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

Lifelong Learning

Who Is Jesus? What a Difference a Lens Makes

(2016-17 Horizons Bible Study Author Course)

Date: 8/1/2016 - 8/3/2016

This is the popular author’s course designed to prepare leaders of the Horizons Bible Study for the coming year.  Who Is Jesus? What a Difference a Lens Makes invites leaders and participants of Presbyterian Women Circles and church school study groups to look through nine different lenses referring to Jesus. Course participants will share with  ne another how they  see and experience the various lenses and how these different perspectives impact who they understand Jesus to be, the implications for being his disciple, and how to facilitate learning in their study groups.. Join Judy Yates Siker, author of this year’s study, for this event. Early registration and discounts for 2+ from same group available.

Please note that there will not be a weekend version of the Horizon's Bible Study leader training this year.

Instructor: Judy Yates Siker

Details and Registration

Immersion Experience: An Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 8/4/2016 - 8/7/2016

Discover the key ideas and foundational practices for the grand adventure of a deeper spiritual life! During this Thursdayevening - Sunday afternoon course, you will explore the origins of the Christian spiritual tradition, while learning the formative elements of Biblical, monastic, and Christian spirituality from the Reformation onward. The schedule includes time for personal reflection through guided journaling — an exercise for exploring your own unique journey with the living God. You will also get to know fellow participants in small group and one-on-one settings, which will support your practical application of the knowledge acquired throughout the course 

Instructors: CTS Faculty

Money and Your Ministry

Online Course

Date: 8/8/2016 - 8/31/2016

Money and Your Ministry

Using the current book by Margaret Marcuson by the same title, this course will focus on helping participants interpret and reframe their understanding about money in the congregation and approach the issue of money in the church from a less anxious frame of reference. 

Instructor: Margaret Marcuson

Details and Registration

Readings in Christian Spiritual Classics: St. Augustine’s Confessions, an online course

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 8/8/2016 - 9/30/2016

This course is part of a series (“Readings in Christian Spiritual Classics”) for persons interested in learning more about the classic literature and writings that have shaped Christian spirituality over the centuries. Through selected readings in the literature, studies, and writings of celebrated writers and Christian spirituality, participants will review current topics and trends that impact and inform personal spirituality and ministry practice. This course’s focus is on St. Augustine’s Confessions.

Instructor: Deedra Rich

Details and Registration


Pastoral Excellence Program

Date: 8/15/2016 - 1/25/2017

Dates: Session I - August 15 -17, 2016

          Session II – January 23 - 25, 2017

The Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy is part of the Pastoral Excellence Program of the Center for Lifelong Learning. It is designed for mid-career clergy (fifteen to twenty-five years into full time ministry) who are seeking to participate in a professional formative conversation or to reflect on their vocational experience, and assess their ability to meet the leadership demands/needs of their organization. Attention will be given to addressing common experiences and issues of mid-career clergy: facing either a normative or unanticipated career transition, standing at a vocational crossroads of some sort, engaging in reflective self-assessment, and finding support among peers.

Participation in this event is by application only. For an application form, click HERE. The application deadline is open until filled; applicants accepted to the colloquy will be notified within a week of their application. Participants must commit to attending both sessions, August 15-17, 2016 and January 23-25, 2017. For additional information about the CMCC, click HERE.

Leading a Congregation toward a Life of Generosity

Date: 9/13/2016 - 9/15/2016

This program is for pastors and other church leaders who are willing to engage in personal reflection regarding generosity and to look at their own congregation’s relationship to generosity for the purpose of living “the life that really is life” (I Timothy 6:20). Participants will learn approaches to strengthen their own capacity, and that of their congregation or ministry, for generous living.

Chuck and Laura Mendenhall

Details and Registration

Guthrie Scholars 2016

Date: 9/19/2016 - 9/23/2016

The Guthrie Scholars Program is a learning opportunity offered in the fall on an application basis. Selected applicants are invited to campus to pursue their topic of choice focusing on a pressing theological issue of the church from a Reformed perspective. The program covers the cost of a single room and meals in the dining hall during the week. Applications reviewed as they are received, and enrollment is limited. Additional information including the program brochure and application may be found on the seminary website,

Henri J. M. Nouwen: Be Still! Be Loved! Be Grateful! Three Imperatives of the Spiritual Life

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 9/22/2016 - 9/25/2016

Henri Nouwen, the author and priest who described the minister—every Christianas The Wounded Healer, published 40 books on the spiritual life during his lifetime, and more were published posthumously. Readers of his serious reflections who never had the opportunity to meet or hear him may miss his charisma, humor, and playful personality. His student and lifelong friend Chris Glaser brings these dimensions into a review of Nouwen’s contributions to Christian spirituality through personal stories, audio and video.

