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

Faculty Publications and Events  

John Azumah, Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Director of International Programs, is leading classes on “Five Faces of Islam” at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Atlanta along with a retired Imam and a Dominican specialist. These classes were on Sundays September 13, 20, 27, as well as October 4, 11 and 18. The classes were aimed at informing participants about the spectrum of diversity within the worldwide Islamic community. John published “Christian-Muslim Encounters in sub-Saharan Africa” in Douglas Pratt et all (eds), The Character of Christian-Muslim Encounter: Essays in Honour of David Thomas (Leiden: Brill, 2015). David Thomas was Dr. Azumah’s PhD Advisor from the University of Birmingham, UK. John also wrote with David Thomas et al (eds), Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History 1500-1600, Vol 24 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). In October, he published “Through African Eyes: Resisting America’s Cultural Imperialism,” in First Things. John was a plenary speaker at the 50th Anniversary of Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies from October 21-24, where he addressed the theme “Mission in the Islamic World: Making Theological and Missiogical sense of Muhammad.” Coming Up: From December 3-5, John will speak at Connecting Mission Leaders Conference for Presbyterian Mission leaders at Tulsa, OK on “The Missional Church Movement from a Global South Perspective.” John is speaking on the theme “Understanding Islam and Engaging with Muslims” at Urbana Students Missions Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, December 27-31.


Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, taught a continuing education course on the Psalms and preached two sermons at Hanshin Church in Seoul, South Korea in late June and early July. He delivered a keynote address, “Royal Theology and Prophetic Critique: A Biblical Vision for the Church," at a conference held at Hanshin Church on July 7th. On August 21-23, Brennan spoke at Kairos Church’s Men’s Retreat. In August, he published a reflection on social constructs, race, and the Confederate battle flag at the Huffington Post. Brennan co-edited the September issue of Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, in honor of Carol A. Newsom’s career, with Columbia Seminary alums Davis Hankins and Bobby Williamson. To this issue, Brennan contributed the article, “A Divided Tongue: The Moral Taste Buds of the Book of Daniel” (pp. 113-130). On Wednesday nights in September, Brennan taught a four-part class at Roswell Presbyterian Church on the books of Amos and Micah. On September 20, he delivered the Bill Jones lecture at Brownstone Memorial Presbyterian Church in Southern Pines, NC, titled “Daniel as You’ve Never Seen Him Before,” and he preached at the morning worship service. During the weekend of September 25-27, Brennan spoke and preached at St. Simon’s Presbyterian Church for their annual Church Anniversary weekend on “Justice and the Neighbor.” On October 4, 11, and 18, he taught a class at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on "Biblical Prophets and the Call of Justice.” On October 23-25, Brennan taught on “The Humanity of God in the Old Testament” at the Church of the Epiphany retreat at Kanuga, NC. Coming up: At Trinity Presbyterian Church on November 1, 8, 15, 22, and December 6 and 13, Brennan will lead the high school group in a reflection on Wisdom Literature in the Bible. At Columbia Theological Seminary, he will co-host the “Bible, Empire and Reception History” conference with Raj Nadella, and will preside at the session on the use of “The Bible in the Americas”. During the annual Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Atlanta in late November, Brennan will co-present the paper "Making the Right Hole Appear in the Right Place: Ecclesiastes 4:17-5:6 in Text and Tradition” with Davis Hankins in the Ideological Criticism section. He will also present the paper, “A Nomadic View of the Psalter: A Response to William Yarchin” in the Book of Psalms section, and will respond to a panel reviewing a commentary on Daniel in the Old Testament Library series that he co-authored with Carol A. Newsom in the Book of Daniel section. Brennan will be teaching a series on “Biblical Wisdom Literature” at Church of the Epiphany on January 10, 17, and 24. He will also have an essay on the formation of various biblical canons on the Ancient Jew Review website ( in November.


William Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, began a nine-month sabbatical at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ (, boldly going where no Old Testament scholar has gone before!  He is part of a 12-member research team involved in a NASA-funded program to study the "societal implications of astrobiology."  While there, he is also writing a new introduction to Old Testament exegesis that offers best practices and includes a diversity of approaches to be published by Westminster John Knox.


