John Azumah, Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Director of International Programs, presented the 8th Kwame Bediako Memorial Lecture on “Boko Haram Explained: Lessons for Our Time” in Accra, Ghana, on June 9. The lecture was attended by senior and leading members of the academy, the media, the political establishment and clergy of all religious persuasions. He gave a one-week intensive MA lectures at Akrofi-Christaller Institute in Ghana, on “Christ and Other Faiths in the African Context” to a class of 15 students from six African countries. John served as a keynote speaker at an international conference in Nairobi, Kenya, on “Faith and (In)Security” speaking on “The Role of Sacred Texts in Religiously inspired violence in Africa.” The conference was co-sponsored by the Candler School of Theology and attended by members of the diplomatic corps, NGOs, Ministers of State, members of Kenya security and intelligence service, leading Christian and Muslim scholars and selected Muslim and Christian youth. John was the main speaker of an Annual Missions Conference of the Uganda Christian University, in Kampala during July 10-17, where he spoke on “Understanding and Engaging with Islam in Africa.” John taught two classes on the themes of political and militant Islam at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, on August 7 & 14 to over 700 members. He served as the main facilitator of a one-week intensive lay preachers training for the Presbyterian Church of Ghana congregations in the USA in Orange, NJ, during August 15-20. John published the following: “Is the God of Abraham and the Father of Jesus, also the God of Muhammad?” (forthcoming), in Journal of African Christian Thought (September 2016); “Mission in the Islamic World: Making Theological and Missiological Sense of Muhammad”, (forthcoming) in Charles E. Van Engen, ed., The State of Missiology Today: Global Innovations in Christian Witness (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2016). John is leading a five-week series of lectures on Understanding Islam at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, on August 21, 28, September 4, 11 and 18. He is scheduled to speak at a Missions Conference of First Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX on September 26 & 27. John will be the main speaker for the Annual Broom Colloquium of the Abilene Christian University, TX, on November 9 and 10. John will be speaking on the theme of “Understanding and Engagement with Islamic Diversity in North America.”
Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, published an article last April titled, “Reading Job as a Kierkegaardian Text: The Incarnation of Indirect Communication,” in the peer-review journal Biblical Interpretation. He led a two-part series titled, “What is the Bible?” at Church of the Epiphany in Decatur, GA. Brennan also appeared on two podcasts, New Books in Religion (http://newbooksinreligion.com) and On Script (http://onscript.study) to discuss his first book, Nomadic Text. In May, Brennan traveled to Heidelberg, Germany to receive the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise, a first book award in Religious Studies offered by the Forschungsinstitut Internationale und Interdisziplinäre Theologie at the University of Heidelberg. On August 14, Brennan taught an adult education class at Central Presbyterian Church titled “Is the Old Testament a Political Text?” This coming fall, as the Wister Cook Theologian-in-Residence at The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Brennan will begin teaching a weekly adult education class on Sunday mornings which will last for the duration of the 2016-2017 academic year. The course is titled “Christology in Scripture and Tradition.” In the fall, the class will focus on the biblical traditions about Jesus, and in the spring it will trace various conceptions of Christ from the ancient world to the modern. Brennan will also speak to the Religious Studies undergraduate club at Appalachian State University on October 17, and preach in the chapel at Mars Hill University in North Carolina on October 18. On November 5, All Soul’s Sunday, Brennan will preach at Epiphany. He can also be found playing ukulele and guitar weekly at Epiphany’s children’s chapel and at Winnona Park Elementary School’s Community Circle. At the SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio, held in November, Brennan will present a paper with CTS alumnus Davis Hankins in the “Bible and Economics” section, titled “Qohelet and Ptolemy: A Reevaluation of the Role of Economic Analysis in Biblical Studies.”
William Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, finished a nine-month sabbatical at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ (www.ctinquiry.org). He was part of a 12-member research team involved in a NASA-funded program to study the “societal implications of astrobiology.” While there, he was writing a new introduction to Old Testament exegesis that offers best practices and includes a diversity of approaches to be published by Westminster John Knox. Bill is now back on campus in Decatur where he presented a Forum on September 14 titled “Boldly Going Where No Old Testament Scholar Has Gone Before! Exploring the Frontiers of Theology and Astrobiology.”
