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

Faculty & Staff Publications and Events  

John Azumah, Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Director of International Programs, joined a delegation of four from Lambert Palace during March 7-12 to visit Israel and to meet with church leaders on the situation of Christians in the Middle East, especially Syria and Iraq. He taught a series on Islam for St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church, Dunwoody on February, 17, 24 and March 2. John spoke at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference organized by the Bethlehem Bible College. Coming up: John is organizing a one day Missions Seminar with the Greater Atlanta Presbytery and PCUSA World Mission Office at Louisville on April 13 for congregations in the Broyles Leadership Center. The main speaker for the seminar will be Dr. Tharwat Wahba, a Professor of Missions from the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt. John is leading a series on Islam for the Georgia Army National Guard annual State Chaplains Training on April 15, and speaking on Christian-Muslim Relations at North Avenue Presbyterian Church on April 16. From April 25 to May 10, John will be leading an Explorations class to Brazil.

Linzmarie Bason, Staff Associate for Center for Lifelong Learning, participated in Conversations at the Carter Center for a dramatic reading of interviews performed with the women of Liberia, Guatemala and Bangladesh called “The Power of Information.”

Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, taught a two-part course on the book of Job at Trinity Anglican Mission in Oakhurst on January 19 and 27. On February 5, he led a day-long staff retreat at Williamsburg Community Chapel in Virginia that focuses on the post-exilic period of ancient Judah, drawing from Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Malachi and Isaiah 56-66. Brennan taught an adult education class on Lamentations at Church of the Epiphany in Decatur on February 7. Along with Carol Newsom, he presented a paper on the task of writing commentaries at the South Eastern Regional AAR/SBL meeting in Atlanta on March 5 titled "Of the Writing of Commentaries There is No End: Commentaries and Reception History.” Coming up: Brennan will lead a two-part series on the question, “What is the Bible?” at Church of the Epiphany in April. This Spring, Brennan will appear on two podcasts, New Books in Religion ( and On Script ( to discuss his first book, Nomadic Text. On May 6, Brennan will travel to Heidelberg, Germany to receive the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, a first book award in Religious Studies offered by the Forschungsinstitut Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie at the University of Heidelberg. He will publish "Reading Job as a Kierkegaardian Text: The Incarnation of Indirect Communication,” in the journal Biblical Interpretation this Spring. Brennan has also been named the Wister Cook Theologian in Residence at The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Decatur, GA.

William Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, continues a nine-month sabbatical at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ ( 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. Bill made a presentation at the AAAS meeting on February 13 on the "Theological Reasons for Protecting Biodiversity" in Washington, DC. On March 10, he will be giving the William Witherspoon Lecture at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ on "The Comforting Cosmos: God, Creation, and the Book of Job in the Light of Astrobiology." 

Kathy Dawson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Director of MAPT Program, taught with Joel Winchip, Executive Director of Presbyterian Camps and Conferences this February as part of the Compass Points Camps and Conference Certification that Columbia shares with PCCCA through our Lifelong Learning. The topic was program development and implementation. Kathy gave an “Ed Talk” at the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators Annual Event in Chicago on the importance and characteristics of collaborative learning communities for Christian educators. She also gave a workshop regarding lessons learned from one year with the Hope4CE sharing site and collaborative Facebook community. The Hope4CE site that Kathy facilitates now has more than 1000 followers.

Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics; Director of MDiv Program, convened and moderated a conversation on Reinhold Niebuhr and Race in November at the annual meeting of the Niebuhr Society. In January, he participated in a consultation on Ecology and the Environment held at Columbia Seminary. Mark presented a paper on pacifism and the early church, and convened two other sessions at the Society of Christian Ethics meeting in Toronto. In February, he preached and taught with William Yoo at the NEXT Church conference. He also taught at Trinity Presbyterian Church (6 weeks on "The Bible, Marriage, and Christian Faith"), Peachtree City Presbyterian Church ("Ethics and the Environment"), and Ottawa Presbyterian Church, OH, and helped lead two Georgia Interfaith Power and Light Clergy Breakfasts.

Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning, co-led “Come to the Waters,” the Horizons Bible study for 2015-16, at North Decatur Presbyterian Church in February and March. She moderated the quarterly Open Forum membership meeting and the second virtual annual meeting of the Association of Leaders of Lifelong Learning for Ministry on February 23 and April 28, respectively. She preached and lead worship at Forsyth Presbyterian Church, Forsyth, GA on March 6. Coming up: She will preach at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Macon, GA on April 17.

Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching, preached and lectured for the Bast Preaching Festival at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. During her time there, she also preached at the Pillar Church, a dual-affiliation congregation of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America, and at "The Gathering," a Sunday night worship service for students at Hope College. Anna gave the charge to Betsy Lyles at her ordination at Davidson Community Presbyterian Church in Davidson, NC. She traveled to Victoria, British Columbia, to preach and lecture at "Epiphany Explorations," an annual event hosted by the United Church of Canada. Anna led the annual White Memorial Presbyterian Church Women's Retreat, which took place at Pinehurst, NC, and gave a Saturday night lecture and Sunday morning sermon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN. Returning to Davidson, she gave the Staley lecture at Davidson College, and preached at Davidson Community Presbyterian Church while she was there. Coming up: In May, Anna will preach and lecture at the annual Festival of Homiletics, held this year in Atlanta.

Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, continues to write for the Columbia Connections blog posting articles: "What Will You Choose When You Have a Choice?," "The Benefits of Planning for Teaching," "Seven Concepts on Leadership," "Books, Tablets, E-readers, and Typewriters," "For the Bookshelf: Urban Disciples," "Experience and Learning," "Coming of Age in Faith," "Five Ways to Become a Popular Leader," "Speaking the Truth in Love," "Is Your CE Program Making a Difference?," "What Will They Say About You?," "An Intelligent Person," "Life Assessment," "Reasons for Not Attending Church,” "Can You Pass this C.E. Test?," "Volunteerism and the Future of Church Ministry," and "Great Quotes on Ministry." Israel has published four parts of a series on "Ten Curriculum Assessment Tools Every Dean Needs" in the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning blog for Theological School Deans. In November, he presented at the ATS Chief Financial Officers and Technology Professionals conference in Phoenix, AZ. In January, Israel presented at the "Peer power: Cultivating clergy communities of practice and training for peer group facilitators," conference of the Pastoral Excellence Network, Orlando, FL. He was interviewed for the January issue of In Trust Magazine on, "The Role of Faculty in Shared Governance." In February, Israel presented "How to Really Use PowerPoint" at the Tech Tuesday Faculty development program. He participated in a video webinar by the Association of Leaders in Lifelong Learning for Ministry. In March, Israel presented at the Leadership in Ministry Workshop on "Leadership Lessons from the Dog Whisperer." He attended the Southeast gathering of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion at Mercer University, as well as the Advisory Committee meeting of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion in Indianapolis, IN. Israel consulted with the Asociación para La Educación Teológica Hispana on online learning, Orlando.

He provided the chapel address for Come See Columbia Day. Coming Up: Israel plans to publish new blog posts on “Raising a Normal Teenager,” “What Tough Leaders Do,” “Checking Your Leadership Assumptions,” “A Repertoire for Leadership in Anxious Times,” “Dealing with the Pushy Parent,” “Back to Basics: Leadership Rules 101,” “The Hawthorne Effect,” “Getting to Know the Familiar Stranger,” and “Tucker's Top 10.” In May, he will give presentation at the Leadership in Ministry Workshops in Boston, MA and Portland, OR.

Bill Harkins, Senior Lecturer of Pastoral Theology and Care, Co-Director of ThD Program, was featured in an article in the Cigna/Church Pension Group Health and Wellness Newsletter in the January 2016 edition. He participated in the ECUSA National Leadership and Impairment Commission gatherings in December and January, in Baltimore. Bill attended the CREDO Faculty Training Convocation and Psychological Health Faculty Working Group meetings in Memphis, TN. Coming up: He will participate on a panel at the Georgia Association of Marriage and Family Therapists at Jekyll Island, in April. He will present a workshop on Family Systems Theory at St. Anne's Episcopal Church for the Community of Hope lay cohort. Bill will serve as Psychological Health Faculty at CREDO for Recently Ordained Clergy at Trinity Episcopal Conference Center on the Outer Banks of NC in May 2016.

