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Tuscaloosa native attends Presbyterian Church (USA) 26th Annual Racial Ethnic Seminarians Conference


Decatur, GA.—Paul Hoang, a second-year student at Columbia Theological Seminary, was a student representative to the 26th Annual Racial Ethnic Seminarians Conference held in Nashville, TN. Hoang, originally from Tuscaloosa, AL, is under care of Sheppards & Lapsley Presbytery. The annual conference is sponsored by the Office of Resourcing Committees on Preparation for Ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA). After the conference, Hoang was invited by Columbia’s Diversity and Inclusiveness committee to share his experience during the seminary’s monthly forum. Hoang said that he appreciated meeting other racial ethnic seminary students and particularly enjoyed their opportunities to worship together. In addition to worship, he said that students met to discuss diversity on campus and to learn more about the experience of pastoring a racial ethnic congregation. Haruko Nawata Ward, assistant professor of church history and a member of Columbia’s Diversity and Inclusiveness committee, says that such “occasions for network and support are crucial for the survival and empowerment for any minority student’s psyche.” Ward says that she especially appreciates Hoang’s willingness to share what he learned from the conference because it is important for seminary communities “to explore what diversity means and how to listen carefully to diverse voices in today’s theological institutions of higher learning, in the world, and in the church.” Columbia Theological Seminary, established in 1828, is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

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