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For the Bookshelf: Reviewing Leadership

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning

It seems the number of books put out by publishers, in any number of fields, will not be abating anytime soon. Whether or not that is a good thing may be a matter of debate. Some subjects are worth discussing at length, because trawling for deeper meanings or drawing out the nuances of the matter yield more insight and expand our understanding with each new layer of data—whether by contrasting it against the hard edge of another discipline or by the overlay of the veneer of a new metaphor. But some subjects, once having been examined, leave one with the impression that “everything that needs to be said has been said.”

Robert Banks and Bernice M. Ledbetter think that the subject of leadership is one of those topics worth revisiting, and they do so in their book, Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches, much to our benefit. In this short book, Banks and Ledbetter do two things. First, they briefly introduce the reader to “everything that needs to be said that has been said” about leadership by providing a brief overview of how leadership has been treated and understood in what they categorize as biblical, historical, and contemporary perspectives (chapter two). Second, in the chapters following, they attempt to bring an ethical lens to the subject of leadership through a Christian perspective, beginning with “spiritual and religious dimensions” (chapter three) to a more overt Christian understanding of the leadership function in the final chapter through the use of “exemplary case studies” of Christian leadership in action (refreshingly, and tellingly, none of the persons featured in the case studies would likely be the first, or second, guess of most contemporary leaders or informed laity as to “models of leadership”). Continue reading

Karoly Botman

Columbia Mourns Passing of Two International Partners

By Erskine Clarke, Professor Emeritus of U. S. Religious History

During this past summer two distinguished friends of Columbia Theological Seminary died. In June Bishop Dr. Károly Tóth of the Hungarian Reformed Church died at the age of 84. In July Dr. Russel Botman, Rector of the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, died in his sleep at the age of 60. Continue reading

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Guest Blogger Margaret Marcuson on Money and Your Ministry

As we try to manage both the flow of money into and out of our churches and our lives, and also our own relationship with that flow, there is a way forward. It isn’t always an easy way. But it is possible to have greater freedom in regard to money and in our relationships with each other about money, to have fewer sleepless nights and wrangling meetings.

We can begin by holding all that we have lightly, accepting the flow. We don’t clasp our hands tightly—whether around our “own” possessions and money, or the building and resources of the congregation or the wider church of which we are a part. Most of us need a lifetime to work on moving toward greater freedom in relation to money and things and the choices we make about them. But we can take a first step from where we are, and begin with what we have been given.

Continue reading

Randy Calvo at Colloquium 2014

Seminary Sunday, September 21

By Randy Calvo, Jr. (’81), Director of Alumni/ae and Church Relations

We are so thankful for the many partners we have throughout the United States and even around the world. And we are especially thankful for all of the efforts made by you and your churches to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the year.

At Columbia Theological Seminary, we continually strive to support churches and alumni/ae in this work, a part of which is doing theological education. While we have ongoing programs and services through our Center for Lifelong Learning, the John Bulow Campbell Library, and our Office for Alumni/ae and Church Relations, we set aside a special day each fall for Theological Education/Seminary Sunday. Continue reading

Korea Visit with YoungIl Chang

Pilgrimage to Korea

By Kevin Park, Associate Dean for Advanced Professional Studies and Assistant Professor of Theology

I am blessed to call three countries home. I was born in Korea, raised in Canada, and have been living in the U.S. for the past twenty-one years. Although I visit family and friends in Toronto often, I have not been back to Korea since our family immigrated in 1974. In November 2013, after almost 40 years, I travelled to the country of my birth. Dr. Paul Huh and I, with the help of Dr. Kathy Dawson, organized a DMin/DEdMin travel seminar to Busan, Korea, for the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches. Seven students, four alumni/ae, and three faculty members from Columbia Seminary went on a pilgrimage to Busan to experience global ecumenism in action. The Assembly was an unforgettable experience for us all. Experiencing Korea again was a priceless gift for me. Continue reading

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