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For the Bookshelf: Communicating Jesus’ Way

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Communicating Jesus’ Way by Charles H. Kraft is a revision of the 1979 edition by the same title and is Kraft’s third book on communication. The book presents basic thoughts on communication theory and relates them to the specific context of Christian teaching and preaching. The book is short (seven brief chapters and a one page bibliography) and the content is straightforward and presented in outline form.

While the content can only be considered “basic,” it is the type of information that is worth repeating, and being reminded of often. As such the book proves to be a valuable resource of essential communication theory for pastors, students, and teachers. Continue reading

CLL Sarah blog 101414

CLL Explores and Reinvigorates Preaching the Lectionary

The Center for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at Columbia Theological Seminary will offer Lectionary Studies: Lent/Easter B through Christmas C on January 20-23, 2015. Four morning seminars on worship and preaching the lectionary (RCL) will take a fresh look at the liturgical year. The schedule allows participants time for independent work to plan worship and teaching for the coming year.

“Courses about preaching and worship are always at the top of the request charts,” says Sarah Erickson, director of Lifelong Learning. “Many church leaders also schedule time to create outlines for upcoming seasons of the church year. This event is a blend of both.” Continue reading

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Seminary Community Honors Steve Hayner, Announces Global Leadership Endowment

Interim President Bill Scheu Addresses Community, Presidential Search Plans

The entire Columbia Theological Seminary community came together last week for events honoring its ninth president Steve Hayner. Students, faculty, staff, Board trustees, close friends, and even representatives from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with which the seminary is affiliated took time to recognize his contributions and accomplishments. Earlier in the week, the Board of Trustees elected Dr. Hayner as President Emeritus.

Throughout the summer, Steve Hayner has been pursuing an aggressive chemotherapy treatment plan for a pancreatic tumor which to date has yielded limited results. Steve and his wife Sharol Hayner continue to update the wider community about their daily challenges through their CaringBridge site. Continue reading


When is a Sunday School Class Too Large?

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Every once in a while I get a chance to visit congregations with large Sunday School or Sunday morning Bible classes. Some of these classes have between 50 and 100 persons in regular attendance. While that may seem like a sign of success to some, others see those large classes as something to be wary of. Large Sunday School classes were, for a previous generation, both a goal and a measure of success. But even with the more contemporary emphasis on small groups (with 20 people in a group considered already too large) there remain pockets where bigger is better despite everything we know about how large teacher-focused classes are pedagogically ineffective. Continue reading

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Columbia Theological Seminary Awarded One of Ten AAAS “Science for Seminaries” Grants

This week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) awarded grants totaling $1.5 million to 10 Christian seminaries for pilot programs integrating science into core theological curricula. Curricula with integrated science for at least two core theological courses (such as those in systematic theology, biblical studies, church history, and pastoral theology) will be developed by each school and implemented over the next two years. This integrated approach will bring science into the core of seminary theological education, impacting individual seminaries as well as the ministries in which graduates serve. Science-focused, campus-wide activities will complement these courses, and resources from the project will be made available to interested seminaries as the project unfolds. Continue reading

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