Salem U

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SalemU creates an environment for spiritual formation where we increase our understanding of God and our connections to people at Salem as well as the world around us. 

  • 101 Discover—Develop a closer relationship with God as basic teachings of Christianity are explained in some classes while our membership class, known as Discovering God, explains how to be a member of Salem 
  • 201 Connect—Gives us the opportunity to connect with people and Christ in a Christian community environment through discussion style learning 
  • 301 Life Skill—Equips us with skills and tools to live a more productive and fulfilling Christian life in our family, finances and leadership 
  • 401 Pastor’s Classes—Unpack God’s Word on a deeper level as our pastors teach a theme or book of the Bible through in depth lecture 
  • 501 Apologetics—Equips us with answers to why we believe what we believe when we are asked to defend our faithThis year we intentionally offer more dynamic speakers via video to enhance your spiritual growth options. Unless otherwise noted, to have the best class experience, each class must have at least 8 people pre-registered before the session begins. 

Class Descriptions:

101 Discover
Discovering God

This is Salem’s membership class that allows you to learn historic doctrines important to Lutherans and the values unique to Salem Lutheran Church. You will discover who God is and the recurring themes of the Bible. 

Moving Mountains

In this video series, John Eldredge offers a hopeful approach to prayer that is effective, relational, and can make a difference in your personal relationship with God.

201 Connect

Life Group Experience

Not in a life group yet? Come join with others to explore the benefits of living in Christian community. No commitment necessary!

Life Group Formation

Looking for a life group? Several new life groups are forming loosely around where people live in relation to Salem, developing their own unique mission and goals within Salem’s overall mission and values. Leaders and topics TBD by each group. 

301 Life Skills

Financial Peace University

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a nine-week class on money taught by America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Through video, Dave and his teaching team will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future and much more! Cost: $95 which includes both pods of SalemU that are required to complete the class. 

His Needs Her Needs

For over twenty-five years, His Needs, Her Needs has been transforming marriages all over the world. Invest six weeks enhancing your marriage through this video based study with Willard and Joyce Harley as they explain the important concept of the Love Bank. As you walk through the study together you will remember why you fell in love in the first place, renew your commitment to your marriage and rediscover your passion for one another. This class is designed for married couples.

It Starts At Home

Your children can grow up smart, athletic, popular and polite but lack a vibrant relationship with Christ. The few hours kids spend in church each week can be helpful, but it cannot nurture a faith in them that will withstand the trials that are on the horizon. It must start at home. Matt Chandler will help equip you to develop the faith of your children.

Living Your Strengths

During this six-week course, you will learn about your God-given talents and how to leverage them at work, as a spouse, a parent and an active member of Salem. Participants will learn how to improve their communication and interactions with others. This course is for families (children older than 15), couples and individuals. Pre-registration is required and class minimum is 10 people.

Without This Ring

From a firm biblical standpoint, Donna Pyle offers Christ-centered steps toward hope and healing for those who are navigating the minefield of divorce. Donna has been through it. She knows what it’s like, dealing with the anger and struggling with the idea of forgiveness. She will help you understand that people who are divorced are wounded, they are not defeated.

Your Kids Are Unsupervised Right Now

Come and learn more about how God calls you to be a leader like Jesus and how to practically take steps to do so in your life. Serving like Jesus is a pretty big concept. Yet, servant leadership can be a pretty simple process. We’re going to help you eat this elephant one little, life-changing bite at a time. (And for those of you concerned…we will have capable and caring adults with all the children during this class. Trust us.)

401 Pastor’s Class

Loving The Unlovable

The Word of God will knock on every heart’s door and take us one step closer to being a man or woman after God’s own heart as this class addresses one of the biggest human weaknesses—which is to not be so quick to give grace as much as we are to receive it.

John 15 Secrets Of The Vine

Jesus is the Vine of Life. This class reveals four levels of "fruit bearing" (doing the good work of God), and reveals three life-changing truths that will lead you to new joy and effectiveness in His Kingdom. Secrets of the Vine opens your eyes to the Lord's hand in your life and uncovers surprising insights that will point you to a new path of consequence for God's glory.

The Book of James is an "in your face" book. Some theologians, including Luther, weren't even sure it should be included as part of the 66 books that make up the Bible today because it is so focused on the law. As we live in the grace that was won for us on the cross, James provides wonderful morsels of truth for our everyday living. Come enjoy a lively discussion as we are challenged to live our faith out loud.

501 Apologetics

The Case For A Creator

Former atheist Lee Strobel has discovered that science, far from being the enemy of faith, now provides a solid foundation for belief in God. New scientific discoveries point to the incredible complexity of our universe, a complexity best explained by the existence of a Creator. This video-based study invites participants to encounter this evidence, delivered in a compelling conversational style. 

