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

Courses and Events

Registration at least 4-8 weeks prior to each course is encouraged; pre-course preparation or reading may be required.  Courses may be canceled or postponed if sufficient numbers of participants are not enrolled 3-6 weeks prior to the start date of the event.


Sea Kayaking: An Eco-Travel Seminar

Starting: 12/30/2014
Ending: 1/6/2015

Welcome the New Year amidst the unpredictable beauty of God’s creation. Participants in this eco-travel seminar will spend five days sea kayaking through the Bahamas. We will camp on the islands, learn about environmental ethics, and take time for spiritual renewal. Participants must be of at least average fitness, able to swim, and willing to live “off the grid” for a week. Experience in backpacking/camping and/or kayaking helpful but not necessary. We will learn the skills and best practices for kayak camping and open water travel in a safe and encouraging environment.

Click the booklet below for more details. Three more spaces remain - registration will remain open until Nov. 30. 


Trip leaders: Mark Douglas and Steve Harrington

Details and registration


Lectionary Studies Lent/Easter B through Christmas C (January Seminars)

Starting: 1/20/2015
Ending: 1/23/2015

Designed for the preacher and teacher, this seminar will provide you with a fresh look at lectionary passages (RCL) from Lent B to Christmas C, AND time to use what you learn to polish your worship and preaching plans for the coming liturgical year. Early registration discount through November 1.

Instructors: David Bartlett, Brennan Breed, Erica Durham, Michael Morgan, Raj Nadella and Khalia Williams.

Details and Registration 


Reading Thomas Merton’s Journals as Lectio Divina: An Intimate Way of Reading with Crisis and Mystery

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 1/29/2015
Ending: 2/1/2015

Thomas Merton’s life-long journal project (1939 – 1968) is a key to understanding both his life and developing work. The journals also work like a prayer book. Recorder, catalyst, and an inspiration for books he himself published, the seven volumes of the complete journals, as excerpted in the edited THE INTIMATE MERTON, will be examined through focused study.  This selected gathering of entries, taken from each volume of the complete journals, will be used as material which can be seen to function as fuel for Lectio Divina.

Reading the selections in THE INTIMATE MERTON, the class will do several things. First, we will begin to become familiar with particular passages (and with the 16 journals which have been published – by Merton, or adapted by him, as well as edited by others). Secondly, the course will focus on entries from these selections to understand more fully the process of spiritual journey.  These are entries not just for Merton but for anyone’s spiritual journey. Lastly, it will be possible also to examine many of these entries in detail as a four-step process which clearly encourages rereading and prayer.  

Instructor: Victor Kramer

Details and Registration


S3 2014 Cohort Concluding Retreat

Starting: 2/9/2015
Ending: 2/11/2015

The four peer learning groups in the 2014 Cohort will conclude their work, reflect on their projects, and share lessons learned with one another. The schedule will include ample time to work on group and project evaluations and explore options for continued peer group learning.  Monday evening includes a dinner featuring reports by each group. Participants will receive registration information by December 1, 2014.


A Dwelling Place for God: Discerning Anew the Relations between Creation, Eschatology, and Ecology

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 2/12/2015
Ending: 2/15/2015

This course is especially for those who wish to rediscover a Christian spirituality that is rooted in and integrates creation, worship, justice, and hope. Early Judaism and Christianity both understood the temple as a symbol of the whole creation, an image of heaven and earth as they were meant to be, and as the place where God’s presence was to be found. The early Christians shaped their corporate practices and self-understanding as the “body of Christ” in light of the story of Christ, which depicted Jesus’ body as a living temple (e.g., John 2:23). Images of temple and creation are found throughout the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation. How might reclaiming this material, now largely forgotten or misunderstood, provide us with models of spiritual practice and imagination for people living at the edge of history?

Instructor:  Stan Saunders                                Location:  Columbia Theological Seminary

Details and Registration


Compass Points: Non-Profit Management

(PCCCA Certificate Course)

Starting: 2/22/2015
Ending: 2/25/2015

This class will cover a wide range of topics relevant to managing a non-profit business including communications, governance, risk management, finances, and a basic business plan. It will be taught by Dan Scheneman of Heartland Presbyterian Center (Kansas City, MO) and Lauri Sojourner of Gravatt Camp and Conference Center (Aiken, SC). The location for this course will be Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center in Brownstown, Indiana. To learn more about the Compass Points certification program, go to www.compasspointsprogram.org.


