College Bible Study Topic Ideas


Hello! I am a college sophomore, and I was asked to lead a mens’ small group bible study at my university’s catholic student center for the Fall 2019 semester. I am eager to do so, but none of the topics given by the organization who oversees the studies (FOCUS) are very interesting to me because I think that they are all either basic or have no interest in them, and I am reluctant to try and lead something I’m not fully behind for fear of doing a disservice to the men in my study. I brought these concerns to the person above me, and he said I could develop my own study, but he wants to review it first. I’m kind of at a loss for topic ideas, though, as everything I come up with is either too specific to keep going or too broad to effectively cover. I’m open to any and all suggestions. I’m looking to run it from 6-8 weeks. Thanks!


I’ve heard amazing things about ‘the great adventure’ bible study


A couple of thoughts off the top of my head…

I could imagine an extended study of the Psalms. They’re beautiful as poetry and they’re a lesson in how to pray.

I could also imagine focusing on some of the personalities in Genesis. Abraham and Sarah and others associated with them, Moses, David, Joseph. There are a lot of people there we could know better.


Hey check this out…it’s a free Catholic bible study that contains OT, NT and various topical studies…

Any decent Catholic bible study will have references to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Church Fathers and this has that. Some examples of topical studies are…Salvation History, The Beatitudes and The Eight Last Things.

As for studies that you might purchase, I recommend The Catechism Class…

It is more Traditional in nature and also references the CCC and Church Fathers.


Follow up with the NT persons Peter, Paul and the other apostles. John the Baptist, Mary etc


Dive into the rosary mysteries, Sacraments, Luke 15 with “the lost”, all the “I am” (the gate, vine and branches, shepherd etc) in the Gospel of John. Think there are 7 or 8 of them. Our Father prayer.

Or the typical question we hear “Where do I find that in the Bible?”


What are the topics they gave you? You sound pretty opinionated and concerned for yourself, and I wonder if some of those topics would actually be good.


I think it is a bit odd, that you would object to the Bible study topics provided as something that is too basic, or not interesting without a topic in mind to study. Are you sure your heart is in the right place or that you should be leading a study to begin with?


Thing is, not everyone in your group is where you are, is as smart as you are or as spiritually advanced as you feel you are. What I have found after half a century of life and Scripture study, Scripture is new and fresh every time. We can never in a few decades of life “get it” all.

FOCUS WORKS. Follow the program.

When you try to DIY, officially it will need to be approved by the Diocese.

I do agree if you must go off track, stick with another very established study like The Great Adventure, the studies on or the St Paul Center for Biblical Theology.


C S Lewis wrote a wonderful study of Psalms, however, I would only use it when the leader is able to talk about the subtle differences between Anglican theology and Catholic Theology.

IMHO, basic Bible Study 101 is going to be where most college students ought begin.

To our OP Ad_Collegium, reading “Forming Intentional Disciples” and “Converting the Baptized” would help.


How about a study on The Holy Mass? One of the studies at Catechism Class is on the Theology of the Roman Catholic Mass & Liturgy.

Throughout this series of lessons we will examine the Theology of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Mass is the Re-Presentation of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine. It is most pleasing for us to attend Holy Mass. In this course we will thorough understand the holiness of the Mass and its Theology. We will also learn of the Theology of the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Catholic Traditions, as well as the Theology of the Tridentine Latin Mass.


The New Evangelization is about evangelizing people where they are.

Catechesis about the Mass comes later in the process.


Lol…how do you know where they are at? They might be ready to learn about the Traditional Latin Mass. More and more young people are. The op said he is open to all suggestions. Feel free to make your own, no need to comment on others.

As for ‘meeting them where they are’…it’s a nice catch phrase but let’s not forget the goal is to bring them back to where they ought to be. Too often the Faith is watered down to accommodate.


I would suggest covering one of the Old Testament books, based on the 2018 tesxbook by John Bergsma and Brant Pitre (The Catholic Introduction to the Bible : Old Testament). I was surprised that they connected points that I didn’t even notice. They have a genuine Catholic orientation.

For a New Testament book, an obvious choice would be one of the gospels, and I would point you to the Catholic Scripture Study series, e.g.

Either way you have to work up these commentaries into a course. They’re not “out-of-the box” courses.

separately, here’s a really good talk by Dr Mary Healy on the gospel of John, wedding feast at cana
you can download this


Typology is really good.


I used to lead a Bible study. I learned Bible study from non-denomination Protestants. Then I led my own Catholic Bible study. I would just pick a book of the Bible, and go through it. Pretty much a chapter a week. Sometimes more or less, depending on the Scripture you’ve gone through. We had a St. Jerome’s commentary to look to when any questions came up none of us knew the answer to.

I’m not a fan of FOCUS. FOCUS wanted to take over my Bible study, and I was like, look we’ve been doing this for 2 years, just let us be, we’re all seniors, we’ll be gone soon enough. Idk anything about any of the topics you’re talking about, and I sure don’t know anything about “the great adventure” bible study. But, it rubs me the wrong way lol.

I think if you approach the Bible prayerfully, then you can’t go wrong. Its a living book, it will probably speak to the people in different ways. Idk how I feel about Bible study topics that are just looking at ‘Catholic parts’ of Scripture. Catholics don’t know the Bible well. I think its good to just go through a book chapter by chapter. Its all the GOOD book!

If you’ve got 6 or 8 weeks… Galations and Ephesians are both 6 chapters. They’re both excellent books that I’d recommend.


The tens of thousands of Protestant “denominations” are what can go wrong.


Yes. This is why Catholics shouldn’t read the Bible. :roll_eyes:
If you have a group of faithful Catholics reading it you really shouldn’t be afraid to read the Bible. If just the leader is a good Catholic, he shouldn’t be afraid to read it. It’s the Bible. I was referring to the Bible as a living book. There is a finite number of theoligical insights the Bible can give us. Where, there’s an infinite number of spiritual insights it can give us.

Have you ever been part of a Bible study? In the 3 years I did it, I saw nothing but fruit and seeds planted, some in the lives of non-Catholics. I never saw anyone embracing any heresy or drifting away from the Church. You can always ask a priest about a theoligical issue that may come up, or just say you’ll look into it and get back next week.

Thanks for taking that line out of context though.


I have been a Christian for more than half a century, have not only spent decades in study, I am also a convert. The Catholic Church gave us the Bible. Unless we have become a scholar through years of post graduate studies, a Bible study we undertake ought to be done under the auspices of Holy Mother Church.


Ok. In what way was my advice not under “the auspices of Holy Mother Church”. Or, is your Bible study led by a Bible scholar?

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