Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.

Thompson Scholars Program

Thompson Scholars 2015 will take place April 21-24 and explore the topic, “Spiritual Pioneers: The Call, Risks and Blessings of Church Development.” Dr. Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., associate professor of ministry at the seminary, will lead the seminar. Other leaders include:

  • Rev. Dr. Jin S. Kim, founding pastor of Church of All Nations in Minneapolis, MN and a former Thompson Scholar. He also serves the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as National Field Staff supporting English Ministries and is adjunct faculty at Dubuque Seminary, a frequent speaker in both Presbyterian and ecumenical arenas.
  • Rev. Dr. David I. Neville, Jr., founding pastor /organizer of Unity A.M.E. Zion Church in Merrillville, IN.  Dr. Neville is an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church and serves as Director of Mission Services and Spiritual Care and Chairman of the Bioethics Committee for The Methodist Hospitals in Gary and Merrillville, IN..
  • Rev. Sara Hayden, mission catalyst for the 1001 New Worshipping Communities initiative of the Presbyterian Church (USA), is based in Atlanta, GA. She and her colleagues conduct leadership assessments, coaching, grants and training for leaders and communities starting new churches. Hayden is the former executive director of the New Church Development Commission of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and runs a national internship and residency program for leaders and future of new worshiping communities.

The application process for 2015 closed as of January 9, 2015. We will announce the topic and dates for 2016 this summer. 

A program fee of $150 covers seminar registration, on-campus meals and refreshment. Participants are responsible for their lodging costs, on campus or at a location of their own selection. Registration instructions for the course and for the seminary’s online learning platform, Moodle, will be sent to applicants following acceptance. Pre-course preparation, including reading and discussion, is required.

A selective lifelong learning opportunity, the Thompson Scholars program brings pastors and other church leaders with a special interest in evangelism to the seminary campus. The annual intensive study experience focuses on a variety of topics to prepare evangelism leaders for the future. Ralph Watkins, associate professor of evangelism and church growth, serves as director.

Thompson Scholars is generously supported by an endowment in honor of Cecil Thompson, former professor of evangelism at the seminary. The Thompson Scholars program was initiated in 1981. This program includes not only lifelong learning opportunities, but also courses for basic and advanced degree students. Course work focuses on the church’s evangelistic mission in the rapidly changing context of North America and across the globe.

  • For more information, please contact Sarah Erickson, director of lifelong learning, at or 404-687-4526.