VANTAGE C O L U M B I A
T H E O L O G I C A L
S E M I N A R Y
CULTIVATING LEADERS PA R T T W O O F C O L U M B I Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; S 3 -PA R T M I S S I O N
P O I N T
CULTIVATING FAITHFUL, IMAGINATIVE, AND EFFECTIVE LEADERS A WORD FROM OUR PRESIDENT
AGGIE CARES DEEPLY ABOUT HOMELESS PEOPLE ON THE STREETS OF ATLANTA. SHE IS A GRADUATE OF COLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, AN ORDAINED PRESBYTERIAN TEACHING ELDER, AND HAS FOLLOWED GOD’S CALL ON HER LIFE TO ENGAGE IN THE HARD WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE AND COMPASSION. This past winter,
Maggie and her ministry colleagues tried vigorously and valiantly to acquire a new residential property in Atlanta for our homeless neighbors. The hope and prayer was to provide housing, job training, addiction recovery, and medical care. In the end, her efforts were met with frustration and barriers. The real estate development company went in another direction. In talking with Maggie, I was impressed both by her passion and her pragmatism. “We will keep trying,” she said. “Maybe next time we will succeed.”
You may recall that in a previous issue of Vantage I explored our first mission theme of “Encountering God.” This issue, I will explore our second mission theme, “Cultivating Leaders.” This phrase captures our commitment to shaping future leaders for the church and the world. Our mission statement helps us Dr. Leanne Van Dyk PRESIDENT unpack what this means to cultivate leaders — it identifies three key qualities of church leaders: faithful, imaginative, and effective. I think that Maggie models each of these key qualities. She and her colleagues were faithful in their call to minister to the most vulnerable people in our communities. She was imaginative in pursuing a remarkable opportunity to amplify the ministry
“Surely cultivating leaders who long to follow Jesus must include deliberate practices of understanding, forgiveness, and reconcilation.” in ways that would make an enormous difference. She continues to strive for effectiveness with existing resources but always looking for new opportunities. Maggie is one of many faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders that have been cultivated here at Columbia Theological Seminary! In fact, the seminary is a laboratory for leadership training. Our professors are committed not only to academic excellence but also leadership formation so 2
that our graduates truly make an impact wherever they are called to serve. Our students enter seminary eager to take up the call of leadership. They are passionate about God and God’s purposes; they ask questions; they dig deep; they go out strong. We are in a particularly challenging time here at Columbia Theological Seminary. The heightened political rhetoric that we notice in our nation is a point of conversation here on our campus as well. I am convinced that, as a community, we must take time to listen and learn and talk and share and confess and forgive. Surely cultivating leaders who long to follow Jesus must include deliberate practices of understanding, forgiveness, and reconciliation. As we seek to cultivate leaders for the sake of the church and the world, we need your prayers, support, and encouragement. Likewise, we assure you of our deep interest and support for your faithful service in God’s kingdom. Feel free to write and tell us more about how God is cultivating you and transforming your community.
Grace and peace,
Dr. Leanne Van Dyk President
TABLE OF CONTENTS
IN THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS
HYPERFOCUS: COURAGEOUS COMMUNICATION pg 14 REASONABLE SERVICE
NEWS FROM COLUMBIA
ALUMNI NEWS & NOTES
FACULTY & STAFF
BEST OF THE BLOG
VANTAGE / VOL. 109, NO. 2 SPRING 2017
Michael K. Thompson Corie Cox
CULTIVATING LEADERS PART TWO OF COLUMBIA’S 3-PART MISSION PG
GLOBAL GROWERS New partners, new funding, and new gardens
CROSSING BOUNDARIES, SEEKING GOD Explorations in New Mexico
MAPUIA CRISIS CENTER OPENS IN INDIA ThD Alumnus Supports Mental Health
Errata: In the fall issue of Vantage, we mistakenly attributed the C. Virginia Harrison Memorial Award to a different student. The winner was Ayanna Grady-Hunt (MAPT ’17) who is featured on p. 16 of this edition. All other award winners were properly attributed.
Kimberly Clayton MDiv ’84 / DMin ’08 Cooper Fiscus-van Rossum Michael K. Thompson
Mary Amos ’85 Pam Cottrell Mary Lynn Darden Sarah Erickson ’03/DEdMin ’10 Israel Galindo J. William Harkins III Paul “Skip” Johnson Zandra Jordan Steven Miller Valrie Thompson Diane Thorne Leanne Van Dyk Debra Weir
This issue of VANTAGE is available online at www.ctsnet.edu.
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SEMINARY ANNOUNCES NEW GRANT FOR C O M M U N I T Y G A R D E N , E X PA N D S PA R T N E R S H I P WITH GLOBAL GROWERS NETWORK B Y M I C H A E L K . T H O M P S O N , D I R E C T O R O F C O M M U N I C AT I O N S P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y C O O P E R F I S C U S -VA N R O S S U M
OLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ANNOUNCED A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GLOBAL GROWERS NETWORK THIS SPRING. Students from SAGE (Shaping Attention to
God’s Earth) will prepare space by expanding the Community Garden Sanctuary for the Global Growers Network to begin planting their own plots. Columbia Seminary hopes to recreate the community garden into a space of intentional partnership and growth with a ceremonial signing of their agreement during an Earth Day Celebration in April. “Global Growers grew out of the tremendous demand among international farmers, many who came to Atlanta as refugees of war, to reconnect to their agricultural heritage in
their new home,” their mission statement explains. “The mission of Global Growers Network is to increase the number of food producers who create access to healthy, sustainably-grown food and also to prepare farmers to be competitive in their local marketplace.” Each of the six Global Growers Network plots will be managed by an immigrant or refugee family or individual. Additionally, Columbia Seminary secured a $5,000 grant from the First Presbyterian Church Bergstrom Grants Committee in Neenah, WI. This grant is being used to construct a renewable rainwater capture system near the school’s Community Garden Sanctuary for storage of about 1,500 gallons of water. A new tool shed was built just last year, which will be shared by the Global Growers Network.
“This expands our existing partnership with the Global Growers Network,” said Stan Saunders, Professor of New Testament. “Already our students and faculty benefit from their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Many of us have visited other sites managed by them as part of our Explorations class where we think about ministry in alternate contexts.” “Karen Webster (DMin student) and the Healthy Seminarians Healthy Church program also played an important role,” said Rachel Mathews ’18, president of SAGE. “Their partnership, imagination and hard work was necessary in securing the grant, dreaming up the partnership, and building culture around the garden. Without their support, we would not be where we are.”
Columbia Theological Seminary seeks to discern and participate in God’s gracious creation, with wonder and thanksgiving, through sharing, caring for, and celebrating the gifts and resources God gives to us through the earth. Other events at Columbia Seminary include an annual Creation Care Sermon Award, marking Earth Day by participating in an “Energy Sabbath,” and other efforts led by the SAGE group. Columbia Theological Seminary’s campus also includes two buildings, the Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Leadership Center and the New Residence Hall, which have earned the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council. Both were designed by the architecture firm of Lord Aeck Sargent. The mission of Global Growers Network is to create opportunities in sustainable agriculture in Georgia, by growing good food, training farmers, and providing economic opportunity. Global Growers is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, GA. Global Growers grew out of the tremendous demand among international farmers, many who came to Atlanta as refugees of war, to reconnect to their agricultural heritage in their new home. Recognizing this exceptional talent, Global Growers connects local families to land, education, and markets in order to build healthier communities and strengthen our local economy. We are committed to cultivating diverse farmers who are traditionally under served by mainstream agricultural service providers. For more information, please visit: www.globalgrowers.org.
“This expands our existing partnership with the Global Growers Network . . . . Many of us have visited other sites managed by them as part of our Explorations class where we think about ministry in alternate contexts.” — STAN SAUNDERS, Professor of New Testament SPRING 2017 / VANTAGE /
CROSSING BOUNDARIES, SEEKING GOD EXPLORATIONS IN NEW MEXICO B Y D R . PA U L “ S K I P ” J O H N S O N , S E N I O R L E C T U R E R I N PA S T O R A L T H E O L O G Y A N D C A R E P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y K I M C L AY T O N , D I R E C T O R O F C O N T E X T U A L E D U C AT I O N JANUARY 6: How is God to be discovered and proclaimed here? After spending the morning downtown with a remarkable group of people at St. Martin’s homeless shelter, we are visiting La Mesa Presbyterian Church located in a transitional area of Albuquerque known as the International District. The Reverend Trey Hammond, pastor of La Mesa, invites us to sit with him in the library. He believes that one of the key roles of the congregation is to be a celebratory community of Christ’s reign in this particular location. How is God to be discovered and proclaimed here? As the neighborhood has changed around them, so has the church. When the decision had to be made whether to move the church to the northern suburbs or remain to serve the needs of the local community, the choice was made to stay. Those who are members or who join La Mesa are signing up to be Christian activists deeply involved in outreach. Trey thinks of what the church is doing as “A Theology of Place.” He gives us a tour of a church that creates and sponsors programs geared for the people around them, not the people they might want to serve or who look like them. The local area is continually in flux as new waves of immigrants from all over the world wash over the community: moving in, settling and moving on. An empty lot across the street has been transformed into a Garden Park. An after school program for the students of a nearby elementary school offers free classes in art, music, dance and drama. A large fellowship hall and kitchen with commercial appliances becomes a community hub for local groups. A Samaritan Center offers counseling and care. A great deal of prayer and thought goes into discerning what God might be doing in this particular place and how best to actively respond in faith and grace. The theology that is lived out, according to Trey “is not academic or systematic, but biblical, contextual, and concrete.” In a document about the theology that informs the church, he shares, “In the past, people called this community ‘the war zone’ because of high crime and social dysfunction. The community wants to change that label.” Trey wants La Mesa to see the vision that God has for this portion of creation and to bring it into a living reality. 6
JANUARY 8: God’s presence through the gift of new eyes and ears It is early on a cold Epiphany Sunday morning. The Explorations group is worshipping with the congregation of Holy Family Catholic Church in Albuquerque, NM. This is a Hispanic congregation made up predominantly of working class families. In the large airy sanctuary Spanish phrases intermingle with English. Father Richard Rohr leads the service. While best known to seminarians for the spiritual insights found in his popular books, here he is a priest presiding over an 8:00 am Mass. He delivers a homily reflecting on the Magis’ visit to the Christ Child in Bethlehem, emphasizing the significance of the boundaries they were willing to cross while searching for God. Rohr offers a practical application for his listeners. “If you think you’ll find God by staying at home, you’ll be disappointed. Finding God requires searching and crossing boundaries, going where you haven’t been before.” This is a basic theme of our Explorations trip. We move out of comfort zones, be they physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual to be able to discover God’s presence through the gift of new eyes and ears. In New Mexico the light of the Spirit illuminates through new experiences, landscapes, languages and people in unexpected ways that invite us to “turn aside.” Even the sunlight seems different here, canyons and mesas infused with pastel shades of pink, orange and violet, a palette of colors unfamiliar to those of us who live and work in the Southeast. The asphalt and dirt roads climb to thin places that birth God.
