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winter | spring 2011

P r e s i d e n t ’ s M e s s ag e

Living into God’s Imagination

“My name isn’t Claire, Grandpa, it’s Lulu! And I’m a princess and a teacher.” And with that simple statement we began an entire morning of living into Claire’s imaginary world of characters with fanciful names, activities that didn’t seem to fit with being either a princess or a teacher, and the repeated rebukes of my granddaughter when I wasn’t quite tracking with the on-going narrative. Imagination is a wonderful thing. It takes us to places that we have never been, and helps us explore what we haven’t experienced and may never see with our eyes. Imagination is a gift from God. When imagination is connected with listening to the Holy Spirit and with faith, we sometimes call it “vision.” Vision bids us to see beyond the current realities of our lives and the lives of others to a world where Christ beckons us to take steps of faith and to live into the realities of the Kingdom.

Imagination takes us to places that we have never been, and

helps us explore what we haven’t

John 1 recounts that not long after Andrew had taken his brother, Simon, to meet Jesus for the first time, Jesus said to Simon, “So you are Simon, son of John? You shall be called Peter!” Jesus had vision for what Peter could become. In his imagination he could see a “Peter” who would one day be a “rock” and a leader of the Church. And at that moment, no one but Jesus could even imagine the Church. Paul, who never could have imagined the journey that his life would take after his encounter with the Living Christ on the Damascus Road, would eventually exclaim,


“Now to God who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more

and may never see

than all we can ask or imagine, to God be glory in the congregation and in Christ Jesus to all

with our eyes.

generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:20-21) Paul knew that even our wildest dreams fall short of the glory and plan of God. So we dream with the eyes of faith. We imagine what God might want to do even through us. And then, with Peter, with Paul, and with women and men throughout the ages, we follow Christ and we live into the imagination of God. Joyfully,

Steve Hayner 2

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news Dr. John Azumah, scholar of Christian mission and Islamic studies, will join faculty The Board of Trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary has approved the appointment of John Alembillah Azumah as Associate Professor of World Christianity, with tenure. Currently director for the Centre of Islamic Studies and lecturer at the London School of Theology, he will join the Columbia faculty this summer. Born in Bawku, Ghana, Dr. Azumah is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. After serving as an evangelist in northern Ghana, he completed his theological studies at Trinity Theological Seminary in Accra. One of two ministers who pioneered the work of the Northern Outreach Programme of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, he established 18 churches in three years in what is known as the Asante Presbytery. After completing the M.A. and Ph.D. in Islamics and Christian-Muslim relations at the University of Birmingham, UK, Dr. Azumah served as a senior research fellow at the Henry Martyn Institute and a lecturer at the Union Biblical Seminary, both in India, as a CMS-Australia missionary. He later served as a research fellow with the Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Ghana and as the founding director of the Interfaith Research and Resource Centre of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. Dr. Azumah has taught in a number of seminaries in Ghana and South Africa and served on the Interfaith Advisory Board of the World Council of Churches. He is also a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury Building-Bridges study group and Lausanne Theology Working Group. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of two books: The Legacy of Arab-Islam in Islam: A Quest for inter-Religious Dialogue (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2001) and My Neighbour’s Faith: Islam Explained for Christians (Nairobi: Hippo Books/Zondervan, 2008). Announcing the appointment, Columbia’s president, Steve Hayner, said, “John Azumah is a remarkable person, a gifted and disciplined scholar, who has made it his life’s work to build bridges of understanding between Christians and Muslims. He has a brilliant mind, a powerful faith, and a loving heart. His energetic, winsome personality, and warm teaching style have already won the hearts of the Columbia community. We are eager to have him, his wife, Grace, and their family join us.” v vantage winter | spring 2011



Ground Blessing for the Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., Leadership Center

Site preparation began in mid-January for Columbia’s new Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., Leadership Center. The seminary community gathered with trustees, donors, architects and

contractors on February 2 for a ground blessing at the construction site. The $11.6 million project is expected to be completed by January 30, 2012. The 30,000 square foot facility honors the memory of Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., a long-time friend of the seminary, pastor for many years at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, where he was also a prominent civic leader and advocate for social justice. The project will incorporate the 80-year-old Simons-Law building, formerly a residence hall, which will be recycled and renovated for small classroom space, faculty offices, study areas, the seminary bookstore, and an educational technology center. A tower will be constructed and will serve as the main entrance to the leadership center. Flooring for the tower will be milled from a mature oak now standing next to Simons-Law. New construction includes two classroom wings. One will include three 75-seat classrooms which will have a mix of fixed and flexible seating and will be equipped with the latest educational technology. The second wing will have two 40-seat classrooms. A cloistered courtyard with an arcade will connect to Simons-Law’s historic arch and provide a covered walkway from the center of campus to the outside perimeter of the building. 4

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C o n s e c r a t e t h i s pla c e af r e s h by y o u r H o ly Sp i r i t. M ay t h i s w o r k i t s e lf b e a bl e s s i n g t o ma n y.

Designed by Lord Aeck Sargent architects, the


leadership center is expected to earn LEED silver certification

Lord of the Universe, Hope of the World, this ground is

from the U.S. Green Building Council. Leadership in Energy

yours. Our lives are yours. And the work of our hands is

and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating

yours. Consecrate this place afresh by your Holy Spirit.

System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the

As a new building takes shape on this ground, will you

design, construction, and operation of high performance

superintend its construction and those who work on it?

green buildings.The firm also designed a student residential

May this work itself be a blessing to many. And even now,

hall for Columbia. That facility, opened two years ago, is the

you who are sovereign in your knowledge and purposeful in

first in Decatur, GA, to earn LEED gold certification. New

your plan, will you shape not only this building but our very

South Construction is the general contractor, and the project

lives along with the lives of those who follow us, that your

manager is Morgan Constructors. v

Kingdom might be served, that your Church might be built, and that people everywhere might take fresh steps toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As you used Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., in such mighty ways in the leadership of your people, will you now multiply the blessing of his life in the lives of countless more throughout the world. In Jesus name. AMEN. S t e v e H ay n e r

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news Martha Moore-Keish

Martha Moore-Keish, associate professor of theology, is one

represents Presbyterian Church (USA) in historic Catholic-Reformed dialogue

of three representatives of the Presbyterian Church (USA) who participated in the Seventh Round of the Catholic-

Reformed Dialogue, jointly sponsored by four Reformed churches in the United States, and the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Their study and deliberations over a period of six years have yielded two reports on the sacraments: “These Living Waters,” on baptism, and “This Bread of Life,” on the eucharist/Lord’s Supper. Out of “These Living Waters” has come the historic Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism. In 2008, the PC(USA)’s 217th General Assembly approved the agreement, and presbyteries ratified it. The USCCB approved the agreement in November, 2010, making it the first formal ecumenical agreement U.S. Catholics have entered with another church. The Reformed Church in America (RCA), the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), and the United Church of Christ (UCC) will consider the agreement during their 2011 synods. “The agreement regarding “These Living Waters” is truly historic,” Dr. MooreKeish says. “Now that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has approved the statement, our informal mutual recognition of baptism, in place for a while, is now formalized. “The eucharist document is significant in a different way,” says Dr. Moore-Keish. “‘This Bread of Life’ articulates convergences and divergences in eucharistic theology and practice between Reformed and Roman Catholic churches in a way that goes far beyond our 16th century differences. For example, Reformed and Roman Catholic Christians alike now articulate a deeper appreciation for the role of the Holy Spirit in the Lord’s Supper, and our new understanding of the power of remembering (anamnesis) at the table has shifted the way we talk about the historically divisive issues of sacrifice and real presence.” “This Bread of Life” will be presented to the churches in the spring of 2011. Once both documents are received by the churches, they will be published, along with study guides, as “These Living Waters; This Bread of Life.” The materials will be available to theologians, as well as pastors and congregations. v


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New databases available through the John Bulow Campbell Library

