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

Travel With Purpose

Thoughtful, purposeful journeys can stir questions, lead to insight, raise anxiety, and give new energy and perspectives. Some journeys bring us closer to God and to other people. Each year, the Center for Lifelong Learning offers opportunities to travel with others for the purpose of exploring the world through the lens of our Christian faith.

Travel opportunities have included contemplative retreats at monasteries in Georgia and Alabama; an eco-kayaking trip in the Bahamas, a pilgrimage to Iona in Scotland, a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and a Seminar to Greece through our Certificate in Spiritual Formation program; the Journey of Faith pilgrimage to Israel for pastors serving congregations; and a Presbyterian Heritage tour to South Carolina and coastal Georgia.

Macedonian Ministries Program

February 1, 2013 is the application deadline for a new, two-year learning experience, The Macedonian Ministries Program: a Cohort Learning Community of Support and Engagement, offered by Columbia Theological Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning. This holistic, two-year program encompasses four central characteristics: commitment, learning community, supportive community and community engagement. The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Macedonian Ministries Program of the CF Foundation, headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

To foster the development of collegial relationships, meaningful learning and community engagement projects, the participants for this program will be located within an identified program service area comprised of fifteen counties in south-central Georgia. Those counties are Baldwin, Bibb, Butts, Jones, Houston, Lamar, Macon, Monroe, Marion, Schley, Taylor, Talbot, Twiggs, Upson, and Wilkinson. Small groups of 4-6 pastors per group will submit a group proposal and individual applications. A cohort of approximately 20 clergy, or 3-5 small groups, will be formed from the applicants selected.

The Macedonian Ministry Program is open to pastors of any denomination who have 5 or more years in ordained ministry and who are currently in active service, preferably within a congregational setting. The application deadline for the pilgrimage is February 1, 2013. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by March 1.

During the two years (May 2013-May 2015), the cohort will spend time together in retreat settings, small group meetings, and a two-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land that will take place October 2-16, 2013. This unique program is designed so that participants may deepen their spiritual journey, clarify their call to ministry, develop meaningful relationships with colleagues and gain valuable insights that will, with God’s help, sustain them in the life of ministry. Groups will be recruited from several counties in south-central Georgia.

Deedra Rich, associate director of spirituality and lifelong learning will serve as Program Director, and Jim Dant, a graduate of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation and Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality at the seminary, will serve as Spiritual Director. Dant currently serves as a partner in Faithlab, located in Macon, GA and is the former pastor of the Highland Hills Baptist Church there. Said Rich of this opportunity, “We are excited to offer this extraordinary, two-year cohort learning program. Through it we will enable pastors to step back from the demands and challenges of everyday ministry, to visit the birthplace of our faith, to learn and serve together in meaningful ways, and to reflect on their life and ministry.”

For more information, call 404-687-4557 or e-mail

Journey of Faith Pilgrimage

Journey of Faith is a unique opportunity for renewal offered for pastors by Columbia Theological Seminary’s Lifelong Learning program. Candidates must have five or more years of experience in ordained ministry and actively serving as an installed pastor, co-pastor, or associate pastor of a congregation. Journey of Faith includes an expense-paid two-week pilgrimage to the Holy Land. 

This extraordinary event enables pastors to journey from the demands and challenges of everyday ministry, to visit the birthplace of our faith, and to reflect on their call to ministry. Participants will have an opportunity to deepen their spiritual journey, clarify their call to ministry, and gain valuable insights through this journey to the roots of our faith. We anticipate our next Journey of Faith to be in 2015. 

More information
Christine Trotman 
Staff Associate, Lifelong Learning 

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Certificate in Spiritual Formation)

Pilgrimage is one of the oldest and most important spiritual disciplines. The capstone of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation program is a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Columbia Seminary will sponsor this journey from March 5-20, 2014. However the journey really begins on March 4 with Orientation in Atlanta. All participants are required to attend all sessions of orientation. We will leave as a group from Atlanta on March 5, 2014.

This once in a lifetime journey consists of 7 days in Galilee and 7 days in Jerusalem. The pilgrimage is designed for spiritual formation and renewal. We will make excursions from the hotel in the mornings, leaving the afternoons free for small groups, rest, journaling and worship. Academy Travel in Decatur will handle all your travel arrangements. There will be readings and orientation before the journey and reflection papers when we return. Remember, if you are doing this pilgrimage in order to graduate, you must complete all other certificate work 3 months prior to the departure date, December 5, 2013. Details and Registration (Link coming soon)