Just Launched: Modern-Day Slavery with Richard Lee

Left: Engraving of a slave auction in Charleston, South Carolina around 1860.


We just launched Modern-Day Slavery with Richard Lee For Individuals and For Groups

Many people think of slavery as a horrific part of history that ended in the nineteenth century. In the United States, the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution outlawed slavery in 1865, so it makes sense that in the U.S., at least, people would associate the end of slavery with the end of legal slavery.


Image of Chandramma, who worked as a slave in a silkworm factory in India. Photo credit: International Justice Mission.

Approximately 40 million people in our time, however, live in slavery, including an estimated 403,000 in the U.S. They are provided only with sufficient sustenance and shelter to keep them alive, and they are forced to stay through violence or threats of violence and/or psychological coercion.

Contemporary slavery may be chattel slavery, as trans-Atlantic slavery was — a relationship considered a form of ownership by the person with the upper hand. Far more often, however, it’s based in “loans” that coerce people into working without pay, or perhaps enslavement that is initially disguised as legitimate factory work. The language around it changes. The enslaved people don’t always even recognize their condition as slavery. But they are forced to act for another person’s benefit and intimidated, threatened, forced, or coerced into continuing to work, without remuneration, usually so that other people can make money. That’s slavery1.

In this course, Richard Lee, Director of Church Mobilization at International Justice Ministry, explains what modern-day slavery looks like, how people fall into it, and how to combat it. In his first lesson, Richard introduces modern-day slavery as a worldwide problem. In his second lesson, Richard offers the story of one child’s enslavement in the context of the broader picture of slavery. Richard’s third lesson discusses what the Bible tells us about how to respond to slavery, and his fourth lesson examines the best ways to combat slavery in the modern world.

This course is ideal for those who want to learn about slavery and the Christian call to social justice advocacy.

Just Launched: Redeeming Dementia with Dorothy Linthicum

We just launched Redeeming Dementia with Dorothy Linthicum For Individuals and For Groups.

As a culture, we are afraid of dementia. We rely so heavily on our brains’ functioning as they should that it can feel like everything is lost when our rational functions and memories become inaccessible to us. It’s terrible for family members and friends to watch the people they love apparently disappear into the confusion — like people’s lives are over, though their bodies remain alive.

Even life’s hardest experiences offer chances to learn and grow. People treat dementia differently because it seems like there’s nothing to learn from it. How can you grow from something that diminishes you or a loved one so thoroughly? In this class, Dorothy Linthicum, a teacher, public speaker, workshop leader, and co-author of the book Redeeming Dementia (2018). shows that, just like other difficult experiences, it is possible to find value in dementia — in experiencing it, even if we don’t learn the way we once did, and in watching loved ones experience it.

In this course, Dorothy discusses what dementia is from a scientific standpoint — what happens within the brains of people who experience it. She talks what it means to be human — how, from a Christian perspective in particular, the ability to reason and remember is not what defines our humanity; why our value and our selfhood are more than our brains’ correct functioning. She examines ways in which dementia can offer people unique access to aspects of their spiritual lives that they may never have been able to explore. She argues that they can grow from these spiritual experiences, and we can learn from them. Finally, Dorothy discusses ways in which churches can reach out, both to members with dementia and to their caregivers.

This course is ideal for anyone interested in dementia, older adult ministries, or caregiving. For a preview of the course, please click below.