Kim Clayton, Director for Contextual Education, preached for two weeks in Montreat this summer for the Worship and Music Conference. She is preaching and moderating the Session at Rehoboth Presbyterian Church during August through October while their pastor and Columbia Seminary alumna Rachael Whaley Pate is on maternity leave. Kim was the McLaughlin Endowment Preacher on September 20 at University Presbyterian Church in Chapel Hill, NC and will also preach at the Covenant Network Conference in November in Denver, CO.


Michael Cook, Lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Care, published Black Fatherhood, Adoption, and Theology: A Contextual Analysis and Response. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2015. He also wrote "Unemployment and the Black Family: A Pastoral Theological Reflection." Journal of Pastoral Theology 25, no. 1 (2015): 6-17. Michael has a forthcoming article: "Pastoral Psychotherapists: Theologians in Practice." Journal of Pastoral Theology 25, no. 3 (2015). He has posted on the Columbia Connections blog "Opening the Heart to Something New," in November 2014; "Metaphors: Sources of Hope, Healing, and Insight," April 2015; and "Spiritual Formation: An Expression of Self-Care," July 2015. Michael was the keynote speaker at the 5th Annual Black Male Symposium on April 17 at Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC. He gave the lecture "Black Males: Facing Challenges and Embracing Opportunities." He was also a panelist for the Society for Pastoral Theology Annual Conference during June 18-25 in Denver, CO on the theme "Practicing Public Pastoral Theologies in Contexts of Difference." Michael was a faculty leader for the 3rd Annual Black Theology and Leadership Institute during July 11-18 at Princeton Theological Seminary. He gave a lecture "Caring for the Souls of Black Males." Michael was a panelist at the AAPC Southeastern Annual Conference during October 22-24 at Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, NC on the theme "The Client Who Changed Me Theologically." He was also a co-workshop facilitator for "Black Lives Matter in Pastoral Counseling."


Kathy Dawson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Director of MAPT Program, taught a Human Growth and Faith Development educator certification class at Montreat during July 27-31. On August 29, Kathy gave two workshops at the STEPS event for Charleston Atlantic Presbytery. On September 12 she was keynote at a Salem Presbytery leadership event on “The Hopeful Church.” Kathy is also currently serving on the PC(USA) Task Force on Christian Educator Certification for the Office of General Assembly. This group has been working throughout the summer to bring a recommendation to the OGA committee in the fall. During October 10-11, Kathy led an all church retreat for Decatur Presbyterian Church. Keith Phillips (MDiv/MAPT '17) assisted. The topic was Intergenerational Ministry. On October 18, she preached at Palms Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach, FL for Holly Inglis' (DEdMin '12) installation as Associate Pastor. The Hope4CE blog that Kathy facilitates now has around 1000 followers.


Sarah Erickson, Director of Lifelong Learning, was elected as president at the May meeting of the Association of Leaders for Lifelong Learning for Ministry ( after serving two years as Vice-President. ALLLM invites all interested viewers to join them for the final two installations of a webinar series on social media and the church on Nov. 17 and Jan. 19; see the website for information and to register.  On July 26, she led worship at Northminster Presbyterian in Macon, GA, and on September 27, Sarah participated in the service of installation for Katy Walters, MDiv/MAPT ’15, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Snellville, GA. World Communion Sunday in October found her leading worship at Ray Thomas Memorial, Marietta, GA. Sarah has also been invited to write a week of devotions for the summer edition of These Days.


Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching, delivered a paper at the Marten Preaching Conference at Notre Dame. She served as a distinguished preacher for the Samuel Proctor Institute at Haley Farm in Clinton, TN. Anna was the chaplain of the week at Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY. She preached at Duke Chapel in Durham, NC. Anna led the annual congregational retreat for 4th Presbyterian Church, Greenville, SC. She led a preaching conference for the Sacramento Presbytery at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, NV. Anna preached and lectured at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI for the Bast Preaching Series.


Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, continues to write for the seminary’s Columbia Connections blog for the “Along the Journey” section including: "Four Goals of the Organizational Leader," "Pastoral Leaders as Resident Theologians," "For the Bookshelf: Living on the Border of the Holy," "Prayers, The Force, Energy, and Causality," "Dimensions of Personal Care for the Christian Educator," "For the Bookshelf: How Learning Works," "Are You A Positive Listener?," "Being a Good Guest Presenter's Host," "Education, Formation, or Teaching?," "For the Bookshelf: A Failure of Nerve," "The One Year Seminary," "Creating a Killer Course," "Helping Learners Grow as Learners," "Clarifying Misunderstandings," "For the Bookshelf: The Apathetic and Bored Church Member," "Seven Critical Factors in Bringing About Change," and "The Facts About Reactivity in Conflict." In June, he published "Triangle Games," in The Digital Flipchart. In July, Israel taught "A Systems Approach to Congregational Leadership," a DMin seminar, for Columbia Seminary. He posted "Eight Big Ideas on Assessment," in the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning blog for Theological School Deans. In August, Israel did a faculty consultation with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH. He posted "The Political Dean," in the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning blog for Theological School Deans. Also in August, Israel was program support for the Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy at the Center for Lifelong Learning. He published Seeking the Holy: An Introduction to the History and Practice of Spiritual Direction for Today's Churches, August 2015.

He posted "Eight Challenges You WILL Face During Your Tenure as Dean," for the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning blog for Theological School Deans in September. Israel presented on leadership in organizations at the Vermont Center for Family Studies, Burlington, VT in September. This fall, he published Mastering the Art of Instruction: The Nine Essential Instructional Skills Every Teacher Needs to Master, as well as Stories of the Desert Fathers: Ancient Wit and Wisdom for Today's Bewildering Times. He also published Theories of Learning: Approaches to Teaching and Learning for Christian Educators and Theological Faculty (Didache Press, 2015). Israel co-taught "Life as A Sacred Story with Carl McColman" and "Using Dialogical Learning in Bible Study" at the Center for Lifelong Learning during September 2015. In October, Israel presented "Approaches to Christian Education Formation in the Congregational Context," for a local clergy group at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. He posted "Four Blind Spots Every Dean Needs to Avoid," in the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning blog for Theological School Deans. He presented "Building A Better Rubric," at Tech Tuesdays, Columbia Theological Seminary. On October 28, he participated in a panel on "The Call of the Church in God’s Changing World” as part of the Columbia Seminary presidential inaugural events in October. Coming up: He will teach the course "Contemporary Readings in Christian Education: Children and Children's Ministries," at the Center for Lifelong Learning. Israel will present at the ATS Chief Financial Officers and Technology Professionals conference, Phoenix, AZ, in November. He will also present at the "Leadership in Ministry Workshops" at the Center for Lifelong Learning.


Bill Harkins, Senior Lecturer of Pastoral Theology and Care, Co-Director of ThD Program, presented on practical applications of Family Systems Theory for CPE residents at the Training and Counseling Center of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Atlanta. In May, (May 12-19) he served as Psychological Health Faculty for Episcopal CREDO for Recently Ordained Clergy at Trinity Episcopal Conference Center on the Outer Banks at Salter Path, North Carolina. He officiated and was guest preacher at a wedding at St. Peter’s, Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida, in late May. And Bill attended the Pastoral Advisory Board gathering for the Training and Counseling Center at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in early June, where he has served on the Board for 12 years. He conducted a workshop for CPE residents at Gwinnett Medical Center in July on Family Systems Theory. Bill’s 2-part essay “Get Out!” was published in Columbia Connections in May. Bill now enters his tenth year of service as Priest Associate at the Cathedral of St. Philip, where he regularly preaches, teaches, and officiates. In August Bill co-led a Men’s retreat for Vanderbilt Divinity School alumni at the Pingree Park campus of Colorado State University, “Finding the Sacred in Creation.” Bill conducted a community-wide presentation on "Theological and Psychological Perspectives on Mary Oliver" at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, 2 September 2015. He presented a workshop on "The Empty Nest: Navigating the Spaces Between Myth and Reality," at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 15 September 2015. Bill was named by Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefforts-Schori to a national commission on "Leadership and Impairment," an 18-month appointment designed to examine the stressors--physical, emotional, and spiritual, to which church leaders are vulnerable, and to "explore the canonical, environmental, behavioral and procedural dimensions of matters involving the serious impairment of individuals serving as leaders in the Church, with special attention to issues of addiction and substance abuse. A report of the commission’s work is to include recommendations for both action and further review, as appropriate, in order to clarify lines of authority, to ensure mutual accountability, and to promote justice, wellbeing and safety within both the Church and the world.Bill will serve as Psychological Health faculty for CREDO for Recently Ordained Clergy, October 6-12, at Chapel Rock Conference Center in Prescott, Arizona. He will deliver an address to the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Community on Family Systems Theory for Ministry at Gwinnett Medical Center in December.


