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Faculty & Staff Activity as of March 2017

John Azumah, Professor of World Christianity and Islam, Director of International Programs, was the main speaker for the Annual Broom Colloquium of the Abilene Christian University, TX, during November 9-10. He spoke on the theme of “Understanding and Engagement with Islamic Diversity in North America.” John led a class on Islam at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC, on January 29 and led another class on Christian Understanding and Response to Islam at South Highland Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL, on February 26.  John was a plenary speaker at a World Mission Conference at the First Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville, NC, on March 4-5. During March 10-14, he co-convened with Lamin Sanneh and presented a paper at a Religion and Society consultation in Ghana sponsored by the Yale Macmillan Center. Coming Up: During April 1-7, John will attend the second of a two-part consultation in Beirut on “Theological Education in the Context of Islam in the Majority World” organized by the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Presbyterian College, Montreal, Canada, has invited him as Convocation Speaker on May 11, while during June 17-30 John will be in Australia to speak in Sydney at the Annual Bishops Conference of the Anglican Church, and to give lectures on Islam at Moore Theological College in Sydney and at the Brisbane School of Theology in Brisbane.

Brennan Breed, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, presented a paper with alumnus Davis Hankins at the SBL Annual Meeting in San Antonio held in November in the “Bible and Economics” section titled “Qohelet and Ptolemy: A Reevaluation of the Role of Economic Analysis in Biblical Studies.” In January, Brennan began his first sabbatical at CTS. Besides writing a commentary on Ecclesiastes and several articles, Brennan has several speaking engagements. On February 10, Brennan led a day-long staff retreat for Williamsburg Community Chapel in Virginia focusing on Israel’s journey in the wilderness. Brennan also served as the keynote Lenten speaker at Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. He presented a lecture on “Reading the Old Testament as Scripture” on February 25 and preached on February 26. On March 19, Brennan presented the Bumgarner Lecture on “Justice, Reconciliation and the Old Testament” at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC. On March 10-11, Brennan participated at a conference at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia, marking the 70th anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He presented a paper on the development of theories of textual criticism in light of the surprising finds in the Qumran library. On March 13-14, Brennan presented a paper titled “Biblical Scholarship’s Ethos of Respect: Qohelet, Original Meanings, and Reception History” at the conference “Reading Other Peoples’ Texts: Identity-Formation and the Reception of Authoritative Traditions.” Brennan co-organized this conference, at the University of Chicago’s Martin Marty center, with Ken Brown from the University of Mainz with funds from the Manfed Lautenschlaeger foundation. Coming Up: On most other Sundays in the spring, Brennan will be teaching Sunday school classes on the history of Christology at Church of the Epiphany in Decatur, where he serves as Wister Cook Theologian-in-Residence.

William Brown, William Marcellus McPheeters Professor of Old Testament, continues to be the projector director of the AAAS “Science for Seminaries” program for CTS this year. He presented a paper at the AAR/SBL conference in San Antonio titled, “Job and the ‘Comforting’ Cosmos” on November 22. Bill was a keynote speaker at the 2017 “Epiphany Explorations” annual event in Victoria, Canada, sponsored by the United Church of Canada. He presented on the “Common Ground of Wonder: Science and Theology,” “From Ardi to Adam: Re-imagining the Garden Story in the Light of Anthropology,” and “The Comforting Cosmos: Re-imagining Job in the light of Astrobiology.” On February 10-11, Bill preached twice at the Presbytery of South Alabama. On February 21, Bill gave the McNair Lectures on Science and Theology at St. Andrews University in Laurinberg, NC.

Kelly Campbell, Associate Dean of Information Services, Director of the John Bulow Campbell Library, had her dissertation titled Work-Life Balance of Women Leaders in the Association of Theological Schools included in the fall edition of In Trust magazineKelly attended the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) CFO/Technology Professionals conference in Orlando, Florida and was invited to participate in the Ithaka: Next Wave meeting in New York City, NY.

Michael Lee Cook, Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Counseling, was 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. Coming Up: 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.

Kathy Dawson, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Director of the MAPT Program, attended the Teaching Professor Technology Conference in Atlanta and the Religious Education Association Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh. Coming Up: She’ll be keynoting the Cumberland Presbyterian Forum in Memphis in November. Don’t forget to check the latest posts and conversations at and the companion Facebook group. We’re over a thousand members in the latter and always looking for innovative ideas in Christian education and faith formation.

Mark Douglas, Professor of Christian Ethics, Director of the MDiv Program, taught at Trinity Presbyterian, Atlanta. In November, he attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX.