Instructor: Chris Glaser

Details and Registration

Non-Profit Business Management

Compass Points Certificate Program Course

Date: 9/25/2016 - 9/28/2016

This class will cover a wide range of topics relevant to the managing a non-profit business including communications, governance, risk management, finances, and a basic business plan. This course will be held at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (Oregon, IL). 

Instructors: Dan Scheneman of Heartland Presbyterian Center (Parkville, MO) and Lauri SoJourner of Gravatt Camp and Conference Center (Aiken, SC). Registration information will be posted when available.

Questions about Compass Points Program? Contact Joel Winchip, PCCCA Executive Director, at or803.322.0232.


Compass Points Certificate Program Course

Date: 9/28/2016 - 10/1/2016

The class will examine multiple aspects of development in the camp and conference setting. Learners will explore fund development as well as staff, volunteer, and board development. The class will conclude with study of a site, master, and strategic development plan. This course will be held at Lutheran Outdoor Ministries Center (Oregon, IL). 

Instructors: Scott Henderson of Meadowkirk (Middleburg, VA) and Mike Huber of Upper New York Annual Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries (Moravia, NY). Registration information will be posted when available. Questions about Compass Points? Contact Joel Winchip, PCCCA Executive Director, at or803.322.0232.

The Role of the Minister in a Dying Congregation

An Online Course

Date: 10/3/2016 - 10/28/2016

In our success-driven culture the topic of dying congregations is taboo, yet that is the reality many pastors and congregations struggle through with little guidance for discernment. Using the book by the same title, this course will focus on helping clergy and laypersons explore the challenges of pasturing and leading in a dying congregation. Author Woody Jenkins provides a forum and resource for church leaders for one of the most critical issues facing congregations today: how to help a congregation conclude its ministry life cycle with dignity and meaning.   

Instructor: Dr. Woody Jenkins

Details and Registration

Governance and Ministry: The Art of Cultivating Staff-Board Partnerships

Date: 10/5/2016 - 10/7/2016

Congregations thrive when lay and professional leaders lead as partners, and a fruitful partnership requires clear understandings about how decisions will be made. This course will help leaders develop administrative boards (councils, sessions, vestries, etc.) that delegate effectively, demand high performance, require sound stewardship, and reflect continually on mission and purpose at board meetings and in wider gatherings.  Seminar participants will explore an approach that supports a purpose-driven work environment for clergy, staff, and volunteers, so that they enjoy appropriate autonomy and space for creative work.

Instructor: Rev. Dan Hotchkiss, author, consultant and Unitarian Universalist minister.

Details and Registration

Practicing Sabbath

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 10/20/2016 - 10/23/2016

Sabbath keeping is a central and persistent theme in biblical theology, and as a spiritual practice it has the potential to reorient our lives towards God’s re-creative and rejuvenating love. The goal of this course is to re-discover the purpose, place, and practice of Sabbath in our Christian lives and spiritual formation. In doing so, we will come to understand Sabbath keeping as more than just a good idea for managing busyness or as a way of obeying an ancient commandment. Rather, we will explore Sabbath as divine gift—that is, as a disruptive and daring invitation to experiment with meaningful play, restorative rest, sensual holiness, and communal feasting.  In short, this course focuses on how Sabbath keeping entails encountering God’s shalom and delight in a way that roots our Christian identities and resists the cultural idolatries of production and performance. 

Instructor: Ryan Bonfiglio

Details and Registration

Talking Politics During Polarized Times

Date: 10/21/2016

The church is one of the few places left in society where persons of diverse political perspectives still gather together and talk--and its place as a community of moral discourse in this regard is receding. One reason for this is that the mainline churches have (mostly) avoided giving too much attention to the wider political debates.  Yet this is not only decreasingly an option, it's not founded on very good theology. This one-day program is for clergy and others who want to think about how to deal with public political issues as a church during the run-up to the 2016 national elections. It includes two keynote addresses (one in the morning, one in the afternoon) and the opportunity to participate in two workshops in the afternoon.

Keynote speaker: James Calvin Davis, professor of religious ethics at Middlebury College.