Kimberly Bracken Long, Associate Professor of Worship, served as faculty at the Presbyterian Association of Musicians’ Montreat Worship and Music Conference, June 21-July 3, where she taught a class titled Rethinking the Christian Wedding and led a workshop on the proposed revisions to the Directory for Worship. She led, with David Gambrell, Associate for Worship for the PC(USA), consultations on the Book of Common Worship in Atlanta in May and San Francisco in August. More consultations were held in September, October, and November in Chicago, Austin, and Princeton. Inclusive Marriage Services: A Wedding Sourcebook, edited by Long and David Maxwell, was published by Westminster John Knox Press in October. She presented a pre-conference workshop on Inclusive Marriage Liturgies and gave a seminar on Marriage and the Bible at the Covenant Network Conference in Denver, November 5-7.


Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, led workshops in July at the ELCA Worship Jubilee in Atlanta and spoke on contemporary ecumenical dialogue at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Tallahassee, FL. She presented workshops on “Grace and Gratitude” at the PC(USA)’s Big Tent gathering in Knoxville, TN during July 31-August 1. She wrote the lead article for @thispoint on “Common Waters: Global water crises and Christian baptism” for Spring 2015. With George Hunsinger, she published “20th Century and Contemporary Protestant Sacramental Theology,” in The Oxford Handbook on Sacramental Theology, ed. Matthew Levering and Hans Boersma (Oxford University Press, 2015). Martha was the keynote speaker at Teens 4 Christ youth leadership event in Mobile, AL during September 11-13 and preached at First Presbyterian Church, Covington, GA on September 20. She participated in the final writing meeting of the international ecumenical dialogue between the World Communion of Reformed Churches and the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome during November 3-6. Coming up: Martha will attend the AAR meeting in Atlanta November 21-24: participating in a panel discussing the forthcoming book Dogmatics in Outline by Brian Gerrish and chairing a panel on Comparative Theology.


Cam Murchison, Professor Emeritus of Ministry, is serving as Transitional Pastoral Associate at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville from June 15, 2015 through the period it is without a Pastor/Head of Staff. He began a 3 year term as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina on August 1, 2015. He published “Advent and Animals" in the Advent 2015, Journal for Preachers.


Michael Morgan, Seminary Musician, taught a 3-session Sunday series on the English Bible at Northside Drive Baptist Church and a class on church music at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta in July and August. On August 29-30, he led presentations singing the Psalms and the poetic imagery in the 23rd Psalm, along with an exhibit of rare Psalters, at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church in Mobile, Alabama. On Sunday afternoon, August 30, Michael led a Psalm Festival along with Dr. Randall Sheets and the choir of Spring Hill Church. Beginning in September, he will be serving a 3-month interim as organist at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory campus. Over Reformation Sunday weekend, Michael will be celebrating the English Bible and Psalms with Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, AR.


Deborah Flemister Mullen, Dean of Faculty/Executive Vice President, Associate Professor of American Christianity and Black Church Studies, will participate in a panel on "The Call of the Church in God’s Changing World” as part of the Columbia Seminary presidential inaugural events in October. 