Sarah Erickson, Director for Lifelong Learning, attended the 2016 POAMN/ARMSS Conference, “Christian Discipleship:  People of the Spirit, People of Hope” in Richmond, VA in October. There she gave a report of the Older Adult Ministries Certificate Program partnership with POAMN during the business meeting. In conjunction with the executive committee of POAMN, she has recruited new leadership for the spring 2018 courses. In December, she was a small group leader for the Advent study at N. Decatur Presbyterian Church, which used Walter Brueggemann’s book, Names for the Messiah, as a church-wide study. She led worship the first Sunday in Lent at Forsyth Presbyterian Church, where Marilyn McKelvey Tucker-Marek serves a pastor. Coming Up: In April, she will visit the JOY (Just Older Youth) of older adults at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church, sharing information about the Center for Lifelong Learning and the seminary in general. Alumni Jody Reed Andrade, Andy Acton, and Jennifer Sankey all serve on staff at PHPC. Sarah will represent the Center for Lifelong Learning at the 7th Annual Conference on Ageing and Spirituality in Chicago in June as a partner with POAMN (Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network), a conference partner.  For more information about the conference, visit

Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching, led a workshop in November for the Presbyterian Church of Canada’s Synod of Central and Northeast Ontario, and then taught a course for the Anglican Church of Canada’s College of Preachers, near Toronto. Anna will be visiting two churches—Metropolitan United Church in London, Ontario, and First Christian Church in Norman, Oklahoma—for weekend lecture series and Sunday worship. Anna was delighted to catch up with two CTS alumni: the Rev. Dawn Hyde (MDiv ’12) for her installation at Downtown Church in Columbia, SC, and the Rev. Patrick Harley (MDiv ’15) for a digital interview program he started at Ottawa Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, OH, called “Ottawa Connects!” Coming Up: In the Spring of 2017, Anna will be lecturing and preaching at three institutions: Notre Dame University, for the Marten Lecture in Preaching; the Methodist Theological School in Ohio, for the Schooler Institute Lectures; and the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, for its “Preaching Days.” She will also be at the Association of Smaller Congregations Conference, on St. Simon’s Island in Georgia, with Presbyterian pastors from the Synod of the Southeast. Anna’s latest book, Come Back When You’ve Found Something True: New Ways to Encounter Scripture (Eerdmans), will be available later this year. She also contributed a chapter to a festschrift honoring her teacher, Thomas G. Long; the book is called Questions Preachers Ask (Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, Scott Black Johnston, and Ted A. Smith, eds.; Westminster John Knox Press, 2016), and Anna’s chapter, “Mixing It Up in Athens, or How to Proclaim Good News to Young Adults Who Are Waiting for the Next Thing,” also appeared in The Christian Century in the September 19, 2016 issue.

Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning, Director of Online Education, taught “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops in Portland, OR; Lost River, WV; and Boston, MA all of which took place in September 2016. He also taught on “The Secret Lives of Families” at Smoke Rise Baptist Church. Israel taught “Readings in Spiritual Classics” as an online course for CTS. He published “Staying Put: Looking at the first 10 years of ministry” for the Alban/Duke blogsite. In October 2016, Israel made a presentation for the staff of the JBC Library titled “‘Make it Pretty’: Creating Infographics.” He published “Before Easter: Meditations on the Passion” and co-taught “The Role of the Minister in a Dying Congregation” as an online course for the Center for Lifelong Learning. Israel wrote “Bowen Family Systems Theory: A Resource for the Long Haul?” in the Review and Expositor Journal. He taught “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the LIM Workshops in Lost River, WV, October. Israel participated in the Wabash Advisory Committee Meeting in Indianapolis. He taught the online course “Contemporary Readings in Christian Education: Christian Formation” for the Center for Lifelong Learning. In November 2016, Israel attended the ATS TTECH Conference, Orlando, FL and went to the Center for the Study of Natural Systems, Houston, TX. In December 2016, he published A Guide to Online Course Design and Instruction (Didache Press). In January, Israel co-facilitated the Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy at The Center for Lifelong Learning. In February, he published “Integration? Maybe Your Focusing on the Wrong Thing,” in the Blog for Theological School Deans, Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.

Israel taught “The 7 Concepts that Will Change Your Teaching” at The Center for Lifelong Learning and presented “Reciprocity in Emotional Systems,” at the LIM workshops in Boston, Portland, and West Virginia. In March, he presented “Murphy’s Laws and Murray’s Laws” at the LIM Workshop in Atlanta. Israel published “The Arc of Stewardship in An Age of Abundance and Debt,” for the Center for Stewardship Leaders at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lent 2017.

