Launching October 30, 2023 - SIGN UP NOW!


Hosted by Dr. Tripp Fuller and Dan Koch, this transformative course delves deep into the nexus of existential thought as viewed through the dual lenses of psychology and theology. Guided by the profound insights of psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom and the philosophical theologian Paul Tillich, participants will embark on an introspective journey to confront and understand the fundamental truths of human existence.

Four Livestreamed Sessions

Each session carefully unpacks Yalom and Tillich's groundbreaking contributions to existentialism and the way Dan and Tripp synthesize their work in our present context.

Live QnA with Tripp and Dan

Engage with Tripp and Dan, ask pressing questions, and enrich your understanding during our interactive QnA sessions.

Exclusive Online Community

Connect with fellow learners and dive into discussions, sharing insights and reflections.

Curated Reading Lists

Delve into handpicked literature every week, immersing yourself in the profound thoughts of these existential leaders.

The class is asynchronous, and you can participate fully without being present at any specific time. The weekly streaming session with Tripp and Dan will take place on FOUR consecutive MONDAYS at 9:30am PT - October 30th through November 20th.

The cost? A course like this is typically offered for $125 or more, but we invite you to contribute whatever you can to help make this possible for everyone!

Course Overview

In the tapestry of existential thought, both Irvin D. Yalom and Paul Tillich paint a vivid picture of the human condition, uniquely grounded in their respective disciplines of psychology and theology. Together, their insights reveal a profound understanding of the challenges of our age and offer transformative responses to them.

The Existential Challenge

Yalom presents us with the four fundamental "givens" of existence: death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness. These inescapable truths shape our psyche, often evoking anxiety and inner turmoil. We grapple with the knowledge of our mortality, the weight of our choices, the inevitable solitude of our inner world, and the challenge of finding genuine meaning in a transient life.

Paul Tillich, on the other hand, observes our existential anxieties through a theological lens. He perceives our era as one marked by doubt, spiritual emptiness, and a struggle for authenticity. For Tillich, God isn't a distant entity but the very "Ground of Being." Facing the abyss of existential dread, he calls us to muster "The Courage to Be" – a courage that transcends doubt and affirms life in its entirety.

The Existential Invitation

Despite Tillich and Yalom’s different disciplines and dispositions toward the divine, they share a number of provocative pathways of response we will explore including the call to...

Embrace Your Mortality

Champion Your Freedom

Connect Despite Isolation

Seek Meaning Amidst the Void

In setting Yalom and Tillich in conversation,, we are invited to confront our existential anxieties head-on, not with despair, but with a courage infused with understanding, compassion, and spiritual depth. The challenges of our age are real, but so too are the possibilities for transformation, connection, and genuine living.

Embrace the journey.


Our Central Thinkers

Both figures, in their own unique ways, have championed the quest for authentic understanding and living, guiding countless individuals through the tumultuous terrains of existence.

Paul Tillich


Paul Tillich stands as one of the 20th century's most influential theologians, bridging the gap between religious traditions and contemporary existential philosophy. Born in Germany, Tillich's early exposure to the horrors of World War I deeply impacted his theological inquiries, prompting him to ask profound questions about human existence, faith, and the divine. His masterpiece, "The Courage to Be," delves into the depths of human anxiety in the face of meaninglessness and affirms the possibilities of authentic existence through divine and self-affirmation. For Tillich, God wasn't a being in the sky but the very "ground of Being" itself. Through his innovative approach to theology, he sought to make religious truths relevant in a secular age, thereby resonating with both believers and skeptics alike.

Irvin D. Yalom

(1931- )

A giant in the world of psychotherapy, Dr. Irvin D. Yalom revolutionized the field with his existential approach to therapy. Born in Washington D.C. to Russian immigrants, Yalom's early life was marked by the challenges of being an outsider, setting the stage for his later explorations of the human psyche. Throughout his career, Yalom emphasized the importance of confronting the four "givens" of existence: death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness. Rather than shy away from these existential concerns, Yalom believed that facing them head-on could lead to profound therapeutic breakthroughs and personal growth. Author of the seminal work, "Existential Psychotherapy," as well as numerous fiction and non-fiction books, Yalom's writings have inspired countless individuals, therapists, and patients to find meaning and connection in the face of life's most daunting challenges.

What You'll Walk Away With

By the end of the course, you will have...

  • Deep Understanding of Existential Thought: Gain profound insights into the existential challenges that shape human existence, as explored by psychotherapist Irvin D. Yalom and theologian Paul Tillich. Understand the core concepts of death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness and how they impact our lives.
  • Courage and Resilience: Develop the courage to confront existential anxieties and the resilience to navigate the complexities of modern life. Learn how to embrace your mortality, champion your freedom, connect despite isolation, and seek meaning amidst the void.
  • Integration of Psychology and Theology: Explore how Yalom's psychological perspective and Tillich's theological insights intersect and complement each other. Discover practical ways to integrate these diverse viewpoints into your personal and spiritual journey.
  • Engagement in a Supportive Learning Community: Dive into an exclusive online community of fellow learners where you can engage in meaningful discussions, share your insights, and connect with others who are on a similar quest for understanding and authentic living.
  • Guidance from Experts: Benefit from the expertise of course facilitators Dan and Tripp as they guide you through live-streamed sessions, interactive Q&A sessions, and curated reading lists.

Who Should Enroll?