Jake Myers, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, has a book coming out in November called "Making Love with Scripture: Why the Bible Doesn't Mean How You Think it Means" with Fortress Press. He is also leading a 6 week series at Trinity Presbyterian Church titled "Church as Cultural Curation."


Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament, was in New York in May to work with a PC(USA) study team that is drafting a denominational policy paper on human trafficking that will be submitted to the next General Assembly in 2016. Raj is writing the biblical/theological piece for the policy paper explicating the link between trafficking and neoliberal global economy. Raj published an essay this July in the Huffington Post's On Scripture series, focusing on the war industrial complex in the United States. He has contributed an article to a volume entitled "Many Yet One? Multiple Religious Belonging" to be published by the World Council of Churches this November. On August 23, Raj preached at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church. Coming up: At Columbia Theological Seminary, Raj will co-host the “Bible, Empire and Reception History” conference with Brennan Breed. He will also preside at the session on “The Bible and Empire in Asia.” He will present a paper at the SBL annual meeting in Atlanta this November. The paper entitled "The Jerusalem Temple and Its Role in Land Consolidation in the First Century" will be in the Economics in the Biblical World section. He will teach a three-week series on "The Birth Narratives in Luke" in the adult forum at Central Presbyterian Church in late November and early December. Raj is currently working on essay for a Semeia issue and a piece on trafficking that will appear in Presbyterians Today. In early January, Raj will travel to Bangalore, where he will be joined by John Kutsko, the Executive Director of SBL, and Trista Krock, SBL's Director of Global Conferences. They will explore the possibility of hosting an international SBL conference in Bangalore in 2019.


Rodger Nishioka, Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education, lectured and preached at the Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN. He was keynote speaker at the Northeast Region conference of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators in Rochester, NY. Rodger preached at the Mid-South Presbytery meeting in Memphis, TN, and at the Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis, TN. Rodger was a presenter at the PC(USA)’s Big Tent conference in Knoxville, TN. He preached at the General Assembly of the Church of the Brethren meeting in Tampa, FL. Rodger was keynote speaker at the PCUSA 1001 New Worshipping Communities National Conference in St. Petersburg, FL. He preached at the University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. With Prof. Ralph Watkins, Rodger led a training event on Evangelism for leaders from the Flint River Presbytery. He preached at the Lake Hills Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN. Rodger preached and presented a workshop on "Nurturing Faith in Adolescents" at the Madison Presbyterian Church in Madison, GA. He led a workshop on Ministry with Young Adults for the Cincinnati Presbytery and preached at Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. Rodger was the Carson Lecturer and Preacher for the Highland Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, PA. He was the Ruth Lamb Lecturer and preached at the Guilford Park Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC. Rodger preached and delivered two keynote presentations to the National Presbyterian Youth Workers Association Conference in Lake Tahoe, NV. He led an all-church retreat for Calvary Presbyterian San Francisco, First Presbyterian Burlingame, and Old First Presbyterian San Francisco in Mt. Hermon, CA. Rodger led the clergy retreat for St. Augustine Presbyterian in Amelia Island, FL. He led workshops for the Central Florida Presbytery in Orlando and preached at the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Orlando. Rodger was keynote speaker for the National Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center Associates gathering in Montreat, NC. He lectured at a multi-national gathering of youth ministry leaders at Trinity College in Singapore. Rodger published a lead article titled: "Forgetting the Past With a Purpose" for the fall issue of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Advocate. Rodger was chosen to serve on the Advisory Board of a new initiative on the Theology of Joy funded by the Templeton Foundation and conducted through the Yale University Divinity School. He will deliver a paper in February on the relationship between Resilience and Joy. 


