Columbia Theological Seminary Announces 2020 Alumni Awards

Columbia Theological Seminary Announces 2020 Alumni Awards

January 15, 2020—Columbia Theological Seminary announced the recipients of its 2020 Alumni Awards to be presented during their annual “Homecoming” alumni reunion event to held February 3-5, 2020 on campus in Decatur, GA near Atlanta. Dan Milford (M.Div. ’93 and D.Min. ’08) will receive the Distinguished Service Award, as someone who represents the ideals of Columbia Theological Seminary. Lisle Gwynn Garrity (M.Div./M.A.P.T ’15) will receive the Pioneer in Ministry award, representing the mission of Columbia Theological Seminary “to educate and nurture faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders for the sake of the church and the world.” The Alumni Association Luncheon and Awards Ceremony will be hosted on February 4, 2020. Sign Up HERE!

This year’s alumni reunion will include worship, lectures and workshops by Columbia Seminary faculty and alumni, and will include the 2020 O’Connor Lectures by biblical scholar, minister, and author Dr. Renita Weems. She has taught at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Spelman College. Dr. Weems has since served as Academic Dean at American Baptist College in Nashville, TN and is now co-pastor at Ray of Hope Community Church there. Dr. Weems will deliver two lectures offered free to the public in the Harrington Center Chapel on the seminary campus located at 701 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur, GA. The first lecture will be on Tuesday, February 4 at 7:00-8:00 pm, and the second lecture on Wednesday, February 5 at 11:00am-12:00pm. A reception will be held immediately after the first lecture. Details HERE!

Distinguished Service Award

Dan Milford has degrees from Texas A&M (B.A. in Modern Languages) and Columbia Theological Seminary (M.Div. ’93 and D.Min. ’08). He has been a pastor for 25 years, serving Lake Murray Presbyterian in Chapin, SC, First Presbyterian in Sand Springs, OK and Covenant Presbyterian in San Antonio. Dan has served as the moderator of Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery, as a commissioner to two Presbyterian General Assemblies, and in a variety of presbytery leadership positions. He also served as the President of Sand Springs Community Services, helping modernize and revitalize a social services organization for basic needs assistance.

Dan is happily married to Nadia Rosales, his wife of almost 28 years. Their three children—Austin, Joshua, and Alexis—are in their early 20s. They love traveling, camping and other outdoor activities, and playing games as a family.

Mental health ministry became a passion for Dan four years ago. The “Beautiful Minds Coalition” leads the effort at Covenant, and Dan is helping to create the nationwide Presbyterian Mental Health Network. He and Covenant are grateful to have the opportunity to learn from peers, families, professionals, and other congregations to grow in the ability to integrate mental health ministry into their congregational life.

Pioneer in Ministry Award

The Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity (M.Div./M.A.P.T ’15) is a Pastorist (the best titles are made up), retreat leader, and creative entrepreneur seeking to fill the church with more color, paint, mystery, and creativity. Her ministry is rooted in the prophetic and freeing power of art to connect us more deeply to God and one another.

She is the founder and creative director of A Sanctified Art LLC, a collaborative arts ministry providing multimedia resources for worshiping communities. She works with a team of artists in ministry to bring scripture and theological themes to life through visual art, worship films, poetry, liturgy, graphics, banner art designs, devotionals, and more. Their mission is to support churches with practical resources to get creative beyond the barriers of limited funds, expertise, and time.

In addition to her work with A Sanctified Art, Lisle travels widely to work with congregations and communities of faith. She leads creative retreats of all kinds, facilitates communities in creating large-scale art together, live paints for worship and events, and creates commissioned art for churches and individuals. As an ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she approaches her work as an artist primarily through the lenses of pastor and theologian, and vice versa. Her unique calling is to fully integrate both of these roles in ministry to serve the wider Church. You can learn more about her work by visiting and

Columbia Theological Seminary is “cultivating faithful leaders for God’s changing world.” As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia Seminary is a community of theological inquiry, leadership development, and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia Seminary offers six graduate degree programs and dozens of courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people through The Center for Lifelong Learning. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

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