Spotlight on Student Groups: Good Old-Fashioned Bible Study

Every Monday, a group of students gather at the Spider House Cafe near campus for a “good old-fashioned” Bible study. This setting, like their previous meeting spot, the Crown and Anchor, isn’t the typical backdrop for a Bible study, but the atmosphere helps emphasize the difference between how this study differs from their study of scripture in classes.

“We originally called this group ‘a Good Old-Fashioned Bible Study’ as we wanted to look at the Bible in a way that was different from the process we learn in exegesis classes,” said Joe Tognetti, who is the student group leader of the Bible study.

“We realized that in a church context, there would be times and situations where being overly academic might be off-putting with people who are just beginning to engage with the Bible. We wanted to make sure we could engage in thoughtful, insightful, theological discussion at a level that is accessible to all,” he adds.

Each week a different group member facilitates the discussion on a Bible passage of his or her choosing, and usually in the context of what has troubled or engaged them in the past about that particular text. Some weeks the text might be a story that is extremely familiar to all in attendance and other weeks the text may be more obscure. Like a typical Bible study, they work through the passages together to find meaning.

“As many of us are in seminary to become ministers, this group helps us to realize that we don’t do ministry in a vacuum,” Tognetti said. “As we learn how to prepare sermons, lead Bible studies, and engage theologically with our congregations, this group helps us in the development of learning how to be in a cohort with other pastors and work together to study texts.”

More Student Groups


Student groups are a large part of community life at Austin Seminary. There are 14 current student groups, with missions ranging from advocating for social justice, to uplifting cultural diversity, to promoting spiritual and physicial well-being.

To read more about current active student groups at Austin Seminary, go to
Faculty Teaching & Preaching Schedule
Loading events...