The Seven Concepts That Will Change Your Teaching

Starting: 2/23/2015
Ending: 2/25/2015

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, amd 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


Compass Points: Development

(PCCCA Certificate Course)

Starting: 2/25/2015
Ending: 2/28/2015

The course 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. It will conclude with study of a site, master, and strategic development plan. This class will be taught by Scott Henderson of Meadowkirk at Delta Farm (Middleburg, VA) and Mike Huber of Upper New York Annual Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries (Moravia, NY). The location for this program will be Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center in Brownstown, Indiana. To learn more about the Compass Points certification program, go to www.compasspointsprogram.org. For questions about registration or the Compass Points program in general, please contact Joel Winchip, PCCCA Executive Director,  at joel@pccca.net  or 803.322.0232.


Immersion Experience: An Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 3/8/2015
Ending: 3/11/2015

Discover the key ideas and foundational practices for the grand adventure of life in the Spirit! During this Thursday-Sunday Spirituality Immersion Experience, you will explore the origins of the Christian spiritual tradition, while learning the formative elements of Biblical, monastic, and Reformed spirituality. Our schedule includes time for personal reflection through guided meditative journaling — an exercise for exploring your own unique journey with the living God. Getting to know your fellow students, in both small group and one-on-one settings, will support your practical application of the knowledge acquired over the course.

Location: Montreat Conference Center

Details and Registration


Leadership in Ministry Session II

Pastoral Excellence Program

Starting: 3/8/2015
Ending: 3/11/2015

The Center for Lifelong Learning is a new location for Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops beginning in the fall of 2014. Participants will continue to learn how the concepts of family emotional process can be applied to their own ministry contexts, and explore the theological implications of these concepts, building on their work in November 2014. 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 on-campus housing are provided.


Exploring the Non-Dominant Divine

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 3/19/2015
Ending: 3/22/2015

Two thousand years of Christian history and doctrine have taught a theology of God’s dominion, strongly associated with a masculine naming of the Divine. Yet the Incarnation challenges our notions of domination and dominance.  In addition both modern psychology and spirituality offer insight into how the Holy moves through our “inferior functions” or non-dominant personality structures.

Is it possible that our own non-dominance is in deep resonance with God’s most profound way of being? Through sacred texts, modern and ancient writings, poetry, conversation and journaling, we will explore together what it might mean to celebrate and participate in the Non-Dominant Divine.

Instructor: Marjorie Thompson                Location: Columbia Theological Seminary

Details and Registration


The Process of Aging and Implications for Ministry

Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course

Starting: 4/13/2015
Ending: 4/15/2015

NEW CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN OLDER ADULT MINISTRY

This course will explore practical ways that our congregations, families, and caregivers can adapt and respond to age-related changes in body, mind and spirit in order to enhance the well-being and quality of life among older people.

Leader: Mary Ann Johnson

Details and Registration


The Church: A System of Relationships. An Introduction to Bowen Systems Theory and Congregational Leadership

Starting: 4/14/2015
Ending: 5/1/2015

This course is an introduction to Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) applied to the congregational context and to congregational leadership.  Through formal guided discussions; reflecting on personal experience; and examining latent theological ideals of congregation, Church, and leadership, participants will gain a new understanding of their congregation and their leadership roles. This is an online course

Instructor: Israel Galindo

Details and Registration


Teaching for Transformation with Older Adults

Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course

Starting: 4/16/2015
Ending: 4/18/2015

NEW CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN OLDER ADULT MINISTRY

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.

Leader: Joyce MacKichan Walker

Details and Registration


Thompson Scholars 2015 - Spiritual Pioneers: The Call, Risks and Blessings of Church Development - Application Deadline Extended to JAN. 9, 2015

Starting: 4/21/2015
Ending: 4/24/2015

Thompson Scholars 2015 will explore the topic, “Spiritual Pioneers: The Call, Risks and Blessings of Church Development." This annual event brings together pastors and other church leaders with a special interest in evangelism. Dr. Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., associate professor of ministry at the seminary, will lead the seminar, assisted by Rev. David I. Neville, Jr., D.Min, Rev. Jin S. Kim, D.Min., and Rev. Sara Hayden.