JANUARY 16: Lenny Foster On our way to the Canyon De Chelly National Monument, we stop for breakfast at the restaurant attached to a Quality Inn in Window Rock, AZ. As we are leaving, I can hear the muted sound of drumming and chanting seeping through the walls. It’s coming from an adjoining room. I ask the cashier what is happening. “It’s a rally for MLK day.” She reaches back for a crumpled flyer. “It’s open to the public.” We enter the meeting space. A group of about twenty Navaho are seated, scattered about the room in motel folding chairs. A woman in traditional dress speaks from a podium at the front of the room. On a screen behind her is a projected picture of Martin Luther King with an MLK quote written beneath. “Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race.” The woman speaks about discrimination. To the side several people that have just come into the room stand in line
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EXPLORATIONS IN NEW MEXICO continued
to dip their hands into a container of water resting on a table. They carry out a ritual of passing their damp hands over their bodies. An older man named Lenny Foster is introduced. He wears his hair in a long grey ponytail. Lenny was part of the American Indian Movement in the 1970s and took part in the confrontation between the government and Native Americans at Wounded Knee in South Dakota. Everyone seems to know him well. Lenny tells about watching Martin Luther King on T.V. in the 1960s. King was marching with Native Americans beside him, men whom Lenny knew by name. He realized that King was speaking and marching for Indian rights too. Lenny refers to his own life’s work with Native Americans who are locked up in federal prisons across the nation, and his advocacy work to have their religious rights respected. He mentions traveling to Geneva, Switzerland; La Paz, Bolivia; and appearances before U.N. commissions to promote the rights of indigenous peoples. He is traveling to Florida on Thursday in the hope that Obama will grant clemency to Leonard Peltier before leaving office. Before he can pass the microphone to another, someone asks him to sing an honor song for Leonard. He nods and begins a slow, rhythmic chant in Navaho in a voice that grows stronger as he continues, unwinding like smoke. Everyone stands. A hand drum is brought. Its deep punctuating beat reverberates through the room as it accompanies the song. Afterwards, I thank him and offer to join our prayers with his. We can’t stay for the local march that will commence in several hours. We are traveling on to Canyon de Chelly, the Navaho stronghold that was overrun in 1863 by the military under the command of Kit Carson. The people were marched 300 miles east on what is now referred to by the Navahos as “The Long Walk,” their cultural exodus.
JANUARY 17: “We’re living in the 3rd world, and yet we’re in the middle of the United States.” Chris Halter, 40-ish director of St. Bonaventure Mission and School leans against the wall, his eyes on the faces of the CTS students who are sitting before him. “I’d ask each of you to be praying that we hit good water with the well that we’re drilling down the road. Because of contamination from the uranium mines, people must drive to the mission in order to get safe drinking water for their homes.” He pauses. “This area has the highest cancer rates I’ve ever experienced. The mission doesn’t have adequate water capacity to distribute the number of gallons of clean water that are needed for each family. The new well we are drilling will make a huge difference but we’ve got to get it right the first time. The cost for the attempt is a million dollars and we only have the money for one shot.” 47% of the population on the reservation doesn’t have easy access to safe water.
“Tell me about yourselves,” he insists, asking each group member to talk about their studies and plans after seminary. The bus rumbles through a landscape of high red mesas and deep canyons that resembles the backdrop for a western film. Chris points to a rocky area to the east where abandoned uranium mines have led to water contamination.
We’ve driven the 40 miles from Gallup to Chris’ office in the small New Mexican town of Thoreau. We got lost trying to find the location. GPS navigation systems are commonly inaccurate when seeking an address in the area. Chris told us they often must drive out to find mission visitors who have wandered astray by trusting the devices. A low wire fence beside the parking lot signals the boundary with the Navaho reservation. A half dozen orange school buses squat next to a maintenance building. “The county buses only pick up the children who can make it to the paved roads. For those attending St. Bonaventure School we go to where the other kids live which means each of our buses has to have 4-wheel drive.” He bid us board one of the buses with a genial Navaho driver. We bump over pitted county roads as Chris keeps up a running commentary on himself, the state of the reservation and the work of the mission. He started with the Catholic Maryknoll Brothers, spending time organizing unions in Guatamala, working in Africa and has now taken on the job of directing St. Bonaventure Mission and School on the Navaho Reservation. “Tell me about yourselves,” he insists, asking each group member to talk about their studies and plans after seminary. The bus rumbles through a landscape of high red mesas and deep canyons that resembles the backdrop for a western film. Chris points to a rocky area to the east where abandoned uranium mines have led to water contamination. “On that side of the highway the water is bad. We’re lucky the land we own is over here.” The bus slows, turns off the pavement and makes its way on a dirt and gravel road. The tall structure of a well drilling rig stands upright like an exclamation point ahead of us on the right, workers bustling about machinery and stacks of pipe. The gravel gives way to mud, something we’ve grown accustomed to on our trip. It’s thick and deep. The bus churns forward. Chris smiles, “I don’t
think we’ll try to walk over there.” We gaze at the drilling rig 30 yards away. “Usually you need to drill past 2,000 feet to find clean water, but I’m thinking we might find it at 1,300. At least I hope so.” Later in the week we will drive past a building on the reservation with large colorful spray painted words announcing both as plea and proclamation, “Water is Life.” We will learn that the annual per capita income on the reservation is $8,000 dollars. The unemployment rate is 60% and that during the hard economic times of a few years ago there was a rash of suicides. A population relocation to make way for an outside company’s exploitation of coal resources on the reservation moved 12,000 Navahos from the places families had lived and farmed for generations. As Stuart Noogle, a teacher at Valley High School in Sanders, AZ tells us, “In the Navaho belief system, at birth your umbilical cord is buried on the land. But they’ve had to leave the places that tell them who they are.”
JANUARY 18: Coronado On the Zuni reservation we arrange for a tour of Hawikku, an archaeological site 12 miles outside of the town of Zuni. It was one of the first large communities encountered by Coronado in his search for the seven cities of gold in the Southwest during the mid-16th century. We travel there with Kenny Bowekaty as guide. It is cold and occasional snowflakes swirl around us as we leave the van. Before we enter the ruins Kenny provides an abbreviated story of Zuni cosmology. He tells us that the narrative he is going to share is usually offered as a prayer that lasts six hours. He speaks non-stop for almost
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45 minutes. We are freezing. When he leads us into the site the ground is littered with pot shards and artifacts. Signs of the people who once lived here are everywhere. The ruins of the settlement are now reduced to low hills of rubble. It reminds me of the archaeological mounded cities of Israel. At our dinner tonight I will share the memory of this experience with Terrell Piechowski, a school psychologist from Sanders, Arizona who spent several years on the Zuni reservation as a teacher. He reminds me that Hawikku is considered one of the most sacred and spiritual sites found in all of the Zuni lands. It was once the location of the heart of Mother Earth. Terrell points out that the story Kenny told was only partially to teach and inform. The true reason was meant for our protection. We were entering a sacred place. It would have been the equivalent of malpractice not to share the story when such powerful spiritual forces were being encountered. “It’ll be interesting what your group dreams about tonight,” he muses.
JANUARY 19: There are many. We are driving back to Albuquerque. The rugged formation of El Morro has been a landmark for centuries. It is now a protected National Monument with a visitor center and cheery rangers. The cool waters caught in the collection pool at its base have offered relief to thousands of travelers who have passed here. Some of these men and women have
paused to leave a sign of their passing and have inscribed their names or scraped symbols on the rock face. There are many. The sandstone walls offer a record of long past visitors. Here you find petroglyphs by indigenous people, ornate signatures in Spanish by conquistadors and royal governors. Here are the names of surveyors, soldiers, and men and women settlers who camped and rested for a few days before moving on. One of our group members ask me if I think they thought about the future, and who would see their names in years to come. I’m certain of it. The inscriptions become a touchstone of history, the mark of a life lived at a particular time and place. All of them wanting to say, “See my name. I passed by here.” Our final lunch is at a nearby restaurant named “The Ancient Way Café.” It is small and funky. Folk paintings with southwest styles decorate the walls. A wood fed heater radiates warmth. As I am standing at the counter to pay the check, a Zuni cottonwood carving catches my eye. It’s a Nativity left over from Christmas; Mary, Joseph and the Child. The figures have been rendered in a Zuni style with colors, hair and clothing reflecting the culture of the indigenous people who live near here. Instead of an angel there is a carefully fashioned small bird with open wings perched above the tableau, gazing downward. No other animals or figures are depicted. I’m disappointed. There are no shepherds that have left their evening flocks on hillsides nor Magi that have crossed great distances and boundaries as seekers after God. Watching our Explorations group as they climb in the van I reflect on our purpose in coming here and think, or maybe they are here after all.
MAPUIA CRISIS CENTER OPENS IN INDIA BY DR. JOHN WILLIAM HARKINS, III, S E N I O R L E C T U R E R O F PA S T O R A L T H E O L O G Y A N D C A R E
N THE FALL OF 2007 REV. RUATA HMAR BEGAN HIS DOCTORAL STUDIES IN THE DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY PROGRAM IN PASTORAL COUNSELING AT COLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY. Along with his wife
Nutei and three children, Ruata settled in to his academic and clinical work, and thus began a new phase of their lives here in Decatur, residing in the Village on Columbia’s campus. During their journey among us, we all benefitted from Ruata’s grace, humor, and commitment to his studies and church community at Columbia Presbyterian, and the rich multicultural perspectives he brought. Nutei and Ruata contributed to the common good in every place their lives touched, and we watched their children grow up among us. It was my honor and privilege to serve as Ruata’s academic and dissertation advisor, and Ruata and his family blessed us all. As his academic work progressed, Ruata began to envision their eventual return to India, and as such, a vision for his dissertation and its practical theological and clinical applications emerged. From his presentation of his dissertation proposal to his committee, I’ve included a portion of what he shared with us to the right:
“We live in the world of crisis and hope. But for many, crisis hampers their hope. Due to economic poverty in Mizoram, in addition to marital problems, drug addiction and alcoholism, psychological and spiritual instability, many people suffer depression and hopelessness. Many are wounded and in need of healing, confused and in need of guidance, overwhelmed and in need of sustaining, alienated and in need of reconciling. Suicide has become common among youth and young adults in the region in numbers new to the traditional Mizo society. At this time of crisis, what does the pastor do to help undiagnosed depression, suicidal ideation, and other mental health issues? Where has hope gone? Who is responsible for creating healing community and bringing hope for those suffering from mental illness?” SPRING 2017 / VANTAGE /
MAPUIA CRISIS CENTER continued
In response to the clinical and theological questions he was raising—and by extension asking all of us—Ruata went on to write his excellent dissertation on a study of pastoral practices of the Mizoram Presbyterian Church in the context of the growing crisis he identified. Upon graduation Nutei and Ruata returned to India to bring to reality the dreams upon which his academic and clinical work were based. He began teaching pastoral theology and counseling at Aizawl Theological College in Mizoram, India. Meanwhile, Mapuia Hmar, the youngest son of Ruata and Nutei, remained in the Atlanta area to continue his education. Mapuia was a student at Georgia Perimeter College after he graduated High School from Lakeview Academy, Gainesville, GA. Despite a courageous effort against depression, Mapuia died by suicide on February 28, 2016 in Decatur, GA. Those who knew and loved him described Mapuia as a kind, gentle, cheerful, friendly, and caring person who was passionate about soccer, and loved animals. He fought against discrimination on the basis of class, gender, sexual orientation, and race.