Kelly Campbell, Associate Dean of Information Services and Director of the John Bulow Campbell Library, completed her term as President of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) in June. During the 2016 annual conference, Kelly presided over the association’s annual meeting, which resulted in updated bylaws. Campbell’s term on the ATLA Board continues until 2017. While serving as President, Campbell contributed a chapter to the book Women in Leadership and Work-Family Integration, vol. two: A Women’s Identity by Cambridge Scholars, which was published in July 2016. In August 2016, Kelly co-chaired the International Federation of Library Association, Relindial (Religions: Libraries and Dialogue) Satellite Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The meeting’s theme was “Fostering Global Communication among Religions and Libraries.” Coming Up: In October, Kelly will participate in an ATS accreditation visit to Azusa Pacific Seminary of Azusa Pacific University. In addition, the fall edition of In Trust magazine will include a review of Campbell’s dissertation, titled Work-Life Balance of Women Leaders in the Association of Theological Schools.
Michael Lee Cook, Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Counseling, represented CTS at the consultation Pathways to Military Chaplaincy: A Seminary Initiative at Boston University in April. In June, he poke on the topic “Living Healthy in Ministry” at the Young Clergy Initiative at Claflin University. In August, Michael spoke on the topic “Becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist: A Theologians’ Perspective” at Richmont University. In September, he spoke at the Georgia Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (GAMFT) South-Metro Chapter meeting on the topic “Using Faith to Build a Meaningful Private Practice” and posted to the Columbia Connections blog on “Emotional Intelligence: Why be Interested?” in support of the Lifelong Learning seminar Pastoral Leadership and Emotional Intelligence he will facilitate in March 2017. Coming Up: Michael will be a plenary speaker at the AAPC Atlantic Region Fall Conference in November at Neumann University in Aston, PA on the topic “A Clinical and Theological Conversation on Acceptance, Forgiveness, and Healing.” He will publish this talk in the Journal of Pastoral Care or Journal of Pastoral Theology. Michael is currently researching and writing a new book under the tentative title: Pastoral Care Made Public: A Relational and Systemic Perspective with projected completion in 2017.
Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics, Director of MDiv Program, taught at Ottowa Presbyterian Church (OH), as well as Trinity Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Morningside Presbyterian, Oak Grove UMC, Decatur Presbyterian, and Dunwoody UMC (all in Atlanta). He participated in ordination services for Bethany Benz-Whittington in Jacksonville, FL and for Perzavia Praylow in Augusta, GA. Mark led a retreat for Aiken Presbyterian (SC) and led a workshop for Presbyterians for a Better Georgia in Atlanta. He attended part of General Assembly, where he resourced groups working on issues arising in the Middle East. Mark has attended conferences in: New Haven, CT; Newagon, ME, where he presided at a session on religious responses to climate change and gave a presentation on integrating environmental concerns into theological curricula; Prague, Czech Republic, where he presented a paper on post-secularlism; Charlottesville, VA, where he was on a panel about new trends in Just War thinking; Atlanta, GA; and San Antonio, TX. He also organized the “Talking Politics in a Polarized Society” event for The Center for Lifelong Learning at CTS. Mark concluded his term as Chair of the Board of Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL) and began service on the City of Decatur Ethics Committee. He wrote a review of and participated in an online symposium on Ted Smith’s book, Weird John Brown at syndicatetheology.com.
Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning, preached and led worship at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Tucker, GA on June 26 and July 3, and at Ray Thomas Memorial Presbyterian in Marietta, GA on Aug. 14. In July she traveled to Kansas City, MO for a gathering of program leaders in the “Southern Cluster” of Lilly Endowment, Inc. affiliated programs. Sarah authored a week of devotions in summer issue of These Days (July 24-30). Coming up: She will attend the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in Atlanta in September, and attend the 2016 POAMN/ARMSS Conference, “Christian Discipleship: People of the Spirit, People of Hope” in Richmond, VA in October. There she will give a report of the Older Adult Ministries Certificate Program partnership with POAMN during the business meeting.
Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching, preached and lectured in May at the Festival of Homiletics, held this year in Atlanta. In June, she traveled to Sweden to teach a preaching course for pastors at the University of Uppsala. In July, Anna spent two weeks in Toronto, while serving as a guest preacher at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. In August, she preached and lectured for the Freeman Series at First Presbyterian Church in Oxford, MS. In September, Anna preached at McDonough Presbyterian Church in McDonough, GA, and delivered three lectures for the Mercer Preaching Consultation in Chattanooga, TN. In October, Anna will teach and lecture for a conference entitled, “Working Preacher Presents: The Craft of Preaching” at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. In November, she will lead a workshop for the Presbyterian Church of Canada’s Synod of Central and Northeast Ontario, and then teach a course for the Anglican Church of Canada’s College of Preachers near Toronto.
Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, Director of Online Education, continues to write for the Columbia Connections blog posting articles: “Reasons for Not Attending Church,” “Life Assessment,” “Can You Pass this C.E. Test?,” “Tucker’s Top 10,” “Great Quotes on Ministry,” “Volunteerism and the Future of Church Ministry,” “The Hawthorne Effect,” “Back to Basics: Leadership Rules 101,” “Getting to Know the Familiar Stranger,” “For the Bookshelf: The Other Six Days,” “Dealing with the Pushy Parent,” “For the Bookshelf: The Lay-Driven Church,” “A Repertoire for Leadership in Anxious Times,” “What Tough Leaders Do,” “Raising a Normal Teenager,” “For the Bookshelf: The Year 1000,” “Checking Your Leadership Assumptions,” “What sustains pastoral excellence?,” “Congregations as Communities of Faith,” “A Faculty Coach Reflects on the LIM Workshops,” and “Bad Teaching” In March, Israel presented “Leadership Lessons from the Dog Whisperer” at the Leadership in Ministry Workshop. In February, he participated in a video webinar by the Association of Leaders in Lifelong Learning for Ministry. In March, Israel attended the Southeast gathering of the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion at Mercer University, as well as the Advisory Committee meeting of the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion in Indianapolis, IN. He participated in a consultation on online graduate education for Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH), Hispanic Summer Program at Union (HSP), and Hispanic Theological Initiative, Princeton (HTI) and another consultation on strategic planning and developing a business plan at Healthy Congregations, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH. In April, Israel did a presentation on Bowen Family Systems Theory for Come See Columbia Day. He published You Had to Be There: Tales from the front lines of ministry (Didache Press). In May, Israel presented “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the Leadership in Ministry Workshops, both in Portland, OR and Boston, MA. Israel participated in a consultation on grant proposal development for Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH), and also the May Leadership Event: Healthy Congregations, with Mickey Crimone presenting. In June, Israel posted “Ten curriculum assessment tools every dean needs. Part 8: Entering Student Profiles” for the blog for theological school deans, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Religion and Theology. He published 1001 Systems Theory Quotes: One Hundred and One BFST Quotes for the Novice and the Curious (Didache Press, 2016). Israel wrote “Christian Education: Are You Doing it Wrong?” for Presbyterian Outlook in the July 18, 2016 issue. He participated in the Pastoral Excellence Network Southern Cluster meeting in Kansas City, MO during July 25-27. In August, Israel participated in a consultation on developing a signature pedagogy with Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus OH, and also the Leadership in Ministry Faculty Gathering at The Center for Lifelong Learning at CTS. In September, Israel presented “Exploring the Ninth Concept,” at the Leadership in Ministry workshops, Portland, OR. He spoke on “The Secret Lives of Families” at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Israel presented “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the Leadership in Ministry Workshops, Lost River, WV, as well as “Exploring the Ninth Concept” at the Leadership in Ministry workshops, Boston, MA.
Bill Harkins, Senior Lecturer of Pastoral Theology and Care, Co-Director of ThD Program, was featured in an article in the Cigna/Church Pension Group Health and Wellness Newsletter http://pages.exacttarget.com/conditions/ . Bill’s article entitled “Me and My Shadow, King Lear, and Walter” was published in the Winter/Spring edition of Vantage for CTS. Bill presented a workshop on Family Systems Theory at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church for the Community of Hope lay cohort. He served as Psychological Health Faculty at CREDO for Recently Ordained Clergy at Trinity Episcopal Conference Center on the Outer Banks of NC in late May 2016. In July, Bill completed his 40th consecutive Peachtree Road Race, and was featured in the AJC http://m.ajc.com/news/sports/harkins-fulfills-promise-to-friend-at-ajc-peachtre/nrrzH/ and the Cathedral Times of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip https://www.stphilipscathedral.org/Sermons/why-i-run-peachtree/ where Bill is now in his 11th year of serving as Canon Associate for Pastoral Care. On July 17, Bill preached at the ordination of CTS alum Hamilton Barnes at Suwanee Presbyterian Church. In early August, Bill led a week-long Vanderbilt Divinity School Men’s Retreat at Pingree Park, CO. On September 14, Bill spoke to the Community of Hope Pastoral Care committee at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church on family systems and group dynamics. During August and September, Bill served as consultant to All Saints’ Episcopal Church. He will lead the All Saints’ vestry retreat at Montara Farms in early September, and serve as guest homilist/teacher in late September. On September 14, Bill presented a Lunch and Learn educational workshop on Grief and Loss at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip. In October, Bill will serve as Psychological Health faculty for CREDO Conference 7022 for Recently Ordained Clergy at Chapel Rock Episcopal Conference Center in Prescott, Arizona. In late October he will attend the 2016 Annual Conference of the Southeast Region of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, at Kanuga Conference Center, Flat Rock, North Carolina, where he serves on the Education and Training Commission of the region. November 15-16, he will present a workshop on “Steps to Psychological Wellness and Wholeness” for the Church Pension Group and the Episcopal Diocese of Maine in Portland, Maine. On December 7-8, he will serve as psychological consultant to the Commission on Leadership and Impairment at their meeting in Detroit, Michigan. Bill was appointed to this commission by the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori in 2015.