Kevin Park, Associate Dean for Advanced Professional Studies and Assistant Professor of Theology, was a retreat speaker for the Auburn-Opelika Korean Church on July 26-27. Kevin led a workshop “Presbyterians: Our Beliefs” for the PC(USA) Big Tent event in Knoxville, TN on July 31. He was the speaker for the EM spiritual revival hosted by the Korean Churches of the greater Richmond area including Petersburg and Hopewell and the preacher for the Richmond Korean Central Presbyterian Church on September 19-20. Kevin participated in a panel on "The Call of the Church in God’s Changing World” as part of the Columbia Seminary presidential inaugural events on October 28. He contributed to the 2015 Peacemaking Advent Devotions, “Proclaiming the Good News of God’s Peace.” Kevin will publish a paper, "Toward a Reformed Theology of Stewardship," for the Presbyterian Foundation's web site. Kevin will also publish a paper on race and theological aesthetics for the “Theological Conversations” project sponsored by the Office of Theology and Worship, PC(USA).


Charlie Raynal, Professor Emeritus of Theology, is working with Nancy Snell Griffith, former archivist of Presbyterian College, on the history of the former Synod of South Carolina of the PCUS. The book is nearly complete and has been accepted for publication by Wipf and Stock Publishers to be out by year's end. 


Marcia Riggs, J. Erskine Love Professor of Christian Ethics, was invited to preach for the ordination service of Jeromey Howard ’15 at United Christian Presbyterian Church of Richmond, MO in June.


Dominique A. Robinson, Staff Associate for Contextual Education, traveled to Jacmel, Haiti with the Missions Ministry of the Ray of Hope Christian Church during June 13-20.  She hosted “Selfie Sunday” at New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA on June 28. In July, Dominique preached for the youth and young adult Sundays at St. John A.M.E. Church, Huntsville, AL and New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA. She birthed a new liturgical dance ministry – Unspoken Praise – at New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA and they were invited to share in the Back to School service at Zion Hill Baptist Church, Atlanta on July 24. On July 31, Dominique hosted a joint youth lock in with Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, College Park, GA. In August, Dominique preached the Back to School Services for New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA and St. Stephen A.M.E. Zion Church, Asbury Park, NJ. She also hosted the dedication and “open house” of the newly upgraded youth center of New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA. Under her leadership, Unspoken Praise, shared through their ministry of dance at Friday Night Live held at Providence Baptist Church, College Park, GA and the SoulFest Concert held at New Life Presbyterian Church, College Park, GA. She preached for YouthQuake 2015 at St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Lithonia, GA and for the Annual Children’s and Youth Day at Zion Baptist Church, Marietta, GA. She was also named the J. Philip Swander 2015 Brave Preacher by the Beatitudes Society. In September, Dominique will preach for New Life Presbyterian Church’s Youth & Young Adult Sunday. In October, she participated in a private screening of “The Armor of Light,” a documentary on the life, tragedy and aftermath of Jordan Davis; spoke at the Blacks in Government Black & White Ball in Atlanta; taught at Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church’s Women’s Retreat, Myrtle Beach, SC; and preached for New Life Presbyterian Church’s Youth & Young Adult Day. She also hosted a screening of Armor of Light at New Life Presbyterian Church, a prayer conference call line for youth and Rep Yo School Rally where youth participated in an open dialogue with law enforcement, attorneys, judges, educators, community leaders and activist about the matters that plague their communities. Coming up: In November, Dominique will preach at the YES! Weekend at Green Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, Portland, ME, the Teen Chapel Service at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA and speak for the Jordan Davis Foundation Scholarship Banquet in Atlanta.


Michael Thompson, Director of Communications, preached at First Presbyterian Church of Covington, GA on July 26. Over the summer, he was appointed Secretary for an organizational board to create a new local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) to serve Rockdale and Newton Counties. Michael also participated in the PC(USA)’s Big Tent conference in July, and later the Religion Newswriters Association conference in August. Michael hosted a table at the Decatur Book Festival.


Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., Associate Professor of Ministry, attended a number of summer conferences including the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District Training Institute in Greenville, NC; the Bishop Arthur Marshall Faith and Order Institute of the South Atlanta Episcopal District in Rock Hill, SC; the Midwest Episcopal District Training Institute in Knoxville, Tennessee; the Connectional Council, Presiding Elder's Council, and Women's Home and Overseas Missionary Society Quadrennial Meeting in Orlando, FL. He was a preacher and presider for the Atlanta District Conference and Christian Education Convention August 7-8 at New Life A.M.E. Zion Church in College Park, GA.