Research resources that were beyond anyone’s imagination even a few years ago are available in abundance through Columbia’s John Bulow Campbell Library. Several databases

recently made available have vastly expanded resources for the seminary’s faculty and students, and alumni/ae visiting campus. v E n c y c l o pa e d i a J u d a i c a O n l i n e

• 21,000 entries on Jewish people, faith, life and customs. • Online version allows you to listen to each article or download the Mp3. • Awesome maps! • View the database A T L A H i s t o r i c al M o n o g r aph s , S e r i e s 1 a n d 2

• Digitized books from the 13th century through 1923. • Books include doctrinal disputes, social movements, religious revivals, and immigration among many other topics. • Historical Monographs Series 1 The library staff can envision all kinds of imaginative research possibilities that these databases will support. Faculty and students can let their intellectual imaginations

A f r i c a n A m e r i c a n N e w s pap e r s Da t aba s e

• Provides full text online access to approximately 270 newspapers published by African Americans from 1827 to 1998. • Coverage spans the spread of abolitionism, the growth of the Black church, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights movement, and much more. • Includes the full text of Freedom’s Journal, the first African American newspaper published in the United States. • To access the database go to Databases A to Z on the library’s website and select African American Newspapers Database.

run wild! J STOR ( J o u r n al S t o r ag e )

• A multi-disciplinary, full-text database of more than 600 scholarly journals • Especially helpful for those doing research in education, feminist and womanist studies, history, art, philosophy, and religion. • Includes an advanced Data for Research search engine. • Save searches by creating a MyJstor account.

A r c h i v e s O n l i n e Ca t al o g

• For use on campus or off site by all patrons, including alumni/ae. • Includes records of Presbyterian congregations and presbyteries, papers of ministers and other church leaders. • Collections date from the 17th through 21st centuries. • Access the catalog, then click on the “Archives Online Catalog” link and search for topics, places, and people.

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news Cover art Paul Graubard Ezekiel and the Wheel 48" x 36" acrylic collage on canvas 2006

Paul Graubard grew up in New Jersey, dropping out of school in the tenth grade to hitchhike around the country. After taking a high school equivalency exam, he went to college, married, and settled down in New York City to raise a family. He worked as a teacher, professor, and a psychologist, always finding work that gave him the autonomy he craved. Dr. Graubard began drawing following his eldest daughter’s death. Two years later he discovered painting, gave up his practice as a psychologist, and since then has worked full-time as a painter. In addition to solo exhibitions, his work has been featured in group exhibitions across the country, and is in the permanent collections of the Sanskriti Foundation in Delhi, India, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD. He lives in Lenox, MA, with his wife, Karen. “There is a Chassidic belief that one can thank the Lord for the gift of life and its bounties by singing, dancing, and engaging in joyful creation. This philosophy is a guiding force behind my paintings. My work comes out of a need to celebrate life. This in turn is inspired by my experience of marriage, the Sabbath, and Festivals. The spirit is universal.” — Paul Graubard

w w w. atthispoin t .net New issue of online journal available now! S e c r e c y, F a i t h , a n d t h e P u bl i c F o r u m

What does it mean for Christians to live in a society in which religious affiliation can be used to sell products and promote political candidates? Is there wisdom in keeping faith private in such a context? Would it surprise you to know that there is a long and valued tradition within the church of keeping faith secret? The new edition of @ This Point: Theological Investigations in Church and Culture explores these and related questions through theologian Jonathan Malesic’s article, “Touchdown Jesus: On the Wages of Discipleship in America.” Responding to the lead article are Pamela Cooper-White, Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling; and Timothy Beach-Verhey, co-pastor of Faison Presbyterian Church in North Carolina. The new edition also includes a set of four lesson plans by Kathy Wolf Reed ’09 for using the articles in an adult Sunday school class. v


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The faculty journal of Columbia Theological Seminary is available free and only online at Back isssues are also available.

imagination The Light of Imagination by J. William “Bill” Harkins III

“The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light.” Isaiah 9:2

“Space seized upon by the imagination cannot remain indifferent space…” The Poetics of Space—Gaston Bachelard

During Epiphany, the season of light, we hear the story of

we enter different kinds of spaces—sometimes spaces of

the Magi who, after seeing the Christ child, go home by

darkness, pain, and ambiguity—and seek to be bearers

another way. What does it mean to have taken a journey and

of light. As we ran on familiar, yet mysterious trails, I found

looked at the face of God? What became of them when they

myself filled with anticipation and hope. It may be hope that

returned to their homes? How were their lives different and

leads us to seek the light, and bear it into the darkness, with

how are our lives different, after we encounter the light of


Christ? How might this stir our imaginations here, and now, in our ministries? Images of light invite wonder. Epiphany occurs just as we

Donald Winnicott, the British psychiatrist, believed that the “potential space” between baby and primary caregivers expanded to include the space between child and family,

observe the winter solstice, that point at which the earth’s axial

individual and society, and finally the entire world.i

tilt away from the sun begins to nod back in the direction of

Within this “transitional” space we may engage in creative

light, and warmth. In festivals all over the world people celebrate

living. For Winnicott, the loss of imagination was a diagnostic

the return of light and the harvest it will bring. Neuroscience

marker, just as the restoration of the capacity to creatively

tells us that the human eye is capable of detecting a single

engage the world indicated a return to wholeness—and to

photon—the smallest unit of measurable light.

one’s “true self.” ii Winnicott referred to this potential space

The evening after our recent winter solstice, my running

as “sacred.” Here one has a capacity to live as creative,

buddies and I put on our headlamps for a night trail run.

“fully alive” human beings. Here, we have a sense of wonder

As we prepared to bear our lights into the darkness of the

about ourselves and the world. iii

woods, I thought about how often in pastoral encounters

Pastoral theologians expanded this to include that

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space between oneself and God. Ann Bedford Ulanov

cautionary—and deeply honest—reading. Auden’s poem “For

has suggested that the goal of life is to “play before God,

the Time Being,” “…evokes the period in which we all live…

as human beings fully alive and showing forth in their

the flat stretches of our lives which never quite measures

playfulness the glory of God.” iv We can bring to bear upon

up to the Christian ideals or Hollywood portrayals.” vi

liturgy, preaching, mission, and pastoral care our imaginative

Auden writes, “As in previous years we have seen the actual

engagement with whatever we find—and co-create, in those

vision and failed to do more than entertain it as an agreeable

“potential spaces.”

possibility, once again we have sent Him away, begging

T.S. Eliot’s’ poem “The Journey of the Magi” asks some of these same questions about “transitional spaces” and

though to remain His disobedient servant.” vii On the night of our solstice run we were entranced by the

imagination. I find myself connecting with the very human

mystery of familiar terrain, at an unfamiliar time, and by the

side of their journey. “We returned to our places, these

simple act of bearing light into the darkness. The trail seemed

Kingdoms,” Eliot writes, “But no longer at ease here, in the

transformed. In a way, so were we. Orion and the Pleiades

old dispensation, with an alien people clutching their gods.” v

whirled and blazed above us in the night sky. The ordinary

Like the Magi, we cannot go back home the same way

seemed wonder-full, and the moon illuminated the forest of

we came. No, nor is home as it was, because we have

pine, oak, and beech. The trees seemed luminescent in the

changed. The light becomes part of us. We, too, search

cove where we paused alongside a lovely singing stream.

