Lessons from Infomercials

Lessons from Infomercials

I’m a fan of late night infomercials.

Given I am a bit of an insomniac that shouldn’t be a surprise.

I got hooked when I saw the first Pocket Fisherman infomercial by Ronco, an early (and still popular) product from informercial…

Dwelling in Honesty and Gratitude

How can clergy care for themselves?

What does self-care look like in this topsy-turvy world?

Can this be done without ignoring the real suffering of others, without hiding away in places of privilege?


I reflected on this question during…

Mission Statements for Children’s Ministries

I’ve surveyed children’s ministry missions statements in preparation for courses I’ve created (the majority of congregations I surveyed didn’t have one).

I have been intrigued by the use of “mission statements” by children’s ministry programs in congregations.

I’ve got mixed…

The Holy Gaze of Art

Have you ever let words fall away?

I don’t mean a week long silent retreat or a time of quiet meditation in your day.

Rather, have you ever placed books, articles, podcasts, news and teachings of others aside to deeply…

Basic Rules for Planning Congregational Education Programs

Here are a few basic rules I always share with folks looking to get a handle on how to plan their church education program:


The persons who show up at an event are the ones who need to be…

5 Ministry Quotes to Use Right Now

It’s okay to be green:”

My Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor assured me after I relayed a mistake that I had made in a pastoral conversation that day.

I glared at her.

As I prepared to enter into my final year…

Stop. Listen.

Several roles define my life right now: wife, mother, student, minister, and friend.

Within all these roles, I use the skills learned in the Certificate in Spiritual Direction program.

Funny thing—I was in all these same roles during that training!

President Van Dyk Announces Retirement

Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, President of Columbia Theological Seminary, has announced she will retire in July 2022. She has served the seminary since July 2015.

Throughout her career, Van Dyk has worked tirelessly in the calling of theological education to…

New logo for Columbia Theological Seminary

A Look at John Wesley

In the history of modern education, John Wesley (1703-1791) holds a special place in the history and development of the religious education of children.


John Wesley, a product of a long line of ministers (he was the fifteenth of nineteen…