T H E M C C P R O G R A M includes: 1. 24-Hour Hotline Service 2. O nline Crisis Chat (Note: Not everyone has access to a phone or a private environment from which to call.) 3. Crisis Intervention Counseling 4. Advocacy The MCC is committed to raising awareness about suicide prevention in the state, by encouraging public awareness through education and training in Suicide Prevention, Suicide Intervention, and Suicide After-Care. 5. Support Groups
In response to the loss of their son, Ruata writes that “the family of Mapuia Hmar has created new ministry in his memory and for the glory of God. It is designed to serve those in their home province of Mizoram, India who are at risk due to mental health challenges.” This new ministry, the MAPUIA CRISIS CENTER (MCC) has the core motto of “You are not Alone” based on Isaiah 41:10. The main objectives of MCC are 1) to save lives threatened by suicide, 2) to bring hope to those families and friends affected by suicide, and 3) to promote mental health services in the community On November 3, 2016, that MCC was officially inaugurated and dedicated to the service of the Lord. Dr. Lalhrekima, MD, Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, Government of Mizoram inaugurated the center in the presence of friends and relatives under the chairmanship of Dr. Tawnenga, Chairman of MCC Advisory Board. MCC is
6. Fees The MCC provides treatment for all patients free of charge. Depending on a person’s income, some clients may pay a small registration fee while others will pay nothing at all. The Mapuia Crisis Center depends on donations from supporters from around the world. It is their hope that if the center improves the quality of lives for individuals, families and the society at large, they will develop a wide range of financial donors. If you would like to support MCC, please donate a check payable to: Columbia Presbyterian Church, 711 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA. 30030 Check memo: For “Mapuia Crisis.”
functioning under the guidance and direction of an advisory board committee comprised of physicians, psychiatrists, religious leaders, attorneys, and social activists. The MCC is registered as Charity Trust under the Government of Mizoram. Ruata writes, “The suicide rate has been dramatically increasing in the state of Mizoram. According to Mizoram Police (CID) records, more than 80 people died by suicide in 2016 out of a population of one million. In past generations, suicide in Mizoram was rare. However, due to the rapidly changing society and the influences of modernization, citizens are facing greater outside pressures, leaving many young people vulnerable to depression and anxiety. As a result, undiagnosed depression and mental illness in the lives of young people has resulted in many deaths through suicide, leaving many families to suffer through their grief without emotional or spiritual support.” MCC is the first Crisis Center in the entire Mizoram state to respond to suicide threats and provide care of the soul. Word of the center is spreading among the people of Mizoram via social media and other sources. In less than three weeks since its inception, more than 20 patients have come for clinical/counseling help from the center. Calls have been received from different parts of the state. The callers are mostly men having addiction problems, marital problems, and young people who are depressed and feeling no hope. More than one hundred people have come to visit the center and have given positive feed back about the center and services. Ruata writes that “lives have been restored, the lost have been found within a short period of time of services, more people are inquiring about the service of MCC. Please pray for this humble ministry.”
MAPUIA CRISIS CENTER ADVISORY BOARD RANDY DOBBS Columbia Presbyterian Church DR. SCOTT WEIMER North Avenue Presbyterian Church GLENICE JOHNSON Mission Haven DEVON WILSON Columbia Presbyterian Church D R . N I S H A N T G U P TA D R . C H R I S T I N E C . C H H A KC H H U A K J U L I A N WA D E Eastminister Presbyterian Church DENISE LOBODINSKI First Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA LUCY COOLEY First Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA R E V. P E M C O O L E Y First Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA SUSAN HAGOOD Druid Hills Presbyterian Church R E V. T O M H A G O O D Columbia Presbyterian Church DR. BILL HARKINS Columbia Theological Seminary
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H Y P E R F O C U S
CULTIVATING LEADERS R E V. Z A N D R A L . J O R D A N , P hD, Director of the Center for Academic Literacy (CAL)
CULTIVATING LEADERS THROUGH COURAGEOUS COMMUNICATION
T Rev. Zandra L. Jordan
he Center for Academic Literacy (CAL), located in the John Bulow Campbell Library, provides one-on-one coaching, writing and speaking workshops, and other programming to enrich students’ competencies in graduate-level academic literacies (e.g. analytical writing, critical reading and thinking, theological research, effective communication). In keeping with this mission, and in support of Columbia’s efforts to prepare imaginative, resilient leaders for the church and world, the CAL initiated the Cultivating Courageous Communicators Series. The Series began last fall with a write-in at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta. Nineteen CTS students of diverse ethnicities, genders, orientations, denominations, and degree programs explored the Center’s multimodal exhibits, which included “Rolls Down Like Water,” the American Civil Rights Movement; “Spark of Conviction,” the Global Human Rights Movement; “and Justice for All,” from the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection; and the Dakota Access Pipeline mural. As the students moved through the exhibit halls, journals in hand, their CTS faculty and staff guides—Zandra L. Jordan, Director of the CAL; Brandon Maxwell, Dean of Students; Tim Hartman, Assistant Professor of Theology; Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Director of MATS; and Ralph Watkins, The Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth—prompted them periodically to pause, reflect, and record their theological musings on social justice. The write-in concluded with lunch and dialogue on the lawn and encouragement for students to continue thinking, composing, and speaking theologically about social justice work. Many have done just that. Rev. Lisa Heilig, a Doctor of Ministry student and Resource Development Specialist for Metropolitan Community Churches, used her writings from the writein to compose the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2017 Responsive Reading,” which was shared with the 240 Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide. Master of Divinity students Leslie Cox and Marben Bland were inspired to create blogs. Cox’s “Courage: The Ability to Do Something that Frightens One”1 vividly describes the lunch counter simulation at the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the courage peaceful protestors must have needed
This spring, the CAL will host the second event in its Cultivating Courageous Communicators Series, the Take the Mic! Oratory Training and Preaching Palooza.
to endure the ordeal. In “The Courage and the Timing to Stand Up,”2 Bland exhorts Christians to prayerfully discern the opportune times for exposing oppression and to stand courageously as Jesus did. Employing visual literacy, Master of Divinity student Khayla Johnson curated the “We Are Columbia” photo exhibition, sponsored by the Office of Student Life and Formation. Her recreations of the faculty portraits in the Refectory invite Columbia to think deeply about its history and future, as it considers the stories that visual imagery tells about community and difference. This spring, the CAL will host the second event in its Cultivating Courageous Communicators Series, the Take the Mic! Oratory Training and Preaching Palooza. During this two-day event, CTS students will learn how veteran homileticians Rev. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Emory University; and Rev. Dr. Jake Myers, Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Columbia compose sermons for delivery. They will evaluate their own preaching style and try out new methods during an interactive workshop on voice and embodiment. And, after workshopping their three-minute social justice sermons, students will participate in a dynamic preaching palooza,
a celebratory showcase of their work. One possibility is that these sermons could be incorporated digitally into the living mural in the CAL, which currently features painted silhouettes by the artist Lindsey S. Jordan, Jr. Cultivating leaders who are equipped to engage justly in a linguistically and culturally diverse world requires transformative approaches to writing and speaking pedagogy. We must create space for courageous, collaborative meaning-making so that our students become practicing theologians who care about injustice and have the communicative tools and fortitude to galvanize the change our churches and world need. As Heilig proclaims in this excerpt from her responsive reading, “In the midst of ongoing, even escalating oppression around us everywhere, let the Spirit awaken us to the expressions of those yearning for freedom, and putting away old paradigms, open us to new understandings, insights, and ideas.” 1 https://lcox370.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/75/ 2 http://marbenbland.com/the-courage-and-the-timing-to-stand-up/
NEWS FROM CAMPUS FEBRUARY 25, 2017 | Marcia Riggs Named Luce Scholar Dr. Marcia Y. Riggs, J. Erskine Love Professor of Christian Ethics, is one of six new Luce Scholars named by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc. as Henry Luce III Fellows in Theology for 2017–2018. This will be the final class of Theology Fellows representing a 25-year history of excellence, and supported by grants of up to $75,000 each to engage in yearlong theological research projects and to present their findings for publication. The 2017–2018 Fellows constitute the twenty-fourth class of scholars to be appointed since the inception of the program in 1993, bringing the total number of Luce Fellows to 160. There are now 5 Luce Scholars from Columbia Theological Seminary including Dr. Christine Roy Yoder (2014–2015), Dr. William P. Brown (2007–2008), Dr. Kathleen O’Connor (2004–2005), and Dr. Walter Brueggemann (1994–1995).
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AN ALTERNATIVE PERSPECTIVE AYA N N A G R A D Y-H U N T ( M A P T ’ 17 ) WA S AWA R D E D T H E C . V I R G I N I A H A R R I S O N M E M O R I A L AWA R D L A S T FA L L
YANNA HAS ALREADY USED HER GIFTS FOR LEADERSHIP AT COLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IN MANY SETTINGS. IN LINE WITH THE PROFESSIONAL WORK SHE DID BEFORE COMING TO COLUMBIA SEMINARY, AYANNA WAS A MEMBER OF THE EXECUTIVE SEARCH COMMITTEE THAT INTERVIEWED BRANDON MAXWELL TO BE THE NEW DEAN OF STUDENTS.
(Before she came to Columbia Seminary, her firm was involved in the hiring of Vice President Deborah Flemister Mullen.) Ayanna also served as the co-president of the African Heritage Student Association (AHSA) last year, and actively participated as part of the Student Coordinating Council (SCC). Ayanna has already used her gifts for leadership at Columbia Theological Seminary in many settings. In line with the professional work she did before coming to Columbia Seminary, Ayanna was a member of the executive search committee that interviewed Brandon Maxwell to be the new Dean of Students. (Before she came to Columbia Seminary, her firm was involved in the hiring of Vice President Deborah Flemister Mullen.) Ayanna also served as the co-president of the African Heritage Student Association (AHSA) last year, and actively participated as part of the Student Coordinating Council (SCC). “One of the most important things I do is try to teach others by speaking up in class,” Ayanna said. “I see things through the lens of an African-American, Episcopalian, single, divorced, mother of one son. I want to offer an alternate perspective when delving into social justice, theological concerns, and pastoral care issues that others may not see.”
