2014 Convocation Sermon: Unfinished Gospel

By Andrew Foster Connors
2014 Columbia Theological Seminary Convocation held on September 4, 2014
Text: Mark 16:1-8

You don’t have to have been in seminary for long to know the way this Easter story is supposed to end: “he is not here. He has been raised.  Christ is Alive!  Hallelujah!” If you don’t know the way this story is supposed to end they probably shouldn’t have let you into seminary in the first place. So it’s a shock to hear the actual ending of Mark’s Gospel. “So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.”


That is not the way this story is supposed to end. It can’t end here – not like that. We’re counting on Mary, and Mary and Salome to demonstrate to us that the gospel message – he is raised – makes all the difference for them and for all of us. Continue reading

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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

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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

Steve Global Leadership Endowment

The New Global Leadership Endowment

In Honor of President Stephen A. Hayner
Ninth President of Columbia Theological Seminary
and Professor of Christian Leadership Development

Supporters of Columbia Theological Seminary have sought a way to honor Steve Hayner and his many years of service in a tangible way. Given Steve’s commitments to cultural diversity, global outreach, instructional technology and relational leadership, a new Global Leadership Endowment was proposed. This endowment would build on the legacy of his presidency to attract leaders from all walks of life and to send them out into the world for renewed service to God and the Church.

The purpose of the Global Leadership Endowment is to foster initiatives for mutual enrichment and robust scholarship by engaging with leaders from diverse cultures empowering students for creative service in God’s changing world.

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For the Bookshelf: Lessons from the Masters

by Israel Galindo. Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

Polemics against bad teaching and poor education are a staple in social science, philosophy, and education literature. I suspect for two reasons: first, they are effective in getting readers riled up, and, second, I suppose it’s just too easy to sling tomatoes at poor teachers. After all, who among us hasn’t suffered under one? However, I do love a good rant…

Below are thoughts from critic George Steiner, in Lessons of the Masters (Harvard University Press, 2003). I’m enjoying this book on many levels, including having to use a penknife to cut the folio edges (haven’t had to do that in a long time in this age of e-books!).

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Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world!


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