  • Students of Philosophy and Theology: Individuals studying philosophy, theology, or related fields who want to deepen their understanding of existential thought and explore its relevance in contemporary society.
  • Psychology Enthusiasts: Anyone interested in psychology, psychotherapy, or mental health who wants to explore the existential approach to therapy pioneered by Irvin D. Yalom.
  • Spiritual Seekers: Those on a spiritual journey or individuals interested in the intersection of spirituality and psychology, looking to gain insights into the theological perspectives of Paul Tillich.
  • Therapists and Counselors: Mental health professionals who want to enhance their therapeutic skills by incorporating existential concepts into their practice and understanding the spiritual dimensions of human suffering.
  • Philosophy and Theology Educators: Instructors who wish to incorporate fresh perspectives and practical insights from Yalom and Tillich into their teaching curriculum.
  • Lifelong Learners: Individuals seeking personal growth, self-discovery, and a deeper appreciation of the human experience, regardless of their educational or professional background.
  • Leaders and Decision-Makers: Executives, managers, and leaders in various fields who want to explore existential thought as it relates to decision-making, leadership, and understanding the human condition.
  • Those Facing Life Transitions: Individuals navigating significant life changes, such as retirement, career shifts, or personal crises, who seek guidance and clarity in embracing new phases of life with courage and purpose.

Meet the Hosts

Dr. Tripp Fuller

Homebrewed Christianity Podcast

Tripp just moved back to North Carolina after three years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Theology & Science at the University of Edinburgh. He recently released Divine Self-Investment: a Constructive Open and Relational Christology, the first book in the Studies in Open and Relational Theology series. For over 15 years Tripp has been doing the Homebrewed Christianity podcast (think on-demand internet radio) where he interviews different scholars about their work so you can get nerdy in traffic, on the treadmill, or doing the dishes. Last year it had over 4 million downloads. It also inspired a book series with Fortress Press called the Homebrewed Christianity Guides to... topics like God, Jesus, Spirit, Church History, etc. Tripp is a very committed and (some of his friends think overly) engaged Lakers fan and takes Star Wars and Lord of the Rings very seriously.

Dan Koch

You Have Permission Podcast

Dan Koch hosts the You Have Permission podcast and has seven years of podcasting experience, including previous shows Depolarize!
(politics/psychology) and Reconstruct (theology). He holds a Master’s of Counseling Psychology and has completely doctoral coursework at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. His research focuses on spiritual abuse, and his “
Development of the Spiritual Harm and Abuse Scale” was published in 2022 by the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. In his clinical therapy practice, Dan specializes in working with religious issues, including religious trauma, and utilizes a cognitive-existential modality. He is skilled in making academic research accessible to a broad audience, keeping things interesting while responsibly maintaining the right amount of nuance.

What People Are Saying

"As a minister these classes and conversations have enriched how I read and engage with our sacred texts, as well as for the community I help shepherd. As an individual person of faith I'm always amazed at the resources and friends Tripp helps curate and connect with on a deeper and authentic level."

Will Rose - Parish Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran and Lutheran Campus Ministry (Chapel Hill, NC)

“Grad-school level classes with incredible teachers in a fun, accessible and engaging online experience for even an exhausted working pastor/parent to participate in and enjoy!”

Rachel Haxtema - Associate Pastor, Keystone UCC (Seattle, WA)

“I’ve taken several Homebrewed classes over the years, from a couple of Black theology classes, to Kierkegaard to Bonhoeffer, to Tolkien and many others I’ve heard episodes from. From the episodes and the readings I’ve learned things I wouldn’t have otherwise had access to, from some of my favorite scholars or about some of my favorite topics. From some of the readings I’ve bought books I wouldn’t have otherwise read, and further deepened what I was able to think with. It’s been a treasure to be part of them.”

Jonathan Stegall - faith-rooted organizer, abolitionist, designer, and coder

“Homebrewed Christianity is, in my opinion, the best open and interactive community I’ve ever been apart of. I’ve learned so much from people who are not only brilliant but kind and fun."

Ednaldo Elme - the drummer who doesn’t tell his minister what he’s really thinking

HBC classes have been an absolute lifeline for allowing me to have continuing education outside of the adult Sunday School setting. Many people have limited exposure to the entire spectrum of Christianity as well as other world religions in the church setting, and these classes are a wonderful resource in that regard. Also, as someone who is getting a theology degree, the HBC classes have provided a super helpful avenue for learning."

John Pohl, MD - Pediatric Surgeon (University of Utah)


When does the class meet?

The class is asynchronous and you can participate fully without being present at any specific time. The weekly streaming session will take place on FOUR consecutive MONDAYS at 9:30am PT - October 30th through November 20th.

How do I get access to the class content?

The complete class content collection will be available on the password protected resource page. The downloadable audio and video of each session will be uploaded there and available for at least a year.

What happens after I sign up?

The email you enter when signing up will receive an email from classinfo[at]homebrewedchristianity[dot]com. The email will include access to the resource page, details on how to join the class Facebook group, and more.

Do I have to have Facebook?

No. Facebook is not required to participate, but an additional way to connect with other class members and interact throughout the class.

Who is partnering to produce this course?

Homebrewed Christianity and You Have Permission have partnered to produce "Live Before You Die" as four-week online course. If for some reason, you don't listen to both podcasts and feel left out, please subscribe here and here.