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

Alumni & Alumnae

Hunger and Harvest at North Decatur Presbyterian Church

Date: 10/9/2014 - 12/14/2014

We’ve all seen the films, read the books: our food system is broken. Environmental degradation grows more severe as food insecurity and hunger increase in urban and rural communities around the world. What are Christians to do in the face of such brokenness? Dr. Jennifer Ayres, Assistant Professor of Religious Education at Candler School of Theology leads a team of teachers in a class for those at North Decatur Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community who wish:

  • gain a basic understanding of the environmental, nutritional, economic, and cultural complexities of the food system; 
  • recall our theological and biblical roots in a shared communion meal; and
  • envision faithful responses to the challenges of food insecurity, changes in global agriculture, and the economic security of farmers and laborers. 

Time: 9:30-10:30 AM

Dates: October 19 through December 14 (excluding November 30)

Location: Large Classroom (in lower level of the Sanctuary building).

Spirituality Week at VA Medical Center

Date: 10/20/2014 - 10/23/2014

Care for the care giver is the underlying theme for the Annual Spirituality Week  hosted by the Chaplain Services office at the Atlanta VA Medical Center this October. (Columbia Seminary alumna and 2014 Pioneer Award winner Dorie Griggs is one of the chaplains organizing the event.) A series of lectures will address variations of the theme, “Spiritual Well Being.” The events are free and open to the public. Spirituality week will be held Oct. 21-23, in the chapel on the first floor of the Atlanta VA Medical Center. 1670 Clairmont Road, Decatur, GA 30033. Speakers and topics include:

  • Monday Oct. 20, 9:30 – 12:00: Dr. Edward P. Wimberly, Interdenominational Theological Center will speak on “Clergy Self-Care.”
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22, 11:30 – 1:00: Dr. Michael Saenger, FACP, Empower Veterans, Atlanta VA Medical Center, “Spirituality and Medicine.”
  • Thursday, Oct. 23, 9:30 – 12:00: The Rev. Dr. Pamela Cooper-White, Columbia Theological Seminary, “Tending to One’s Own Spiritual Self”

Plenty of free parking and a shuttle are available at the Briarcliff Baptist Church parking lot, 3065 Briarcliff Rd. Please call the Chaplain Services office with questions, 404-321-6111 ext. 6870

Theological Chocolate

Date: 10/20/2014 - 10/24/2014

For Theological Libraries Month. Theological Chocolate all week in the library lobby.

Card Making at SPACE

Date: 10/21/2014
Time: 7:30 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7:30pm: Card Making. Now's the time to try your hand at making greeting cards! Paper, stamps, and other supplies are provided, but if you've got stuff laying around feel free to bring supplies of your own. Questions? Talk to Katy Walters. (While this is a very relaxed time in the SPACE, Katy will be there to provide card making wisdom if you need it.)

Coffee will be provided all day in the library lobby

Date: 10/21/2014

For Theological Libraries Month. Coffee will be provided all day in the library lobby.

Sam Burchfield Concert

Date: 10/26/2014
Time: 8:30 pm

On Sunday October 26 at 8:30 PM, Columbia will be hosting a concert by Sam Burchfield in the Harrington Auditorium.  Sam is a local rising musician, with a history in American Idol and a recently produced album- Where to Run. Sam's sound can be described as soulful funk, and his music can be found on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube!  Join us on the 26th for an evening of incredible talent! Admission is free, and parking may be found behind the library. We hope to see you there!

Smyth Lecture Display

Date: 10/28/2014

Books and articles by Kathleen Callahan in the Library lobby. Distinguished scholar Dr. Kathleen A. Cahalan of Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary and Director of the Collegeville Institute Seminars will present the Smyth Lectures at Columbia Theological Seminary on October 28-30, 2014. The series of three lectures will be offered free to the public each day in the Harrington Center Chapel on the seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA. For more information about Kathleen Cahalan and the Smyth Lectures, please visit:

Smyth Lectures with Kathleen Cahalan

Date: 10/28/2014 - 10/30/2014

Distinguished scholar Dr. Kathleen A. Cahalan of Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary and Director of the Collegeville Institute Seminars will present the Smyth Lectures at Columbia Theological Seminary on October 28-30, 2014. The series of three lectures will be offered free to the public each day in the Harrington Center Chapel on the seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA.  