This year’s seminar is designed for those new to church planting and development, or who are tasked with organizing a new worshipping community or revitalizing an existing community. This is an application-based program. Qualified applicants will be accepted until we reach maximum enrollment. For an application form click here. The application deadline is January 9, 2015. Applicants will be notified of their status by January 15, 2015. Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in previous Thompson Scholar seminars. For additional information, including a link to the application, click HERE.


Praying with Julian of Norwich

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 4/23/2015
Ending: 4/26/2015

The fourteenth-century anchoress and teacher of prayer has, in our own era, become recognized as one of Christianity’s most masterful and comforting spiritual guides, as witnessed, for example, by Paulist Press’s choice of her Revelations of Divine Love to initiate its important series of the Classics of Western Spirituality.  During a 24-hour period of serious illness, Julian was drawn into an intense sixteen-part dialogue with Christ on the Cross, during which He “showed” or “revealed” seminal truths which she was to proclaim to all her “fellow Christians.”  These were not new ideas, but rather core truths that had become neglected during the past centuries, some of which indeed seemed to contradict some of the major emphases of the Christianity of her era.

By reading carefully the Long Text of Julian’s Revelations, this class will examine and  meditate on those key insights into God’s relationship to Creation as revealed to her expressly for the sake of us, those “fellow Christians” of whom she is so aware--God’s non-condemnatory love and goodness constantly active in all that exists; humankind’s partnership with God through life in the Trinity; God as Mother, courteous, familiar, easy to be with; and Jesus’ astounding promise to the whole world “that all shall be well.”

Instructor:
Dewey Kramer
Location: Montreat Conference Center, lodging information here

Details and registration


Preaching the Verbs - A New Approach to Preaching

Starting: 5/4/2015
Ending: 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).


Water (Horizons Bible Study - Weekday)

Starting: 8/3/2015
Ending: 8/5/2015

Leader: Judy Fletcher, author of the 2015 study guide

Details and registration coming soon!


New Course: Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy

Pastoral Excellence Program

Starting: 8/10/2015
Ending: 8/12/2015

Dates:             Session I - August 10 - 12, 2015

                      Session II – January 11 - 13, 2016

This new, application-based program is designed for mid-career clergy (ten to twenty years into full-time ministry). Applicants should desire to participate in a professional formative conversation, 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.

For an application form, click HERE. The application deadline is April 15, 2015. Applicants will be selected and notified in May. Enrollment is limited and attendance is required at both sessions. For additional information, including a link to the application, click here.

Instructors: Dr. Betty Pugh Mills, Rev. Jonathan Ball


Water (Horizons Bible Study - Weekend)

Starting: 8/14/2015
Ending: 8/15/2015

Leader: Linda Morningstar

Details and registration coming soon!


Writing for Publication with a Religious Voice

Starting: 8/28/2015
Ending: 8/29/2015

Leader:  Beth Waltemath 

Details and registration coming soon!


Using Dialogical Learning in Bible Study: Moving from the Sage on the Stage to the Guide on the Side

An Online Course

Starting: 9/1/2015
Ending: 9/30/2015

Using the book by author and educator Israel Galindo this course will help participants reframe their approach to Bible study in the congregational setting. The dialogical learning method will help participants move from being the “sage on the stage to the guide on the side,” and create a more meaningful learning experience for their learners.

This program is for congregational teachers, clergy, or Bible teachers in other contexts. This online study will guide the participant through the process of learning about and developing the dialogical learning method based on the book by Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, How To Be The Best Christian Study Group Leader (Judson). The dialogical method will help teachers change their approach to teaching from teacher-centered to student-focused.

This course begins September 1 and ends September 30, 2015. Early registration discount deadline is August 15, 2015. Register early!

Instructors: Dr. Steven Booth and Dr. Israel Galindo

Details and Registration coming soon!


Life is a Sacred Story: Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future with Sacred Journaling

(An Online Course)

Starting: 9/14/2015
Ending: 10/9/2015

Instructors: Carl McColman and Israel Galindo

Details and Registration coming soon!