The Case For Christ

Bestselling author Lee Strobel takes you on an investigation of the life of Jesus from historical evidence and expert testimony. This video based series gives evidence of Jesus' life, death, resurrection and divinity from sources other than the gospels.

The Reason For God 

This video-based study with Timothy Keller will help you learn how to engage others in dialogue on common objections to Christianity. Learn how to field questions from “Hasn’t science disproved Christianity?” to “How can God be full of love and wrath at the same time?”. 

Faculty

Tim Carter

Tim, Salem’s Life Care Pastor, is passionate about doing life together with the Salem family, in good times and in bad. He loves to encourage others as they strive to grow closer to Jesus as the head of this family daily so we can represent Him well. 

Doug Dommer

Doug’s love for the Word of God and his desire to make it real, understandable and applicable shows through in his in-depth approach to studying Scripture. As Teaching Pastor at Salem, he seeks to equip followers of Jesus to build their lives on the solid foundation of His Word.  

Doug and Tawnya Mitchell

Doug and Tawnya arrived at Salem from Louisiana on the winds of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Salem quickly became home! The Mitchells have incorporated the Financial Peace philosophy as a lifestyle and their story has demonstrated the power of using God’s money God’s way.

Tim Niekerk

Tim’s desire to help people pursue real life, one where they know their identity is found in being one of God’s children and not in what they have accomplished. As Salem’s Senior Pastor, Tim’s hope for our family at Salem is to discover who God is, connect with new friends in a life group and pursue real life as we impact our community and world for Jesus.

Kevin Pieper

Kevin has been a Salem staff member since 1990 and currently serves as Salem’s Minister of Mission and Outreach. For Kevin, it doesn’t get any better than seeing a person turn to Christ. He gets to see this all the time—here in Texas and around the world. He enjoys sharing Christ in our community and seeing others do the same.

Donna Pyle

Donna has served on Salem’s worship team for over 20 years. She is a multi-published author and speaker who loves studying and teaching from Scripture. 

Amanda Rendon

Amanda is Salem’s Children’s Minister for Birth through Pre-K. She is an 8th generation Salem member who is passionate about children and life at Salem. Amanda absolutely loves teaching children the truths about God and the love that Jesus has for them no matter how young they might be. One of her greatest joys in life is spending time with her daughter Adalyn who she sees as her greatest blessing.     

Jason Schleicher 

Jason is Salem’s Director of Children’s Ministry who doesn’t shy away from leadership. In his past, he has applied to be on the TV show Survivor, written a personal letter to the Detroit Lions owner seeking consideration for a management position and baked a tasty cake called “Holy Cow Cake” with his twin sons for his wife’s birthday. He sees himself as a bold leader who is still learning how to lead like Christ in all areas of his life.  

Jeff Tobaben

As CEO & Founding Partner of Evolve Performance Group, Jeff’s mission is to empower companies to make data-driven decisions and execute corporate strategies to positively impact business outcomes. Jeff is a life-long member of the LCMS. He and his wife Tanya have been members of Salem for four years.

Video Presenters

Matt Chandler

Matt is the teaching pastor at The Village Church and the president of the Acts 29 Network, a network of churches planting churches. Matt is a leading teacher in the podcast world and has authored three books, with a fourth on the way.

John Eldredge

John is an author, counselor and teacher. He is also president of Ransomed Heart, a ministry devoted to helping people discover the heart of God, recover their own hearts in God's love and learn to live in God's Kingdom. 

Bill and Joyce Harley

Bill is a nationally acclaimed licensed clinical psychologist, a marriage counselor, and the bestselling author of numerous books. Joyce is a talk show host and a producer, active in evangelism and is a recording artist with a vibrant Bible teaching and singing ministry. As husband and wife, they combine their talents to host Marriage Builders® Radio, a daily radio call-in show answering listeners' questions on marriage. 

Timothy Keller

Timothy is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. For over twenty years he has led a diverse congregation of young professionals. He is also Chairman of Redeemer City to City, which starts new churches in global cities and publishes books and resources for faith in an urban culture. 

Dave Ramsey

After losing everything, Dave went on a quest to find out how money really works, how he could take control of it, and how he could have confidence in handling it. He came to realize that his money problems, worries and shortages largely began and ended with him. He also realized that if he could learn to manage his character, he would win with money. 

Lee Strobel

“My road to atheism was paved by science … but, ironically, so was my later journey to God.” Former atheist Lee Strobel has discovered that science, far from being the enemy of faith, now provides a solid foundation for belief in God.