for signs of hope and reconciliation and find that search to

We ran in silence, the woods mysterious in the penumbral

have led us to this place and time, amidst the ordinary and

glow of our headlamps. Our sense of imagination was alive

mundane. Similarly, W.H. Auden suggests that Epiphany has

again. Suddenly, on an uphill stretch we saw first one, then

more to do with the confrontation of the emptiness in late

two, then twenty other headlamp bearing runners, lighting

winter than with holiday festivities in December. This seems a

the darkness—fellow sojourners on the trail, each bringing


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his or her light into the mystery of that night. This is so often how it goes. We think we are alone, and the new way home will be lonely, only to discover that following a star, in hope, has opened up a whole new world of community. Perhaps the other road home is as close by as our openness to imagination. As Gaston Bachelard said so well, “space seized upon by the imagination cannot remain indifferent space.” viii It requires pastoral imagination to participate in the good work of redeeming today, with gratitude. In the everydayness of our lives the Word Made Flesh graces us. The selfdeception that masks our anxiety and fear—just as it did for Herod—can be transcended by imagination. Finitude is precisely where God seeks us out and finds us, and the Incarnation reminds us that nothing human is alien to God. In the light of imagination we notice the gratitude in the eyes of a homeless woman as we serve her food; or the light in the tears of a loved one who can only mouth the words “thank you,” as you bathe and shave him; or the sadness mixed with hope as one anoints a dying man on a dark winter day. With imagination, we look for and pay attention to the light of Christ in the other, and ourselves. As the poet Mary Oliver said “Around me the trees stir in their leaves and call out, ‘Stay Awhile.’ The light flows from their branches. And they call out again, ‘It’s simple,’ they say ‘and you, too, have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine.’” ix Epiphany blessings! v Bill Harkins is a senior lecturer in pastoral theology and care at Columbia, a pastoral psychotherapist/LMFT at Brookwood Center

i Winnicott, D.W. 1971. Playing and Reality. London: Tavistock. Pp. 138-139 ii Near the end of his life Winnicott began to keep a journal which began with the prayer “O God, May I be alive when I die.” He wrote of himself, “Evidently I must be always fighting to feel creative.” His posthumous volume has as its title Home Is Where We Start From, from the T. S. Eliot poem East Coker, in which imagination and creativity were symbolized by “…a lifetime burning in every moment.” See also Winnicott, D. W. Home Is Where We Start From, ed. Claire Winnicott, Ray Shepherd, and Madeliene Davis. New York: W.W. Norton, 39-54, esp. 41. iii Ibid, pp. 138-139. “The potential space between baby and mother, between child and family, between individual and society or the world depends upon experience which leads to trust. It can be looked upon as sacred to the individual in that it is here that the individual experiences creative living.” iv Ulanov, Ann Bedford. 2001. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. P.135. Ulanov suggests that Winnicott’s work “opens up the sources for religion and the life of the spirit…religion is not a leftover, not something we add on after we gain a psychic life.” Rather, it is the space of what she refers to as “a living metaphysics.” Ulanov builds upon Winnicott’s notion of “primary creativity,” which he believed to mean living the world afresh every day, with a sense of wonder and imagination. Ulanov suggests this has less to do with producing creative products, but rather “perceiving freshly, feeling alive and real, in a self lodged in a body that we know as our own, out of which we live in shared existence with others, but not from compliance, inhibition, or coercion.” P.133. See also especially Ulanov, pp. 5-7. v Eliot, T.S. “The Journey of the Magi.” Collected Poems. 1963. New York: Harcourt Brace vi See William F. French, “Auden’s Moral Comedy: A Late Winter Reading,” The Christian Century, 1982. vii Auden, W. H. “For The Time Being.” Collected Poems. (1976). New York: Random House viii Bachelard, Gaston. 1964. The Poetics of Space. Orion Press. Xxxii, Introduction. ix Oliver, Mary. “When I Am Among The Trees,” Thirst. (2006). Boston: Beacon Press

for Psychotherapy, and the canon priest associate, Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta.

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imagination Imagination in Pastoral Care and Counseling by Pamela Cooper-White

“Just imagine!” Imagination has a significant role in the practice of pastoral care and counseling. Without the leavening of creativity, play, and imagination, our capacity to care for others would simply fall flat! Imagination, play, and empathy, then, are key notes in the symphony of pastoral caregiving. Empathy calls for an associative process of making trial identifications— imaginative forays into a parishioner’s or patient’s experience, in order to understand them more deeply. The American psychoanalyst and founder of Self Psychology, Heinz Kohut, defined this imaginative practice of empathy as “vicarious introspection.” He contended that sustained empathy is the primary tool of therapeutic observation and insight. Imagination is necessary for us to be truly, empathically present with a patient from moment to moment. Pastoral care and counseling requires a spirit of play for such empathy to grow between the pastor and the parishioner or counselee. It is more akin to improvisation than to scripted drama. (Indeed, all practical theology draws upon the pastor’s capacity for this kind of empathic creativity and vicarious imagination!) Empathy works primarily through the medium of our own subjectivity (or “countertransference”), as we perceive another person’s thoughts, feelings, and images coming into our own experience as we sit with him or her and listen deeply to his or her most profound stories, worries, or secrets. We ourselves are the most sensitive instruments to catch the vibrations of the music between the other person and ourselves, including at the level of unconscious relationship— what I have called the “shared wisdom” of intersubjectivity. “Intersubjectivity” is a word that describes the reality that we are not as separate as we have been taught to believe (especially in Western culture). Empathic imagination is the bridge that helps us to connect with the other’s internal state, and to detect the dynamic impact of the other within ourselves. Our empathy operates simultaneously both conscious and unconscious, operating in the mind, body, and spirit of both partners in the pastoral conversation. At first we may not be able to sing their melody back, (that is, verbalize what we are sensing). But as the relationship continues, and we consider the interactions between our parishioners 12

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or patients and ourselves—particularly moments that seem deeply affect-laden or powered by nonverbal enactment—then our personal self-awareness and theoretical knowledge can aid us in our understanding of the other person. As the British analyst Christopher Bollas has written, “in order to find the patient, we must look for him[/her] within ourselves.” Scripture scholar Frances Young uses the metaphor of a concerto performer’s virtuosic cadenza for preaching and teaching. This analogy can easily be extended to the improvisational virtuosity of the pastoral caregiver: “The performer of a cadenza keeps to the style and themes of the concerto” [here, we might substitute theory and theology], “but also shows virtuosity and inspiration in adapting and continuing in keeping with the setting and form.” All the education and training that a musician or a pastor has internalized is crystallized in a moment of creative imagination, in the irreducible present moment of performance or pastoral encounter. Perhaps the most important aspect of imagination is allowing

Of course we need our training and experience, our theory and our theology, but through imagination,

ourselves to loosen our grip on what we think we already know.

we also can learn to lift our gaze past

The British analyst Wilfred Bion, quoting the Romantic poet John

our books and papers and theories

Keats, once wrote that we should listen “without memory or desire.” The pastor, like an artist or poet, needs to be “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” It is ironic that Bion, whose

toward the horizon of that which, inevitably, appears in the distance as a shimmering Unknown.

writings are among the most theoretically dense within all of psychoanalysis, wrote toward the end of his life about therapy as an “act of faith.” Perhaps this is the paradoxical value of deeply critical, theoretical thinking—that it finally leads back to the realm of imagination, and to the recognition of the limits of overly analytical thought. Of course we need our training and experience, our theory and our theology, but through imagination, we also can learn to lift our gaze past our books and papers and theories toward the horizon of that which, inevitably, appears in the distance as a shimmering Unknown. Each pastoral meeting can then become a flowing duet, in which the harmonic resolution desired is healing, growth, and revitalization—the capacity to live more fully into one’s call by God, and to live into God’s Realm of Peace and Justice here on earth! v Pamela Cooper-White is the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling. This piece is an adapted excerpt from her previously published work, “Thick Theory: Psychology, Theoretical Models, and the Formation of Pastoral Counselors,” in The Formation of Pastoral Counselors: Challenges and Opportunities, ed. Bidwell and Marshall, (Haworth Press and the American Journal of Pastoral Counseling, 2006); and from Braided Selves: Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God, and the Self (forthcoming, Cascade Books, 2011). A version of this article that includes end notes is available at

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imagination Imagining Minister as Pastoral Scientist by Jihyun Oh ’06

