PC(USA) seminary news

A compilation of news from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and other seminaries

Presbyterian News Service
Gregg Brekke

A compilation of news from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries including Auburn Theological Seminary, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary and Union Presbyterian Seminary; and other pertinent seminary news.

Auburn Theological Seminary

Renowned Presbyterian scholar of Old Testament dies

The Rev. Dr. George M. Landes Sr. (1928-2016), the Davenport Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and the Cognate Languages at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, died Thursday, April 7, in Allentown, Pa. He was 87 years old.

George Landes was born on August 2, 1928, in Kansas City, Mo. He received his B.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in 1949, a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 1952, and his Ph.D. in Old Testament and Semitic Studies from John Hopkins University in 1956.

Landes was called to the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, N.Y. as an Old Testament instructor, was assistant dean of Auburn Theological Seminary from 1957-1958, and in 1970 was appointed professor of Old Testament. Among his many accomplishments, Landes was one of the team of Old and New Testament scholars who translated the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, published in 1989

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, April 16, in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman St., Allentown, Pa.

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Master’s programs deadline – May 1

The application deadline for Austin Seminary Fall 2016 MDiv, MATS, and MAMP applications is May 1. Please contact us with any questions at (800) 241-1085 or admissions@austinseminary.edu

College of Pastoral Leaders application deadline – June 6

The College challenges pastors in groups of four to six to form a community dedicated to renewal for ministry. Cohorts receive a grant of $10,000 to fund their self-designed agenda over a two-year period. The College of Pastoral Leaders exists to enliven, invigorate and sustain the life of ministry. It’s not a place where one earns a degree; it is an association of church leaders committed to learning in community, over time, for their own flourishing in ministry and the sake of the Gospel.

Preaching in the era of #BlackLivesMatter workshop – April 25

The Rev. Margaret Aymer and The Rev. Dr. Carolyn Helsel will be leading the “Preaching in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter” Workshop on April 25 at Austin Seminary. Attendees will deepen their understanding of racism, explore how their identity has been shaped in a racialized society, and claim their gifts for preaching.

2016 Settles Lectures – April 28 & 29

On April 28 and 29, Austin Seminary’s Settles Lectures this year is on the topic “Beyond Contextualization: Gospel, Culture, and the Rise of Latin American Christianity.”

The Lectures will begin on April 28 with a lecture by Raimundo Barreto, Assistant Professor of World Christianity at Princeton Seminary, and will be followed the next day by an open-ended discussion, drawing on Prof. Barreto’s lecture the previous evening. The panelists will include Dr. Barreto, Dr. Philip Wingeier-Rayo, and Dr. Virginia Garrard-Burnett.

Columbia Theological Seminary

Calvin Theological Seminary names Leanne Van Dyk distinguished alumna

The Board of Trustees and the faculty of Calvin Theological Seminary recently invited Columbia Theological Seminary President Leanne Van Dyk to attend their Commencement this year to receive that seminary’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Just less than a year ago, Dr. Van Dyk was named the tenth president of Columbia Theological Seminary.

“You have been chosen to receive this award because your ministry stands out as an exhibit of grace and truth, and because it therefore brings glory to God and to your alma mater,” said Jul Medenblik, President of Calvin Seminary in a letter congratulating her. The Commencement Ceremony will take place on May 21, 2016 in the Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center.

Brennan Breed wins 2016 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for theological promise

Columbia Theological Seminary’s Assistant Professor of Old Testament Brennan W. Breed is being honored for his work, Nomadic Text: A Theory of Biblical Reception History (Indiana: Indiana University Press, 2014). He is among ten winners to receive the prestigious 2016 Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, an international award given annually by Forschungsinstitut Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie to outstanding first books in theology. The celebration of the Awards will take place at the University of Heidelberg (Germany) in May.

In the book, Dr. Breed focuses on one broad question: how do sacred texts function? Whereas most biblical scholars study the text as it functioned in its ancient context, arguing explicitly or implicitly that the true function of the text lies in its origin, recent work in “reception history” traces the uses of biblical texts in Jewish, Christian and Muslim contexts from the ancient to the modern world. Nomadic Text argues that sacred scriptures are most rigorously understood by investigating all that they have done throughout history in a variety of cultural and religious contexts and in the broad diversity of their manuscript forms.

Center for Lifelong Learning seeks 2016 Guthrie Scholars

The Center for Lifelong Learning is accepting applications for the 2016 Guthrie Scholars Cohort. This is a limited enrollment opportunity to engage in five days of independent study among a small group of clergy, educators and other church leaders on the campus of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.