Leanne Van Dyk, President and Professor of Theology, officially began on July 1 and will be inaugurated on October 28 to be followed by a panel on "The Call of the Church in God’s Changing World”. Leanne introduced Sharol Hayner for her presentation about her new book co-authored with Steve Hayner, Joy in the Journey: Finding Abundance in the Shadow of Death (InterVarsity Press). On September 10, Leanne gave the convocation sermon and on September 17 she spoke at the Company of New Pastors meeting at Columbia Theological Seminary on "Church After Pew:  Pastoral Ministry in the Light of the Pew Research Report."


Kris Veldheer, Instructor for Interactive Teaching, attended MoodleMoot 2015 from August 3-7, in Minneapolis. MoodleMoot was a conference for users of the learning management system Moodle where she participated in workshops and networked with other institutions who use Moodle from around the world. She also attended the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in New Orleans from October 2-4. Kris will present at the ATS Chief Financial Officers and Technology Professionals conference in Phoenix, AZ, November 11-13.  She will also attend AAR/SBL in Atlanta from November 21-23. In December, Kris will present "Using Turnitin to Reduce Plagiarism and improve Students learning" at Tech Tuesdays, Columbia Theological Seminary.


Haruko Nawata Ward, Associate Professor of Church History, contributed a chapter, “Images of the Incarnation in the Jesuit Japan Mission’s Kirishitanban Story of Virgin Martyr St. Catherine of Alexandria,” published in Image and Incarnation: The Early Modern Doctrine of the Pictorial Image, edited by Walter S. Melion and Lee Palmer Wandel by Brill Publishing in August 2015. Haruko delivered the response paper, “Characteristics of Japanese Martyrdom and the Changes of Discourses in their Hagiographic Representations” for the panel “Transformation in Practices and Discourses on Japanese Martyrs in Europe, Japan and Mexico,” at The 21st World Congress of the International Association for the History of Religions (IAHR), held at Erfurt University, Erfurt, Germany, August 24, 2015. While there, she also visited the University’s Archives and historical sites. Erfurt is where Martin Luther became an Augustinian monk and began to form his reformation ideas. Luther translated Erasmus’s critical edition of the Greek New Testament into German at nearby Wartburg Castle. The city of Erfurt remains bi-confessional. On July 3, Haruko was invited to give a lecture, “Witnesses of the Incarnate Christ in Persecution and Oppression: From the Reformations Period of the Church to the Charleston Massacre in 2015,” for Dr. Sawako Fujiwara’s graduate seminar, Introduction to Ecumenical Theology at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan. She attended the annual meeting of the Japan Missiological Society, held at Kwansei Gakuin University, Osaka, Japan on July 4. On May 29-31, she attended The Teaching Professor Conference in Atlanta, GA. On October 17, Haruko was one of the five panelists for the Women of Color in Ministry Conference in Atlanta. On October 23, she will read her paper, “A Jesuit Catechism for Women’s Salvation?: Myōtei mondō reexamined,” for the panel, Theologies of Race, Colonialism, and Christian Expansion I, at the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia.


Ralph Basui Watkins, Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, led a men's retreat for C. N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, during September 18 – 20 called "Real Men Serving a Real God." He lectured at Zion Hill Baptist Church, Atlanta, September 23 on "From Social Networks to Networked Evangelism: 21st Century Evangelism Models." On September 27, Ralph was the Evangelism Sunday preacher at the 8:30 and 11:00 am worship services for Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, Duluth, GA. Ralph participated in his MFA Thesis Show at The Apex Museum during October 16 – 23 called "Faith in Sweet Auburn: The Next Chapter," as he received his MFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. On November 8, Ralph was the Church Anniversary Day Preacher at Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, Columbus, GA. Coming Up: In November, he will participate with the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies on the theme “The Arts, Race, and Activism: From the Classroom to the Streets” and at the American Academy of Religion with a paper presentation / video presentation on “The Generational Divide in the Black Church: The Future of the Prophetic Witness in a Time of Crisis.”