Part of my call story involves a roundabout transition from science to ministry. Both in and after college, I spent countless hours in labs doing research on various genes and their proteins. When people find this out, their next question is often something like, “How did you get from biology to being a pastor?” I imagine they ask this because at first glance, the experimental scientist and the minister don’t have much in common. An experimental scientist studies an object of interest from different angles, and comes to greater understanding of that object and its role in a larger system through experimentation. In this, the scientist stands outside the system. In some ways the goal of science is to explain away the mysteries of the world into a cohesive set of theories, laws, and processes. By contrast, a minister works with people, not objects, in an experiential and relational sphere of faith that is filled at once with understanding and mystery, both as it relates to people and to God. Joining the system is a necessary part of pastoral ministry. At the same time that one reaches for greater knowledge of God and of self, faith also involves preserving some of the mysteries of the world. The two worlds seemed so far apart even to me, so why wouldn’t it seem that way to others? In seminary, before I completed Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency, I told my story as one of leaving the land of science behind for a new land that God showed me, the land of pastoral ministry. But inspired by the abundant images of pastoral care and the ways that images of pastoral caregiver as shepherd, clown, and midwife, among others, have enriched that field, I have begun to wonder whether there isn’t a way to integrate the images of the 14

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I wonder whether sometimes as ministers and congregations, we don’t get stuck “doing church” scientist and the minister into an

the way it has always been done

Sometimes, it is disproved. If it

image of minister as “pastoral

because the outcome of

is disproved, the scientist will

scientist,” to allow the scientist

doing something new

give the experiment some due

to inform the way we think about

is not sufficiently guaranteed.

pastoral ministry.

effort, time, and tweaking to make sure the problem is not

The scientist needs to have the ability to focus and

the process. If the hypothesis is still disproved, there is still

work with the details, often tirelessly carrying out, then

something learned and yet another experiment is designed

reproducing, experiments. The scientist, however, also needs

toward the end goal of discovery.

to have the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture

I wonder whether sometimes as ministers and

and to ask how the experiments fit into the larger ideas, say

congregations, we don’t get stuck “doing church” the way

about human physiology or disease process for example, and

it has always been done because the outcome of doing

the end goal. Without the context of the larger picture and

something new is not sufficiently guaranteed. Especially those

the end goal, the details lose much of their significance.

of us who like doing things decently and in order, we want to

I wonder whether in much the same way the minister

do the due diligence and have all of our ducks in a row. We

needs to have the ability to focus and work with individuals,

want to be good stewards and have the things we invest in

write sermons, teach, look at budgets – do the micro-level

succeed. Yet the scientist teaches us that creative risk-taking

work – and also to step back and look at the congregational

doesn’t mean failure; rather it is another chance for us to learn

system as a whole, and step back even further to ask how

something about God and about ourselves. Experimentation

the work of a particular congregation fits into God’s narrative

doesn’t have to be “change for the sake of change”: rather

and mission to redeem the world – the macro-level work.

it can be another step toward the end goal of participating in

Without the context of God’s mission and ministry, of God’s

God’s redemptive mission and ministry in the world.

redemptive and creative will for and history with us and the world, the details lose much of their significance. In addition to ability to move between the micro-

There are probably more ways that the image of minister as pastoral scientist can inform pastoral ministry. It is still pretty new in my mind, but the image excites my

and macro-level views, the scientist needs to have an

imagination, and I wonder whether it isn’t another way to

attitude of openness to the outcome of experiments. An

re-imagine pastoral leadership with “energy, creativity, and

experiment is designed based on some factual bases

imagination.” v

and intelligent guesses in order to test a hypothesis, an unknown. Sometimes the hypothesis is proven to be true.

Jihyun Oh ’06 lives in Decatur and is enrolled in the DMin program in Church and Ministry. vantage winter | spring 2011


imagination On Out-Imagining

by Walter Brueggemann

“Imagining” is the capacity to host and embrace a world other than the one that is in front of us. It is the freedom to recognize that the “given” world in front of us is not “given,” but is constructed by word, gesture, symbol, and icon. It is the courage to refuse the given world and to act toward a new world that arises out of a different tradition, a different vision, and a different practice. Against the totalism of a society designed to serve consumer greed, military boldness, and limitless selfpreoccupation, faithful imagination rooted in the good news of the gospel hosts and embraces a very different world that is constructed out of memory and tradition, out of word and sacrament, gesture and utterance, walk and talk. That alternative world is grounded in God’s holy love that impels toward love of neighbor with peculiar attentiveness toward justice for the marginal and the vulnerable. In the world of ancient Israel, the prophets voiced God-powered poetry that collided with the settled offer of the Jerusalem establishment embodied in dynasty and temple. On the one hand, these old prophets warned incessantly that being out of sync with God’s intention— by injustice and profanation—would lead to disaster. On the other hand, in the wake of that disaster that did indeed come upon the city, the poets proposed imaginative alternatives for the future that

and parables, the church has a

envisioned homecoming from displacement

vocation to out-imagine dominant

(Isaiah), a new covenant (Jeremiah), and a

culture, informed by the Bible and

new temple (Ezekiel). Such imagination went well beyond the facts on the ground and


In that tradition of prophets

church tradition, moved by the

summoned faithful listeners to run risks out of

way of the cross, led by God’s

a peculiar faith identity that refused the defining

own spirit . . . Such imagining is

force of the empire of the day.

the serious work of obedience . . .

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Jesus unmistakably stands in this same tradition of counter-imagination. His parables are acts of narrative imagination in which he tells a different tale of the world. In his two best known parables Jesus invites to alternative. In “The Good Samaritan,” he imagines a world in which there is a reach across ethnic lines toward the “other,” a reach made by the “outsider” in the story. In “The Prodigal Son,” he tells a tale of a welcoming father who moves past pain and shame to the rehabilitation of his recalcitrant son. The parables invite every listener to Jesus—then and now—to embrace the world differently and to refuse both hostility to the “other” and hard-hearted quid pro quo in neighborly relations. His God-rooted counter world intended to subvert both the imperial claims of Rome and the reductionist categories of his religious environment. The prophetic tradition of imagination—reperformed in the life of Jesus—is not less urgent among us now. Faithful Christians in the US now live in a culture that is dominated by the greed of market ideology, that is uncritically mesmerized by military power, and that is driven by Orange Alert anxiety that fosters fear and violence. In that context the church is invited to counter-imagination. Such evangelical imagination proposes an alternative world in which different social relationships and different management of social resources pertain. It is inevitable, moreover, that such a counter imagination that collides with dominant imagination should cause us to be disputatious and restless about our common future. In his remarkable novel, Imaging Argentina (Doubleday, 1987), Lawrence Thornton offers a character, Carlos, who refuses the world of military control that presides over Argentina. Carlos manages a zone of imaginative freedom through which he out-imagines the “men in the car,” the ominous, faceless generals who keep their fearful society under surveillance: So long as we accept what the men in the car imagine, we’re finished…We have to believe in the power of imagination because it is all we have, and ours is stronger than theirs… The real war is between our imagination and theirs, what we can see and what they are blind to. Do not despair. None of them can see far enough, and so long as we do not let them violate our imagination, we will survive. In that tradition of prophets and parables, the church has a vocation to out-imagine dominant culture, informed by the Bible and church tradition, moved by the way of the cross, led by God’s own spirit. Such an enterprise is not liberal or conservative. It is rather the embrace of the world God wills, other than the one in front of us. Such imagining is the serious work of obedience, moving beyond dominant imagination that is, in the end, fraudulent and lacking in authority. v

Professor Emeritus Walter Brueggemann lives in Cincinnatti, Ohio. He was the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament at the time of his retirement from Columbia in 2003.

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tauta panta TA UTA PANTA

The alumni/ae, faculty, staff, administration, and students of Columbia Theological Seminary are 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. So when we went looking for a new title for this section of Vantage, we looked for something that would remind our readers of our common connection to this venerable and ever-changing stream of witness. 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).