Kimberly Bracken Long, Associate Professor of Worship, led two workshops on inclusive marriage liturgies at the national conference of the Covenant Network in Denver, Colorado, November 5-7, 2015. She presented a new marriage liturgy to the Liturgical Language Seminar at the North American Academy of Liturgy in Houston, Texas, January 8. Her essay, “Why Ashes Matter” appeared in the Lent 2016 issue of Journal for Preachers. She will help lead a regional consultation on the Book of Common Worship February 11-13 in Louisville, Kentucky and will lead a retreat for the Presbytery of West Virginia February 22-23. Coming up: Long will be a keynote speaker for the Peace River Presbytery (Florida) April 27-28. Professor Long will give the Siang-Lien Lectures at Taiwan Theological Seminary in Taipei, Taiwan, April 18-20. An essay titled “A Table for the Garden” will appear in the Spring issue of Liturgy. Her book, From This Day Forward: Rethinking the Christian Wedding, will be published by Westminster John Knox Press in June.

Betsy Lyles, Director of Recruitment and Admissions, was ordained on December 12, 2015 at her home church, Davidson College Presbyterian Church. Rev. Dr. John Kuykendall preached the service. Other participants included Rev. Dr. Anna Carter Florence, Rev. Sharol Hayner, Rev. Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, former trustee Rev. Lib McGregor Simmons, current trustees Rev. Pen Peery and Jan Swetenburg and alums Rev. Shelli Latham and Lisle Gwynn Garrity.

Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, attended the AAR meeting in Atlanta November 21-24: participating in a panel discussing the book Dogmatics in Outline by Brian Gerrish and chairing a panel on Comparative Theology. Her response to Gerrish's book will also be published in an upcoming volume in the International Journal of Systematic Theology. A separate book review will appear in a forthcoming issue of the Presbyterian Outlook.  She spoke at Alpharetta Presbyterian Church on October 26 and at Carrollton Presbyterian Church on January 17, both times on "Persevering as the Body of Christ." She preached at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta on December 13, taught Sunday school classes on the book of James at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta on January 24 and 31. She taught Sunday school classes at Covenant Presbyterian Church February 28 and Northminster Presbyterian Church March 6. She preached at the ordination of Jennie Sankey at Pleasant Hill PC in Duluth on February 28.

Michael Morgan, Seminary Musician, completed a 3-month interim as organist at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory Campus, and played for services at North Avenue Presbyterian and First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. At Columbia, he presented an exhibit on “The First Generation of the English Bible” for the international Bible conference in November. In January he lectured for Dr. Ryan Bonfiglio’s doctoral seminar on “The Pentateuch as Reflected in Hymns from the New Presbyterian hymnal, “Glory to God.” He taught a Sunday class at Northwest Presbyterian Church on the English Bible on January 10, and lectured to the Atlanta Friends of the Presbyterian Heritage Center on the Bible at First Presbyterian Church on January 24. In the spring, he has been invited to join Dr. Martin Dotterweich at King University for a series of lectures on the English Bible and Shakespeare. In March, his article, “Singing Our Lives Through the Psalms,” appeared in “The American Organist,” the national journal of the American Guild of Organists.

Rodger Nishioka, Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education, announced his resignation from Columbia Theological Seminary to be the new director of Adult Educational Ministries at the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS. For full story, see