Virginia Harrison served in innumerable capacities from 1925 to 1961. Upon her death, members of her family established an award to be given each year to a rising senior who is conscientious, responsible, hardworking and who shows great potential for leadership in the church. 16
Ayanna describes her background as “privileged educationally.” Her family placed a high value on cultural experiences, traveling, museums, plays, summer institutes, and other opportunities to stretch their imagination. Education was highly valued and prioritized as many of her close relatives hold graduate degrees and serve in professional careers. Her family was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement, with a history of commitment to the struggle for equality long before that time. “I have a great appreciation of womanist theology as a discipline,” she notes reflecting on her approach to scripture. She names multiple professors who have helped her grow in this perspective, though leads with Dr. Marcia Riggs. “We need to know who we are, know what we do, and tell our story.” Ayanna is eager to teach, especially in cross-cultural settings. She recently returned (reluctantly) from Haiti, where she was engaged in such a cross-cultural experience herself during the January term. Ayanna experienced the
Haitian people as free, independent, and resourceful, and expressed concern that most mission efforts from the United States start from a less than helpful position of attempting to “fix” people. She hopes to be a bridge in her ability to connect people with one another, analyze the facts, and empathize with the true needs people have toward developing better processes and engaging problems in a more collaborative manner. Friend and fellow student Melva Lowry said, “I value Ayanna's resolve to be both a working mother and student. Her presence and voice are valuable.” Another friend and co-president of AHSA last year Alexia Ford stated, “Ayanna has an exceptional intellect and is a great encourager and organizer, yet she is well grounded in her love for family. She knows who she is!” For the future, Ayanna is weighing options, possibly starting the ThM program, and is considering opportunities to go back to Haiti.
NEWS FROM CAMPUS
FEBRUARY 10, 2017 | “We Are Columbia” Exhibit Begins A Critical Conversation The Office of Student Life and Formation at Columbia Theological Seminary is excited to announce an exhibition called “We Are Columbia” featuring photographs by Khayla Johnson, an MDiv student. The photographs located in the Broyles Leadership Center explore themes of community, difference, and the significance of visual imagery in story-telling and future-making. The exhibit is on display now through the spring term. The event is open to the public. “The images are intentional recreations of faculty emeriti portraits hanging in the Refectory of the Richards Center. They are not intended to trivialize those portraits, but to deeply engage them through celebration and critique,” said the Rev. Brandon T. Maxwell, the Dean of Students. “When I started here at Columbia, I found that some students felt uncomfortable with the portraits staring down at them. Most of them are older white men, whereas our student body is increasingly diverse.” Maxwell further explained that while many schools faced with similar situations have vacillated between the extreme positions of “take them down” and “leave them up”, he wanted people to know the stories and seize the opportunity for a more constructive dialogue. SPRING 2017 / VANTAGE /
NEW ASIAN NORTH AMERICAN C O N C E N T R AT I O N F O R D M I N D E G R E E
OLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY IS PROUD TO ANNOUNCE A NEW DMIN CONCENTRATION. THE ASIAN NORTH AMERICAN (ANA) DMIN CONCENTRATION IS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT AND EQUIP THOSE WHO ARE PRESENTLY ENGAGED IN VARIOUS TYPES OF MINISTRIES IN THE ASIAN NORTH AMERICAN CONTEXT WHERE ENGLISH IS THE PRIMARY LANGUAGE USED FOR MINISTRY. This concentration will be offered every other year. Students will have the opportunity to critically analyze their particular ministry contexts by engaging in emerging themes in Asian North American theologies and ministries, including issues of U.S. immigration history, Asian North American experiences of marginality, sexism and crises of women in ministry, generational issues and conflicts, multiculturalism and racial ethnic diversity in the U.S. and in Asian North American churches, identity issues, and theological divisions. In their course work and practicum, students will study selected works on Asian North American theology, history, ethics, pastoral care, and religions, as well as social sciences. They will also engage in critical reflection of their particular ministries through a course on family and cultural systems theory of ministry for Asian North American ministry experiences and contexts. Furthermore, as part of the program, students will have the opportunity to learn abroad through a two-week travel seminar to a destination that is rich in Asian and/or Asian North American history, culture, and ministry – this may be a North American and/ or international location. The trajectory of this concentration will be towards students’ reengagement in their ministry with new vision and creative energy, undergirded by a deepened understanding of critical issues in Asian North American contextual theology. The ANA Introductory Seminar is shared with the Gospel, Culture, and Transformation of the Church Introductory Seminar, which in 2017 will be held July 10-21. We are currently receiving applications for the Asian North American DMin Concentration that will begin July 10, 2017. For more information, visit www.CTSnet.edu/degree-programs or send an email to AdvancedStudies@CTSnet.edu.
A S AC R E D J O U R N E Y T O S O U T H I N D I A B Y M A R Y A M O S ’ 85 After a 22-hour flight, we had arrived in Bangalore, India. We were staying at the United Theological College, where Columbia Theological Seminary professor Raj Nadella had studied. He and professor Martha Moore-Keish were our guides for the India Travel Seminar hosted by The Center for Lifelong Learning as an introduction to multiple forms of Christianity in South India. It was the second day of our journey to South India. We were walking along, all ten of us, after being guided through a community called “the slums.” They didn’t have fresh running water, but we were impressed that this community of people, all ages, were working together and caring for each other. They were cooking, washing, building furniture, selling all kinds of things, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and they were taking care of their children. We even saw a Hindu ritual in which a holy man was commissioned to lead a pilgrimage with some other men. No women were allowed to go, because they would be a distraction.
As we were leaving along a freshly paved walkway, I failed to notice a new, unmarked speed bump and fell flat on my face. The next thing I knew, a member of our group, Dr. Bill Ferguson, was sitting by my bed telling me that I was OK. With two black eyes I must have looked awful, but what could have been a real disaster actually brought us closer together as a group. I experienced great pastoral care from my new friends and my husband Tony. We were on a pilgrimage together searching for the Sacred in South India. We visited faith communities of various kinds, including the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, which is one of the most visited places of worship in the world. We worshiped at a Lutheran church, where Martha preached. We met with leaders in a Muslim Center, whose mission was to educate others regarding the Muslim faith. We spent a day at Visthar, a communitybased center committed to working on issues of justice and peace, particularly in regard to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Similarly, we went up a mountain to Pravaham, a beautiful community that focuses
on education, especially for young girls who otherwise would not get an education. I will never forget the group of beautiful young girls who sang for us. We visited an ancient Catholic church, a Mennonite college, and we worshiped in a Jacobite Syrian church. We met with pastors, professors, community leaders, and lay people in various settings. We experienced amazing hospitality everywhere we went. But what we realized in our travels searching for the Sacred was that, all along, the Sacred was right there in our midst offering us new eyes to see, new ears to hear, and new ways to understand. In all of our travels, the Sacred was offering us healing, community, and joy.
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SCIENCE FOR PASTORS C E N T E R F O R L I F E L O N G L E A R N I N G AWA R D E D “ S C I E N C E F O R C O N T I N U I N G E D U C AT I O N F O R PA S T O R S ” G R A N T
HE CENTER FOR LIFELONG LEARNING (CLL) HAS BEEN AWARDED A GRANT FROM THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE (AAAS) AND DIALOGUE ON SCIENCE, ETHICS, AND RELIGION (DOSER) FOR A “SCIENCE FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR PASTORS” PROJECT.
Dr. Christine Darden, former NASA scientist and “Science for Seminaries” speaker, pictured here with Jan Edmiston, DMin alumna and co-moderator of the General Assembly for the PC(USA).
This award reflects the successful work of the “Science for Seminaries” project funded by previous grants from AAAS and DoSER. During the past two years, the Columbia Seminary has hosted over a dozen forum speakers and made significant additions to topics discussed in core curriculum classes under the direction of program coordinator Prof. Bill Brown. The goal of the “Science for Continuing Education for Pastors” project is to bring science enrichment programs to pastors and clergy in a partnership between AAAS and seminaries. With this grant The Center for Lifelong Learning will engage pastors and other religious leaders in a dialogue about science, religion, and faith. “In the early stages of planning, we are considering our Pastoral Excellence Programs as a natural platform for this grant initiative,” said Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education. “With twice a year meetings at four locations— Atlanta, West Virginia, Boston, and Portland, OR—the Leadership In Ministry component is a natural ‘fit’ for this emphasis.” This program strives to integrate natural systems sciences, and contemporary research in
biology and neuroscience to the practice of leadership in religious systems. The CLL will offer at least one online course in its “contemporary readings” series, titled, “Readings in Science, Religion, and Faith.” Currently the CLL is exploring the possibility of collaborating with the Smithsonian Institute to bring its human origins traveling exhibit on “What Does It Mean to be Human?” to the campus of Columbia Seminary. Other partners in the project include: Concordia Seminary (St. Louis, MO); Andover Newton Theological School (Boston, MA); Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Pittsburgh, PA). Columbia Theological Seminary is strategically located to build bridges between scientists and people of faith who may find science unimportant, incompatible, or even threatening. Columbia’s proximity to great institutions of scientific learning and research, such as Emory University and Georgia Tech, was one of many considerations. In addition to the high quality of the proposed projects, the selected group of schools includes geographic, denominational, and demographic diversity, including groups that are significantly underrepresented in the current sciencereligion dialogue.
ABOUT AAAS AND THE “SCIENCE FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR PASTORS” PROGRAM The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science (www. sciencemag.org) as well as Science Translational Medicine (www.sciencetranslationalmedicine.org) and Science Signaling (www.sciencesignaling.org). AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The nonprofit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement, and more. Partnering with four theological institutions, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is launching a pilot project to enrich continuing education curricula for clergy by integrating scientific topics and technological advancements relevant to contemporary pastoral ministry into continuing education courses. Building on resources and relationships developed through the Science for Seminaries project, this complementary effort will reach pastors who have had little-to-no science exposure in their previous training. Having long promoted public education about the value of science in advancing human welfare, AAAS is uniquely positioned to offer this new opportunity. The pilot will utilize educational formats that remove barriers of time and/or cost for clergy, identifying the most effective means of engagement and tactical approaches when integrating science-driven content. Resources and networks from Science for Seminaries will be leveraged to ensure success, and the lessons learned will lay the groundwork for a new effort to bring science to continuing education for pastors. Partnerships with seminaries and theological educators will demonstrate the importance of increasing scientific fluency among clergy, revitalizing the place of science in the broader American public through impacted congregations.
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COURSE SCHEDULE IMMERSION EXPERIENCE: AN INVITATION TO A DEEPER SPIRITUAL LIFE 4/02/2017 – 4/05/2017 Montreat Conference Center Certificate in Spiritual Formation Join Jim Dant, Carl McColman and Debra Weir to discover the key ideas and foundational practices for the grand adventure of life in the Spirit! LEADERSHIP IN MINISTRY: LOST RIVER A – SESSION I 4/03/2017 – 4/05/2017 A Pastoral Excellence Program This is the first of two sessions in this cohort. Each annual workshop meets for two sessions (spring and fall) but the program is, by design, an ongoing leadership development program.