A l u mni / ae

News and Notes

1950s Teddis Beasley ’54 in retirement has moved from Alabama to Gastonia, NC, to be near family . . . Robert Henderson ’54 has an eighth book soon to be published: Refounding The Church From The Underside. The second in a series on ecclesiology, it follows Enchanted Community: Journey Into The Mystery Of The Church.

1960s William R. Stepp ’68 retired as pastor, Memorial Presbyterian Church, West Palm Beach, FL . . . Richard Caldwell ’69 retired as interim pastor, Seneca Presbyterian Church, Seneca, SC.

1970s Jerry Davis ’70 retired as pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Payne, AL . . . Nibs Stroupe ’75 was pictured and quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sunday, January 16, in connection with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Nibs was introduced as pastor of “a nationally recognized multi-racial church and author of three books on race” . . . Michael Winters ’76 retired as pastor, Morton Grove Community Church, Morton Grove, IL . . . Charles Ligon Evans ’78 writes, “It has been my privilege to have served Christ, the Church and humanity on four continents. I have served with the PC(USA) and Food for the Hungry International.” He is now retired in Anderson, SC, and still involved in local and international missions . . . Anna Case-Winters ’78 is beginning her 25th year as professor of theology at McCormick Theological Seminary and writing another book, A Theological Commentary on the Book of Matthew . . . Chris Price ’79/ThM ’98 retired as interim pastor, The Church of the Hills, Duluth, GA.

1980s Billy Wade ’80 (DMin) has marked his silver anniversary as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Covington, GA. He was honored by the church on January 30 . . . Richard Wilson ThM ’84 is now pastor of Highlawn Presbyterian Church, Huntington, WV . . . Sherron George DMin ’86 has a new book, Better Together: The Future of Presbyterian Mission, published by Geneva Press. She recently retired after 40 years of service in the PC(USA) and continues to live in Curitiba, Brazil.

1990s David Pearce ’91 was featured in “Out of Chaos, Hope: Local Church Making a Difference in Austell Community” in a recent issue of the South Cobb Patch newspaper . . . James Calhoun DMin ’92 is a certified public accountant and Methodist pastor in Birmingham, AL . . . Ann Pitman ’93 is serving as interim associate pastor for congregational care at First Presbyterian Church, Fort Wayne, IN . . . Jean Rodenbough DMin ’93 recently published a book, Rachel’s Children: Surviving the Second World War, containing narratives and personal stories of those who were children during that time, as well as poems and reflections about war and a discussion guide . . . John A. Schmidt DMin ’95 retired after 40 years of ministry, the last nine years as pastor, Faith Presbyterian Church, Harrisburg, PA . . . Yvonne Collie-Pendleton ’98 is receiving the Excellence in Ministry Award from Freeport, Long Island, NY, in February and her DMin degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in May, 2011 . . . Todd Green ’98 has been promoted from visiting assistant professor to assistant professor of religion at Luther College in Decorah, IA. His first book has been published by Brill: Responding to Secularization: The Deaconess Movement in Nineteenth-Century Sweden.


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2000s Rob Laukoter ’00, pastor of Church of the Covenant, Hurricane, WV, received the 2010 Pillar Award for his work as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in Kanawha and Putnam Counties. This award is presented annually to an outstanding volunteer “who supports and sustains Habitat’s mission of building safe, decent, affordable housing through their volunteer service.” He has worked with Habitat since 2000 and served on the Habitat Board of Directors for nine years, including two years as president . . . Betsy Flory ’01 serves as Coordinator, Food and Faith Initiative, at the St. Andrews Center, Chattanooga, TN. St. Andrews Center is a faith-based, urban, multi-cultural center that serves as a catalyst for arts and education, faith and food initiatives, and civic engagement, and is a cooperative ecumenical outreach of the United Methodist Church . . . Ruth Lovell ’01 was recently promoted to Manager of Family Care Services for the Mid-South Transplant Foundation, an organ procurement organization in Memphis, TN . . . Jonathan Ball ’04 recently received his credentials as supervisor by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) . . . Ashley ’05 and Rebekah ’12 Lamar and big brother Sam welcomed Ann Thomas Lamar to their family December 14 . . . Shelli Latham ’05 is associate pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, West Chester, PA . . . Clay Thomas ’05 and Tricia Dillon Thomas ’06 have a new son. Wellspring (Wells) Olson Thomas, was born September 8, 2010, weighed 7 lb. and 14 oz. and joins big sister, Fields Katherine, and brother, Mason . . . Kaye Florence ’06 is beginning a new ministry as temporary supply pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church, Kingsport, TN . . . Chris Henry ’07 is the new pastor of Shallowford Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA . . . Davis ’08 and Julie ’09 Bailey are proud parents of Miriam Annelle Bailey, born December 19 . . . Wendy Dewberry ’08 was ordained January 9 and installed as associate pastor of Columbia Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA . . . Rob ’08 and Karen ’08 Jackson have a new daughter, Grace Anne (Gracie), born November 8 . . . Catherine Neelly ’08 has a new position as associate pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church in Wichita, KS . . . Whitney Wilkinson ’08, having completed a two-year mission post in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in partnership with First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, TX, New Covenant Presbytery, and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, has been selected to take part in the Stewards Programme at the World Council of Churches Central Committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland from February 10 – February 25, 2011. The Stewards Programme selects 24 young adults from around the world and diverse denominational backgrounds to help the Central Committee meeting run smoothly, learn about the work and mission of the World Council of Churches, and return to their host countries to implement a project guided by the World Council of Churches in areas of peacemaking, ecumenism, poverty, or other struggles facing the global church . . . Richard Gillespie Proctor ’09 was ordained to the Holy Orders of Deacons in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta at St. Philip’s Cathedral on December 18. Richard’s wife, Emily Rose Proctor ’09 and Bill Harkins, senior lecturer in pastoral theology and care, served as two of Richard’s presenters. Professor George Stroup, Sara Hayden ’08, George Tatro ’09, and Dick Baxter ’08 attended. v

We received numerous inquiries about images used in the “Anticipation” brochure, which was published last fall. Many thanks to the seminary’s archivist, Chris Paton, who provided the following information. (Right) Seminary faculty members, late 1890s (L to R): Samuel Spahr Laws, James D. Tadlock, Daniel J. Brimm, William T. Hall, William Marcellus McPheeters. (Above) Undated photograph, circa 1915 (Columbia, SC, campus). Directly in front of the stairs: William Marcellus McPheeters, professor of Old Testament literature; and Thornton C. Whaling, president of the seminary from 1911–1921 and professor of polemic and didactic theology. To the viewer’s right of Dr. Whaling: Richard Clark Reed, professor of ecclesiastical history and church polity. vantage winter | spring 2011


tauta panta The Columbia Friendship Circle Council (CFC) presented the Honorary Life Membership in Presbyterian Women to Camille Ruddick in recognition of her tireless efforts to increase funds for students with families. She was president of CFC during its 60th anniversary year and was instrumental in raising more than $60,000 for student scholarships. The life membership, which includes CFC members and leaders as well as others, honors an individual’s faithful service in some area of church work.

I n M emoriam John A. Cannon ’52 ............... January 16, 2011 James H. Hurst ’57 ................ July 27, 2010 Gene Randolph ’58 ................ December 6, 2010 Russell Strange ’58 ................ December 25, 2010 Harold Prince ’60 ................... December 30, 2010 Amos A. Hood DMin ’89........ January 18, 2011 Alumni/ae who would like to acknowledge Harold Prince in some way may contact his son, Bill Prince, 1810 S. Weller St., Seattle, WA 98144. ( Beverly Monroe, wife of the late Darrell Monroe ’70, invites alumni/ae who knew her husband to send memories of particular events or experiences of Darrell that reveal something of his humor, his fallibility, his sense of fun, his compassion, or just who he was as a friend or relative. She is compiling books for their daughters so they can get a better sense of who their dad was. Beverly Monroe 928 Schoel Drive Decatur, GA 30033 404/321-9683 (h) 404/275-1226 (c)

N o ta B e n e

Eighteen alumni/ae, two current students, and guests gathered for dinner during the annual meeting of the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators (APCE), February 2-5, in Albuquerque, NM. Their hosts were Kathy Dawson (front left), associate professor of Christian education, and Kimberly Bracken Long (front right), assistant professor of worship and coordinator of

ANGEL server is being retired. Sa v e y o u r A N G E L d o c u m e n t s by A p r i l 3 0 , 2 0 1 1 !

