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Presbyterians invited to dip deeper into the well of PC(USA) ministries

An October virtual event will stress the importance of lifelong discipleship

by Tammy Warren | Presbyterian News Service

“Dipping Deeper Into the Well of PC(USA) Ministries,” an online workshop set for Oct. 5–7, will tap into the power of PC(USA) programs and mission networks to enhance Christian education and formation ministries in the local church. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — The South Central Region of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (SCRAPCE) is hosting a three-day virtual workshop called “Dipping Deeper Into the Well of PC(USA) Ministries” Oct. 5–7. The workshop, coordinated by Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (APTS), is recommended for Christian educators, pastors, volunteers and anyone else interested in learning about denominational resources available for Christian education and formation in the local church.

Dipping Deeper meets the PC(USA) Educator Certification Council requirements for Presbyterian Program and Mission, according to workshop leader Stephanie Fritz, associate coordinator for Christian Formation with the Presbyterian Mission Agency. There will be four sessions with each session including a video presentation, panel discussion and group breakouts.

“Austin Seminary has been partnering with SCRAPCE for decades to provide dynamic continuing education for Christian educators. Now, we are journeying together into virtual space and bringing all our experience in adult learning to this new platform,” said the Rev. Erica Knisely, director of programs for Education Beyond the Walls and chaplain/co-leader of Pastoral Leadership for Public Life (PLPL) Fellows. “We will explore the abundant educational resources of the PC(USA) and talk together about Christian education in this new era.”

  • Monday, Oct. 5 (Pre-sessions) will be devoted exclusively to individuals seeking certification in PC(USA) Program and Mission.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6 (Sessions 1 and 2) will dip into the well of the Matthew 25 vision and mission priorities of the Presbyterian Mission Agency related to forming lifelong disciples who are grounded in the Reformed tradition and equipped for evangelism. A presentation by staff in the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation will share new resources.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 7 (Sessions 3 and 4) will focus on forming lifelong disciples who are equipped to be peacemakers and witnesses to the world and forming lifelong disciples who engage the Reformed tradition to work toward justice and equity for all God’s people.

Speakers and panelists will be featured from across the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The following speakers will provide a combination of recorded messages and live panel discussion. Speakers are continuing to be added leading up to the workshop.

Featured speakers include the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency; Bryce Wiebe, director of Special Offerings; the Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III, director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism; the Rev. Dr. Barry Ensign-George, coordinator for Theology and Worship; the Rev. Nikki Collins, coordinator of 1001 New Worshiping Communities; the Rev. Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program; Ellen Sherby, coordinator of Equipping for Mission Involvement with Presbyterian World Mission; Destini Hodges, associate for recruitment and relationships for Young Adult Volunteers; and Lee Catoe, managing editor of Unbound. The Rev. Dr. Bridgett Green, an instructor of New Testament at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, will lead the opening devotional on Oct. 6.

Since 1985, SCRAPCE has partnered with APTS to offer more than 55 seminars in the areas of Christian education and faith formation. First Presbyterian Church in Bryan, Texas, subsidized the seminars for several years, which APCE President Julia A. Boyce said made them affordable for professional educators, pastors and volunteers.

Quoting a favorite saying of the late Ruling Elder Marj Carpenter, Moderator of the PC(USA)’s 207th General Assembly (1995), Boyce expressed gratitude and admiration for the teamwork it takes to provide seminars and workshops such as Dipping Deeper.

“We are ‘sinfully proud’ of the collaborative efforts that provide year after year such quality continuing education for the churches and their leadership,” she said.

Fritz contemplated how the workshop may have looked in-person vs. virtually, saying that the virtual format will provide “more opportunity to hear from a variety of voices,” which would not have been possible with an in-person event. “Each session will be rich with resources,” she said.

Attendees will experience first-hand the many options for Christian education, mission enhancement, programming for intergenerational or age-and-stage educational and spiritual formation.

“My hope for this gathering is that participants will gain a better understanding of the resources the PMA provides for intentional discipleship formation,” said Jones the director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism. “Formation is critical to the development of Christians who follow Jesus into justice and hope. Formation is essential to what is means to be gospel people.”

Registration for the full three-day workshop (Oct. 5–7), including certification sessions on Monday, is $40. For participants attending Tuesday and Wednesday only (Oct. 6–7), registration is $25.

A PC(USA) resources packet of free materials will be sent to all who register by Sept. 15. If you have any questions about the workshop, contact Fritz at


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