Spirituality Program 20th Anniversary Celebration

Starting: 9/18/2015
Ending: 12/20/2014

Keynote Speaker: Rodger Nishioka

Details and registration coming soon!



Guthrie Scholars Learning Cohort 2015

Starting: 9/21/2015
Ending: 9/25/2015

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 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, http://www.ctsnet.edu/guthrie-scholars


Bill Brown Teaching at Montreat

Starting: 10/22/2015
Ending: 10/25/2015

Details and Registration coming soon!


Growing Into Tomorrow…Today (PCUSA Board of Pensions Retirement Planning Seminar) Housing and Meals Registration

Starting: 10/27/2015
Ending: 10/28/2015

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 2015. For questions, please contact Board University at education@pensions.org 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.

Instructors: Board of Pensions Education Team 


Render Unto Caesar

(Board of Pensions Retirement Planning Seminar)

Starting: 10/29/2015
Ending: 10/29/2015

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 2015. For questions, please contact Board University at education@pensions.org 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.

Instructors: Board of Pensions Education Specialist


Compass Points Course (PCCCA Annual Conference)

Montreat Conference Center

Starting: 11/8/2015
Ending: 11/13/2015

Course information and registration will be provided by the PCCCA. Questions?  Contact Joel Winchip, PCCCA Executive Director, at joel@pccca.net or 803.322.0232.


Ignatian Spirituality

Starting: 11/9/2015
Ending: 11/13/2015

Instructor: Jim Dant

Details and registration coming soon!



Leadership in Ministry Workshop (Atlanta)

Starting: 11/16/2015
Ending: 11/19/2015

Dates:     Session I - Nov. 16-19, 2015
               Session II – March 7-9, 2016

The Center for Lifelong Learning will host a second cohort for Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops beginning in the fall of 2015. 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, two nights of housing are provided for each session.

Registration for the 2015-16 Cohort will open in May, 2015.


Flint River Presbytery III

Starting: 11/18/2015
Ending: 11/20/2015

Thanks to a partnership between the Center for Lifelong Learning and the Presbytery, participants will continue their exploration of family systems and congregational leadership with Dr. Ron Richardson.


Save the Dates: Diana Butler Bass to lead January Seminars

Starting: 1/19/2016
Ending: 1/21/2016

Details and Registration information to follow in the spring 2015.


Metaphors, Imagination, and the Art of the Psalms

Starting: 1/28/2016
Ending: 1/31/2016

Instructor: Ryan Bonfiglio 

Details and registration coming soon!


Compass Points Certificate Courses: Biblical and Theological Foundations

Starting: 2/29/2016
Ending: 3/3/2016

Details and registration coming soon!


Compass Points Certificate Course: Program Design and Implementation

Starting: 3/3/2016
Ending: 3/5/2016

Leaders: Kathy Dawson and Joel Winchip

Details and registration coming soon!


Spiritual Formation and Older Adults

Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course

Starting: 4/11/2016
Ending: 4/13/2016

The last third of life death presents some of life’s great spiritual challenges.  This course explores the journey of aging as a series of stable periods and transitions, each with spiritual, theological and ethical issues—aging and frailty, taking responsibility, finding meaning, being in relationships, leaving a legacy, facing diminishment and death.

Leader: Henry C. Simmons, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond VA.

Details and registration coming soon!


Framing Theological Questions with Older Adults

Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course

Starting: 4/14/2016
Ending: 4/16/2016

Through study of scripture, Reformed creeds, and theological reflection, we will explore Reformed theological topics, with a particular focus on how these relate to middle-and older-adulthood: heaven; resurrection; realm of God’s rule; guilt and forgiveness; bereavement; the nature of body/soul; cremation vs. burial or donation of body to science; organ donation; medical ethics related to end-of-life issues; aging as God’s plan for human life; and the church as a caring and supporting community.

Leader:  Rev. Marvin Simmers, Ed.D., retired pastor and Christian educator.

Details and Registration Coming Soon!


Thompson Scholars 2016

Topic to be announced spring 2015

Starting: 4/26/2016
Ending: 4/29/2016

Leader: Ralph Watkins and other

For general information about the Thompson Scholars Program, visit www.ctsnet.edu/thompson-scholars.