The ANGEL learning management system is being replaced with CAMS course management through faculty and student portals. After April 30, 2011, you will no longer have access to documents and other information stored on the ANGEL server. Please copy items you want to keep to your local computer or hard drive by April 30.


worship resources for congregations.

Columbia Seminary regularly receives candidate recommendation requests from church pastor nominating committees. If you would like to add your name to the seminary’s list of potential ministerial candidates, please contact Randy Calvo in the alumni/ae office or Mary Lynn Darden in the office of the president Notification of any seminary recommendation is made only to the pastor nominating committee, not to the candidate. For more information, please call Randy Calvo (404-687-4593).

Please also be aware that a new CTS student e-mail system will be implemented by June, 2011. More information will be provided closer to the time of conversion.


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Pamela Cooper-White, Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling: Presentations—At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion: “Jung’s Red Book: Explorations at the Edge of Genius and Madness,” “Jung as Artist and Painter,” Denial, Victims, and Survivors: Post-traumatic Identity Formation and Monuments in Heaven,” “Disorderly Conduct: Creative Collaboration among Women Practitioners and Academics in Practical Theology”; at Columbia Seminary’s January Seminars, “Gender, Power, and the People of God: Responding as People of Faith to Domestic Violence.” Leadership—Steering Committee of the AAR Psychology, Culture, and Religion Group; publications editor of the Journal of Pastoral Theology. Performances—as part of Music Gettysburg concert series: solo vocal recital; soloist in Christmas Offering concert, sang and presided at Advent Vespers. Co-leader (with Michael Cooper-White)—staff training on professional ethics and boundaries, Lower Susquehanna Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Preaching—Celtic Eucharist, Christ Lutheran Church, Gettysburg, PA . . . Lee Carroll, associate professor emeritus of supervised ministry: Board chair for two organizations serving the homeless poor in Atlanta—Central Outreach and Advocacy Center and Open Door Community . . . Mark Douglas, associate professor of Christian ethics: Teaching—Trinity, First, and Druid Hills Presbyterian churches, Atlanta. Presentations—offices of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), Louisville, KY. Host and presenter—Social Ethics Network meeting on the seminary campus; American Academy of Religion annual conference, Atlanta. Consultation leader—“Ethics and Biblical Interpretation” for the Society of Biblical Literature annual conference, Atlanta. Presentation—“Theologies of Childhood and the Children of War” at the Society of Christian Ethics annual meeting, New Orleans, LA. Coleader/teacher—“Theology, Ethics, and the Environment,” a sea kayaking trip in the Bahamas for the Columbia’s Center for Lifelong Learning . . . Sarah F. Erickson ’03/DEdMin ’10, director of Lifelong Learning: Preaching—Druid Hills and North Decatur Presbyterian churches. Completed —Foundations of Christian Leadership course at Duke Divinity School . . . J. William “Bill” Harkins, senior lecturer in pastoral theology and care: Celebrant and homilist—AAPC Southeast Regional Meeting, Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, NC; Presenter—ordination of Richard Gillespie Proctor ’09 to the Transitional Deaconate, Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip; Presentations, workshops—“Safeguarding God’s People: Sexual Boundaries in Ministry”; “Object Relations Theory and Compassion” for chaplaincy interns and staff, Care and Counseling Center of Georgia . . . Steve Hayner, president and professor of church growth and evangelism: Preaching: South Highland Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL; First Presbyterian Church, Huntsville, AL; The Palms Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, FL; First Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara, CA; Crestview Presbyterian Church, West Chester, OH; Keynote speaker—Association of Executive Presbyters; InterVarsity Senior Leaders Conference, Madison, WI; Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association Annual Conference, Estes Park, CO; InterVarsity Southeast Regional Staff Conference, Norwood, GA; John Wesley Fellows Annual Conference, Atlanta; Santa Barbara Presbytery Mission Training Conference; First Presbyterian Church Mission Conference, Gainesville, GA; J. J. White Memorial Presbyterian Church, McComb, MS; Annual Church in Vocation Lunch, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC. Speaker—All-Church Conference, Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church, Sunnyvale, CA; Evangelism conference, St. James Presbyterian Church, Littleton, CO; Leader—marriage workshop, Kairos Atlanta Church; Chair of Board—International Justice Mission; Moderator—gathering of Presbyterian seminary presidents and board chairs; Trustee—World Vision Board meeting . . . Paul Junggap Huh, assistant professor of worship and director of Korean American ministries: Preaching/Worship— Anniston Korean Presbyterian Church, Anniston, AL; pulpit supply, Hanbit Presbyterian Church, Duluth, GA; SungKwang Presbyterian Church, KunSan, Korea; Honam Theological University and Seminary Chapel, Kwangju, Korea; Sorokdo Yunhap Church, Koheung, Korea; HwiKyung Presbyterian Church, Seoul, Korea; Nashville Korean Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN. Worship/Music Director—Academy of Homiletics, Atlanta, GA; Conference leadership—North American Academy of Liturgy, San Francisco, CA. Panelist—Korean American Immigrant Theology Symposium, Duluth, GA; Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, Louisville, KY. Speaker/lecturer—Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL; Korean Lay Leadership Training Program, Marietta,

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Taking theological education beyond campus, Columbia faculty and staff have traveled the globe in the past year.



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GA; Honam Theological University, Kwangju, Korea; Yonsei University Church Music Department; Seoul, Korea. Monastic Guest—Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, GA . . . Kimberly Bracken Long, assistant professor of worship and coordinator of resources for congregations: Preaching and teaching—Ordination of Libby Shannon ’08 at Moorings Presbyterian Church, Naples, FL; Clairmont Place, Atlanta, GA; Worship and Sacraments certification course at APCE, Albuquerque, NM . . . Rodger Nishioka, Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education: Preaching—Oconee (GA) Presbyterian Church; First United Church of Oak Park, IL; Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA; Decatur Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA; Morningside Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA; Old Bergen Presbyterian Church, Jersey City, NJ. Lectures and teaching—Best Practices Institute at the Atlantic School of Theology, in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA; Riverside Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, FL; Trinity Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. Keynote speaker—Presbyterian Campus Ministries of Georgia fall retreat; Synod of Southwestern Ontario in Niagara Falls, Ontario; Asian Canadian ministry consultation for the United Church of Canada in Toronto; Youthworker Summit, Orlando, FL . . . Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., assistant professor of ministry: Celebration—25 years in preaching ministry in the A.M.E. Zion Church at Mt. Zion church, Augusta,

faculty/staff GA; Preaching—New Vision A.M.E. Zion Church, Stone Mountain, GA. Presentations and lectures— “Charge to Christian Educators” for Christian Education Day in the Georgia Conference of the A.M.E. Zion Church at Spring Hill church, Monroe, GA; Rendered reports of ministry of Presiding Elder of the Augusta District and chair of Conference Studies Committee to Georgia Annual Conference, meeting at Faith A.M.E. Zion Church, Atlanta, GA; “Transformative Pastoral Leadership” at Sixth Episcopal District mid-year convocation of the African Methodist Episcopal Church at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Macon, GA; “Pastoral Excellence” for annual training conference for chaplains of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Myrtle Beach, SC; Participation—American Academy of Religion meeting and meeting of Executive Committee of the Association of Practical Theology; conversation on integration in theological education at Collegeville Institute, St. John University School of Theology, Collegeville, MN; Board of Trustees meeting, Clinton Junior College, Rock Hill, SC . . . John E. White, Jr., dean of students and vice president for student services: Preaching—New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA; Valley Presbyterian Church, Mesquite, NV (where Mary Cox ’09, is pastor).


