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Columbia Professor Harvey Newman is Contributor to New Book, Alligators in the Swamp: Power, Ministry and Leadership


Decatur, GA.—Alligators in the Swamp is a new book inspired by the Faith and the City experience of its editor, George Thompson and two contributors, Columbia professor Harvey Newman and Columbia graduate and former professor, Jim Watkins. Newman recalls the book’s origins: “This book emerged from the experience of teaching a seminar course sponsored jointly by three Atlanta institutions—the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Interdenominational Theological Center and Columbia. It was called ‘Power, Faith, and Civic Leadership,’ and it’s being taught this semester at CTS. After we completed the course in 2002, we decided to write the book.” By using the metaphor of “Alligators in the Swamp,” the book’s contributors illustrate the complexity of power on personal, ecclesial, and community levels. Throughout the book they offer suggestions on how pastors can use power and respond to it appropriately and effectively. Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young commends the book as “a resource for learning the ins and outs of power” with “insights that are teachable and ultimately practical.” Newman’s chapter is titled “Alligators in the Regime.” It attempts to help pastors understand how decisions are made within the local community and how they can provide leadership for their congregations as they contribute to that process. Alligators in the Swamp is available through the seminary bookstore at or 404-687-4550. Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, Georgia, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

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