Knowing When To Fold ‘Em: The Plight of Second Chair Leaders

Knowing When To Fold ‘Em: The Plight of Second Chair Leaders

Congregational staff who occupy the “second chair” often find themselves in a precarious position related to the prospects of their tenure.

Sometimes circumstances dictate this, but also, the relationship with the senior pastor can be a major factor, or, simply…

Divine Partnership for Women of Color in Ministry

My dad was a Methodist pastor.

As a result, my childhood was characterized by long car rides in which I was a passenger navigating the unique landscape of each church to which we were assigned.

One of my most worthwhile…

What Effective Church Educators Do

Fortunate is the church that can afford to call a paid church educator. More fortunate still is the church that finds an effective educator. That one person will make all the difference in helping a church have a stellar Christian…

Education by Israel Galindo

Helping and Ministering At End-of-Life

I’d always known we were a death-denying culture.

I learned that first from the classic work by Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death.

I learned it again when I served as a hospice chaplain for six years, prior to…

The Burnout Cycle

November 19, 2018—During a recent conversation with a new clergy friend, he shared his experience of burnout. After five years at his previous church he’d not taken a vacation. Weariness led to seriousness, then a neglect of self-care, then a…

Healthy Transitions Wellness Retreat for Ministers and Spouses

June 25, 2018—The Center for Lifelong Learning is pleased to partner with the Ministering to Ministers Foundation in offering the Transitioning Into Wellness Retreat for Ministers and Spouses. The wellness retreat provides a relaxed atmosphere and confidential setting…

Apply Now to Attend Jazz as a Metaphor for Ministry: The Power of Improvisation

Jazz as a Metaphor for Ministry: The Power of Improvisation is the topic that the Thompson Scholars will explore April 24-27, 2018 at the Center for Lifelong Learning on the Columbia Theological Seminary campus.

Designed by a team of leaders steeped…

What May Congregations Look Like?

By Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning and Director of Online Education.

September 4, 2017—The formation of the congregation as an expression of Church happened before the close of the New Testament era in the first century. Jesus’…

Beth Waltemath

A Quick Assessment of Your Congregational Vitality

May 29, 2017—Assessment and evaluation are critical practices for any organization. Yet, many congregations do a poor job of assessing and evaluating the multiple and often complex facets of congregational vitality. There are several reasons for this: a lack of…

Ralph Watkins and Marthame Sanders connect art, inspiration and ministry

May 25, 2107—aijcast (art, inspiration, justice) is a weekly podcast hosted by Marthame Sanders. Featuring artists from a variety of media, we explore the connections between the artist and their art, their sources of and hopes for inspiration, and how…

For the Bookshelf: Five Worthwhile Books on Youth Ministry

May 8, 2017—Attention to the faith development of youth and young adults (most, arguably, who continue in a state of protracted adolescence well into traditional chronological years of adulthood) remains one of the most critical of congregational ministries. The challenges…

For the bookshelf seeds for the future by Adam Tyler

The Struggle for Community – Whatever That Means

July 21, 2016—The struggle for community is real. Across America people long for community, whatever that means, and whatever that means, community seems increasingly elusive.

I’ve lived in suburbia before, and the sense of isolation can be overwhelming. In one…

Virtually the Same: On Start-ups, Spreadsheets and Service Books

June 30, 2016—This Service Book and Rodex belonged to my grandfather, the Reverend William Dickson Varker. He served the PC(USA) as a pastor from 1955 -1991 and this Rodex holds record of the baptisms, marriages and burials he did while…

A Vulnerable Love: the Good News of Christmas

This is my first Advent / Christmas Season back in the parish in seven years. The last Advent worship series I had to plan and the last marathon day of Christmas Eve services I helped lead were in 2008. Sure,…

Four Pressing Needs in Rural Communities, and How the Church Should Respond

October 1, 2015—While the cultures may be vastly different, rural churches seemingly face similar challenges across international, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines.

So, what needs arise in rural communities the world over? Here are four emerging needs that such churches will do…

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