PUBLICATIONS Lee Carroll, associate professor emeritus of supervised ministry: “The Forming Work of Congregations,” a chapter in Welcome to Theological Field Education edited by Matthew Floding (Alban Institute) . . . Pamela Cooper-White, Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling: “Pastoral Theology,” The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, gen. ed. Patte (Cambridge University Press); “Intersubjectivity, Countertransference, and the Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling,” The Concise Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling, ed. Asquith (Abingdon); “The Role of Feminism(s) in Theology and the Church: Reflections from a Feminist Pastoral Theologian” (annual Women in Church and Ministry endowed lecture), Princeton Seminary Bulletin; Editor—Journal of Pastoral Theology, Winter 2010, on the theme “Science and Spirituality in Pastoral Theology.” Publications editor—Journal of Pastoral Theology . . . Kimberly Bracken Long, assistant professor of worship and coordinator of resources for congregations: Article—“Excellent Worship Leaders,” in Clergy Journal (Nov/Dec 2010) . . . Rodger Nishioka, Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education: “The Surprise of Easter in a Postmodern World,” APCE Advocate, Winter 2010 . . .

All these faculty publications are available in Columbia’s John Bulow Campbell Library. For more information, please contact Erica Durham ’97, public services librarian, at or 404.687.4661.

COMING ENGAGEMENTS Pamela Cooper-White, Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care, and Counseling: Keynote presenter on panel—“Religious Perspectives on the Rape of Tamar,” Spelman College, in March. Co-presenter/performer—“Multicultural Monologues from Women Out of Order: Risking Change and Creating Care in a Multicultural World,” national meeting of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), Phoenix, AZ, in April . . . Mark Douglas, associate professor of Christian ethics: Co-teaching—“Theological Interpretations of Social Transformation” with John E. White, Jr., dean of students and vice president for student services, as a DMin travel seminar in South Africa, May 15–28 . . . J. William “Bill” Harkins, senior lecturer in pastoral theology and care: “Emotional and Relational Wisdom in a Culture of Conflict: Psychoanalytic and Theological Perspectives,” April 1, AAPC National Conference, Phoenix, AZ . . . Steve Hayner, president and professor of church growth and evangelism: Keynote speaker—Cincinnati Presbytery Evangelism Conference, March 12. Preaching—Crestview Presbyterian Church, West Chester, OH, March 13. Keynote speaker—Presbytery Campus Ministry Consortium Conference, Tallahassee, FL, March 17–18. Preaching—First Presbyterian Church, Covington, GA, March 20 . . . Kimberly Bracken Long, assistant professor of worship and coordinator of resources for congregations: Teaching, lecturing, preaching—“Preaching the Sacraments,” St. Andrews Presbytery, Oxford, MS, February 28–March 1; at various churches in Australia, March 6–13; “Leader of Leaders” event, Grace Presbyterian Church, Fort Mill, SC, March 28–29; congregational retreat, St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX, June 10–12 . . . Haruko Ward, associate professor of church history: Conference leadership—“Immigration, Borders, and Boundaries,” the annual meeting of the Pacific, Asian, and North American Asian Women in Theology and Ministry, in March, with opening forum on Columbia’s campus, March 24. v



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tauta panta Because her office is opposite the front door of Campbell Hall, Elizabeth Orth is often the first person visitors and newcomers see when they arrive on campus. Certainly Elizabeth Orth receives no one could give them a better first impression of the seminary. Elizabeth is elegant, Betsey Burgess Staff Award always “well put together.” On top of that, she is unfailingly gracious and kind, no matter how busy she is with her work in Institutional Advancement. And busy she is, because, along with a full load of gift stewardship and administrative responsibilities, she is also in charge of planning and organizing the hospitality aspects of most of the seminary’s special events. Hospitality is the key word. Elizabeth thinks of every detail to make people feel welcome, comfortable, and well fed. If something needs to be done, it’s on her list—and if someone drops the ball, or steps on the bagpipes, or knocks over the flowers (which are likely one of her simple signature arrangements), she takes care of the problem usually before any of the rest of us realize something is amiss. Elizabeth’s management of events can be attributed to her organizational skills. She’s also had years of experience. She’s been at Columbia since 1996, but for much longer she has been in engaged in organizing (and entertaining) the big family she and her husband, Charlie, have raised. Their home hums with the comings and goings of six children, six children-in-law, and 12 grandchildren (with number 13 on the way). No one knows how she does it all—and all so well—but for her amazing “demonstrated faithfulness, dedicated service, and Christian character upholding the seminary’s purpose and mission,” with gratitude, Columbia presented the 2010 Betsey Burgess Staff Award to Elizabeth Orth. v C o n g r a t u la t i o n s

As Dr. Tom Lewis retires from his position as Director of the Spirituality Program in the Center for Lifelong Learning, colleagues and program participants recall his work with fondness and admiration. Tom Lewis Professor Emeritus Ben Johnson, founder of the Spirituality Program, Wise, Grounded Abbot commends Dr. Lewis for his integrity and innovation. “One of the unforgettable by Linda Morningstar MA(TS) ’98 things about Tom is that what you see and hear is what you get,” Dr. Johnson says. “Tom’s interactions with people are always clear, honest, and straightforward. This builds trust.” Since Tom took the helm in October, 2006, the Spirituality Program has developed “more depth and breadth, a greater outreach, and new innovations, says Dr. Johnson. “Tom demonstrated, for example, that local congregations can host a spirituality immersion weekend. This can have a transformative effect on the local church and bring new students to courses offered on campus.” Program participant Kathy Farrell says that she admires Tom Lewis for his listening ear. “Tom’s sincere caring, humility, and gentleness blessed us all,” she says. “Always available to listen, Tom listened with true concern and responded with heartfelt honesty. Our pilgrimage trip to the Holy Land was the most memorable trip I have ever taken, in large part because of Tom’s planning and spiritual leadership.” Commenting on Tom Lewis’s intuition about the needs of others, pilgrimage participant Beedee Soskin says that she was hesitant to go because of concerns about travel conditions and risks. Believing it would be good for her to participate, Tom Lewis encouraged her to apply for a scholarship. “I did,” she says, “and the pilgrimage changed my life. Now the Scriptures will never be the same! Tom made the pilgrimage wonderful for us. If Jesus were walking here on earth, he’d probably want to hang out with Tom Lewis. Tom is a wise, wise man, and at the same time, very human, with a great sense of humor.” Program facilitator Debra Weir likens Tom Lewis to a Benedictine Abbot. “Tom guided the Spirituality Program with hospitality and generosity grounded in deep faith and deep listening,” she says. “He listened to the hearts of students, instructors, facilitators, and seekers and then encouraged everyone to share gifts and new learning within this beloved community and elsewhere. This wise, grounded abbot gently guided the program with vision, inviting and including an array of people.” Tom Lewis says he is leaving his position at Columbia Theological Seminary “fulfilled and grateful for the privilege of doing this work in spiritual formation.” As he begins his retirement, he and his wife, Sebring, will live on a small farm in the North Carolina mountains. “I believe God gives us the desires of our hearts—not all of them, but the holy ones. And the older I get, the more I agree with John Muir that going to the woods is going home. That is my heart’s desire.” v Godspeed


