Alpha is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life through a Christian perspective. The Alpha course consists of a series of talks, looking at topics such as ‘Who is Jesus?’ and ‘Why and how do I pray?’, with the option of a weekend away. Participants meet for supper and each talk is followed by discussion in small groups.
The course began in 1977 at Holy Trinity Brompton Anglican Church in London. Nicky Gumbel, who joined the church staff in 1990, recorded his presentations on video and made them available for groups to use around the world. Alpha is an opportunity for enquirers to explore faith. It is also an opportunity for Christians to train in the skills of presenting Christianity (talks) and leading small group conversations.
Alpha can be used in large or small groups. Hospitality is a key element, each course beginning with a meal. Alpha would not normally be used in the context of a normal worship service. Special resources are available for people using Alpha in school, prison, university and business environments.
Styles of Learning
Each session includes a 45 minutes lecture, provided by Nicky Gumbel on video/DVD or by a local presenter. Participants discuss their questions in small groups.
Number of sessions
Fifteen sessions over a ten to thirteen week period. Sessions 8 to 10 are held during a retreat.
1. Christianity: Boring, Untrue and Irrelevant?
2. Who Is Jesus?
3. Why Did Jesus Die?
4. How Can I Be Sure of My Faith?
5. Why and How Should I Read the Bible?
6. Why and How Do I Pray?
7. How Does God Guide Us?
8. Who Is the Holy Spirit?
9. What Does the Holy Spirit Do?
10. How Can I Be Filled With the Spirit?
11. How Can I Resist Evil?
12. Why and How Should We Tell Others?
13. Does God Heal Today?
14. What About the Church?
15. How Can I Make the Most of the Rest of My Life?
Length of sessions
1 hour (tight) to 2 1/2 hours (comfortable).
1. Establish a relaxed environment in which people a chance to get to know each other.
2. Present the core beliefs of the Christian faith in an accessible way.
3. Provide an environment in which participants can discuss the topic of the session, ask questions and express opinions.
Conservative Charismatic Evangelical
Young Adult to Aged. There is a special course for teenagers (Youth Alpha) that does not use Nicky Gumbel’s talks. Youth Alpha Leaders are provided with resources to present the talks themselves in creative and interactive ways.
Alpha Administrator’s Handbook $25
Alpha Course Manual $6
Alpha Course on DVD or Video $250
Alpha Team Training Manual $6.50
Alpha Team Training Video $30
Prayer on Alpha Training Video $30
Specific leadership requirements
Country of origin
Available in languages other than English
Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Braille (manual),
DVD/Video, Posters, Banners, Signs, Invitations, Participant Manuals, Leaders’ Manuals, Administrator’s Manual, Conferences for leaders, worship resources, car stickers, prayer cards, name badge inserts, booklets on common questions, introduction to Bible Reading, Cookbook, Shirts, Follow up books, audio CDs/tapes and videos/DVDs, Marriage Course, Prayer Ministry Training.
DVD or Video Player & Television or Data Projector if using Nicky Gumbel presentations.
Regional Advisor for Queensland
Mr & Mrs John & Sylvia Kaiser
15 Thorne St Wynnum West 4178
07 3893 2278