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


2015 Smyth Lectures: Dr. Lamin Sanneh

Starting: 10/13/2015
Ending: 10/15/2015

Come hear distinguished scholar Dr. Lamin Sanneh, D. Willis James Professor of Missions & World Christianity at Yale Divinity School, give the 2015 Smyth Lectures for Columbia Theological Seminary on October 13–15:

Tuesday, October 13 at 7:00 pm

"The New World and Renewal of Mission: The American Revolution Recast"

Wednesday, October 14 at 12 noon        

"The Dark Continent Breached: A Race Freed and a Society Formed"

Thursday, October 15 at 12 noon

"Chains Removed, Hope Revived"

The American Revolution broke political ties with Britain, and in the process shattered old ideas of church and society. Old World ideas of birth and breeding gave way to New World values of opportunity and enterprise, offering a second chance to victims and the oppressed. Displaced and oppressed populations now mattered more as the agents and leaders than merely as the objects of mission. They and their Western supporters created the new pathway to change Africa from being the source of the slave trade to becoming its implacable enemy. The biographies of the New World Africans who spearheaded the missionary outreach to Africa offer a new understanding of the forces that brought about Africa's statistical transformation into the Christian stronghold it has become in our day. The lessons of this development are to be found in the ideas and values of the Founders of the New Republic.

The 2015 Smyth Lectures will be offered free to the public each day in the Harrington Center Chapel on the Columbia Seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA.

Faith in Sweet Auburn: The Next Chapter

Starting: 10/16/2015
Ending: 10/16/2015

Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins will be present to greet and talk about this exhibition of his photography at 7:00 pm at the Apex Museum. The show features 20 - 11 x 14 prints and videos produced that he will talk about and take questions. He says, “This work is about my engagement with the process of revitalization along Auburn Avenue in Atlanta Georgia as I celebrate what was, what is and what is to come. It is about the places, the people and moments that reflect my relationship with memory and revival.”  Details here.

Inauguration of President Leanne Van Dyk

Starting: 10/28/2015
Ending: 10/28/2015

Columbia Theological Seminary has set the date for the inauguration of its tenth president. Rev. Dr. Leanne Van Dyk was appointed by the Board of Trustees last April, and officially began work on July 1. She previously served as Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI.

Click here for the original announcement.

The inauguration service will be held on Wednesday, October 28 starting 10:30 am at the Columbia Presbyterian Church located at 711 S. Columbia Drive in Decatur near Atlanta, GA.

“I deeply value and want to build on the rich tradition of Columbia Theological Seminary in its training of local pastors in a residential setting. I also want us to reach boldly for new training opportunities, utilizing people and systems already in place here to do more in the way of online learning.” said Dr. Van Dyk in a statement. “This is not just learning at a distance. Truly diverse communities can be developed for actual ministry in the real world!”

Dr. Van Dyk currently serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). She is editor and contributor for A More Profound Alleluia: Theology and Worship in Harmony (Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005) which is a valued text for courses in theology and worship, and an aid to worship leaders and all Christian believers who desire greater theological depth in their worship experience.

Bible, Empire, and Reception History

Starting: 11/18/2015
Ending: 11/19/2015

On November 18-19, Columbia Theological Seminary will host a conference exploring the production and use of the Bible in various historical contexts of empire. It will consider the use of postcolonial criticism in interpreting biblical texts and its implications in modern contexts.

The Bible, Empire, and Reception History Conference will consist of four sessions, each focusing on a particular geographical or historical set of contexts:

  • Carol Newsom and Richard Horsley on the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in ancient Near Eastern, Greek and Roman empires.
  • Yvonne Sherwood and Jaime Lara on the Bible in the Americas of 16th century Mesoamerica and the Spanish Empire.
  • Kwok Pui-Lan and R. S. Sugirtharajah on the Bible in South and East Asia.
  • Musa Dube and Hendrik Bosman on the Bible in southern Africa in the 19th-21st centuries under Dutch and British imperial influence.
Columbia plans to live stream the conference and post videos for later viewing. A publication of presentations will also be produced. For more information about the Bible, Empire, and Reception History conference, please visit

Come See Columbia Day

Starting: 4/21/2016
Ending: 4/21/2016

Columbia Friendship Circle began when the wives of two seminary professors encouraged other Atlanta wives to contribute one dollar each to help the seminary. From that small group, Columbia Friendship Circle has grown to include all who participate in the Presbyterian Women's organizations throughout the synods of South Atlantic and Living Waters.

Throughout its history, Columbia Friendship Circle has been an organization deeply concerned about the well-being of ministers, missionaries, and Christian educators called by God to be the leaders of Christ's church. Columbia Friendship Circle addresses this concern in their threefold statement of purpose:

  • To pray for the students, faculty, staff, and all members of the seminary community
  • To encourage men and women to consider Christian ministry
  • To provide financial assistance through selected projects that help meet the seminary's needs

Carrying on the tradition of its founding members, the Columbia Friendship Circle has helped seminary students in a variety of ways. The group's projects include establishment of the Peter Marshall Chair of Homiletics; furnishings for residence halls, the library, and classrooms, an organ for the chapel; housing for married students; and continuing education for ministers. In recent years support has focused on scholarships for students with families and fellowships awarded to outstanding graduates.

Worship will be led by our new president, Dr. Leanne Van Dyk. Meet the scholarship recipients, have lunch and visit with students and faculty and other CFC members.

Contact Barbara Poe for more information at