www.ctsnet.edu

Columbia Theological Seminary is committed to "educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world." As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through the Center for Lifelong Learning courses and events. For more information, please visit www.ctsnet.edu.

 

For a current listing of upcoming programs offered by the Center for Lifelong Learning, visit http://www.ctsnet.edu/lifelong-courses-and-events.


COLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Begins Certification with Green Seminary Initiative.

Columbia Theological Seminary is one of fifteen seminaries across the United States and in Costa Rica to sign on to a rigorous 3-year certification program to integrate environmental care into all aspects of their institutional and community life.

Last fall, Boston University School of Theology, Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana, Union Presbyterian Seminary at Charlotte, and Columbia Theological Seminary joined the nine theological schools already enrolled in the Seminary Environmental Certification Program (SECP), an initiative launched in 2016 by the Green Seminary Initiative, a program of Drew Theological School and GreenFaith.

"We see certification as a transformational process for any seminary,” says Sarah Marcias, Green Seminary Initiative co-director. “It starts with a green team composed of faculty, staff, students, and administrators working together to develop an ecologically focused theological community,” she says. “Until such focus becomes the norm, our graduates will enter ministry ill-equipped to faithfully lead others to care for the earth and each other.”

“Four years ago, our late President Steve Hayner initiated a new Sustainability Commission,” noted Stan Saunders, Associate Professor of New Testament at Columbia Seminary. “This will now become our ‘green team’ comprised of students, staff, administration, and faculty. They have already been tasked with oversight and coordination of sustainability initiatives that encompass everything from building and grounds, curriculum, food services, and recycling to green cleaning products and new LED light fixtures. Our new President, Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, has nurtured our new garden initiative with the Global Growers Network. We look forward to expanding these efforts.”

The recent admission of Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana in San Jose, Costa Rica into the program brings its reach into the global arena, says UBL Dean Elisabeth Cook. “[We] bring numerous ties to the international, national, and regional communities, along with a network of students and graduates throughout Latin America, who are committed to issues of environmental justice,” she says.

SECP is part of the Green Seminary Initiative (GSI), co-hosted by GreenFaith and Drew Theological School in Madison, New Jersey that helps prepare religious leaders to respond to the ecological crisis. Laurel Kearns, GSI co-founder and Associate Professor of Sociology of Religion and Environmental Studies, heads the green team at Drew.

“We’ve made eco-justice integral to our curriculum with almost two dozen courses and during the certification process we are working to include it across the curriculum as part of our mission to empower creative thought and courageous action to advance justice, peace and love of God, neighbor and the earth,” she says. “We plan to build on previous work on our grounds and with food and energy policies as part of Drew University's long commitment to sustainability.”

To be recognized as a certified Green Sanctuary, schools must integrate the environment into core courses, offer elective environment courses and lectures, and incorporate the environment into liturgy, ritual and worship. Schools must also reduce their water use, waste and carbon footprint.

“We are making Columbia Seminary a greener place, even as we affirm creation care as a central, integrating feature of our curriculum and a foundational element of worship, discipleship, and the pursuit of justice,” said Christine Roy Yoder, Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Columbia Seminary. “Our work in the Green Seminary Initiative accreditation process encourages us onward in partnership with other theological institutions in the United States and Latin America, from whom we expect to learn much while also sharing our own experiences in renewing God’s good creation.”

Columbia Theological Seminary has already initiated some efforts, including the creation of the Community Garden Sanctuary, now used in partnership with the Global Growers Network. Global Growers supports a network of independently managed farm and garden sites in and around metro Atlanta, by providing technical assistance, educational opportunities, and leadership development. Each of the six Global Growers plots are managed by an immigrant or refugee family or individual.

Students from the campus group SAGE (Shaping Attention to God’s Earth) are involved in many projects on campus, including the construction of a renewable rainwater capture system for storage of about 1,500 gallons of water near the garden. Other efforts include an annual Creation Care Sermon Award and marking Earth Day by participating in an “Energy Sabbath.”

Columbia Theological Seminary has two buildings, the Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Leadership Center and the New Residence Hall, which have earned the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council. Both were designed by the architecture firm of Lord Aeck Sargent. It is hoped that other buildings will be retrofitted with similar measures.