Details and Registrations

Preaching the Verbs II

Date: 10/24/2016 - 10/26/2016

Back by popular demand, this seminar will teach you to read the biblical "script" by focusing on the verbs that are given and chosen by the characters. If you do a quick survey of any bible passage, you’ll find that the verbs dominate. It’s what we do and don’t do that preoccupies human beings. And it’s the verbs we cannot imagine for ourselves (live, liberate, forgive, resurrect) that the church offers, and that we reach for, week after week. Dr. Anna Carter Florence and Rev. Khalia Williams put a twist on dramatic theory and invite us to see and hear new things in both our sacred text and our human drama when we connect the verbs. How can that, in turn, change and renew our preaching?

Instructors:  Dr. Anna Carter Florence, John Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, assisted by Rev. Khalia Williams, Chapel Coordinator and Adjunct Professor of Worship and Preaching.

Details and Registration

Contemporary Readings in Christian Education: Christian Formation

Online Course

Date: 10/31/2016 - 12/2/2016

This course is part of the “Contemporary Readings Series” for persons interested in deepening their understanding of contemporary issues in Christian Education. Through selected readings in the literature, studies, and writings of contemporary writers and researchers in the field of Christian Education, participants will review current topics and trends that impact and inform ministry practice. This year’s focus is on the subject of “formation,” a popular phrase that has almost replaced “education” as an approach to educating in faith in congregations. It’s a concept many use, but few may really understand. This is a five week online course. Dates: October 31 to December 2, 2016. The cost of this course is $180.00. Early registration discount at $150.00 applies through September 30, 2016.

Desert Spiritual Traditions of the Southwest Domestic Pilgrimage

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 11/1/2016 - 11/13/2016

Pilgrimage is one of the oldest and most important spiritual disciplines, and the capstone of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation.  In this pilgrimage we will explore the Desert Southwest in northern New Mexico and engage many of the diverse spiritual traditions that settled there.  Daily excursions will include communities such as Monastery of Christ in the Desert, Chimayo, Dar al Islam Mosque, Taos Hanuman Temple, and Taos , Santa Clara, and Tesuque Pueblos.  We will be staying on Ghost Ranch at Casa Del Sol.  This pilgrimage is jointly sponsored by Columbia and Pittsburgh Theological Seminaries and will include leaders and participants from both programs.  Space is still available for those who are nearing completion of the certificate.

Information and Application

Now accepting applications through May 20, 2016!

Growing Into Tomorrow, Today (A Board of Pensions Seminar)

Date: 11/1/2016 - 11/2/2016

Planning for retirement can be challenging. This free two-day seminary is for members of the PCUSA Board of Pensions and guests planning to retire within the next fifteen years. Look beyond finances to inform, educate, and inspire a journey toward wholeness in retirement. Seminar attendees will identify key questions for discernment; assess their finances, options for saving before retirement, and reasonable expectations for retirement living; define and discuss retirement healthcare and housing options; and create their next steps in life balance, relationships, housing, health and finances. The seminar will be led by a Board of Pensions Education Specialist and retirement planning consultants. Seating is limited to 30 participants. Registration for this seminar will open in July 2016. For questions, please contact Board University at or 800-773-7752, extension 7223. NOTE: Following registration through the Board of Pensions, participants will receive detailed instructions about how to register for housing and meals.

Render Unto Caesar (A Board of Pensions Seminar)

Date: 11/3/2016

Terms of call and clergy taxes can be complicated. This free one-day seminar is for those involved in church finances. Addressing how to structure terms of call to be more cost-effective and to clarify clergy tax issues, it’s designed for church treasurers, business administrators, active clergy, and session or mid council leaders. Participants will be able to find Board resources to assist you in their role; summarize Traditional Program benefits coverage and options; define clergy tax and housing allowance basics; recognize the benefits of reimbursements versus allowances; illustrate structuring terms of call and calculating effective salary; and identify the benefits of saving for retirement with the 403 (b)(9) Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) The seminar will be led by a Board of Pensions Education Specialist. Seating is limited to 30 participants. Registration for this seminar will open in July 2016. For questions, please contact Board University at or 800-773-7752, extension 7223. Note: Following registration, participants will receive detailed instructions how to register for housing and meals.

Growing in Discernment: Attuning our Spiritual Senses

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 11/7/2016 - 11/11/2016

Interest in discernment has grown significantly over the past few decades. An ancient spiritual practice, it is once again being recognized and embraced as a timely and practical means of grace.

This class will explore the nature of spiritual discernment, and a number of practical patterns that can help open our spiritual sensibilities to the gift of growing clarity, both individually and in small groups. 

