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March events at Columbia Theological Seminary focus on leadership past, present, and future


The month of March begins and ends at Columbia Theological Seminary with events that focus on the institution’s mission of preparing women and men for Christian leadership. On March 7, the new Vernon S. Broyles Jr. Leadership Center will be dedicated, and on March 26, Deborah Flemister Mullen will be installed as dean of faculty and executive vice president. For many years, Dr. Broyles was pastor of North Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, where he was also a prominent civic leader and advocate for social justice. A seasoned academic administrator and ordained pastor, Dr. Mullen is the first African American woman to hold the position of chief academic officer at any of the ten seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

With its distinctive glass and steel tower and state-of-the-art education technology, the Broyles Leadership Center serves as a welcoming portal to the seminary as a global community for learning and Christian formation. The 30,000-square-foot facility includes two wings of new construction and incorporates the 80-year-old Simons-Law building, formerly a student residence hall, which has been recycled and renovated. As a “green” building, the Broyles Leadership Center is expected to earn at least LEED silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. More about the Broyles Leadership Center and the dedication service on March 7.      

Dr. Mullen came to Columbia from McCormick Theological Seminary, in Chicago, where she had been dean of masters level programs. Since her arrival at Columbia, she has been leading the faculty in curriculum and accreditation reviews, which are integral parts of an institution-wide visioning process that will guide the work of the seminary for the next decade. She is also engaged in the development of strategic partnerships with Presbyterian theological institutions in South Korea, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. More about Dr. Mullen and her installation service on March 26. 

Columbia Theological Seminary, located in Decatur, GA, was established in 1828 and is one of 10 theological institutions of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The seminary offers seven graduate degree programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theological Studies), Master of Arts in Practical Theology, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Educational Ministry, and Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling. Currently 421 students are enrolled, representing 30 denominations, 34 states, and 10 countries. More information:

Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

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