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

Columbia Theological Seminary

  • Center for Lifelong Learning announces spring class schedule

-       January 19-21 Grounded: Exploring the Sense of the Sacred within Us and the World featuring Diana Butler Bass. Workshop leaders include Jake Myers, Tim Hartman, Haruko Ward and William Yoo. Details and Registration

-       January 28-31 Metaphors, Imagination, and the Art of the Psalms Explore the metaphorical landscape of the Psalter and reflect on how this artful language functions to nurture our spirituality, and infuse our lives and ministries with imagination. Details and Registration

-       February 29-March 2 Finance for Churches For congregational leaders, lay, staff, and clergy, who provide leadership in the congregation’s financial ministry. The focus of this course is practical wisdom and best practices related to church finance. Details and Registration

-       February 16-18 Spirituality in the Smart Phone Age Centered on developing a theological grounding to navigate the joys and perils of this continually-evolving digital age, and practical wisdom to apply in the context of various ministry settings. Details and Registration

-       March 31-April 3 Sacred Survival: Engaging African American SpiritualityEngage lived-experiences, stories, songs and rituals, and trace questions of African American spirituality as a source of survival, healing and hope for oppressed communities. Details and Registration

-       April 4-May 6 Reading Contemporary Confessions with a Global Perspective (Online Course) This course offers an opportunity to review four contemporary confessions and the purpose and function of confessional statements in the life of a church. Details and Registration

-       April 11-13 Spiritual Formation for Older Adults Consider the journey of aging in the last third of life as a series of stable periods and transitions, each with spiritual, theological and ethical issues. Details and Registration

-       April 14-16 Theological Reflections and Affirmations in Older AdulthoodThis course will explore a number of theological concepts, with a particular focus on how these relate to older adulthood. Details and Registration

-       April 26-29 Can They See Your Church: Evangelism in the Visual Age (Thompson Scholars 2016) with Pastor Keith Anderson, author of Digital Cathedral: Networked Ministry in a Wired World, and Ralph Basui Watkins. To apply, see http://www.ctsnet.edu/thompson-scholars.

-       May 9-12 Being the Beloved Community: Welcoming Children of All Abilities to ChurchThis conference will emphasize the theological and practical dimensions of ministry to people with intellectual disabilities; participants will learn that every church can do something to transform relationships and practices. Details and Registration

-       May 2-June 3 Thriving As a Church Ministry Staff Associate (a MOOC!) The focus of this MOOC (Mini Online Open Course) is on the role and function of pastoral and program associate staff in the congregational context. Understand staff relationships, staff functions, teamwork, personal professional skills, and relational intelligence in dealing with pastors, staff members, and congregational members. Details and Registration

McCormick Theological Seminary

  • The Rev. Julian DeShazier appointed as mentor for Community Engagement Fellows

McCormick Theological has appointed the Rev. Julian DeShazier to serve as mentor of the Community Engagement Fellows Program. DeShazier is an ordained United Church of Christ minister and serves as the senior pastor of University Church in Hyde Park.  He is a graduate of Morehouse College and the University of Chicago Divinity School. 

The Community Engagement Fellows Program, in its second year at McCormick, identifies, attracts and enrolls service and justice-minded students who want to maintain their commitment to these causes while attending school.

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

  • The Rev. Emily W. Miller, named director of recruitment and admissions

Miller, currently an associate for recruitment and relationships for the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. national office will begin her work at the seminary Jan. 25, 2016. Miller is graduate of Louisville Seminary (MDiv 2009) and a teaching elder in the PC(USA).

As director of recruitment and admissions, Miller will be responsible for designing and implementing strategies for recruiting students, facilitating and managing the admissions process of applicants, planning and leading orientation for new students, and working with communications personnel to design recruiting materials and update admissions-related web pages and social networking sites.

  • Ashley A. Hicks named assistant professor of marriage and family therapy

Hicks, a specialist in couples/family therapy, a licensed marriage and family therapist and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate, will begin her tenure-track position with the seminary in August 2016.

Hicks has worked in a number of clinical settings serving clients from diverse backgrounds including racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQ populations, homeless and low socio-economic individuals and families. Her current research focuses on bullying in Ohio schools, family-based approaches of adolescent eating disorder treatment, and the relationship between trauma and eating disorder symptomology in adolescence.

  • Sandra named director of alum and church relations

Moon is a Louisville Seminary alum who received her dual Master of Divinity/Juris Doctor degree (in partnership with the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law) in May 2011. She has served as Director of the Women’s Center at LPTS since August 2015 and began work as alum and church relations director Dec. 1, 2015. 

