Methodism 101: Formation in Theology and Practice

Join us Friday-Saturday, February 23-24, 2024 at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

Experience an immersion in what it means to be Methodist through an engaging retreat at LTSS with space for spiritual renewal and holy experiences of community.

Featuring the Rev. Dr. Melanie Dobson, assistant professor of Methodist Studies at LTSS.

Learn key aspects of Methodist history and theology, including the:

  • Story of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, and the earliest Methodists
  • Importance of the theology of grace
  • Contributions and leadership of African Americans in Methodism
  • Organization and governance (polity) of the United Methodist Church

Registration Information

The event cost is $115 per person and includes all meals and retreat materials. Please note that registration for this event is limited to 30 registrants. 



Aerial view of LTSS campus with City of Columbia skyline

*Schedule is subject to minor changes in time and locations on LTSS campus.

  • Friday, February 23, 2024

    9 a.m.
    Arrive and Check-in
    Voigt Reception

    10 a.m.
    Welcome and Instruction Session 1: John Wesley and Early Methodism
    Voigt 2

    11:30 a.m.
    Small Group 1: Practice - Searching the Scriptures
    Voigt 2

    12:30 p.m.
    Student Union Café

    1 p.m.
    Instruction Session 2: Transforming Grace
    Voigt 2

    2:30 p.m.
    Small Group 2: Class meeting Practice (Tradition)
    Voigt 2

    3:30 p.m.
    Worship with Communion
    Christ Chapel

    4:30 p.m.

    5:30 p.m.
    Student Union Café

    6:15 p.m.
    Instruction session 3: Practical Divinity
    Voigt 2

    7:30 p.m.
    Small Group 3: Practice
    Voigt 2

    8:30 p.m.
    Rest and Reflection

  • Saturday, February 24, 2024

    8 a.m.
    Morning Prayer
    Christ Chapel

    8:15 am
    Breakfast (continental)
    Voigt Reception

    9 a.m.
    Instruction Session 4: The Method of Our Mission
    Voigt 2

    10:30 a.m.
    Small Group 4: Covenant Renewal Prayer/Discipleship
    Voigt 2

    11:30 a.m.
    Closing Worship: Celebration of the Love Feast
    Christ Chapel

    12:30 p.m.


  • Rev. Melanie Dobson, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
    Melanie Dobson

    The Rev. Melanie Dobson is an assistant professor and the Lefler and Wohltmann Chair in Methodist Studies. In addition to Methodism classes, she teaches theology and ethics and classes in mission and evangelism.

    Dobson became an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church in 2005. She has served as a pastor in rural, suburban and urban churches. Her interests include intersections of theology, health and healing as well as ecology and racial justice. She trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation as a spiritual director. Dobson also is a registered yoga teacher and incorporates yoga into her ministry.

    She has published a book, Health as a Virtue: Thomas Aquinas and the Practice of Habits of Health, and has had articles published in the Wesley Theological Journal and the Journal of Religion and Health

    Dobson received a Doctorate in Theology, Master's in Theology and Master's in Divinity from Duke University Divinity School and a Bachelor's of Arts in English/Political Science from Furman University.

Local Accommodations & Attractions

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Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is located in Columbia, the capital city and cultural center of South Carolina. Find local hotels, restaurants, area attractions and events.

A limited amount of housing for the event is available on campus. For more information, please contact Diane Epperly at

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