Dominique Robinson, Staff Associate, Contextual Education, closed out 2015 preaching for the AME Zion Christian Education Department’s annual denominational gathering. In January, Dominique served as the Sermon Evaluator Coordinator for the Academy of Preachers in Lexington, KY; she also was the guest preacher for Calvary Baptist Church there. Dominique led a #MYLIFEMATTERS youth event in Wilmington, NC and preached at St. Stephen AME Zion Church (Asbury Park, NJ) and for Atlanta Medical Center for the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. She also served as the guest preacher for the Welcome Back Vespers Service at Morehouse College. Dominique lectured for the SM510C course at CTS on “Social Media and Ministry.” In February, Dominique lectured at Candler School of Theology on “Social Media Linguistics and the iHomiletic™.” She also co-lectured at Yale Divinity School with Dr. Rodger Nishioka on “Adolescence, Joy and Resilience: How Adolescents Bounce Back in the Face of Adversity” for the Youth Ministry Initiative. Dominique preached the closing worship experience for CTS’ Ash Wednesday Day of Reconciliation and Reflection; the kick-off of The Encounter, a young adult 3rd Fridays worship experience, at Berean Christian Church (Stone Mountain, GA); the culmination service for Youth Week at Metropolitan AME Zion Church (Kansas City, MO). In March, Dominique preached at Crossroads AME Zion Church (Marshville, NC), Rock Grove AME Zion Church (Rock Hill, SC), and Neely Grove AME Zion Church (Gastonia, NC). She taught at Trinity Baptist Church (Louisville, KY) for their Teen Summit and for Children’s Church at House of Hope ATL. Coming up: In April, Dominique is scheduled to preach at Pulse Church ATL where Board member Rev. Billy Honor is the founding pastor.

Michael Thompson, Director of Communications, made a Sunday School presentation with his wife Caryn at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Conyers, GA on behalf of NAMI Rockdale/Newton on the “Faces of Mental Illness.”

Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., Associate Professor of Ministry, offered the pastoral prayer at Faith AME Zion Church the Sunday after Rev. Clemente Pickney and 8 church leaders were slain at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, SC. His pastoral prayer is included in a book edited by Rev. Thomas Ball, A Storm Has Passed Over, a collection of prayers and sermons delivered at churches in Atlanta on the Sunday following the murders of the Charleston 9. He preached Pastoral Appreciation Services for Rev. Dr. Travis Harris of Zion Baptist Church in Marietta, GA and Rev. Reginald Morton of Faith A.M.E. Zion Church in Atlanta. He reported on the ministry of the churches of the Atlanta District and on his labors as Presiding Elder of the Atlanta District at the Georgia Annual Conference, held at Shaw Temple A.M.E. Zion Church in Smyrna, GA. He completed a 5 year commitment to collaborative research grounded in worship as one of the invited participants to the Collegeville Institute Exploring Integration in Theological Education. He is a contributing writer to a book emerging from this research. Jeffery conducted a leadership training workshop and preached at the Cross Street A.M.E. Zion Church in Middletown, CT. Dr. Tribble attended an American Academy of Religion Society Workshop on Ethnography and Theology. He was an invited presenter on a panel co-sponsored by the AAR Ecclesial Practices Group and the Religion and Social Sciences Group which highlighted a plurality of considerations and approaches to the intersection of social science and theology through ethnographic research. He and Rev. Cherlyn W. Tribble facilitated a life group session for engaged and newly married couples at Truthville 2015, the Winter Meeting of the Christian Education Department of the A.M.E. Zion Church, held in New Orleans, LA. At that same meeting, Jeffery facilitated a life group session for preachers and led a discussion of a case study that he wrote with members of the Presiding Elders Council of the AME Zion Church. He responded to questions in the first of several Candidate Forums with other Candidates for Bishop in the A.M.E. Zion Church at Truthville 2015. He attended the South Atlantic Episcopal District Convocation, Ordination Service, and Checkup meeting at the Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center in Rock Hill, SC. At this checkup meeting, he was named supply pastor of the Wood Station-Napier Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, a small rural congregation in North Georgia. He was a participant in a Presiding Elder's Retreat with Presiding Elders of the South Atlantic Episcopal District, Central North Carolina Conference, and North Carolina  Conference at the Kenneth Monroe Transformation Center. The Steering Committee for the Celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary selected him as one of 45 Outstanding Black Alums. When selecting this persons, the committee looked for persons "who are outstanding in their person, excellent practitioners in their ministries, and demonstrate a commitment to seeking justice." Coming up: Jeffery will be on sabbatical during the Spring and Extended Spring semesters doing research on "jazz as a metaphor for ministry." He is an invited participant in a one week writing workshop which will be held at the Collegeville Institute. In addition, he will be traveling to various conferences of the AME Zion Church as a Candidate for Bishop in the A.M.E. Zion Church. The election of bishops will take place at the A.M.E. Zion General Conference July 20-27, 2016 in Greensboro, NC.