Previously, Columbia Theological Seminary participated in the “Science for Seminaries” project funded by grants from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion (DoSER). During that time, Columbia Seminary hosted over a dozen forum speakers and made significant additions to topics discussed in core curriculum classes under the direction of program coordinator Prof. Bill Brown, the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament. This year, The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Seminary was awarded a grant also from AAAS/DoSER for a “Science for Continuing Education for Pastors” project. The goal of this program is to bring science enrichment programs to pastors and clergy already in the field.

“Such action makes a huge difference,” says Fletcher Harper, Executive Director of GreenFaith. “Around the world, the institutions that train religious leaders are stepping forward to address the climate crisis and environmental care,” he says. “Through the Certification Program and its other activities, the Green Seminary Initiative is committed to accelerating that process, which can’t happen fast enough.”

Columbia Theological Seminary is “Cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit
www.CTSnet.edu.

Here are the latest offerings from the Center for Lifelong Learning--for pastors, leaders, congregations, peers. The Center for Lifelong Learning provides church leaders with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Our peer-learning courses and programs equip church professionals and lay people to be forerunners in discipleship.

The Coaching Institute, Fall 2019 and January-June, 2020. “The work of coaching helps pastors and leaders claim their vision along with crafting strategies to live it. The work happens in the coaching conversations that are meaningful and focused on the outcomes the leader identifies." -Laurie J Ferguson. The Coaching Institute at Columbia Theological Seminary has two upcoming coaching opportunities, 1) TCI@CTS Mentor Coaching (Online) Fall 2019; and 2) the TCI@CTS Coaching Cohort beginning January 2020. To learn more about these opportunities, clickhere.

The Disciple-Making Church: To Grow the Future We Visit the Past, April 21-24, 2020. There's a new movement sweeping the church that lays a foundation for growing churches in North America: the “Disciple-Making Church.” This model of Congregational formation will be explored and extended in the Thompson Scholars Cohort to include more liberating models of a disciple-making church. Participants will explore what it means to develop mature disciples of Jesus Christ who make a real difference in the world by actively seeking the love, justice, freedom, and peace of God. To apply for the 2019 Thompson Scholars Cohort, click here. Applications accepted through December 2019.

Check here to access and register for the full list of CLL courses and programs! The Center for Lifelong Learning, 404-687-4577, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the Seminary. Columbia Theological Seminary “exists to educate and nurture faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders for the sake of the Church and the world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry, leadership development, and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia Seminary offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit www.CTSnet.edu.

Spring 2020 Older Adult Ministry Courses Announced

Decatur, GA—The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary invites registrations for two upcoming courses in its Older Adult Ministry (OAM) course of study in the winter and spring of 2020.

The course, Spiritual Formation and Older Adults, will be held on the seminary campus April 27-29. The course will focus on how congregations and other communities of faith can engage in conversations and practices that allow them to actively nurture spiritual formation into older adulthood by addressing pressing questions related to identity, leaving a legacy, loss of relationships, role in family and community, and facing diminishment and death. Rev. Mary Anona Stoops will facilitate the course. She currently serves at North Decatur Presbyterian Church in the realm of adult spiritual formation, with a particular eye toward the care and spiritual nurture of older adults. Stoops is also a spiritual director and coordinates the leadership team for the Certificate in Spiritual Direction program at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.

Registration information can be found HERE. Guest rooms and dining facilities are available on campus and housing may be reserved during the registration process.

“We are pleased to offer both online and on-campus courses in the OAM series, and are grateful for the experience and leadership Johnson and Stoops bring to the program,” stated Sarah Erickson, Director of Lifelong Learning and coordinator of the program. “These courses help faith communities – congregations, senior living communities and outreach programs – enrich their ministry among those who are in their “third thirty” years of life.

The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary partners with Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN)to  offer the Older Adult Ministry (OAM) course of study to better equip those working in churches and faith-based organizations to address the needs of older adults. Older Adult Ministry courses are open to participants from any denomination or faith tradition There are four core courses, with two courses offered each year. A certificate in Older Adult Ministry may be earned by completing all four courses and a capstone project.

For more information about the Center for Lifelong Learning and their other courses and certificate programs, visit www.ctsnet.edu/lifelong-learning.

Columbia Theological Seminary is “Cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.”  As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers six graduate degree programs and up to 60 courses and events each year as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL). The Center for Lifelong Learning offers three other certificate programs including training spiritual directors and coaches, two scholars programs, and a post-graduate Pastoral Excellence Program that is focused on clergy leadership development. Over 800 persons attended CLL’s programs last year. For more information, please visit www.ctsnet.edu.