Columbia Friendship Circle

Save the Date: Come See Columbia Day on April 16, 2020

Columbia Friendship Circle began when the spouses of two seminary professors encouraged other Atlanta wives to contribute one dollar each to help the seminary. From that small group, Columbia Friendship Circle has grown to include all who participate in the Presbyterian Women’s organizations throughout the synods of South Atlantic and Living Waters. Churches from other denominations are also welcome to join.

Their mission continues today in three ways:

*Pray for the students, faculty, staff, and all members of the seminary community

*Encourage men and women to consider Christian ministry

*Provide financial assistance through selected projects that help meet the seminary’s needs

In recent years support has focused on scholarships for students with families and fellowships awarded to outstanding graduates.

To support the goal of five scholarships — $60,000 — make a gift online (Be sure to select “Columbia Friendship Circle” from the Designation Drop-down menu!), by check, or with stock.

For questions, information, or brochures, email Valrie Thompson.


Colleen Cook   

I am in my fourth and final year of a dual degree program set to earn a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Practical Theology with a concentration in Worship in May of 2019.  I am a member of Covenant Presbyterian in Athens, GA.  I am under care of the Northeast GA Presbytery as a candidate and recently passed the last of my ordination exams.  While in seminary I have been attending St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Tucker where I also did my supervised ministry in the summer of 2017.

I live with my daughter Mary, who is 12 and in 7th grade at Renfroe Middle School and with my mother Elaine, who is 85 and disabled.  We are fortunate to have caregivers for my mother for seven hours a day paid for by her long-term care insurance. Juggling studies and family responsibilities while in school takes a lot of time and concentrated effort.

I am overjoyed to have the support of the Columbia Friendship Circle with this scholarship. My family and I are so grateful to have this financial stress alleviated and the ability to pay for school and concentrate on studies and one another, especially during this final year when I will be searching for my first call.

With this support from the CFC I feel embraced by an even wider circle of the greater church.  Thank you so much for your generosity. 

Dallas Anne Thompson  

I am grateful to be a member of the senior class, Columbia Theological Seminary Class of 2019, working towards a Master of Divinity degree. I currently attend First Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, Georgia, where I am also the Director of Youth Ministries.

My husband is Joshua Thompson, and he manages technology at the Hall County and Dawson County courthouses, sings in the church choir and in a local choral group, and he also plays hand bells. Our son Ashton is fourteen years old and is in his freshmen year of high school.

We are so grateful to the Presbyterian Women and the Columbia Friendship Circle for their generous contributions towards funding seminary education for parents.  Though it has been a challenge, I have dedicated myself to my education and am working hard to learn as much as I can as I pursue this new calling in my life.

The work of the CFC is important not only for us, but for many parents who make the sometimes difficult financial choice to follow God’s call. I give thanks for the role you play in shaping God’s kingdom!

Michael Gable

I am a student at Columbia Theological Seminary scheduled to graduate in May of 2019 with a Master of Divinity. I am a member of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Macon, Georgia, a congregation within the Flint River Presbytery.  I expect these Sundays in seminary to be some of our last ones unencumbered. So my family and I regularly visit a variety of churches and services, though most regularly we find ourselves at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church.

I have been married to my wife, Shelly, since October 2010.  Together we have a six-year-old daughter, Ellen Kay, who occasionally outnumbers us in force of personality.

I would like to thank the members of the Columbia Friendship Circle for your generous support. This scholarship means that I will be able to focus my last year of seminary and candidacy preparing for the work I am called to do, rather than worrying as much about finances. 

Sarah Vungsuanching Lane

I am currently pursuing a Master of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminary in my 2nd year and look forward to graduating in 2020. I am a member of Zo Presbyterian Church where my late father, the Rev. Dr. Lianchinkhup was the founding pastor. I was born and raised in India.

My husband is Clint Lane and our oldest is Angelina, 14 years of age. Our middle child is Cameron, 12 years old and our baby is Katherine, 10 years old.

I am so grateful and thankful for this wonderful surprise. The scholarship will help remove some of the financial burden off my husband, who has been supporting me. And through this, I can now spend more time with my family. Not having to commit to Seminary Service work will not only give me time with them, it will also take away the stress of having to adjust and re-adjust my long commute from Woodstock.

I want to let Columbia Friendship Circle know that you have made a difference in my life. Thank you for your act of kindness through this generous scholarship.