Haruko Nawata Ward, Associate Professor of Church History, contributed a chapter, ”Women Apostles in Early Modern Japan, 1549-1650,” in Devout Laywomen in the Early Modern World, ed. Alison Weber, Ashgate Publishing, 2016. At Columbia Theological Seminary, she served as a panelist for Bible, Empire, and Reception History Conference on November 19, 2015. She served as a panelist and led a workshop, “Grounded in Conversation with the Women from the Reformations World,”  for Grounded: Exploring the Sense of the Sacred Within Us and the World event with Diana Butler Bass at the Center for Life Long Learning on January 20. She serves on the board and steering committee of Pacific Asian North Asian American Women in Theology and Ministry, and chaired a panel of paper presentations at its 31st annual meeting on “Activism for Social Transformation in the Urban Context” at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on March 10-13.

Ralph Basui Watkins, Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, participated with the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies in November 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.” Ralph was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Apex Museum in Atlanta, GA. He led a Wabash Teaching Fellowship Workshop for Pre-Tenure Religion Faculty of African Descent in Mustang Island, TX. Ralph preached for the Church Anniversary at St. Mark Baptist Church, Columbus, GA.

Debra Weir, Associate Director Spirituality and Lifelong Learning, will lead with Brennan Breed, Beth Johnson, and Carl McColman, the Immersion Experience: An Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life for the Certificate in Spiritual Formation Program. She will co-lead with Jim Dant Incarnation: Theology, Tradition and Practice of Spiritual Direction in the Certificate in Spiritual Formation. Coming up: Debra will attend the Spiritual Director’s International Conference in San Diego, CA, April 7-10, participating in the Leadership Institute for Spiritual Direction program leaders. In May Debra will co-lead with Maria Tattu-Bowen Supervision Training for Spiritual Directors at Columbia Seminary.

Christine Roy Yoder, Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis, taught a sample class on Esther in February to students from the University of Georgia and the University of Alabama who are participating in a Lilly Endowment funded and FTE administered program called Campus Ministry Theological Exploration of Vocation. In March, she is leading the Women’s Retreat for Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA at Camp Calvin, Hampton, GA. The title of the retreat is “On Desire and Flourishing.” Coming up: In April, Christine will be the speaker for the Currie Enrichment Series at First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville, TX. She is the author of an article titled “Sheaves, Shouts, and Shavuot: Reflections on Joy” forthcoming in Journal for Preachers (Pentecost, 2016). She is the editor of a volume titled “The Senses in Israelite Wisdom Literature” of the peer-reviewed journal Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming spring/summer 2016).

William Yoo, Assistant Professor of American Religious and Cultural History, visited Newnan Presbyterian Church in Newnan, GA, with two current Columbia Theological Seminary students, Colleen Cook and Jocelyn Wildhack, to preach and lead worship for Theological Education Sunday on September 20. He visited the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, PA, 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 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and to conduct archival research for his book project with Routledge, American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Changing Shape of World Christianity, 1884-1965. He participated in the Wabash Center’s Teaching and Learning Workshop for Pre-Tenure Theological School Faculty from January 7 to 10 in Corpus Christi, TX. He is a new contributor to The Christian Century Then and Now blog, which seeks to connect current issues in our society with historical and theological reflection. His first essay, “Immigration as threat and opportunity,” was published on February 10. He preached at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA, on February 14. He co-led a workshop with Professor Mark Douglas during the NEXT Church Conference on February 22 in Atlanta, GA. He will lead a seminar for the Flint River Presbytery’s Celebration of Faith event from March 4 to 6 in Cordele, GA. Coming up: He will present a paper, "Competing for Converts with U.S. Missionaries in Korea: Malcolm Fenwick and the Canadian Protestant Missionary Experience, 1889-1917," at the American Society of Church History Spring Meeting from April 8 to 10 in Edmonton, Canada.