Bill Harkins, Senior Lecturer of Pastoral Theology and Care, Director of the ThD Program, presented a workshop during November 15-16 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 served 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. Bill served as Psychological Health faculty for a Church Pension Group Steps to Wellness conference with clergy in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, in Portland, Maine, November 14-16. During Advent he led a course on Pastoral Care of Grief and Loss for Lay Pastoral Care volunteers at the Cathedral of St. Philip. In December he officiated at a Blue Advent Service for those in relation to whom the season is challenging, at the Cathedral of St. Philip. In early January (6-9) Bill led the Vestry Retreat for Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church-Memphis, at St. Columba Episcopal Retreat and Conference Center, in Memphis, Tennessee. In late January (19-22) he led the Vestry Retreat for St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church at the Hinton Retreat Center in Hayesville, North Carolina. In February, Bill served as host and moderator for “A Conversation with Richard Rohr,” a continuing education (CEU) podcast sponsored by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Southeast Region. Father Rohr discussed his book “Falling Upward” during this 90-minute call-in podcast/webinar. In February, he led the Vestry retreat for the parish of Christ the King Episcopal Church, Santa Rosa Beach, where CTS alumnus Richard Gillespie Proctor is rector. Richard and wife (and alumna) Emily Rose Proctor are the parents of Julian Proctor, who will be a year-old in March! Coming Up: Bill will serve as Psychological Health faculty for the Episcopal Church Foundation Steps to Wellness conferences at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in May and June 2017. He was the subject of an Atlanta Track Club Wingfoot Magazine article on the occasion of his 40th consecutive Peachtree Road Race

Zandra L. Jordan, Director of the Center for Academic Literacy, in light of her service as Minister of Adult Christian Education at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, will lecture in December at the 38th Annual Sunday School Publishing Board’s Conference in Nashville, TN on the role and benefits of Sunday church school, the roles of the pastor and superintendent, and communicating the Sunday church school’s purpose to church leaders and the congregation. On Saturday, February 4, Zandra participated in “God’s Trombones,” the annual Black history program at Hillside Presbyterian Church (Decatur) honoring the legacy of James Weldon Johnson. Zandra delivered the sermonic poem, “Let My People Go.” From February 16-18, Zandra attended the Southeastern Writing Center Association conference at Ole Miss in Oxford, MS.

Griselda Lartey, Serials and Interlibrary Loan Assistant for John Bulow Campbell Library, led a workshop with alumna Suzy Edwards titled Living in Design, at the recent APCE (Association of Presbyterian Church Educators) 2017 Conference in Denver, CO. They delved into the rich history of symbols that focuses on the Adinkra Symbols of West Africa. Participants used Visio and Lectio Divina as a way of practicing being still with God and gleaning from time set apart for meditation through the power of the Holy Spirit. A sample of the presentation is available on the Connections blog at

Kimberly Bracken Long, Associate Professor of Worship, continues to be on sabbatical this fall and is working as co-editor of the revision to the PC(USA) Book of Common Worship, which will be published in 2018.

Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, Director of ThM Program, taught Sunday School at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church and Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Church in Atlanta. She preached at the November presbytery meeting of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and preached at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church for the Presbyterian Women Christmas event. Martha co-led a two week trip to south India with Raj Nadella for the Center for Lifelong Learning during December 28-January 11). She offered the keynote address and taught workshops at the January educational event in the Presbytery of S. Alabama, and preached at Spring Hill Presbyterian Church in Mobile. She led the March women’s retreat for Central Presbyterian Church, drawing from her work on the book of James.

Michael Morgan, Seminary Musician, taught a 4-Sunday series at Morningside Presbyterian Church in December on music for Advent and Christmas, presented an exhibit of rare materials relating to Handel’s Messiah​ at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, and a program on the English Bible at Claremont Oaks Retirement Community. In January, he taught two Sunday classes on singing the Psalms at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church. He also played the organ for worship and special events at First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta; Druid Hill Presbyterian Church; First United Methodist Church, Covington; Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church; and First Moravian Church of Georgia. Michael was named a member of the Advisory Council of the Presbyterian Heritage Center in December, and has a series of 16th century Bibles on loan through September to the Center in their Reformation 500 celebration.

