Communities of Learning

...Learning Together, Building Community

Communities of Learning (CoL) is an innovative summer orientation program, unique to Union Presbyterian Seminary, that shows new students just how much we care about making their seminary experience a successful one! 

CoL is designed to help new students transition into seminary by better preparing them to engage UPSem's academic curriculum and its processes of spiritual and vocational formation.  The program offers new students an opportunity to participate in online theological study and discussion in a supportive, small-group setting—a ‘community of learning’ comprised of not only other new students but faculty advisors and alumni mentors as well--during the summer prior to beginning their degree program. 

Click on the VIDEO above to hear what students, faculty, and alums who have participated in CoL have to say about the benefits of the program! 

Flexible Online Engagement

The CoL Program includes students from all three UPSem learning platforms—the Richmond campus, the Charlotte campus, and the Extended Campus Program.  And, because these community discussions take place online, students can participate on their own schedules and from wherever they happen to be during the summer, as long as they have internet access.

The program also includes an optional weekend event on the Richmond campus where students, faculty advisors, and alumni mentors gather for a time of study, worship, fun, and fellowship—in person, for a change!

Community Building

CoL’s strong emphasis on community-building seeks to instill in participants a sense of connectedness to one another and a deeper appreciation for differing perspectives and the value of collaborative learning—qualities that will serve students well not only in their theological studies but also in their future ministry.

Join us!

Participation in the CoL program is not required, though highly encouraged!  Students, faculty, and alums alike have found the CoL experience to be a most rewarding one!

To learn more about the program and/or to sign up as a new student or alumna/us mentor, please contact:
Sandy Irby, Director
Communities of Learning Program
(804) 278-4272 /



CoL Lecture Series: "Love Endures: A Christian View of Human Worth and Dementia"

Three-part dinner seminar, sponsored by the CoL program, open to the public and held on Union's Richmond Campus, Winter 2015

In this timely and thought-provoking lecture series, Dr. Jim Wright, local geriatric physician and Union alumnus, draws upon his experience in long-term care for those with chronic debility in discussing the theological, medical, and ethical implications inherent in ministering to those, and to the families of those, dealing with dementia.



Love Endures:  Videos + Slide Presentations