In her new role, Moon will identify, establish and maintain alum and congregational relationships for the benefit of Louisville Seminary’s annual fund.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

  • Charles Marsh presents second annual lecture on race and church

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s second annual lecture and community conversation on race and church will be held Sat., Jan. 16 from 2:00-8:30 p.m. Keynote presenter Charles Marsh will address “Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Journey to Reality.” Following a visit to the U.S. in 1930, Bonhoeffer left with a dramatically transformed perspective on social engagement, faith, and historical responsibility. In addition to the keynote address and breakout sessions, an interfaith panel will discuss “Faith Communities, Race, and Justice: What Can We Do?” This event is free and open to the public. This event is co-sponsored with Westminster Presbyterian Church. Learn more.

  • Kelso Lectures honor MLK Jr.

David J. Garrow, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh, will present the annual Kelso Lecture in Honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Sun., Jan. 17 at 3:30 p.m. Garrow will speak on the theme “The Political Evolution of MLK.” It is important to appreciate how hugely Dr. King's political views evolved between 1955 and 1968, and particularly how they changed during the last five years of his life. Within two years of King’s 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington, he began to feel increasingly pessimistic about both America’s behavior in the world and the prospects for any further social justice progress on the US domestic scene. The Kelso Lecture is a celebration of Dr. King’s accomplishments and hopes for the future. The event is held in cooperation with the East End Cooperative Ministry and Morningside Church of God in Christ. The lecture is free and open to the public. Learn more.

  • The Rev. Dr. Heather Hartung Vacek named vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty

Since Nov. 30, 2015, Vacek has been associate dean of academics. She will assume the new role March 1, 2016.

Vacek joined the faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2012 as assistant professor of church history. Her research focuses on the historical relationship between Christian belief and practice in the American context. Her book, Madness: American Protestant Responses to Mental Illness (Baylor University Press, 2015), explores Protestant reactions to mental illnesses from the colonial era through the 21st century. Her research interests also include American religious history, Reformation church history, practical theology, and theologies of disability and suffering. 

Princeton Theological Seminary

  • Eric Barreto to join biblical studies faculty

Princeton seminary graduate, Eric Barreto, will join Princeton Theological Seminary’s faculty in September 2016 as the Weyerhaeuser Associate Professor of New Testament.

Barreto has served on the faculty of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., since 2009. As a Baptist minister, he has pursued scholarship for the sake of the church, and he regularly writes for and teaches in faith communities around the country. He has also been a leader in the Hispanic Theological Initiative Consortium, a national, ecumenical, and inter-constitutional consortium comprised of some of the top seminaries, theological schools, and religion departments in the country.

Union Presbyterian Seminary

  • The Rev. Clay Macaulay named director of alumni development

"I love the Church and I love Union," said Rev. Macaulay, an graduate of the seminary who will begin his work Feb. 1, 2016. "I'm honored to not only meet, but to assist our more than 5,000 alumni in their multi-faceted service to the Church here in the United States and around the globe."

  • Union Presbyterian Seminary's Middle East travel seminar

Scheduled May 12-31, 2016, led by professors Frances Taylor Gench, Stanley Skreslet, and Rodney Sadler, traveling to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine.

Included are visits to museums and important archeological sites belonging to the world of biblical antiquity. Opportunity is given to observe first-hand contemporary manifestations of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in these lands, and to converse with religious and political leaders regarding the quest for peace in this troubled region.

  • Union library to offer service for religious leaders

Union Presbyterian Seminary's William Smith Morton Library (WSML) will launch a new service in 2016 designed to provide theological resources to individuals with leadership or teaching roles in religious organizations.

Beginning January 4, those who can provide evidence of such a role—whether ordained or non-ordained, paid or unpaid—will be eligible to apply for library privileges at a reduced rate of $50 a year.

  • Congregational Leadership Award applications due February 15

Union Presbyterian Seminary offers eight Congregational Leadership Awards annually. Since 1991, 117 churches in 29 states have requested these awards. Each of the eight awards carries a $1,000 prize to support the congregation in its ministry.

For more information and to apply, you may download the brochure and application or request an application by sending an e-mail to April Swofford at aswofford@upsem.edu or calling 1.800.229.2990, ext. 231. The application and instructions are only available electronically. The deadline for the 2015 awards is Feb. 15, 2016.