November 13–15, 2017 and March 5–7, 2018
LOST RIVER, WV A:
April 3–5, 2017 and October 16–18, 2017
LOST RIVER, WV B:
April 24–26, 2017 and September 25–27, 2017
May 15–17, 2017 and October 2–4, 2017
May 1–3, 2017 and September 18–20, 2017
LEADERSHIP IN MINISTRY: LOST RIVER B – SESSION I 4/24/2017 – 04/26/2017 A Pastoral Excellence Program This is the first of two sessions in this cohort. Each annual workshop meets for two sessions (spring and fall) but the program is, by design, an ongoing leadership development program. BENEFITS CONNECT – ATLANTA (BOARD OF PENSIONS SEMINAR) 4/25/2017 This is a one-day gathering about benefits for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations and other employers sponsored by the Board of Pensions. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the theological values that shape the Benefits Plan, ask
questions during a Q-and-A with Board of Pensions leadership and staff, and enjoy fellowship with other benefit decision-makers. Please contact Board University at meetinginfo@pensions. org or call 215-587-7588 or toll free 800-773-7752, ext. 7588 for more information. LEADERSHIP IN MINISTRY: PORTLAND – SESSION I 5/01/2017 – 5/03/2017 A Pastoral Excellence Program This is the first of two sessions in this cohort. Each annual workshop meets for two sessions (spring and fall) but the program is, by design, an ongoing leadership development program.
EVANGELISM AND SOCIAL JUSTICE (THOMPSON SCHOLARS 2017) 5/02/2017 – 5/05/2017 This annual intensive study experience focuses on a variety of topics to prepare evangelism leaders for the future. This application-based program includes not only lifelong learning opportunities, but also courses for basic and advanced degree students. Course work focuses on the church’s evangelistic mission in the rapidly changing context of North America and across the globe. DEVOTIONAL WRITING 5/02/2017 – 6/09/2017 Online Course Designed for writers with a serious interest in exploring the genre of devotional writing, this course of six weeks will study a present a series of topics, discussions with others and writing prompts. With Melissa Tidwell and Beth Waltemath. LEADERSHIP IN MINISTRY: BOSTON – SESSION I 5/15/2017 – 5/17/2017 A Pastoral Excellence Program This is the first of two sessions in this cohort. Each annual workshop meets for two sessions (spring and fall) but the program is, by design, an ongoing leadership development program. CERTIFICATE IN SPIRITUAL DIRECTION APPLICATION DEADLINE 6/1/2017 Certificate in Spiritual Direction The program of study is designed for individuals who discern a call to the ministry of Spiritual Direction. Applications for the 2017-2018 cohort will be accepted until June 1, 2017.
CLOUD OF WITNESSES: THE COMMUNITY OF CHRIST IN HEBREWS 7/31/2017 – 8/02/2017 This course will provide an overview of major themes found in Hebrews and prepare participants to use the 2017-2018 Horizons Bible Study, Cloud of Witnesses, in women’s circles, church school or small group bible studies. GUTHRIE SCHOLARS 2017 9/25/2017 – 9/29/2017 The Guthrie Scholars Program is a post-graduate learning opportunity offered in the fall on an application basis. IMPROVISATIONAL LEADERSHIP IN TIMES OF OF DIZZYING CHANGE 10/10/2017 – 10/12/2017 Examples abound in scripture of an “improvising God”— a God who works with us in creative, surprising ways. We will explore some of these biblical stories, learn and practice several principles of improvisation, and see how they guide us toward faithful lives as leaders of congregations. BIBLICAL AND THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS 10/15/2017 – 10/18/2017 Compass Points Certificate Class This course will explore biblical foundations, methods of interpretation and resources for scriptural study within the unique context of camp and conference ministry. MARRIAGE AND THE 21ST CENTURY CHURCH 10/16/2017 – 11/17/2017 Online Course Students in this course will explore the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of marriage and consider the how the 21st century church should respond to the realities of contemporary society.
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COURSE SCHEDULE continued
PROGRAM DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION 10/18/2017 – 10/21/2017 Compass Points Certification Course Learners in this course will encounter a variety of models of teaching, as well as methods of curriculum and program development, implementation, and evaluation in a camp and conference setting. HOLY WELLS AND THIN PLACES: EXPLORING CELTIC SPIRITUALITY 10/19/2017 – 10/22/2017 Certificate in Spiritual Direction This retreat experience will celebrate, through story, poetry and prayer, the wisdom of the Celts, from saints of old like Patrick, Brigid, Columba and Brendan, to more recent figures such as George MacDonald, C.S. Lewis and George MacLeod. CONTEMPORARY READINGS IN YOUTH MINISTRY AND CHRISTIAN EDUCATION 11/06/2017 – 12/01/2017 Online Course This four-week online course is part of the “Contemporary Readings Series” for persons interested in deepening their understanding of contemporary issues in Christian Education.
LEADERSHIP IN MINISTRY: ATLANTA SESSION I 11/13/2017 – 11/15/2017 A Pastoral Excellence Program This is the first of two sessions in this cohort. Each annual workshop meets for two sessions (spring and fall) but the program is, by design, an ongoing leadership development program.
T A U T A P A N T A
WE ARE ALL PART OF A LIVING TRADITION that reaches back to the earliest days of God’s people reflecting on their world, their experience of God, and their sense of God’s calling. Tauta Panta refers to “all these things,” as in “Seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33). These are notes from our journey as alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Columbia Theological Seminary. NEWS FROM CAMPUS
DECEMBER 4, 2016
Columbia Theological Seminary To Sponsor International Conference In India The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) has announced that its 2019 international conference will be held at United Theological College, Bangalore, India, during July 22–26. Columbia Theological Seminary will be a primary sponsor of the event. SBL holds its annual conference each November in the United States. Another conference takes place each summer outside the U.S., usually in Europe but of late in Latin America and East Asia. Hundreds of Biblical scholars from around the world will be in attendance at this conference in Bangalore. “The idea for this conference emerged two years ago in conversation with colleagues in India. Columbia Seminary’s sponsorship of this historic meeting will be a great opportunity to foster new partnerships and nurture existing ones with institutions and scholars in Asia, especially India,” said Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Columbia Seminary. “I am grateful for President Leanne Van Dyk’s commitment to global theological engagement.”
Figures by author Margot Shetterly as one who stood on the shoulders of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson, NASA “Human” Computers who as members of the segregated West Computers contributed to the NASA Space Program in the early 1960s. The latter are currently being featured in the Twentieth Century Fox movie of the same name.
JANUARY 28, 2017
Columbia Seminary Faculty Contribute To “American Values, Religious Voices”
Three faculty from Columbia Theological Seminary will participate in a new initiative called “American Values, Religious Voices.” The project has been described as: a national nonpartisan campaign that brings together 100 scholars from a diverse range of religious traditions to articulate core American values that have grounded our nation in the past and should guide us forward at this time of transition. For the first 100 days of the new administration, the organizers will send a onepage letter, each written by one of the 100 scholars, to President Trump, Vice-President Pence, Cabinet Secretaries, and Members of JANUARY 21, 2017 the House and the Senate. The letters offer insight Columbia “Science For Seminaries” Lecture To Feature and inspiration drawn from the collective wisdom of our faith NASA Scientist Mentioned In “Hidden Figures” communities and their sacred texts. Columbia Seminary scholars Columbia Theological Seminary has invited Dr. Christine Mann include Dr. William Brown, the William Marcellus McPheeters Darden to be the next lecturer for its “Science for Seminaries” Professor of Old Testament; Dr. Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor program. She retired as a member of The Senior Executive Service of New Testament; and Dr. Ryan Bonfiglio, Lecturer in Old in March 2007 from NASA Langley Research Center, where Testament. she was hired in 1967 as a Computer Data Analyst For these and more stories, see in the Re-Entry Physics Branch. The lectures www.ctsnet.edu/columbia-connections. are sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Darden was recently included in the book, Hidden
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ALUMNI NEWS & NOTES
Retirement of Randy Calvo and Barbara Poe IT WAS WITH GRATITUDE AND SADNESS that Columbia
Theological Seminary saw the retirements of both Randy Calvo as Director of Alumni/ae and Church Relations and Barbara Poe as Alumni/ae and Church Relations Assistant. Randy served at Columbia for 9½ years. During that time he shared his love for Columbia with students, faculty, staff and alumni. This was a place where Randy’s love for equipping people for ministry and his pastoral skills could continue to find expression. Randy is a 1981 graduate of Columbia and so his relationship with this institution is longstanding. After graduating he had two pastorates over 26 years at Northwest Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and McDonough Presbyterian Church in McDonough, GA. At 31 years, Barbara Poe was the longest serving member of the Columbia Seminary staff at the time of her retirement. Together, she and Randy provided service that was both thoughtful and caring. They organized students for preaching weekends; were a personal presence for students at the seminary; cultivated relationships with the Alumni Council, the Columbia Friendship Circle, and all of our alumni and friends of the seminary.
Editor’s Note: We are running light on updates from alumni this round, perhaps due in part to the recent retirements of Barbara Poe and Randy Calvo. However, we do wish to emphasize that there is a new process in place to collect your updates on our website at www.ctsnet.edu/network/alumni. Go to the large button labeled “update my info” to correct contact information and provide your latest personal updates.
| Nibs Stroupe ’75 is retiring in January from Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA.
Alan Bancroft ’05 is interim pastor of Discovery Church, Clayton, NC. On January 15, 2017, he welcomed a baby boy, Michael Henry.
Jack Taylor ’63 (BD), ’77, ’80 (ThM) celebrated his 80th birthday in the pulpit of Roberts Church in Anderson, SC surrounded by family, friends and the congregation he has served for the past eight years. The church members pulled off an amazing birthday party.
Charles Davis Hankins ’05 is the winner of the 2017 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise and Professor at Applachian State University, Boone, NC. He co-authored Ecclesiastes: A Commentary with Columbia Seminary Professor Brennan Breed.
| Randy Calvo ’81 retired as director of Alumni/ae and Church Relations at Columbia Theological Seminary. Mary Jane Cornell ’81 is contract call pastor at Smyrna Presbyterian Church, Conyers, GA. Laurey Murphy ’82 is pastor, Johns Island Presbyterian Church, Johns Island, SC.
| Steve Bryant ’90 is pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Canton, MS and also the Executive Director of the Booth Leadership Initiative who partners with Christian denominations in Sub-Saharan Africa to provide leadership and sustainability training for African pastors and evangelists in thirteen countries. Pablo Jimenez ’95 (DMin) is Associate Dean of Hispanic Ministries at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Rebecca “Becky” Burton ’97, ’05 (DMin) is serving as supply pastor.
| Rachael Banzhoff Knoll ’10 has been called to be the Regional Presbyter of the Presbytery of South Alabama and the Presbytery of Mississippi. Katie Ricks ’02 is Associate Director of Vocational Services and Student Life at Columbia Theological Seminary.
Julie Jensen ’05 is interim pastor of Nineveh Presbyterian Church, Nineveh, NY. Derek Wadlington ’06 is supply pastor at Big Spring Presbyterian Church, Newville, PA. John Napoli ’07 is pastor of United Presbyterian Church, Bloomington, IN. Bill Davis ’07 is pastor at The Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, Northglenn, CO. Phil Brown ’08 welcomed a baby boy, Paxton Ross, on January 16, 2017.
| John Plattenburg Ryan ’10 (DEdMin) was ordained as a teaching elder on February 12, 2017 at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, Davidson, NC. Participating in the ordination service were Lib McGregor Simmons ’79, Michelle Thomas Bush ’94, Steve Lindsley ’97, Robert Alexander ’00, and Joe B. Martin. Katie Owen Aumann ’11 and husband Wait welcomed baby daughter Mollie Grace on October 19, 2016. Dan Jessop ’11 was installed as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Williamsburg, IA October 16, 2016. Emma Ouellette ’11 was called to Bayside Presbyterian Church, Virginia Beach, VA. Nathaniel J. R. Dunlap ’12 (MATS) is Executive Director of the PRF Institute, a stewardship-based teaching ministry that assists pastoral leaders and churches to better understand the relationship between their possessions, resources and finances. He received his DMin in Theories and Practices of Conflict Transformation from New York Theological Seminary in 2015.