Raj Nadella, Assistant Professor of New Testament, Director of the MATS Program, presented a paper in November at the National Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature on the topic of Luke-Acts and Empire. In late December, Raj co-led, along with Professor Martha Moore-Keish, a two-week Lifelong Learning travel seminar to South India.

Kevin Park, Associate Dean for Advanced Professional Studies, Assistant Professor of Theology, and Interim Director of KAM, presented two lectures on the topic of “Theology of Marginality” to ThD students from PUTS (Presbyterian University and Theological Seminary, Seoul, Korea) who came to visit CTS in August. He presented a lecture on Korean American 2nd Generation Ministry for ECKAM (Evangelical Coalition of Korean American Ministries) of the Greater Atlantic Presbytery in October. Kevin also presented two lectures for Korean pastors of Atlantic Korean American Presbytery on the topic of “Christian Life and the Cross for Korean American Churches” in October. He preached and led seminars at the Korean United Presbyterian Church of Chicago in December, on issues surrounding generational ministries in the Korean American context. Kevin is working on an article for the Presbyterians Today on generational Christian education for Korean American churches.

Charlie Raynal, Professor Emeritus of Theology and Director of Advanced Studies, preached on February 28 in First Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg, SC for the Winter Meeting of Foothills Presbytery, and made a presentation with the capable partnership of Franklin Colclough, former CTS Board Member, honorably retired as presbyter of New Harmony Presbytery. Colclough spoke movingly of his elementary education in one of the Presbyterian Parochial Schools, established by missionaries, of both white and black races, who came to the Southeast after the Civil War to minister to the freed people, establishing Synods, Presbyteries, and sending pastors to establish congregations and parochial schools, academies, and boarding schools for former slaves. Out of this effort in North Carolina the PC(USA) established Johnson C. Smith University and Seminary in Charlotte and Barber Scotia College in Concord. At the time of Presbyterian reunion to form the PC(USA) in 1983 about 14,000 African American Presbyterians in the area from Charlotte to Charleston voted in their presbyteries unanimously for the joining of the former northern and southern branches of the mainline Presbyterian denomination. Nancy Snell Griffith and Charlie Raynal have told this story as part of Presbyterians in South Carolina, 1925-1985: Mid-Century Change in Historic Denominations ​(2016).

Jody Sauls, Director of Human Resources, was installed on January 8 as Ruling Elder for a second three-year term at Decatur Presbyterian Church. She continues to serve as chair of the DPC Personnel Committee.

Rebecca F. Spurrier, Associate Dean for Worship Life and Assistant Professor of Worship, attended the American Academy of Religion in San Antonio, TX in November.

Michael Thompson, Director of Communications, posted to the Connections blog in February on “Human Rights in Ordinary Churches”. He also joined students for the “Day at the Capitol” event hosted by Presbyterians for a Better Georgia.

Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., Associate Professor of Ministry, 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.

Ralph Basui Watkins, Peachtree Associate Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, has a new television show on Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting Network, “Talk it Out with Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins.” This is a monthly show that deals with controversial topics that faith communities wrestle with and models ways to have difficult conversations while respecting with whom you disagree.

Debra Weir, Associate Director Spirituality and Lifelong Learning, was in New Mexico during November 1-13 leading the Desert Spiritual Traditions Pilgrimage at Ghost Ranch and other locations with Wayne Mell and Lori Liller Arnold.

Christine Roy Yoder, Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Professor of Old Testament Language, Literature, and Exegesis, attended the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, San Antonio, TX during November 18-21. During December 12-14, she attended the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) School for New Deans, Pittsburgh, PA.

William Yoo, Assistant Professor of American Religious and Cultural History, preached at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, GA, for World Communion Sunday on October 2. He was 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 preached at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn, AL, for the ordination of the Rev. Micah Nutter Dowling (MDiv ’16) on December 11. He completed the following 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); “Now is not the Time to be a Moderate” (Essay, @ this point: theological investigations in church and culture, Spring 2017); The Presbyterian Experience in the United States: A Sourcebook (Book, Westminster John Knox Press, 2017). He received the 2017-2018 Florence Ellen Bell Scholar Award from the Department of Special Collections and University Archives of the Drew University Library to support his archival research on the history of American Methodist world missions from 1945 to 1965 this July. He taught on the history of American Presbyterian engagement with the Global South in the twentieth century and preach at First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, GA, on February 26. He also co-led a workshop with the Rev. Betsy Lyles on the history and presence of racial, ethnic, and generational diversities in the Presbyterian Church (USA) at the NEXT National Gathering in Kansas City, MO, from March 13 to 15.