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Thompson & Guthrie
Our scholar programs are designed for those who desire a more focused and academically rigorous study of contemporary ministry, society, and cultural issues.
The Thompson Scholars program brings together pastors and other church leaders with an interest in evangelism to the seminary campus each spring.
This annual seminar is designed to prepare evangelism leaders for the future. Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins, Peachtree Professor of Evangelism and Church Growth, serves as director.
This program includes this annual seminar, and supports the development of courses for basic and advanced degree students. Like the annual seminar, this course work focuses on the church’s evangelistic mission in the rapidly changing context of North America and across the globe.
Who Should Attend?
The program is designed for clergy serving in congregations and other settings of ministry, Christian educators, lay pastors, judicatory staff, and other leaders fully involved in the life of the church engaged in evangelism and the annual topic under consideration.
The seminar is offered by general registration or by application, depending on the program focus and scope. Should space be an issue, preference may be given to participants who have not participated in previous Thompson Scholar seminars.
The seminar takes place over 2-3 days, generally Tuesday through Thursday or Friday. Dr. Watkins and other leaders design a learning experience that draws on the knowledge and expertise of the leaders and participants alike.
The 2024 Seminar will build upon the work started in 2023 and will invite interested applicants to participate in a working writers project. The dates for the seminar are April 16-19, 2024. Additional information posted in July 2023.
The program fee of $350.00 for this seminar includes three nights housing and six meals. The seminar costs are underwritten by the Thompson Scholars Endowment.
Guthrie Scholars Pursue a topic of choice that engages a pressing issue of the Church from a Reformed perspective through the Guthrie Scholars Program. The program includes access to the library, a consultation with a faculty member, and a private guest room on campus. Travel and meals are the responsibility of the participant.
The Guthrie Scholars Program invites participants to the seminary campus for five days of independent study to pursue a topic of their choice that engages a pressing theological issue of the church from a Reformed perspective.
The program is offered each fall on an application basis. Participants have access to the resources of John Bulow Campbell Library and may participate in campus worship as they explore a project of their own design. These projects have included worship planning, research for a book or curriculum series, and in-depth exploration of a topic related to the participant’s ministry.
Who should apply?
The program is open to clergy serving in congregations and other settings of ministry, Christian educators, lay pastors, judicatory staff, and in other leaders fully involved in the life of the church.
While on campus, selected participants will pursue their research projects. They may meet with other Guthrie Scholars to discuss their projects and what they are learning, thereby creating a collegial context in which to think about their areas of concern.
The Center for Lifelong Learning staff arranges for applicants to meet with a faculty member whose areas of expertise coincides with their interests. The week includes opportunities to worship on campus as well as time for personal reflection and recreation.
Applications are no longer being accepted for Guthrie Scholars, September 18-23 2023. Applications for 2024 Guthrie Scholars, September 16-20, will open in the fall of 2023.
About Shirley Guthrie
In 1958, Shirley Guthrie – a young pastor from Texas with a doctorate from the University of Basel in Switzerland – came to teach at Columbia Theological Seminary. Generations of students, ministers, and others learned Christian theology from Guthrie, across five decades of teaching.
A master of explanation, Guthrie imparted a theology that was Christian, with distinctive Reformed emphases. Students and readers of his books encountered a powerful, providential God, who – in Guthrie’s memorable phrase – “isn’t out to get anybody.”
Guthrie’s leading themes in teaching, as in life, were Christian unity amidst human diversity, God’s love and justice, and the need for sinful human beings to learn forgiveness after the example of Jesus Christ.
The Guthrie Scholarship, named in his honor, offers the opportunity to spend concentrated time engaging the question: What does it mean to be the Church, and embody the Gospel?
For more information, contact Sarah Erickson via email, or call 404-687-4526.