The Alpha Course

Alpha is for everyone! Catholics, non-Catholics, someone who is searching! Guests enjoy a relaxing evening of food and fellowship as they explore some of the fundamental questions of Christian faith. Alpha Guests are encouraged to attend all sessions and the retreat in order get the most out of The Alpha Course.

Click here to view the Fall 2018 session dates and topic areas.

Contact Wendy Butcher.


WHAT happens in The Alpha Course?

The Alpha Course lasts for 9 weeks, with a retreat-type session in the middle. The talks each week cover the following topics, acting as a springboard for the small group discussions:


  •  Session 1 Who is Jesus?
  • Session 2 Why did Jesus die?
  • Session 3 How can we have faith?; Why and how do I pray?
  • Session 4 Why and how should I read the Bible?
  • Session 5 How does God guide us?
  • Retreat
  • Session 6 How can I resist evil?
  • Session 7 Why and how should we tell others?
  • Session 8 Does God heal today?
  • Session 9 What about the Church?
  • Celebration Luncheon
What Will You Experience During a Typical Alpha Session?

Part 1:
Each gathering begins with a meal. This is a time of relaxation and fun.

Part 2:
Welcome and introduction.

Part 3:
Participants watch a video/talk that looks at a different aspect of the Christian faith each week.

Part 4:
A time of small group discussion follows during which everyone is welcome to contribute opinions and ask questions. People will usually stay in the same small group for the duration of the course so they will get to know one another, continue discussions and deepen friendships. The emphasis is upon exploration and discovery in a relaxed and nonjudgmental environment.

Interested in Learning about Hosting or Helping?

Hosts are facilitators who guide small group discussions through prepared questions. They foster open communication within the group by offering opinions rather than answers to questions.

Helpers support the small groups by greeting and welcoming guests. They are encouraged to attentively listen to group discussions and communicate with the Host regarding group interactions/dynamics.

NOTE: Hosts and Helpers are expected to attend all sessions, trainings and the retreat. They gather with the Session Leaders at least 30 minutes before each session for prayer and announcements.

Facilitator Training for Hosts and Helpers will be on September 9 at 9am-noon.

Praying with Others Training for Hosts and Helpers will be September 23 at 9am-noon.

Contact Wendy Butcher for more information.

Can I view the videos online?

Yes, if you missed a class or want to preview what is coming next, you can view the videos on youtube.

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Introductory Videos

The Alpha Course: Questions and Answers

What is The Alpha Course?

The Alpha Course is a practical introduction to the Christian faith, a place where guests have an opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed, friendly setting. The course usually meets once per week for 10 weeks and includes a day or weekend getaway in the middle. Each session, people enjoy great food, laughter and learning about the teachings of Jesus in a fun and friendly atmosphere where no question about life or God is seen as too simple or too hostile. There is no charge to attend The Alpha Course.

Who is Alpha For?

Alpha is for anyone. People attend Alpha from all backgrounds, religions and viewpoints. They come to investigate questions about the existence of God, the purpose of life, what happens after death, the teachings of Jesus and more. Many guests have never been to church; others may have attended church occasionally but feel they have never really understood the basics of the Christian faith; others attend church regularly. Everyone is welcome.

How Did Alpha Start?

The Alpha Course began at Holy Trinity Brompton Church in central London in the late 1970s as a means of presenting the basic principles of Christianity to new Christians. The Alpha Course teaches only the basic biblical teachings on which all Christians agree. Alpha has spread around the world, as more churches and courses found it an effective way to answer people’s questions about the Christian faith.

What is Alpha For Catholics?

Alpha for Catholics is simply The Alpha Course hosted in a Catholic setting. Alpha is a practical tool that parishes use to inspire Catholic renewal and answer the call of Christ and His church to “go and make disciples of all nations.” The Alpha Course is often lay-driven and has proven to be an effective tool for awakening faith in people who are on the fringe of parish life, faithful Catholics and those outside the faith.

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St. John Neumann Catholic Church

9633 East State Route 37

Sunbury, OH 43074

Phone: 740.965.1358


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