On May 6, the University of Dubuque /University of Dubuque Theological Seminary officially broke ground for a Performing Arts and Campus Center. 

The new 80,000-square-foot facility will be central to the University of Dubuque campus, and will provide a multitude of venues to serve students, faculty, staff, and the public. “Art by Osmosis” is the overarching theme of the new building, inviting people of all walks to happen upon Art in its myriad forms, intentionally and accidentally, as they visit the new center for work, study, recreation, and entertainment. 

Student areas are designed to provide educational spaces, group and individual study settings, student services, offices, and hospitality. The public areas provide performance venues, associated gathering spaces, gallery space, heritage display, offices, and hospitality. Public spaces include a 1000-seat Main Hall and lobby, a 200-seat black box theater and auditorium space and an art gallery.

The building also includes a significant display venue for archival and heritage articles and artifacts from the University of Dubuque’s long and storied history.  This important heritage piece is housed in the Main Hall lobby with proximity to the art gallery and other public spaces.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. ― San Francisco Theological Seminary’s Clinical Pastoral Education program has joined elite company following recent accreditation by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

According to the Rev. Laurie Garrett-Cobbina, the Shaw Family Chair for Clinical Pastoral Education, SFTS is one of only a handful of seminaries in the country that has earned the standing of being an accredited CPE Center by ACPE. The only CPE program among Graduate Theological Union members, SFTS has evolved into a key training ground for the skills and arts for chaplaincy/pastoral care on the West Coast.

Garrett-Cobbina joined the SFTS faculty in 2006 and the CPE program was launched in 2007. SFTS earned the 2010 John Rea Thomas Award for excellence in the fields of pastoral care and counseling for its CPE program last summer. Garrett-Cobbina, SFTS Interim President Dr. Laird J. Stuart and John Shaw received the award at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly in Minneapolis.

What makes the SFTS program unique is that it is community based, according to Garrett-Cobbina. Training is done through small-group settings on campus, and practical experiences are offered through congregations, faith-based advocacy groups and healthcare institutions. Most CPE programs are solely hospital based.

CPE training at SFTS is both ecumenical and interfaith. This is particularly important since SFTS serves as the CPE training ground for the GTU, which is the largest and most diverse partnership of seminaries in the United States. The GTU includes the Center for Jewish Studies, Center for Islamic Studies and Buddhist Studies.

Additionally, the SFTS program is accredited for Supervisory Education, an educational process by which CPE supervisory students become certified CPE supervisors.

RICHMOND, Va. ― Union Presbyterian Seminary has appointed  Douglas B. MacMillan as  associate vice-president for advancement.

MacMillan (M.Div. ‘99) and his wife, Nichole (M.Div. ’99) are both alums of the seminary. MacMillan has worked at Columbia Theological Seminary for the past five years as development director. Prior to his time at Columbia, he served as a new church development pastor in Flint River Presbytery. He has also been an associate pastor and co-pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Dalton, Ga., and Warren, Ark., respectively.

MacMillan joined the Office of Advancement in mid-April and will work to generate support for the seminary from both new and existing donors.

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ATLANTA ― Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa upon the Rev. Gayraud Stephen Wilmore at the seminary’s commencement ceremony earlier this month. Wilmore is a writer, historian, educator, and theologian and was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement in which he trained ministers who also participated in boycotts and protests in the South of this era.

Wilmore was born on Dec. 20, 1921 in Philadelphia. He served as a Buffalo Soldier with the all- black 92nd Infantry division in Italy in WWII.  In 1943, he received his call to ministry during the war. Thereafter, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947 and his Bachelor of Divinity in 1950 from Lincoln University.

He began his career as pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in Westchester, Pa. After three years there Wilmore was an associate executive with the former United Presbyterian Church's Department of Social Education and Action, a position he held for five years.

He then embarked on an academic career, teaching at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, the Boston University School of Theology, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, New York Theological Seminary, the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, which includes Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, and the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

LOUISVILLE ― The annual Choristers Guild Institute, a certification program for directors of young singers in church and church schools, will be held July 22-27 at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Participants will learn how to creatively integrate young singers into worship, vitalize their rehearsal techniques and pedagogical skills, energize young singers, sharpen conducting and choral skills and organize effective music ministries.

Certification requires mastery of the core curriculum and completion of three summer sessions. A degree in music is not required but music literacy is fundamental.

PITTSBURGH ― Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Joni and Friends will host “Welcoming All God’s Children: Steps for Inclusion in the Church”  on May 21 from 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Keynote speaker Deb Petermann, Joni and Friends Ohio church relations manager, will present “Impact of Disability: A 50-Year Journey from Exclusion to Church Inclusion — A Sibling’s Perspective”. Additionally, eight workshops will focus on ways to include families affected by disability in the church. A pastor forum will conclude the event.  

For more information and workshop reservations contact Tresia Johnson at (937) 352-4095 or by email. To attend the pastor forum, contact the Rev. Calvin Clark at (724) 678-6390 or by email. Fee is $15 per person or $50 for a group or four. Registration fee includes training materials and a continental breakfast.

The event is sponsored by Pittsburgh’s Church of the Ascension.