Supporting Listening for Support

By Michael Thompson, Director of Communications

When I first met my wife, she was intrigued by the fact that I had taken a course in college entirely devoted to Listening. “Every man should take a course in listening!” she exclaimed. I can’t say I disagree.

The common distinction between hearing and listening is the difference between taking a passive or an active stance toward the other person. Even when we are speaking, we should be observing carefully as others respond. It’s not just about the words, but the context, culture and expression of both speaker and listener that are critical to the effort.

For now, I would like to outline a few things that set the context for listening in group meetings, and even close relationships, in such a way that supports everyone’s needs. Continue reading Supporting Listening for Support

Joseph Roberts, Jr., Pastor and Preacher 1935-2015

The Rev. Dr. Joseph L. Roberts, well known pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, died on Sunday, February 15 at his home. Dr. Roberts was also the Wade Huie Professor of Homiletics and the Director of the Center for Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary from 2009 to 2012.

“As the first person to hold the Huie Chair in Homiletics, Rev. Dr. Joseph Roberts exemplified everything we hope our students will grow to be,” said Dr. Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching. “What Joe brought to our campus, what he offered to us of his storehouse of wisdom and experience, will remain. I think particularly of his deep conviction that theological education must be available and accessible to all who minister, whatever their level of education, and his determination that Columbia can be a place of hospitality and mutual learning.” Continue reading Joseph Roberts, Jr., Pastor and Preacher 1935-2015

World’s Greatest Christian Educators: JOHN WESLEY

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

In the history of modern education, John Wesley (1703-1791) holds a special place in the history and development of the religious education of children.

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John Wesley, a product of a long line of ministers (he was the fifteenth of nineteen children), was the founder of Methodism. Along with his brother Charles, he was a student at Oxford and later was ordained in the Church of England. They both traveled as missionaries to Georgia.

In 1738 John had a conversion experience after he returned from his missionary tour. He became convinced that salvation came only through faith in Jesus Christ. Wesley tried to discover ways to intentionally organize the rule and conduct of the Christian life. As a result his followers were called Methodists. Continue reading World’s Greatest Christian Educators: JOHN WESLEY

Pamela Cooper-White to Join Faculty of Union Theological Seminary

Last week, it was announced that Pamela Cooper-White, the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, and Co-Director of the Atlanta Theological Association’s ThD program in Pastoral Counseling, will join the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York City on July 1 as Professor of Psychology and Religion. Cooper-White has taught at Columbia Theological Seminary since 2008 and is the author of numerous books and articles, including Many Voices: Pastoral Psychotherapy and Theology in Relational PerspectiveShared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Braided Selves: Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God, and Persons, and The Cry of Tamar: Violence against Women and the Church’s Response. She is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and a clinical Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Continue reading Pamela Cooper-White to Join Faculty of Union Theological Seminary

The Leader and Imaginative Gridlock

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

I’ve been working with a couple of organizations that are “stuck” but motivated enough to get moving toward becoming “healthier,” clearer about their mission, and more effective in how they carry it out. As I witness the process of working with the leaders and employees of both organizations I’m reminded of some fundamental truths about systems. First, while motivation is a necessary component for bringing about change, it is not sufficient for moving toward health and effectiveness. For example, if the motivation is to simply ease acute anxiety or pain, a system will settle on pragmatic “instant” solutions that will ease the symptoms, but not effect changes necessary for progress. Continue reading The Leader and Imaginative Gridlock

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