The dates for the 2016 Cohort are September 19-23. Applications are received electronically and the link is found in the brochure, below. They will be reviewed as they are received and the application process will close when the available spaces are filled or not later than late spring 2016.

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Louisville Seminary outreach materials receive national awards

On March 31, 2016, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) included Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Office of Communications among those to receive DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards for excellence in religious communications and public relations. The awards were announced at the RCC’s national convention in New York City. Louisville Seminary received awards in the following categories:

Best of Class – Public Relations Materials
Received for the Louisville Seminary student recruitment view piece “It’s Time to Decide Who You Are”.

Award of Excellence – Special Print Material
Received for the Louisville Seminary student recruitment view piece “It’s Time to Decide Who You Are”.

Certificate of Merit – Periodicals
Received for Mosaic magazine.

“To be recognized by the RCC for the work that we do at Louisville Seminary is a great honor,” said Chris Wooton, Louisville Seminary’s director of communications. “The members of RCC share a commitment to encourage understanding among our world’s faith traditions. We are excited to share this commitment with so many outstanding faith-based organizations and institutions.”

McCormick Theological Seminary

McCormick bids fond farewell to Cláudio Carvalhaes

Cláudio Carvalhaes, Associate Professor of Homiletics and Worship at McCormick, has accepted the position of Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He will begin teaching at Union in the fall of 2016.

When he joins the faculty at Union next fall, Carvalhaes will be returning to the institution where he received his Ph. D. in Liturgy and Systematic Theology in 2007. Before coming to McCormick, he also taught at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Speaking to the McCormick faculty about his move, Carvalhaes said, “You supported me, affirmed me, and empowered me in so many ways. Along with this fantastic faculty, staff and students make this place a very special community. This school is a wonderful place to work and share life.”

Frank Yamada, President of McCormick, said, “Cláudio inspires everyone with whom he comes in contact, and his time with us at McCormick was no exception. He opened students’ eyes to new possibilities in worship and preaching. He showed us all how to engage issues of justice in ways that are faithful to the gospel and life-giving.”

2016 McCormick Prize for Innovation winners announced

McCormick Theological Seminary and the Center for Innovative Ministry are pleased to announce the winning entries of the 2016 McCormick Prize for Innovation. The annual prize recognizes “impactful use of innovation in ministry,” and this year will award $8,000 in prizes to the winners.

The 2016 McCormick Prize for Innovation has a three-way tie for Second Prize.  Each ministry will be awarded $1,000 in recognition of their innovative ministries. Tied in second place are:

    • Columbia Teen Enterprises – Columbia Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA – The Rev. Matt Overton has developed not one but four independent, innovative youth ministries that are thriving in the Columbia community.  His innovations blend faith and economics and have young people doing everything from developing vocations to building their own charities – like renting a local laundromat and using it as a low-cost washing location, wifi spot, tutoring center, and relational hub.  Additionally, the entrepreneurially driven Rev. Overton shares lessons learned and new visions on his blog. (www.youthministryinnovators.com)
    • Deaf International Community Church, Olathe, KS – With only 3% of the deaf community in the United States involved in church, the profoundly deaf and hard of hearing are a hugely underserved population. The Deaf International Community Church led by co-founder Rev. Debbie Buchholz allows the Deaf a worship home, and provides community autonomy, an equal place in society, the opportunity to serve, and the Gospel – all in their native language, American Sign Language. (www.dicommunitychurch.org)
    • World on a Plate – Westminster Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, Nebraska – The Rev. Jen Strickland leads “World on a Plate,” a program that blends mission, stewardship, and fellowship. One Friday each month, small groups meet in each others homes to share a potluck meal that celebrates another country’s cuisine – the cuisine of a country where a designated PCUSA missionary is serving.  One participant tells the story of the missionary’s work during the meal, and a free-will offering is taken following the meal and sent to further the mission. Every few months, the groups are scrambled to encourage new friendships.

Five other finalists in the McCormick Prize receive Special Mention for their ministries: F.I.R.S.T, Prison Lectionary, Holy Sh*t, Matthew Homes, and Parables Community.  These ministries, as well as all entries in the 2016 Prize, will be available on the McCormick Prize for Innovation Database (www.mccormick.edu) and (www.centerforinnovativeministry.com) later this spring.