  • Tuesday, 7pm: Called to Profess: Why Vocation Matters in the Work We Do
  • Wednesday, 12 noon: Toward Practical Wisdom: Integrative Teaching and Learning in Theological Education
  • Thursday, 12 noon: Spiritual Practice for the Sake of Practical Wisdom: On Discernment, Humility, and Unknowing

The Smyth Lectures were established at Columbia Seminary in 1911 by the bequest of the Rev. Thomas Smyth, pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The aim was to establish “a course of lectures on the fundamental principles of the Christian faith.”  The Smyth Lectures are presented to the seminary community each year and are open to all ministers, lay people and members of the community who wish to attend. For more information about Kathleen Cahalan and the Smyth Lectures, please visit:

Webinar on Revisions to PCUSA Directory for Worship

Date: 10/28/2014
Time: 2:00 pm

A webinar on the proposed revisions to the PCUSA Directory for Worship will be presented on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Anyone who is interested is invited to gather in BLC E211 to listen in. Following a request of the General Assembly, a staff team worked in consultation with a diverse group of pastors, professors, and mid-council leaders to develop a draft to send to the 220th General Assembly (2014). The General Assembly voted to send the draft revision to the church for a year-long period of study and comment, ending July 1, 2015. The proposed revision is not a new Directory for Worship. It seeks to preserve the spirit and strength of precursor documents—a tradition that has shaped Presbyterian worship from 1645 to the present, more than 350 years. At the same time, this is a thorough revision, seeking to speak clearly, authentically, and faithfully to this church in this time and place. Certain principles shaped the work of revision: 

  • to uphold the essentials of Reformed faith, life, and worship;
  • to respond to changing contexts, changing congregations;
  • to allow for more flexibility and diverse cultural expressions;
  • to use “we” language (vs. “they”) for the people of God;
  • to streamline contents and provide user-friendly organization;
  • to simplify language and rewrite in a more accessible style;
  • to reduce verbiage and eliminate redundancy; and
  • to enhance the Directory’s usefulness as a teaching document. 
A link to the proposed revision can be found at

Not One More: Ending Gun Violence in Georgia

Date: 11/14/2014 - 11/15/2014

Please consider inviting one or more members of your congregation who have an interest

in peace and justice! This will be a multi-faith event of advocacy and action with featured speakers for Friday and Saturday:


Rev. Jim Atwood, Presbyterian minister and author

Joshua Horwitz, Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence

Friday, November 14th 6 p.m.

Shabbat Service at The Temple, Atlanta

followed by a presentation and Q&A with Rev. Jim Atwood and Josh Horowitz


Saturday, November 15th 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Central Presbyterian Church, Atlanta Presentations, Workshops, Networking, and a Service of Remembrance for victims of gun violence in Georgia


For information, contact: Laura Bordeaux at 404-370-0945 or

Leadership in Ministry Workshop (Atlanta) NEW Extended Learning Opportunity

Pastoral Excellence Program

Date: 11/17/2014 - 11/19/2014

Dates:             Session I - Nov. 17-19, 2014

                      Session II – March 9-11, 2015

The Center for Lifelong Learning is a new location for Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops beginning in the fall of 2014. Participants will learn how the concepts of family emotional process can be applied to their own ministry contexts, and, explore the theological implications of these concepts. This program is comprised of two three-day sessions (fall and spring). Each session follows the themes of Dr. Edwin Friedman’s book, Generation to Generation, with one day devoted to each of the minister’s three interlocking families: the minister’s own personal family (nuclear and extended), congregation member families and the congregation as a family. 

The Program fee of $480 includes all program fees, refreshments and six meals for each session (dinner Monday through lunch Wednesday). Thanks to a generous grant from the Pastoral Excellence Network (PEN) two nights of housing on campus is prvoided.

Details and registration 

Preaching the Verbs - A New Approach to Preaching

Date: 5/4/2015 - 5/6/2015

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 puts a twist on dramatic theory and invites us to read the biblical “script” by focusing on the verbs that are given and chosen by the characters. What new things will we see and hear 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

Want to stay for an entire week, for independent study/worship planning? See extended stay housing option, or indicate on registration form number of additional nights (departure Friday, May 8).