CHICAGO ― “We are in the midst of a new Reformation,” says McCormick Theological Seminary’s President Frank M. Yamada.  “We have an opportunity to rethink theological education for the priesthood of all believers, merging ancient wisdom with cutting-edge technology.”

The new “McCormick Scholars” program, with the launch made possible by a grant from First Presbyterian Church Libertyville, Ill., strives to do exactly that by bringing teaching faculty to lay leaders in a congregational setting.

Thanks to a $25,000 challenge grant for the program, plans are underway for members of the McCormick faculty to meet with leaders of the First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville to determine needs, other potential church partners and next steps for an academic program set to begin in the fall of 2014.

Pastor Brian Paulson believes that First Church-Libertyville’s grant will encourage other churches in the area to contribute to and participate in the program.

"While faithful lay leaders are hungry to go deeper with theological education, the demands of daily life coupled with the expense of Seminary, make it unlikely that they will enroll in Seminary classes.  The McCormick Scholars program brings theological education to them, instead requiring them to seek it out.” explains Paulson.

“The Church depends on local institutions for its vitality, creativity, and future. McCormick is privileged to work with First Presbyterian Church, Libertyville and other congregations to ‘equip the saints for the work of ministry and to build up the body of Christ (Eph 4: 12),’” says McCormick Theological Seminary’s Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Rev. Deborah Kapp.

RICHMOND, Va. ― Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Stanley H. Skreslet, academic dean of the Richmond campus, as the recipient of the 2012 Book Award for Excellence in Missiology for his book, Comprehending Mission: The Questions, Methods, Themes, Problems, and Prospects of Missiology (Orbis in 2012).

The book was “recognized for its significant contribution to missiology, and is noted for how it will affect (the way) missiology and missions will be examined, understood and interpreted,” said the American Society of Missiology in announcing Skreslet’s award. To be eligible for this year’s award, nominated books in the field of missiology or mission studies had to be published in 2012 or late 2011.

“Missiology continues to undergo significant change in the early decades of the 21st century. Skreslet’s book, Comprehending Mission, offers a creative contribution for mapping our way forward,” said Craig Van Gelder, American Society of Missiology president. “This volume provides keen perspective on recent trends and offers a constructive argument for how best to engage the study and practice of mission.”

Skreslet returned to Union Presbyterian Seminary in 1997 after 10 years of service on the faculty of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo through World Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). His scholarly interests are focused particularly on the field of missiology, but also include the history of Christianity, Islam, and Orthodox Christianity, especially as these latter topics relate to the Middle East.


PRINCETON, N.J. ― Princeton Theological Seminary has named the Rev. John E. White dean of students and vice president for student relations, a position he will begin on Sept. 1. He comes to Princeton from his current position as dean of students and vice president of student services at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga.

White is a graduate of Pittsburgh Seminary with both M.Div. and  D.Min. degrees. From 1992 to 2000 he served as pastor of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church in Princeton. He also previously served as dean of students and vice president for student services at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Princeton Seminary also announced that the Rev. Catherine Cook Davis has been promoted to associate dean of student life and director of student placement, also effective Sept. 1.

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. ― Saturday, Sept. 14 is “HORIZONS Bible Study Day” at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

The all-day event will be led by the Rev. Janice Catron, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky., and author of this year’s HORIZONS Bible Study, An Abiding Hope: The Presence of God in Exodus and Deuteronomy.

HORIZONS is the official magazine of Presbyterian Women.

DECATUR, Ga. ― Discovering the key ideas and foundational practices for Christian spiritual formation is the theme of a “Spirituality Immersion Experience, Aug. 22-25 at Columbia Theological Seminary.  

The event will explore the origins of the Christian spiritual tradition, while learning the formative elements of Biblical, monastic, and Reformed spirituality. The schedule includes time for personal reflection through guided meditative journalling. The event offers solitary, small group and one-on-one settings.

This course is the initial program for the seminary’s Certificate in Spiritual Formation, and is required for the completion of the Certificate. However, the program is also open to those not currently enrolled in the Certificate program.