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ALUMNI NEWS & NOTES continued
Dawn Martin Hyde ’12 started as copastor (with Amos Disasi) at Downtown Church in Columbia, SC in January. She was installed on February 26, 2017. Dr. Anna Carter Florence preached at the service, and Anna Fulmer ’12 and Leslie Fuller ’12 were also a part of the service. Amy Gall Ritchie ’12 (DMin) is interim executive director of Admissions and Student Services at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, IN. She will be moving into the Alumni Relations department when the interim position is completed. Shavon Starling-Louis ’13 and husband Kirk are proud parents of a baby boy, Kamden, born November 3, 2016.
Melissa Tidwell ’15 was ordained January 1, 2017. She is now pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, OH. Katy Walters ’15 will be associate pastor of Christian education at New Braunfels Presbyterian Church, New Braunfels, TX, beginning in 2017. Landon Dillard ’16 was ordained November 13, 2016, as associate pastor, Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, Rock Hill, SC. Micah Nutter Dowling ’16 was ordained at First Presbyterian Auburn on December 11, 2016 in Auburn, AL. He is now Associate Pastor of Youth and Family at Newnan Presbyterian Church in Newnan, GA.
IN MEMORIAM Frederic Dinkins ’66 (ThM) . . . . . October 16, 2014 Homer Lamar Kimmons ’76 . . . . September 27, 2016 Daniel E. Youngblood ’66 (BD) . . . . January 14, 2017
Anna Owens Sweeney ’16 was ordained October 30, 2016. She is a Lake Fellow in the two-year residency program at Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN. Chad Wright Pittman ’16 is serving as DOOR Atlanta Director of programming in the city. Josh Stanley ’16 is a Lake Fellow in the two-year residency program at Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN.
LEADING BY FOLLOWING
Spirituality and the Certificate in Spiritual Formation For more than 20 years, the Spirituality Program has been a part of CTS. Throughout those years, the program has maintained constancy and stability through many cultural and campus organizational changes. The CSF attracts clergy and other leaders alike who seek a deeper connection with the Holy, themselves, and to all of life. To date, over 200 persons have completed the CSF from Columbia and many more have completed the requirements through our longstanding partnership with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and our past partnership with Austin Theological Seminary.
Participants may begin with any CSF course, although many choose to start with the Immersion Experience. This course provides a solid foundation and a general overview of the concepts they are likely to encounter throughout their journey. The Immersion Experience is offered twice a year. CSF general information and courses, including the Immersion Experience, can be found on the website at ctsnet.edu/lifelong-learning/spirituality-program/.
We serve both the CTS community and a broad spectrum of clergy and lay leaders from all denominations. The most recent course welcomed people from 10 states and 6 denominations. This created a rich texture for conversations about oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life with God in response to the content provided through the course.
Through the years many CSF graduates return to take classes, as well as ask for something more, specifically training and formation in Spiritual Direction. The ministry of Spiritual Direction is now widely available and perhaps moving toward mainstream. The role of the spiritual director is to direct or redirect the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s
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focus back toward God and that which is most life-giving and Holy. The intent is to assist another in seeing and prayerfully pondering these encounters to find meaning, understanding and perhaps outward steps to action and transformation. The sensibility is that our inward prayer and reflection moves us outward, and our actions in the world draw us back to prayer and reflection. Both are needed and both help form us and our lives into the likeness and body of Christ. This embodies the idea of leading one’s life by following Christ more fully. In response to the queries and expressed needs of participants, The Certificate in Spiritual Direction (CSD) program began two years ago with a cohort of a dozen people. All those participants sensed an invitation within themselves and within their communities to study, train, and be formed within and without as capable companions for others seeking God more deeply and desiring to follow God more nearly in daily life. Spiritual directors and those with whom they meet grapple with questions of discernment.
• H ow do we understand ourselves in relationship to the Holy One? • W hat do these moments speak to in our lives, how we live, who we are, how we engage the organizations of which we are a part, and the cultures of the world? • How, then, do we respond? These are questions of discernment. What is discernment? At its core, discernment is seeking God. We are now preparing to welcome a second cohort to the Certificate in Spiritual Direction, a 2.5-year formation program. Admittance is through application by those who discern a call to this specialized ministry. The CSD may be completed as part of the Doctor of Ministry Program. Applications can be found on the CTS website and are due June 1, 2017.
• How do we begin to explore life as it unfolds when developing new practices of prayer and devotion? • How do you discern God’s callings in your life and how do you makes steps toward those callings? • Which callings do you follow? • How and in what ways do we see the hand of God in our lives? • How do we reflect on those moments or times when God has been near?
Debra Weir Associate Director Spirituality and Lifelong Learning
FACULTY & STAFF P U B L I C AT I O N S A N D A C T I V I T Y
JOHN AZUMAH, Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Director of International Programs, was the main speaker for the Annual Broom Colloquium of the Abilene Christian University, TX, during November 9-10. He spoke on the theme of “Understanding and Engagement with Islamic Diversity in North America.” John led a class on Islam at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC, on January 29 and led another class on “Christian Understanding and Response to Islam” at South Highland Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL, on February 26. John was a plenary speaker at a World Mission Conference at the First Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, NC, on March 4-5. During March 10-14, he co-convened with Lamin Sanneh and presented a paper at a Religion and Society consultation in Ghana sponsored by the Yale Macmillan Center. Coming Up: During April 1-7, John will attend the second of a twopart consultation in Beirut on “Theological Education in the Context of Islam in the Majority World” organized by the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Presbyterian College, Montreal, Canada, has invited him as Convocation Speaker on May 11, while during June 17-30 John will be in Australia to speak in Sydney at the Annual Bishops Conference of the Anglican Church, and to give lectures on Islam at Moore Theological College in Sydney and at the Brisbane School of Theology in Brisbane. BRENNAN BREED, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, presented a paper with alumnus Davis Hankins ’05 at the SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio held in November in the “Bible and Economics” section titled “Qohelet and Ptolemy: A Reevaluation of the
Role of Economic Analysis in Biblical Studies.” In January, Brennan began his first sabbatical at CTS. Besides writing a commentary on Ecclesiastes and several articles, Brennan has several speaking engagements. On February 10, Brennan led a day-long staff retreat for Williamsburg Community Chapel in Virginia focusing on Israel’s journey in the wilderness. Brennan also served as the keynote Lenten speaker at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. He presented a lecture on “Reading the Old Testament as Scripture” on February 25 and preached on February 26. On March 19, Brennan presented the Bumgarner Lecture on “Justice, Reconciliation and the Old Testament” at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC. On March 10-11, Brennan participated at a conference at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, marking the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He presented a paper on the development of theories of textual criticism in light of the surprising finds in the Qumran Library. On March 13-14, Brennan presented a paper titled “Biblical Scholarship’s Ethos of Respect: Qohelet, Original Meanings, and Reception History” at the conference “Reading Other Peoples’ Texts: Identity-Formation and the Reception of Authoritative Traditions.” Brennan co-organized this conference, at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty center, with Ken Brown from the University of Mainz with funds from the Manfed Lautenschlaeger foundation. Coming Up: On most other Sundays in the spring, Brennan will be teaching Sunday school classes on the history of Christology at Church of the Epiphany in Decatur, where he serves as Wister Cook Theologian-in-Residence.
Newly published by Prof. Brown, A Handbook to Old Testament Exegesis offers a fresh, hands-on introduction to exegesis of the Old Testament.
The American Theological Library Association Serials (ATLAS) research database is available to Columbia alumni/ ae. The database provides online access to more than 150,000 articles and citations—and to the full text of hundreds of peer-reviewed journals. Columbia’s library provides funding for this valuable resource for alumni. It is a key tool for lifelong research, study, and sermon preparation. For more information—and a login ID and password—contact Erica Durham (404-687-4661 or email@example.com).
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FACULTY & STAFF continued WILLIAM BROWN, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, continues to be the project director of the AAAS “Science for Seminaries” program for CTS this year. He presented a paper at the AAR/SBL conference in San Antonio titled, “Job and the ‘Comforting’ Cosmos” on November 22. Bill was a keynote speaker at the 2017 “Epiphany Explorations” annual event in Victoria, Canada, sponsored by the United Church of Canada. He presented on the “Common Ground of Wonder: Science and Theology,” “From Ardi to Adam: Re-imagining the Garden Story in the Light of Anthropology,” and “The Comforting Cosmos: Re-imagining Job in the light of Astrobiology.” On February 10-11, Bill preached twice at the Presbytery of South Alabama. On February 21, Bill gave the McNair Lectures on Science and Theology at St. Andrews University in Laurinberg, North Carolina. KELLY CAMPBELL, Associate Dean of Information Services, Director of the John Bulow Campbell Library, had her dissertation titled Work-Life Balance of Women Leaders in the Association of Theological Schools included in the fall edition of In Trust magazine. Kelly attended the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) CFO/Technology Professionals conference in Orlando, Florida and was invited to participate in the Ithaka: Next Wave meeting in New York City, NY.
MICHAEL LEE COOK, Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Counseling, was a plenary speaker at the AAPC Atlantic Region Fall Conference in November at Neumann University in Aston, PA on the topic “A Clinical and Theological Conversation on Acceptance, Forgiveness, and Healing.” He will publish this talk in the Journal of Pastoral Care or Journal of Pastoral Theology. Coming Up: Michael is currently researching and writing a new book under the tentative title: Pastoral Care Made Public: A Relational and Systemic Perspective with projected completion in 2017. KATHY DAWSON, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Director of the MAPT Program, attended the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in Atlanta and the Religious Education Association Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Coming Up: She’ll be keynoting the Cumberland Presbyterian Forum in Memphis in November. Don’t forget to check the latest posts and conversations at http://hope4ce.net and the companion Facebook group which has over a thousand members and is always looking for innovative ideas in Christian education and faith formation. MARK DOUGLAS, Professor of Christian Ethics, Director of the MDiv Program, taught at Trinity Presbyterian, Atlanta. In November, he attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX.