Bishop Yvette Flunder announced as 2016 commencement speaker

Bishop Yvette A. Flunder has been confirmed as the speaker for McCormick Theological Seminary’s 182nd Commencement on May 7, 2016 at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. Bishop Flunder is the Senior and Founding Pastor at City of Refuge,United Church of Christ in Oakland, CA and the Presiding Bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries.

President Frank Yamada said, “I am thrilled our students voted Bishop Flunder to deliver this year’s commencement address. Her work as an advocate within the faith community for LGBTQ rights, for persons with HIV/AIDs and her affirmation of the radical inclusivity of ‘the scandalous Gospel of Jesus Christ,’ resonates with our students who are actively engaged in advocacy and organizing for social justice.”

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Metro-Urban Institute celebrates 25 years

The Metro-Urban Institute at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is celebrating 25 years of serving God and the city! We hope you will join us as we gather together; reflect on 25 years of education, partnerships, and ministry; and look forward to what God has planned for us in the coming years. Beginning April 25, we will welcome renowned urban ministry leaders to the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary campus for a series of chapel services and lectures, all of which are FREE and open to the public. The week will culminate with a ticketed formal banquet celebration.

Ezekiel: Prophet of the Presence and Absence of God, an online continuing education class

Instructor Steven Tuell, James A. Kelso Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, will lead students through Ezekiel, a strange book, about a strange prophet: a bizarre figure who shaves his head with a sword, refuses to mourn the death of his wife, and sees visions of wheels, fire, and impossible four-faced creatures. The May 2-27, 2016class is offered in asynchronous fashion meaning that there are no set times that students need to be at their computers; all of the material and work will be available for participation at the student’s convenience.

David Esterline inaugurated as Pittsburgh Seminary’s sixth president

The Rev. Dr. David Esterline will be inaugurated as Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s sixth president May 9, 2016.

As the sixth president of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Rev. Dr. David Esterline is charged with leading the strategic vision and growth of the Seminary in carrying out its mission in the world.

Also professor of cross-cultural theological education, Dr. Esterline began his ministry as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker serving as a lecturer at Theological College, Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, and as academic dean, lecturer, and chair of the biblical studies department at Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji Islands. He joined the faculty of Chicago’s McCormick Theological Seminary in 1997, where he filled a variety of roles through 2015: dean of faculty and vice president for academic affairs, the James G. K. McClure Professor of Theological Education, director of the Institute for Cross-Cultural Theological Education, and professor of cross-cultural education and ministry.

A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz (A.B.), Oxford University, Trinity College (M.A.), and Graduate Theological Union (Ph.D.), Dr. Esterline was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon in 1987. He is co-chair of the Global Forum of Theological Educators, has worked extensively with the Association of Theological Schools, and has served with the World Council of Churches focusing on ecumenical theological education.

Contemplative Path – Missional Plant

Elaine Heath, McCreless Professor of Evangelism, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist Unviersity, Dallas, Texas, will present at the Albright-Deering Lecture Series Thursday May 19, 2016. All sessions are free and open to the public.

Being Church Conference with Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rachel Held Evans and Eric Law

Over the course of one week, June 5-11, 2016, the Being Church Conference will join together in community to consider church. Eric H. F. Law of the Kaleidoscope Institute will be here June 5-8 to offer certificate training in Gracious Leadership. On June 10-11, Nadia Bolz-Weber and Rachel Held Evans will join us to further the conversation of being Church. This event celebrates the 75th Summer Leadership Conference and the 20th Summer Youth Institute!

Understanding Alzheimer’s: A conversation with Dr. Lisa Genova

Neuroscientist Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still AliceLeft Neglected,Love Anthony, and Inside the O’Briens. She says, “Stories are a way into people’s hearts, and when this happens, we have more than knowledge. We have real understanding, empathy, sensitivity, the ability to be better caregivers, and maybe the motivation to get involved.” The event is Thursday June 16, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.

Princeton Theological Seminary

Lillian Hellman’s adaptation of Jean Anouilh’s The Lark

Princeton Theological Seminary’s Department of Speech Communication in Ministry will present performances of The Lark by Jean Anouilh and adapted by Lillian Hellman on Thursday through Saturday, April 14 through 16 at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. The performance will be in the Gambrell Room of Scheide Hall on the Seminary campus at 64 Mercer Street in Princeton.

