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“While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.” —Luke 24:51

Contextual education director at Columbia Seminary stresses that leadership means not being a lone ranger


The Rev. Dr. Kimberly L. Clayton, director of contextual education at Columbia Theological Seminary, helps students understand the importance of shared leadership in congregations and ministry as a whole.
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Columbia Seminary at a Glance

701 S. Columbia Dr.
PO Box 520
Decatur, GA 30031
(404) 378-8821

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Students: 387 (243 FTE)
Faculty: 22 full-time, 11 part-time

Degrees offered
Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling, Doctor of Educational Ministry

Special programs
Evening/weekend Master of Divinity classes

Center for Lifelong Learning offering courses and other educational opportunities for church professionals and lay leaders

Columbia Theological Seminary is an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is a community focused on theological inquiry and ministry formation in the service of the church of Jesus Christ. Its mission is to educate women and men for leadership in ordained and lay ministries through graduate degree and continuing education programs. In addition, the seminary strives to provide theological resources for the denomination, the ecumenical church and persons with a variety of theological concerns.

History and Location

From its 1828 founding in Lexington, Georgia, Columbia Theological Seminary has nurtured and been nurtured by the Presbyterian Church in the South. Its first permanent location was Columbia, South Carolina. In the 1920s, when the population growth of the Southeast began to shift to Atlanta, the seminary moved to Decatur, Georgia — six miles from the heart of that growing industrial, cultural, educational and commercial center.

The seminary's beautiful 57-acre campus invites peace, contemplation and involvement in the rhythms of one of our nation's largest and busiest urban environments. Here churches, colleges, hospitals, shelters and housing projects serve as the context for intensive professional development.

What programs does Columbia offer?

387 students are enrolled in Columbia's seven degree programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Master of Arts in Theological Education, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Theology and Doctor of Educational Ministry.

Columbia is widely recognized as a pioneer in crosscultural and international theological education. In addition, its Center for Lifelong Learning offers courses for church professionals and lay leaders, faith and arts discussions and events, travel with purpose (pilgrimages and trips) and a spiritual formation certification program.