SARAH ERICKSON, Director for Lifelong Learning, attended the 2016 POAMN/ARMSS Conference, “Christian Discipleship: People of the Spirit, People of Hope” in Richmond, VA in October. There she gave a report of the Older Adult Ministries Certificate Program partnership with POAMN during the business meeting. In conjunction with the executive committee of POAMN, she has recruited new leadership for the spring 2018 courses. In December, she was a small group leader for the Advent study at N. Decatur Presbyterian Church, which used Walter Brueggemann’s book, Names for the Messiah, as a church-wide study. She led worship the first Sunday in Lent at Forsyth Presbyterian Church, where Marilyn McKelvey Tucker-Marek ’14 serves a pastor. Coming Up: In April, she will visit the JOY (Just Older Youth) of older adults at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, sharing information about the Center for Lifelong Learning and the seminary in general. Alumni Jody Andrade ’14, Andy Acton ’05, and Jennie Sankey ’14 all serve on staff at PHPC. Sarah will represent the Center for Lifelong Learning at the 7th Annual Conference on Ageing and Spirituality in Chicago in June as a partner with POAMN (Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network), a conference partner. For more information about the conference, visit http:// www.7thinternationalconference.org/.
ANNA CARTER FLORENCE, Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching, led a workshop in November for the Presbyterian Church of Canada’s Synod of Central and Northeast Ontario, and then taught a course for the Anglican Church of Canada’s College of Preachers, near Toronto. Anna will be visiting two churches—Metropolitan United Church in London, Ontario, and First Christian Church in Norman, Oklahoma— for weekend lecture series and Sunday worship. Anna was delighted to catch up with two CTS alumni: the Rev. Dawn Hyde ’12 for her installation at Downtown Church in Columbia, SC, and the Rev. Patrick Harley ’15 for a digital interview program he started at Ottawa Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, OH, called “Ottawa Connects!” Coming Up: In the Spring of 2017, Anna will be lecturing and preaching at three institutions: Notre Dame University, for the Marten Lecture in Preaching; the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, for the Schooler Institute Lectures; and the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, for its “Preaching Days.” She will also be at the Association of Smaller Congregations Conference, on St. Simon’s Island in Georgia, with Presbyterian pastors from the Synod of the Southeast. Anna’s latest book, Come Back When You’ve Found Something True: New Ways to Encounter Scripture (Eerdmans), will be available later this year. She also contributed a chapter to a festschrift honoring her teacher, Thomas G. Long; the book is called Questions Preachers Ask (Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, Scott Black Johnston, and Ted A. Smith, eds.; Westminster John Knox Press, 2016), and Anna’s chapter, “Mixing It Up in Athens, or How to Proclaim Good News to Young Adults Who Are Waiting for the Next Thing,” also appeared in The Christian Century in the September 19, 2016 issue. ISRAEL GALINDO, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, Director of Online Education, taught “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops in Portland, OR; Lost River, WV; and Boston, MA all of which took place in September 2016. He also taught on “The Secret Lives of Families” at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Israel taught “Readings in Spiritual Classics” as an online course for CTS. He published “Staying Put: Looking at the first 10 years of ministry” for the Alban/Duke blogsite. In October 2016,
Israel made a presentation for the staff of the JBC Library titled “’Make it Pretty’: Creating Infographics.” He published “Before Easter: Meditations on the Passion” and co-taught “The Role of the Minister in a Dying Congregation” as an online course for the Center for Lifelong Learning. Israel wrote “Bowen Family Systems Theory: A Resource for the Long Haul?” in the Review and Expositor Journal. Israel participated in the Wabash Advisory Committee Meeting in Indianapolis. He taught the online course “Contemporary Readings in Christian Education: Christian Formation” for the Center for Lifelong Learning. In November 2016, Israel attended the ATS TTECH Conference, Orlando, FL and went to the Center for the Study of Natural Systems, Houston, TX. In December 2016, he published A Guide to Online Course Design and Instruction (Didache Press). In January, Israel co-facilitated the Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy at The Center for Lifelong Learning. In February, he published “Integration? Maybe You’re Focusing on the Wrong Thing,” in the Blog for Theological School Deans, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. Israel taught “The 7 Concepts that Will Change Your Teaching” at The Center for Lifelong Learning and presented “Reciprocity in Emotional Systems,” at the LIM workshops in Boston, Portland, and West Virginia. In March, he presented “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the LIM Workshop in Atlanta. Israel published “The Arc of Stewardship in An Age of Abundance and Debt,” for the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lent 2017. BILL HARKINS, Senior Lecturer of Pastoral Theology and Care, Director of the ThD Program, presented a workshop during November 15-16 on “Steps to Psychological Wellness and Wholeness” for the Church Pension Group and the Episcopal Diocese of Maine in Portland, Maine. On December 7-8, he served as psychological consultant to the Commission on Leadership and Impairment at their meeting in Detroit, Michigan. Bill was appointed to this commission by the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori in 2015. Bill served as Psychological Health faculty for a Church Pension Group Steps to Wellness conference with clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, in Portland, Maine, November 14-16. During Advent he led a course on SPRING 2017 / VANTAGE /
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FACULTY & STAFF continued “Pastoral Care of Grief and Loss” for Lay Pastoral Care volunteers at the Cathedral of St. Philip. In December he officiated at a Blue Advent Service for those in relation to whom the season is challenging, at the Cathedral of St. Philip. In early January (6-9) Bill led the Vestry Retreat for Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church-Memphis, at St. Columba Episcopal Retreat and Conference Center, in Memphis, Tennessee. In late January (19-22) he led the Vestry Retreat for St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at the Hinton Retreat Center in Hayesville, North Carolina. In February, Bill served as host and moderator for “A Conversation with Richard Rohr,” a continuing education (CEU) podcast sponsored by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Southeast Region. Father Rohr discussed his book Falling Upward during this 90-minute call-in podcast/webinar. In February, he led the Vestry retreat for the parish of Christ the King Episcopal Church, Santa Rosa Beach, where CTS alumnus Richard Gillespie Proctor ’09 is rector. Richard and wife (and alumna) Emily Rose Proctor ’09 are the parents of Julian Proctor, who will be a year-old in March! Coming Up: Bill will serve as Psychological Health faculty for the Episcopal Church Foundation Steps to Wellness conferences at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in May and June 2017. He was the subject of an Atlanta Track Club Wingfoot Magazine article on the occasion of his 40th consecutive Peachtree Road Race at
www.atlantatrackclub.org/wingfootspotlight. ZANDRA L. JORDAN, Director of the Center for Academic Literacy, in light of her service as Minister of Adult Christian Education at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, will lecture in December at the 38th Annual Sunday School Publishing Board’s Conference in Nashville, TN on the role and benefits of Sunday church school, the roles of the pastor and superintendent, and communicating the Sunday church school’s purpose to church leaders and the congregation. On Saturday, February 4, Zandra participated in “God’s Trombones,” the annual Black history program at Hillside Presbyterian Church (Decatur) honoring the legacy of James Weldon Johnson. Zandra delivered the sermonic poem, “Let My People Go.” From February 16-18, Zandra attended the Southeastern Writing Center Association conference at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. GRISELDA LARTEY, Serials and Interlibrary Loan Assistant for John Bulow Campbell Library, led a workshop with alumna Suzy Edwards ’05 titled “Living in Design,” at the recent APCE (Association of Presbyterian Church Educators) 2017 Conference in Denver, CO. They delved into the rich history of symbols that focuses on the Adinkra Symbols of West Africa. Participants used Visio and Lectio Divina as a way of practicing
being still with God and gleaning from time set apart for meditation through the power of the Holy Spirit. A sample of the presentation is available on the Connections blog at www.CTSnet.edu/ columbia-connections. KIMBERLY BRACKEN LONG, Associate Professor of Worship, continues to be on sabbatical this fall and is working as co-editor of the revision to the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship, which will be published in 2018. She wrote a blog post on Columbia Connections titled “I’d Rather Do Ten Funerals Than One Wedding.” It is about her book and upcoming online class through the Center for Lifelong Learning, both called “From This Day Forward.” MARTHA MOORE-KEISH, Associate Professor of Theology, Director of ThM Program, taught Sunday School at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, and Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Atlanta. She preached at the November presbytery meeting of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and preached at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church for the Presbyterian Women Christmas event. Martha co-led a two week trip to south India with Raj Nadella for the Center for Lifelong
Learning during December 28-January 11). She offered the keynote address and taught workshops at the January educational event in the Presbytery of S. Alabama, and preached at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church in Mobile. She led the March women’s retreat for Central Presbyterian Church, drawing from her work on the book of James. MICHAEL MORGAN, Seminary Musician, taught a 4-Sunday series at Morningside Presbyterian Church in December on music for Advent and Christmas, presented an exhibit of rare materials relating to Handel’s Messiahat First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, and a program on the English Bible at Claremont Oaks Retirement Community. In January, he taught two Sunday classes on singing the Psalms at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. He also played the organ for worship and special events at First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta; Druid Hill Presbyterian Church; First United Methodist Church, Covington; Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church; and First Moravian Church of Georgia. Michael was named a member of the Advisory Council of the Presbyterian Heritage Center in December, and has a series of 16th century Bibles on loan through September to the Center in their Reformation 500 celebration. RAJ NADELLA, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Director of the MATS Program, presented a paper in November at the National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature on the topic of Luke-Acts and Empire. In late December, Raj co-led, along with Professor Martha Moore-Keish, a two-week Lifelong Learning travel seminar to South India. KEVIN PARK, Associate Dean for Advanced Professional Studies, Assistant Professor of Theology, and Interim Director of KAM, presented two lectures on the topic of “Theology of Marginality” to ThD students from PUTS (Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea) who came to visit CTS in August. He presented a lecture on Korean American 2nd Generation Ministry for ECKAM (Evangelical Coalition of Korean
American Ministries) of the Greater Atlantic Presbytery in October. Kevin also presented two lectures for Korean pastors of Atlantic Korean American Presbytery on the topic of “Christian Life and the Cross for Korean American Churches” in October. He preached and led seminars at the Korean United Presbyterian Church of Chicago in December, on issues surrounding generational ministries in the Korean American context. Kevin is working on an article for the Presbyterians Today on generational Christian education for Korean American churches. CHARLIE RAYNAL, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Director of Advanced Studies, preached on February 28 in First Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg, SC for the Winter Meeting of Foothills Presbytery, and made a presentation with the capable partnership of Franklin Colclough, former CTS Board Member, honorably retired as presbyter of New Harmony Presbytery. Colclough spoke movingly of his elementary education in one of the Presbyterian Parochial Schools, established by missionaries, of both white and black races, who came to the Southeast after the Civil War to minister to the freed people, establishing Synods, Presbyteries, and sending pastors to establish congregations and parochial schools, academies, and boarding schools for former slaves. Out of this effort in North Carolina the PC(USA) established Johnson C. Smith University and Seminary in Charlotte and Barber Scotia College in Concord. At the time of Presbyterian reunion to form the PC(USA) in 1983 about 14,000 African American Presbyterians in the area from Charlotte to Charleston voted in their presbyteries unanimously for the joining of the former northern and southern branches of the mainline Presbyterian denomination. Nancy Snell Griffith and Charlie Raynal have told this story as part of Presbyterians in South Carolina, 19251985: Mid-Century Change in Historic Denominations (2016). JODY SAULS, Director of Human Resources, was installed on January 8 as Ruling Elder for a second three-year term at Decatur Presbyterian Church. She continues to serve as chair of the DPC Personnel Committee.