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faculty/staff Godspeed At the end of December, 2010, Rhonda Weary retired from the seminary after 14 years of service. After serving two years as the seminary’s receptionist, she became Rhonda Payne Weary the staff associate for the Office of Supervised Ministry (now Contextual Education) where she continued until her retirement. In that capacity she not only provided support for the director of Contextual Education, but also gave clerical support to several other faculty members, as well as the seminary’s Faith and the City program and Clinical Pastoral Education. Many supervising pastors will remember Rhonda as the person who arranged for their interviews with intern candidates. Many students also found her to be a staff member with whom they could find support and guidance. During her years at Columbia, Rhonda earned from the seminary the Master of Arts (Theological Studies) and is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Practical Theology. Throughout her tenure on the staff, she remained heavily involved in numerous forms of ministry beyond the seminary, serving as an ordained minister and elder in her non-denominational congregations, as Christian academy instructor, as college and young adult ministry coordinator, and as a Christian education director. She is also the founder and director of Triumph Enterprises, a non-profit Christian organization that assists young adults in their spiritual, ethical, and vocational development. In 2009 she was appointed to be Minister of Arts for Sisters Chapel at Spelman College of Atlanta. Rhonda is married to Paul Weary, who is also on the seminary staff, serving as Central Services coordinator. Paul and Rhonda have three grown children. v


Christine Trotman joined the seminary in November, 2010, as staff associate in Lifelong Learning. A math major at the University of Pittsburgh, she has worked as a math teacher and tutor for middle and high school students, is co-founder of an organization that promotes equality of men and women of all ethnic groups, age groups and economic classes through literature, conferences and seminars, and most recently was the administrative coordinator for a project management training company.



Deb Mullen, executive vice president and dean of the faculty, officially joined the seminary on October 1, 2010. An article about Dr. Mullen appeared in last summer’s issue of Vantage. The article is available online in the back issues of Vantage Online, C o n g r a t u la t i o n s

Deedra Oates Rich has been named interim associate director of the spirituality program. Since 1997, she had served as program coordinator for the Certificate in Spiritual Formation. In addition, she has served as director of Children and Youth Ministries at Emory Presbyterian Church. Ms. Rich is a graduate of Pfeiffer University and has a Th.M. and an M.Div. from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. She is ordained in the American Baptist church. In May, 2010, she completed the Spiritual Director Formation program through Sursum Corda. Godspeed

Kathleen O’Connor, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, retired in December. A tribute to Dr. O’Connor will be published in the summer issue of Vantage. I n M e m o r i am

Golden Griffieth died on December 31, 2010, after a short illness. Mr. Griffieth served in the seminary’s Maintenance Department from December, 1992, until his retirement in February, 2009. He returned to work part-time through April, 2010. He was the recipient of the Betsey Burgess Staff Award in 2006. vantage winter | spring 2011


lifelong learning vantage Vol. 103, No. 2, winter | spring 2011 E x pl o r e , D i s c o v e r , E q u i p, E n gag e

Published by

For more information and to register for events listed below, go to > Lifelong Learners > Courses and Events, and scroll to the dates of the events you wish to attend. Or contact the Center for Lifelong Learning at 404.687.4587. Unless otherwise noted, events take place on the seminary campus, in Decatur, GA, and meals and lodging are extra. Spiritual Formation The courses listed below count toward completion of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation, a program offered in partnership with Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. You are welcome to participate without being enrolled in the certificate program. April 28 – May 1 Eastern Orthodox Spirituality At Montreat Conference Center V. Bruce Rigdon, distinguished scholar and church historian, an authority on Eastern Orthodoxy, especially the Russian Orthodox Church. $390. May 9 – 12 Women’s Contemplative Retreat At the Sacred Heart Monastery, Cullman, AL. Lalor Cadley, writer, educator, retreat leader, spiritual director. $452. Meals and housing included

Genie Hambrick D esign

Lucy Ke C ontributors

Coenraad Brand ’12 Walter Brueggemann Ralph Bush, Jr. Randy Calvo, Jr. ’81 Pamela Cooper-White Pam Cottrell Mary Lynn Darden Mark Douglas Erica Durham ’97 Sarah Erickson ’03/DEdMin’10 Rachel Ezzo Paul Graubard

Stanley Leary Martha Moore-Keish Sara Myers Stanley Leary Linda Morningstar MA(TS) ’98 Jihyun Oh ’06 Elizabeth Orth Chris Paton Barbara Poe Jody Sauls

July 18 – 21 Knowing Our Neighbors Explorations in Faith an d Practic

Sandra Taylor Marshall Turkel


With Ben Johnson, Ca

ssey Meyer, and others

Presentations, experienc es, and conversations around the tenets and practices of the Christian, Jewish, an d Muslim faith traditions. Designe d to foster understandin g and shared involvement in three aspects of a faith community: • Prayer, worship, and liturgy • Peace, justice, recon ciliation • Works of service and mercy Details will be available soon at www.ctsnet.e du > Lifelong Learners > Co urses and Events.

vantage winter | spring 2011

E ditor

Steve Hayner

Youth Ministry The courses listed below are offered through the Youth Ministry Initiative, a program offered in partnership with the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. A certificate in youth ministry is available through this program. You are welcome to participate without being enrolled in the certificate program.


Columbia Theological Seminary

Bill Harkins

July 24 – 29 Growing in Discernment Marjorie Thompson, well known author, retreat leader, speaker. $370

May 6 – 7 The Big Three: Worship, Mission, and Fellowship Troy Bronsink, Sarah Erickson. $165. Lifelong Learning publishes an online newsletter, Journeying Together (http: journeyingtogether. To subscribe, click the “join” button on the top right corner of the home page.

Office of Institutional Advancement

P ostmaster

Send address changes to Vantage Columbia Theological Seminary P. O. Box 520 Decatur, GA 30031-0520 This issue of Vantage is available online at Go to News & Publications, then Vantage.

a Colloquium a


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a Colloquium 2011

This Odd and Wondrous Calling (what it’s really like to be in ministry) With Lillian Daniel and Martin B. Copenhaver Authors of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers Sometimes in the practice of ministry we come close to losing heart. Sometimes it feels like we have lost heart. Come to Columbia Theological Seminary for a time of renewal, refreshment, and reunion. Register by March 15 and receive a complimentary copy of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: The Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers. Your book will be mailed directly to you by and will arrive before Colloquium.

April 25–26, 2011 at Columbia Theological Seminary

Comple te t his fo rm and retu rn by ma i l to Barbara Poe Regis Columbia Theological Seminary tr at i on dead P. 0. Box 520 line is Decatur, GA 30031 April 15.

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President’s Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Dr. John Azumah to join faculty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Ground Blessing for the new Vernon S. Broyles, Jr., Leadership Center.. . . . . . 4 Moore-Keish in historic Catholic-Reformed dialog. . . 6 New databases in seminary library. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 New issue of @thispoint. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 i m a g i n a t i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9–17 Bill Harkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Pamela Cooper-White. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Jihyun Oh ’06 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Walter Brueggemann. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 T a u ta P anta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18–25 Alumni/ae . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Faculty and staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Lifelong Learning Events. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Colloquium ’11 information & registration. . . . . . . . 27

Remember, Rejoice, Celebrate

by Pam Cottrell, director of annual giving

At the stroke of midnight each new year, the familiar song, “Auld Lang Syne” is belted out by millions of party revelers around the country. The song not only asks a question but it also gives an answer. Should those we knew and loved be forgotten and never thought of again? Sing it with me . . . shall auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne? . . . The answer is no. The song is a call to remember, rejoice, and celebrate now and always long-standing friendships. For 182 years, Columbia Theological Seminary has been a friend and an acquaintance to churches and communities throughout the world. Columbia has educated thousands of men and women who are outstanding preachers, wise counselors, and leaders who are willing and able to inspire us as Christians into a new era of renewed faith and discipleship. Additionally, the friendship and partnership from alumni/ae, friends of the seminary, and congregations have enabled the seminary to provide financial support to current students as they respond to God’s call to a life of ministry. As we journey together into the new year, let’s remember and cherish the many blessings that God entrusted to our care. May we faithfully respond to the needs of Columbia Theological Seminary, our communities, and each other. Happy New Year! v

Vantage Winter 11