields.

View Instructor Bios and Videos

Q: How young can a person be to begin taking these courses?

A: Any adult can register for a course. There are no age limits.

Q: Can I record the class sessions?

A: Each presenter decides whether or not to allow lectures to be recorded.

Q: May I use the campus library if I am a SU for Seniors student?

A: Yes! You have the same privileges as other SU students for the year.

Q: Whom can I contact for more information?

A: Dr. Glenn Schaefer, coordinator, at or 530-226-4146.