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FACULTY & STAFF continued REBECCA F. SPURRIER, Associate Dean for Worship Life and Assistant Professor of Worship, attended the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, TX in November. MICHAEL THOMPSON, Director of Communications, posted to the Connections blog in February on “Human Rights in Ordinary Churches”. He also joined students for the “Day at the Capitol” event hosted by Presbyterians for a Better Georgia. JEFFERY L. TRIBBLE, SR., Associate Professor of Ministry, was appointed to the Leadership Design Team for the Mid-Winter Christian Education Meeting of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Jeffery was elected as Co-Convener of the National Council of Churches Christian Education, Ecumenical Faith Formation, and Leadership Development. RALPH BASUI WATKINS, Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, has a new television show on Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Network, “Talk it Out with Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins.” This is a monthly show that deals with controversial topics that faith communities wrestle with and models ways to have difficult conversations while respecting those with whom you disagree.
DEBRA WEIR, Associate Director Spirituality and Lifelong Learning, was in New Mexico during November 1-13 leading the “Desert Spiritual Traditions Pilgrimage” at Ghost Ranch and other locations with Wayne Mell and Lori Liller Arnold. CHRISTINE ROY YODER, Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis, attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX during November 18-21. During December 12-14, she attended the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) School for New Deans, Pittsburgh, PA. WILLIAM YOO, Assistant Professor of American Religious and Cultural History, preached at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA, for World Communion Sunday on October 2. He was a panelist on “The Reality of North American Theological Education” at the Association for Asian/North American Theological Educators Biennial Conference at Columbia Theological Seminary on October 8. He preached at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, AL, for the ordination of the Rev. Micah Nutter Dowling ’16 on December 11. He completed the following publications: American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Changing Shape of World Christianity, 1884-1965 (Book, Routledge, October 2016); “Moving from ‘Foreign Mission’
to “World Mission’ in South Korea and the United States: The Rise of Reverend Kyung-Chik Han and the Uneasy Transitions within the American Presbyterian Missionary Enterprise in Korea after 1945” (Article, Mission Studies, November 2016); “Cumberland Presbyterian Church,” “Helen Kim,” “Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),” “Protestant Theological Seminaries,” and “James Woodrow,” (Entries in Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield, November 2016); “Now is not the Time to be a Moderate” (Essay, @ this point: theological investigations in church and culture, Spring 2017); The Presbyterian Experience in the United States: A Sourcebook (Book, Westminster John Knox Press, 2017). He received the 2017-2018 Florence Ellen Bell Scholar Award from the Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the Drew University Library to support his archival research on the history of American Methodist world missions from 1945 to 1965 this July. He taught on the history of American Presbyterian engagement with the Global South in the twentieth century and preached at First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, GA, on February 26. He also co-led a workshop with the Rev. Betsy Lyles ’14 on the history and presence of racial, ethnic, and generational diversities in the Presbyterian Church (USA) at the NEXT National Gathering in Kansas City, MO, from March 13 to 15.
LEADERSHIP: NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL “Leadership is essentially an emotional process rather than a cognitive phenomenon,” said Edwin Friedman in A Failure of Nerve. Leadership can be developed — but not by taking a business course and reading lists of qualities that good leaders possess. Leadership is not a one-size-fits-all checklist of actions and positive attitudes. Neither is being an effective pastor. Exploring the complex and challenging role of leadership is an on-going initiative at the Center for Lifelong Learning. Emotional Intelligence “I am convinced that the strength of leadership is best tested in conditions of high anxiety and deep uncertainty, both of which characterize the church presently,” says Michael Lee Cook, Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Care at CTS. “It is no longer a secret that faith communities, particularly mainline denominations, are in a precarious state and facing an uncertain future. Some evidences of the sea of changes include declining church membership; congregational financial instability; fluctuating enrollment in denominational-affiliated seminaries; cultural shifts from dogmatic religious ideologies to ‘spirituality’; and the tenuous voice of religion in the public square.” Cook recently led a class at the Center for Lifelong Learning called “Pastoral Leadership and Emotional Intelligence.” Together, participants explored the challenges unique to church leadership and the ways to overcome burnout, frustration, and anxiety. Improvisation Today’s churches must be more flexible, agile, and creative than at any previous time. Improvisation has been a mainstay in the arts for a long time, with business, academia, and the sciences now following suit. Why not the church? In October 2017, MaryAnn McKibben Dana will lead “Yes, And: Improvisational Leadership in Times of Dizzying
Change.” As she wrote in her blog The Blue Room, a one-size-fits-all “The older I get, and the checklist of actions longer I serve as a pastor and spiritual leader, the and positive more I realize that life attitudes. Neither is rarely conforms to our being an effective carefully laid plans and pastor. expectations. When the unexpected happens, we can cling ever harder to illusions of control, or we can learn to be flexible and open to the mystery as it unfolds, trusting that a gracious and creative God is with us.” Leadership is not
Pastoral Leadership in Relationship Systems The Leadership in Ministry workshops at the Center for Lifelong Learning use Bowen Theory (or Bowen Family Systems Theory–BFST) as a framework for interpreting the dynamics of congregational and organizational life, and to help participants work on their own leadership functioning in those contexts. These workshops, offered in Atlanta, Boston, Portland, or Lost River WV, each meet twice a year, but many participants continue attending the workshops over a span of many years. In that time, not only do they apply BFST to their ministerial leadership in their contexts, but they develop deeply beneficial relationships with the other participants. “Ask most leaders for the secret of their success,” says Israel Galindo, Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning, “and they’ll likely tell you two things: ‘I surround myself with the best people,’ and ‘I have invested in a long-term peer support system.’” The Center for Lifelong Learning is committed providing top-notch church leadership development by offering a variety of classes designed to continue cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.
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OCTOBER 27, 2016 WHY SEMINARY STILL MATTERS
BY EMILY HEATH, MDIV AND THM ’05
Different mainline denominations have long allowed for functioning pastors to not attend seminary. Licensed ministers, local church pastors, lay ministers and more ably fill pulpits and celebrate sacraments on Sunday mornings, often in churches that could not otherwise call a pastor. This is especially true for small churches and those in geographically remote areas. Now some of those same denominations, which have seen seminary as a norm for ordination, are debating whether or not ordained clergy need to graduate from seminary. The United Church of Christ, for example, already allows for “alternate paths” towards ordination, though acceptance of this idea varies greatly across the denomination. Proponents of the idea point to the good ministry that lay ministers have been able to do without seminary educations. They also argue that seminary is expensive, and that candidates for ministry should not be expected to leave behind well-paying careers in order to go to seminary. Others call seminary education “elitist” and claim that by requiring it we are keeping some potential ministers from being ordained.
FEBRUARY 9, 2017 ON HAMILTON AND THE SAINT JOHN’S BIBLE!
BY ANN LAIRD JONES, ILLUMINATING THE TEXT COURSE LEADER
—The Broadway musical Hamilton (which I have only heard but never seen) catches you at every turn. LinManuel Miranda’s lyrics, music, and choreography of space bring the story of Alexander Hamilton alive—a person whose face we have seen for years and years on every $10 bill we happen to come across, yet whose 38
details have remained largely unknown— and in the process completely captures our imaginations. I have listened to the brilliant lyrics for twelve hours at a stretch, as I drive from state to state. Hamilton is a clear example of “how the arts allow us to see text anew—an old text, an old story— brought to life as if for the first time. The Saint John’s Bible does the very same thing: taking an old text that we know well, live by and refer to, but to which we all too often pay little attention, and using the arts to bring it alive so that we feel we are engaging with biblical texts as if for the first time. At the dawn of this 500th anniversary of the Reformation, what better way to reconsider the role we have assigned to visual arts and theology when it comes to biblical exegesis and theological reflection, than to have this beautiful work before us—a Bible for our time!
FEBRUARY 14, 2017 WEAVING ADINKRA SYMBOLS INTO CHRISTIAN TAPESTRY
BY GRISELDA LARTEY, SERIALS AND INTERLIBRARY LOAN ASSISTANT, JOHN BULOW CAMPBELL LIBRARY. Adinkra is a collection of African traditional symbols used by the Akan peoples of Ghana and the Cote d’Ivoire of West Africa. These symbols which are regarded as messages from the elders, are printed on fabrics, originally worn exclusively by royalty and spiritual leaders. The elders of the Akans used this form of printing as a means of expressing their thoughts, attitudes, world view and beliefs. Each motif, mainly abstract, has a name and meaning derived from a proverb, historical event, and observations of life forms or objects. Each is meant to be a source of inspiration and a teaching tool. Today, the use of the symbols extends beyond fabrics. They are found on pottery, furniture, logos and any material that would lend itself to they
FEBRUARY 21, 2017 DOES FUTURE PRESBYTERIAN WITNESS REQUIRE YOUNGER AND MORE COLORFUL CHURCHES?
BY BETSY LYLES AND WILLIAM YOO.
Presbyterians in the United States have always sought to be a faithful Church and a diverse Church. Looking back at our history, we clearly see positive developments and grave mistakes in our desire to be a community of faith, hope, love, and witness (F-1.0301). For example, we give thanks for the gathering of the first General Assembly in 1789, and the ways in which Presbyterian leaders established our connectional patterns of church governance that unite all of our congregations. We also lament the moral failings of Presbyterians in the nineteenth century who either supported the cruel practice of slavery or compromised their abolitionist convictions for the sake of maintaining an unjust but familiar order to their daily rhythms of life in their churches and wider society. It is more difficult to assess Presbyterian efforts toward becoming a more diverse Church. On the one hand, Presbyterians in the nineteenth century took the Great Commission seriously and invested enormous resources in world mission work. Some white Presbyterians even gave their lives to this cause, dying in foreign countries from disease and arduous living conditions. In the middle of the twentieth century, Presbyterians (and other mainstream
denominations) designed innovative programs for youth that blended religious education and popular culture to ignite and sustain the faith, witness, and church involvement of many teenagers. On the other hand, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) remains overwhelmingly white – 91% of the denomination’s membership was white in 2014 – and some young adults in their twenties and thirties are searching for their place in local congregations. Some find themselves in the margins because they are “too old” for youth or college ministries but “not quite” at the life stage of most other adult members, deacons, and elders.
FEBRUARY 27, 2017 CAN YOU STOP SABOTAGE?
BY ISRAEL GALINDO, ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR LIFELONG LEARNING AND DIRECTOR OF ONLINE EDUCATION I received a cryptic e-mail from a friend recently. She’s less than a year into a new church staff position. In her e-mail she asked the question, “Can you stop sabotage?” She didn’t go into details, but obviously, something’s going on (for one thing, it looks like the honeymoon period’s over!). I think it’s just as well that she didn’t get into specifics. Overfocusing on particulars of personalities, culture, and “the issue” runs the risk of moving too quickly into strategizing and overlooking emotional process dynamics. Sabotage is a predictable reactive phenomenon to the threat of change. Anytime leaders work toward change, of whatever kind, they can expect reactivity. As such, we should always expect it. The form it takes, however, is often surprising. Sabotage is reactivity ramped up to the level of action intended to block change. For the full stories and more, please visit www.CTSnet.edu/columbia-connections.
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