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Columbia Announces New Advanced Practical Degree for Christian Educators


Decatur, GA—Beginning this fall, Columbia will offer a new advanced degree program, the Doctor of Educational Ministry. The program was approved by the Association of Theological Schools on February 1, making Columbia the only PC(USA) seminary offering a terminal practical degree for Christian educators. The Doctor of Educational Ministry is a part-time degree program for those actively employed in an official position of educational ministry. Requiring completion of 36 hours, the academic program includes two-week residential courses on the Columbia campus, with a practicum and final research project done in the student’s place of ministry. Completion of the degree is expected to take four years. The first students will begin in the fall of 2006, with new cohorts accepted every other year after that. The program is open to qualified applicants from Presbyterian and other denominations. Applicants should have a first professional degree in religious education and at least three years in educational ministry. Charles Raynal, director of advanced studies, says, “This unique program offers students the opportunity to grow in spiritual maturity at the same time they are developing advanced capacity to reflect theologically on the practice of educational ministry. They will learn to think constructively and imaginatively about educational ministry as it is practiced within the life of congregations, as well as in other contexts.” Along with Raynal, Christian education professors Rodger Nishioka and Kathy Dawson, have led the way in developing the new program. Nishioka and Dawson are known throughout the church for their leadership in innovative educational ministry for children, young people, and adults. Announcing the new program, President Laura Mendenhall said, “Rodger and Kathy’s zeal for this new degree program stems from their keen awareness of the church’s critical need for dynamic, engaging, relevant educational ministry.” For more information about the Doctor of Educational Ministry program, contact Charles Raynal at 404-687-4533, or e-mail 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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