Debra Weir, Associate Director Spirituality and Lifelong Learning, is co-teaching with Sarah Erickson an academic course this fall semester, Faith and Formation: Christian Education and Spiritual Formation.  Debra hosted an event Common Ground, Holy Ground, Spirituality Program 20th Anniversary Celebration on September 18-19. She launched the first cohort for the Certificate in Spiritual Direction program and served as small group supervisor for the program during Sept. 27-Oct. 2. Debra co-led with Brennan Breed, Stan Saunders, and Carl McColman the Immersion Experience: An Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life on October 8-11 for the Certificate in Spiritual Formation program. Debra continues to serve as ruling elder for spiritual formation at North Avenue Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.


Christine Roy Yoder, Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis, co-hosted and presented a paper in August at the Seminar on Israelite Sapiential Literature (SISL) at Columbia (also attended by Profs. Brennan Breed and Davis Hankins). She is teaching a three-week series (September 20 & 27, October 4) about Genesis 1-3 at Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. In October, she will teach a two-week Wednesday night series on Israelite wisdom literature at Cumming First United Methodist Church in Cumming, GA. In early November, Prof. Yoder will present on her sabbatical-year research for her book tentatively titled Contours of Desire in Israelite Wisdom Literature at the Henry Luce III Fellowship in Theology Conference in Pittsburgh, PA; Prof. Raymond Van Leeuwen (Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Eastern University) will respond to and facilitate a conversation about her research. Later that month, she will attend the “Bible, Empire and Reception History” conference at Columbia Seminary (co-hosted by Profs. Raj Nadella and Brennan Breed), and will preside at the session on “The Bible and Ancient Empires”. She will also attend the Society of Biblical Literature meeting in Atlanta, where she will join other contributors to celebrate the publication of a volume titled After Exegesis: Feminist Biblical Theology (eds., J. A. Lapsley; P. K. Tull) in honor of Prof. Carol A. Newsom; Prof. Yoder’s contribution to the volume is titled “Path and Possession in Proverbs 1-9: A Feminist Biblical Theology of Flourishing.” Lastly, this May, after ten years and the publication of ten volumes, Prof. Yoder stepped down as the editor responsible for all articles related to wisdom literature, the Psalms, and realia for the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, a 32-volume and online series published by Walter de Gruyter. She continues to serve as a standing editorial member of Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO).

William Yoo, Assistant Professor of American Religious and Cultural History, preached at Korean Central Presbyterian Church in Chamblee, GA, on June 7 and at SeMeHahn Korean Presbyterian Church in Laytonsville, MD, on June 21. He conducted archival research at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, PA, from June 22 to 24 for his book project with Westminster John Knox Press, The Presbyterian Experience in the United States: A Sourcebook. He participated in the Wabash Center’s Teaching and Learning Workshop for Pre-Tenure Theological School Faculty from July 20 to 25 in Crawfordsville, IN. He preached at Ray-Thomas Memorial Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA, on August 23. He will teach on the history of race and Christianity in the United States at a Wednesday evening Bible Study at Decatur Presbyterian Church on September 2. He will preach and teach Sunday School at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, TN, on September 6. Three current Columbia Theological Seminary students (Karl Heimbuck, Anna Owens, and Emily Randle) will travel with William and assist in leading worship at First Presbyterian Church to strengthen the seminary’s connection with the faithful ministries of local congregations. He will be preaching at Newnan Presbyterian Church in Newnan, GA, for Theological Education Sunday on September 20. In October, he will be attending the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in New Orleans (October 2-4) and the Association of Theological Schools Roundtable Seminar for Newly Appointed Faculty in Chicago (October 9-11). He will be returning to Philadelphia from October 22 to 28 to present a research paper on the nature and purpose of the General Assembly for a joint meeting of the Committee on General Assembly and the Board of the Presbyterian Historical Society within the PC(USA) and to conduct archival research for his book project with Routledge, American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Changing Shape of World Christianity, 1884-1965.