Guthrie Scholars Program

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.

Program Structure

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.

Dates and Costs

Guthrie Scholars 2022 is scheduled for September 19-23, 2022.

A flexible schedule option is available. Applicants who prefer an alternative week during the fall semester (September – November) may list up to three options for consideration during the application process.

The Guthrie Scholars program includes access to the seminary library and a private guest room on campus for up to five nights, generally Sunday – Thursday. Travel to and from the campus, and other incidentals, including meals, are the responsibility of each participant. The Harrington Center is equipped with a full kitchen and a kitchenette.

A flexible schedule option is available. Applicants who prefer an alternative week during the fall semester (September – November) may list up to three options for consideration during the application process.

Application Process

Applications for 2022 closed on August 1, 2022. Applications for 2023 will open in October 2022.

Applications are submitted electronically and reviewed as received. Enrollment closes when space is filled. Participants are selected on the basis of their applications, the focus of their projects and the potential application of each project to the applicant’s life and ministry.

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.

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