Instructor: Marjorie Thompson

Details and Registration

Leadership in Ministry Workshops at Atlanta

Date: 11/14/2016 - 3/8/2017

The Leadership in Ministry Workshops at Atlanta is an on-going twice-a-year peer-based clergy leadership development program meeting at the Center for Lifelong Learning. Each annual workshop meets for two sessions (fall and spring) but the program is, by design, an ongoing leadership development program. Some participants have attended for several years, with some participating for almost a decade, reaping the benefits of long-term commitment to personal and professional growth. This program’s goals are to:

  • provide a peer-learning forum for clergy to explore the issues particular to their congregational contexts
  • help participants develop a theoretical framework for interpreting practice and context using Bowen Systems Theory
  • help clergy accurately identify and name the particular challenges of ministry in their context
  • provide clergy with a safe and stimulating peer group experience for renewal and challenge.

The Leadership in Ministry workshops will apply Bowen Family Systems Theory as further developed by Edwin Friedman, author of Generation to Generation and A Failure of Nerve, to ministerial and organizational leadership. The majority of time is spent in small group case studies led by participants and facilitated by experienced faculty coaches. As such, participants work to apply the theory to the “real world” realities of their ministry context.

Details and Registration

Polarization and the Healthier Church: Applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to Conflict and Change in Society and Congregational Life (Flint River IV)

Date: 11/16/2016 - 11/18/2016

Polarization is endemic in North American society. The polarized issues that exist today are not new. What is different today, though, is the intensity of anger and hatred we experience. Building on many of the strategies offered in his earlier book, Creating a Healthier Church, the practical strategies explored in this seminar are based on his own successful approach to guiding church leaders, congregations, and community groups from conflict to understanding and cooperation. The application of Bowen family systems theory to the work of church leadership provides effective approaches to resolving divisive issues before they do irreparable damage to the church community.  This event is for members of the Flint River Presbytery is made possible by a partnership between the Center for Lifelong Learning and the Flint River Presbytery; enrollment limited to members of the Presbytery.

Instructor: Ronald C. Richardson 

India Travel Seminar Application

Date: 12/28/2016 - 1/11/2017

Applications are due August 15, 2016

Exciting New Opportunity!  This seminar will introduce participants to multiple forms of Christianity in South India.  We will seek to explore questions: what can we learn about Christianity from such a context?  How can the encounter with Indian Christian communities enrich and complicate our own Christian self-understanding? 

Leaders:  Martha Moore-Keish, Raj Nadella


India Travel Seminar Booklet

History of Western Christian Spirituality

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 1/26/2017 - 1/29/2017

Today many Christians seek what worked in the past as well as a search for new structures and patterns.  In this course we will study three historic periods in which there was agreement about what form Christian spirituality has for everyone who wishes to be spiritual. We will then consider what is helpful at the present time.

Instructor: Catherine Gonzalez

Details and Registration

Developing Lay Leaders

Date: 2/6/2017 - 2/8/2017

Without a doubt, a congregation’s greatest resource for realizing its mission and ministries, within and beyond the church, is its membership. In this course, led by Dr. Eugenia Freiburger, nationally-recognized expert in lay mobilization, participants will learn ways and means for developing and mobilizing lay leaders in the congregation. Learn how your church can develop persons within congregations for leadership roles and ministry functions. Issues of vocational Christian calling, spiritual gifts, the mission of the church, and the role of laypersons in ministry will be examined. Participants will learn practical strategies for developing effective lay ministries in their congregations.  

Instructor: Eugenia C. Freiburger  

Spirituality of Marginality

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 2/9/2017 - 2/12/2017

This weekend seminar will explore expressions of spirituality emerging from the Asian North American ecclesial communities that have largely been shaped by experiences of marginality, the sense of living in-between two worlds or existing on the boundaries of cultural norms.  Experiences of living on the edges can provide communities creative opportunities toward new ways of seeing and living that can transcend boundaries.  Anthropologists like Victor and Edith Turner have referred to this potential creative communal reality as communitas or “beloved community.”

Although the main theological and spiritual resources will be drawn from Asian North American reflections, the seminar will encourage students to formulate and construct one’s own theology and spirituality of marginality that is experientially rich, theologically sound, and contextually authentic to the student’s ministry context. 

