Grounded in Gratitude: The Benefits of Spiritual Formation

Grounded in Gratitude: The Benefits of Spiritual Formation

When I was asked to share about gratitude this month, I instantly thought of my experience with the Certificate in the Spiritual Formation program.

I continue finding to this day (and most likely for the rest of my life) experiences,…

The Middle of the Story (and hurrying up to catch up)

November 26, 2018—One of the most mystical concepts in Bowen Theory is that of the multigenerational transmission process of relationship systems. This multigenerational process is a powerful force at work in biological families and in congregations. The concept…

A Layperson’s Guide to Practicing Gratitude

This post originally appeared in Faith & Leadership.


My wife and I recently relocated, which led us to visit a half-dozen churches in the past two months.

Each seemed to have a downside.

The music wasn’t that great,…

Photo by Kai D. on Unsplash

A Prayer of Thanksgiving

Our God,

we welcome with anticipation this Thanksgiving week

–our one authentic religious holiday shared by

religious and skeptics alike—time to rest and play,

to gather with family and friends

around abundant tables, football games,

and appropriate pauses in which…

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

The Burnout Cycle

November 19, 2018—During a recent conversation with a new clergy friend, he shared his experience of burnout. After five years at his previous church he’d not taken a vacation. Weariness led to seriousness, then a neglect of self-care, then a…

2018 Admissions Progress: By the Numbers… and Infographics

45 students made up the 2018 incoming fall class. Who are they?

They come from 13 different states, with 50% from Georgia. 66% percent are female and 34% male. Seven South Koreans, one student from India and one from Cuba…

Be Virgil – A Coach as Companion on the Way

Be Virgil,” reads the Post-It on the windowsill in front of my desk, a reminder of the role I am to play when I meet with a coaching client.


I faced my biggest crisis in ministry within weeks of…

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Why Bowen Theory is Useless

November 12, 2018—Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST), or “Bowen Theory,” continues to grow in its interest to, and influence among, clergy, denominational leaders, and seminaries. I think this is a good thing, overall. Many have found in BFST a frame…

We’re Wired for Story…What’s Yours?

In times like these, you need a story.  “A story?” you ask. “A story? Why?”

Why? Because we are wired for story.

We are streaming stories every day on Hulu, Netflix and YouTube. When it comes to church, what is…

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Quotes about Shirley Guthrie and Christian Doctrine

Ryan Baer, Pastor, Ridglea Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, TX:

When I was a prospective student, the admissions office arranged for me to meet with a few professors during my very first visit to Columbia Seminary.  I sat down in Charlie…

50 Years of Christian Doctrine

By Dr. Martha Moore-Keish and Dr. George Stroup

Click HERE for quotes from various students of Shirley Guthrie and Christian Doctrine.



This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Dr. Shirley Guthrie’s landmark book Christian…

Steps to Developing New Programs in Your Church

November 5, 2018—Starting new programs is not just a good idea, it’s necessary for cultivating a vital education and formation program. Programs tend to have a short shelf lifethough many tend to be maintained long past their expiration date for…

Education by Israel Galindo

President Leanne Van Dyk Responds to Recent Acts of Violence

Dear Friends of Columbia Theological Seminary,

Our common life together at Columbia Seminary is shaped by deep values rooted in our Christian commitments. These values include hospitality, justice, kindness, mercy, love, and care for others. We are grieved here on…

Reflections Following Election 2016

Landscapes of Renewal: How to Read and “See” the Bible

Landscapes are important, particularly when they are identified with “home.”

Indeed, there is a newly coined clinical term shared by both psychologists and ecologists called “solastalgia,” a combination of the Latin word solacium (comfort) and the Greek root –algia (pain).

Photo by John Spencer on Unsplash