Ring in spring at Princeton Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary will present a spring handbell concert “Sounds of Praise” on Saturday, April 30, at 3:00 p.m. in Miller Chapel on the Seminary’s main campus. It is free and open to the public. Parking is available behind the Mackay Campus Center (in the lot and garage off of College Road).

The concert will offer a selection of traditional hymns also festive peals of folk, gospel, and pop melodies.

Three new faculty members join Princeton Theological Seminary

Princeton Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of three new faculty members. Dr. Gerald Liu, assistant professor of worship and preaching, and Dr. Margarita Mooney, associate professor of congregational studies, will join the Department of Practical Theology. Dr. Mark S. Smith will join the Department of Biblical Studies as the Helena Professor of Old Testament Literature and Exegesis. All three will join the faculty on July 1.

Afeosemime Adogame, leading scholar on African diaspora, to give inaugural lecture April 28

Dr. Afeosemime Adogame will give his inaugural lecture as Princeton Theological Seminary’s Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Christianity and Society on Thursday, April 28, at 2:30 p.m. in Miller Chapel. The lecture, which is titled “Mapping African Christianities within Religious Maps of the Universe” is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the lot behind the Princeton Theological Seminary Library, 25 Library Place in Princeton.

San Francisco Theological Seminary

SFTS hosts the Muilenburg-Koenig Workshop April 15 and 16, 2016

Scholars will meet at SFTS on Friday and Saturday, April 15 and 16, to discuss the transformations of Christianity’s material culture from the Middle Ages to the present. Papers will be circulated in advance. The Muilenburg-Koenig Workshop is open to students, alumni, and friends of the Seminary.

SFTS partners with Carter Center on summer course led by Andrea White

In a joint effort with the Carter Center Human Rights Program Scholars in Action Project, the SFTS Advanced Pastoral Studies program will offer “Women, Religion, Violence, and Power” August 8–12 in Atlanta. This Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education Intensive Seminar will be led by Dr. Andrea White and Carter Center Scholars in Action and is offered in partnership with the D.Min. programs at ColumbiaMcCormick, and Pittsburgh Theological Seminaries.

Participants will explore approaches and resources for religious communities and their leaders to confront violence against women and girls around the world, starting with womanist theology as a foundational resource. Class sessions will be held on the Carter Center and Columbia Seminary campuses in Atlanta.

New Doctor of Ministry program for chaplains

The newest offering from the SFTS APS program is the Doctor of Ministry Concentration in Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy. This new Doctor of Ministry concentration will enhance the professional development of chaplains and other spiritual care providers in an increasingly evidence-based context for ministry. There will be three areas for research project focus: Executive Leadership (for chaplains supervising care teams), Military Chaplaincy, and Spiritual Care Specialization.

Diploma in executive leadership now enrolling

Applications are now being accepted for the second cohort the SFTS Diploma in Executive Leadership Program (DELP), which will begin in September 2016. The application deadline is June 30.

Union Presbyterian Seminary

Lecture to address theology and science collaboration

William P. Brown, Columbia Theological Seminary’s William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, will address ways that biblical theologians can work constructively and collaboratively with scientists at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Howie Lectures, Monday, April 18, 2016.

The notion of collaboration between theologians and scientists “assumes that conflict and caricature are not an option,” said Brown. “Instead, it suggests that both the theologian and the scientist proceed from a common point of departure: wonder. Wonder is what drives science as much as it lies at the heart of theological inquiry.”

Brown will offer a seminar and conversation from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m., following a free lunch for those who register, on the topic “From Ardi to Adam: How Anthropology Rewrites Genesis” in the seminary’s Early Center at 1106 Westwood Avenue.

From 7:30 – 9:00 p.m., Brown will deliver a lecture entitled “From Ash Heap to Asteroids: How Astrobiology Rewrites Job.” This free lecture is open to everyone, and no registration is required. This lecture takes place in Lake Chapel in the Early Center, 1106 Westwood Avenue.

Lecture highlights modern urgency of Paul’s ancient letter to Romans

Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Distinguished Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Baylor University, will lecture on “Why we need Paul’s letter to the Romans…NOW” at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s 155th Sprunt lecture series, Monday May 9-11, 2016.

“The letters of the Apostle Paul, first written and read over two millennia ago, sometimes strike contemporary readers as hopelessly remote and abstract,” said Gaventa. “But these lectures will focus on their urgency for the real human beings of the 21st century as well as of the first century.”

Gaventa is also the Helen H.P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis Emerita at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is an internationally esteemed scholar especially known for her outstanding work on the letters and theology of Paul.

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