 Instructor: Kevin Park

Details and Registration

Seven Concepts That Will Change Your Teaching

Date: 2/13/2017 - 2/15/2017

Has your teaching become routine? Is your bag of teaching tricks and methods running thin? Do you want to be more effective in your teaching? This program is for congregational educators—lay teachers, pastors, teaching staff, program staff who want to be more effective in their teaching. This is a three day educational workshop for personal and professional development in the area of teaching and learning in the congregational context.

Participants will be introduced to seven powerful concepts (“big ideas”) about teaching and learning that will form a framework for new ways to approach teaching and learning in work and ministry.

Instructor: Israel Galindo

Details and Registration

Illuminating the Text

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 2/19/2017 - 2/22/2017

How do we understand “illuminating” or “bringing light to” the texts and context of our faith?  We invite you to consider this question as we delve into the first handwritten, illuminated Bible of its scale in over 500 years: the St. John’s Bible. With the Heritage edition of the Gospel/Acts volume of the St. John’s Bible for you to see, touch, experience and use, we will view and discuss the actual illuminations, study scripture, explore the rich tradition of icons and global calligraphic renderings of texts, and use an artistic approach to lectio divina. We will also engage in group and individual illumination projects to take home and share, as we celebrate the conversation between arts and theology.

Come explore the Saint John’s Bible, a work of art that unites a medieval Benedictine tradition with the technology and vision of today, illuminating the Word of God for a new millennium! 


Instructor: Ann Laird Jones

Details and Registration 

The Enduring Spirituality of Howard Thurman

Spirituality Program Half-Day Retreat

Date: 3/4/2017

Howard Thurman always encouraged people to “center down," embrace quietness, befriend stillness, and cultivate a relationship with silence. Mystic, theologian, and spiritual adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurman possessed the uncanny and prophetic ability to make a connection between silence and the scrutiny of one’s inner life. In this retreat we will witness with silence, centering prayer, readings, journaling, and connecting with nature the contemplative practices Howard Thurman promoted. We will experience how his enduring spirituality can be employed to free ourselves and others in a contemporary context.

Instructors: Lerita Coleman-Brown

Details and Registrations

Pastoral Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Date: 3/9/2017 - 3/10/2017

This interactive seminar is intended for persons in pastoral and ministry leadership roles who want to develop their emotional intelligence (EI) and learn how to access and use their EI in the practice of pastoral leadership. Emotional intelligence is the awareness of and learning how to manage one’s emotions, reactions, and responses to stress and anxiety in interpersonal and corporate relationships. For church leaders, developing emotional intelligence can be a crucial aspect of doing work with others in congregational and community contexts particularly during times of conflict and change.

Instructor: Dr. Michael Lee Cook

Details and Registration

The Process of Aging and the Implications for Ministry

(Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course)

Date: 3/20/2017 - 3/22/2017

Aging is associated with many changes in physical and mental health. These changes vary according to age, gender, ethnicity/race, education, income, and access to health care, as well as nutrition, physical activity, and other health behaviors across the lifespan. This course will explore practical ways that our congregations, families, and caregivers can adapt and respond to these age-related changes to enhance wellbeing and quality of life among older people. 

Instructor: Mary Ann Johnson

Details and Registration

Teaching for Transformation with Older Adults

(Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course)

Date: 3/22/2017 - 3/24/2017

Teaching and learning methods that enhance engagement in, and ownership of, the learning process are as important for older adults as they are for all ages. Explore learning styles, examine effective teaching methods, experience current teaching-learning theories, and consider application to and adaptations for older adults.

Instructor: Joyce MacKichan Walker

Details and Registration

Liturgy of the Hours

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Date: 4/20/2017 - 4/23/2017

The Liturgy of the Hours is a long-practiced discipline of the Christian faith which countless saints have used to gently, patiently, and persistently reshape their lives before God. In a time when Christians and the church are yearning to renew their spiritual vitality, and deepen their faith, Paul Lang recovers this ancient but timeless discipline, with his own musical compositions to lead us in praying the hours.  

Instructor: Paul H. Lang       

Location: Montreat Conference Center

Details and Registration (program)

Housing at Montreat (registration for housing and meals)

The Hidden Lives of Congregations

An Online Course

Date: 2/5/2018 - 3/2/2018

This course is a study of the often unseen congregational dynamics the affect the life of a congregation. Special attention will be given to the nature of congregations as a particular model of the Church. By reading the course textbook, The Hidden Lives of Congregations by Israel Galindo, participating in formal guided discussions, reflecting on their personal experience, and examining latent concepts and assumptions about congregations, Church, and leadership, students will gain a new understanding of their congregation and their leadership roles.

Instructor: Israel Galindo

Details and Registration