Tim Hartman, Assistant Professor of Theology, had a German translation done this summer of his article, “Syncretisms Near and Far: Considering Christian Identity amidst Pluralism” published in the journal SaThZ (Salzburger Theologische Zeitschrift). His book review of Reading Theologically edited by Eric Barreto appears in Interpretation this Fall. Tim will be teaching Christian Education classes on Christology at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church and North Avenue Presbyterian Church.
Kimberly Bracken Long, Associate Professor of Worship, traveled to Taiwan Theological College and Seminary in Taipei to deliver the Siang-Lien Lectures, April 16-21. While there she also led worship, preached, and taught workshops. She served as keynote speaker, worship leader, and preacher for Peace River Presbytery in Sarasota, Florida on April 28. On June 2, she served as keynote speaker, worship leader and preacher for Central Florida Presbytery in Orlando. Along with CTS alumna Leigh-Campbell Taylor, Long served as liturgist, preacher, and workshop leader at the Mo-Ranch/PAM Worship and Music Conference at Mo-Ranch in Hunt, Texas, June 19-23. On August 27, she had the privilege of presiding at the wedding of Katelyn Nutter (CTS 2017) and Micah Dowling (CTS 2016) at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, NC. Long’s new book, From This Day Forward: Rethinking the Christian Wedding, was released by Westminster John Knox Press in late May. While on sabbatical this fall, she continues work as co-editor of the revision to the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship, which will be published in 2018.
Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Director of MATS Program, traveled to Seoul, South Korea at the end of June to present a paper at the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL). His presentation was part of a panel on “The Task and Mission of Biblical Hermeneutics in the Global South” that consisted of scholars from Asia and Asia Pacific. During his time in Seoul, Raj also met with the Executive Council of the SBL to discuss further a proposal to host the 2019 International Meeting at the United Theological College, Bangalore, India. SBL has officially approved the proposal for the Bangalore International meeting that would be the first in South Asia. In the second of week of July, Raj traveled in Vijayawada and Hyderabad, India, promoting Columbia Theological Seminary. As part of that effort, he gave presentations on “Emerging Trends in Biblical Interpretation” to lay leaders and seminarians. He also preached in Vijayawada on a SundayFrom August 15-19, Raj gave five lectures on “The Roman and Early Christianity” at the Asian Leadership Study Program. This intensive program, which was initiated and co-taught by Dr. Kevin Park, was sponsored by the PC(USA) and Columbia Theological Seminary, including the Korean American Ministries at CTS. The two dozen lay and ecclesial leaders that attended this program are currently serving various congregations in the U.S. and are originally from several Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. From October 14-16, Raj will present at the 2016 ATS Roundtable Seminar for Newly Appointed Faculty. He will be part of a panel of faculty members who will “share their experiences of surviving and thriving as theological educators.” He will also participate in a panel discussion on “Great Ideas for Teaching.” In November, Raj will present a paper at the National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature on the topic of Luke-Acts and Empire. In late December, Raj will co-lead, along with Professor Martha Moore-Keish, a two-week Lifelong Learning travel seminar to South India.
Michael Thompson, Director of Communications, provided social media training in August and September for NAMI Georgia (National Alliance on Mental Illness). He will lead a team for the October 8 NAMI Walks in Atlanta.
Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., Associate Professor of Ministry, taught the Connectional Lay Council Convocation Discipleship Academy based on his book, Joining Jesus: A Class Manual for Initiation into Christian Discipleship and Welcome into the A.M.E. Zion Church on March 19. He attended the Association of Theological Schools Pre-Conference and Mid-Career Workshops in Phoenix Arizona during April 13-16. On May 18, He led a bible study in a series, Conversations about the Call, at First Afrikan Presbyterian Church in Lithonia, GA. He was an invited participant in a week long Writing Workshop, Writing Beyond the Academy, sponsored by the Collegeville Institute Center for Ecumenical and Cultural Research in Collegeville, Minnesota during June 12-18. He served as a ministerial delegate to the 50th Quadrennial Session of the General Conference of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church where he also was a certified candidate for the office of Bishop during July 20-27. Though he was not one of the four persons who were elected and consecrated to the office of Bishop at this meeting, it was a tremendous learning experience. He was preacher for the opening communion service for the Atlanta District Conference and Christian Education Convention and presided over the 2-day meeting held August 5-6, at Faith A.M.E. Zion Church in Atlanta Georgia. He continued to serve as Supply Pastor of the Wood Station-Napier Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Ringgold, GA. He was appointed to the Leadership Design Team for the Mid-Winter Christian Education Meeting of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Jeffery was elected as Co-Convener of the National Council of Churches Christian Education, Ecumenical Faith Formation, and Leadership Development.
Leanne Van Dyk, President and Professor of Theology, was elected Vice President of the Board of Commissioners for the Association of Theological Schools, a position that will eventually transition into the President of the Board.
Debra Weir, Associate Director Spirituality and Lifelong Learning, taught with Maria Tattu-Bowen at Together in the Mystery Supervisor Training for Spiritual Directors during May 18-20 on the CTS campus. In June she co-led, with Jim Dant, the Certificate in Spiritual Formation course, Hospitality as Spiritual Practice: The Welcoming Voice of the Book of Ruth at First Baptist Church, Greenville, SC. In July, Debra taught the Spiritual Growth and Discipline class for the regional conference of the PC(USA) Association of Professional Administrators in Lawrenceville, GA. She will attend the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in early October and will serve as a Practice Group Supervisor for the CTS Certificate in Spiritual Direction residency October 9-14. Durnig November 1-13, Debra will be in New Mexico leading the Desert Spiritual Traditions Pilgrimage at Ghost Ranch and other locations with Wayne Mell and Lori Miller Arnold.
Christine Roy Yoder, Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis, was the speaker for the Currie Enrichment Series at First Presbyterian Church, Kerrville, TX in April. She is the author of an article titled “Sheaves, Shouts, and Shavuot: Reflections on Joy” forthcoming in Journal for Preachers (Pentecost, 2016). She is the editor of a volume titled “The Senses in Israelite Wisdom Literature” of the peer-reviewed journal Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel (Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming spring/summer 2016).
William Yoo, Assistant Professor of American Religious and Cultural History, taught a class on “The Presbyterian Struggle over Slavery in the Nineteenth Century: Contrasting Interpretations of Race, Culture, and the Bible” for the Adult Summer Series at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, GA on July 31 and will preach at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA for World Communion Sunday on October 2. He will serve as a panelist on “The Reality of North American Theological Education” at the Association for Asian/North American Theological Educators Biennial Conference at Columbia Theological Seminary on October 8. He contributed a book review of The Spirit Moves West: Korean Missionaries in America in The Journal of Asian Studies 75:2 (May 2016) and completed the following forthcoming publications: American Missionaries, Korean Protestants, and the Changing Shape of World Christianity, 1884-1965 (Book, Routledge, October 2016); “Moving from ‘Foreign Mission’ to “World Mission’ in South Korea and the United States: The Rise of Reverend Kyung-Chik Han and the Uneasy Transitions within the American Presbyterian Missionary Enterprise in Korea after 1945” (Article, Mission Studies, November 2016); “Cumberland Presbyterian Church,” “Helen Kim,” “Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),” “Protestant Theological Seminaries,” and “James Woodrow,” (Entries in Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, Rowman & Littlefield, November 2016); The Presbyterian Experience in the United States: A Sourcebook (Book, Westminster John Knox Press, 2017). He participated in the Wabash Center’s Teaching and Learning Workshop for Pre-Tenure Theological School Faculty from June 13 to 18 in Crawfordsville, IN, conducted archival research at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia, PA from June 22 to 24, and taught his five-year-old son, Caleb, how to catch and throw a baseball in the summer of 2016.