For the 22nd year, Union Presbyterian Seminary has granted the Congregational Leadership Awards to churches who have shown leadership in developing new and effective ministries. As a national program, the awards of $1,000 each have been given to congregations in 28 states, touching the lives of thousands of individuals. Among the criteria for selecting award recipients is the realization of significant change in the congregation as a result of the initiative. In times of budget decreases, declining memberships, and competition for time and resources of congregants, the 2013 Congregational Leadership Awards winners have proven that the church is still a vital force in the daily lives of those who seek God.
Union Presbyterian Seminary will hold a Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance in memory of Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul John Achtemeier, Professor Emeritus Dr. Donald G. Dawe, and Professor Emeritus of Bibliography Dr. John Boone Trotti. The service will be on May 1, 2013 at 4 p.m. in Watts Chapel, 3401 Brook Road, in conjunction with the 2013 Sprunt Lectures.
Union Presbyterian Seminary will open a new bookstore as it takes over the campus bookstore location from Cokesbury, the retail division of United Methodist Publishing House. The store will open to the public on Wednesday, April 24th at 12 pm. There will be a grand opening sale May 2-4, including a reception and book signing event on May 2, in Belk Center - adjacent to the bookstore - on the Richmond campus, from 4:00-6:00 pm. The 2013 Sprunt lecturer E. Brooks Holifield, Professor Emeritus of the Candler School of Theology, as well as members of the UPSem faculty, will be featured.
The free conference event, Emancipation’s Unfinished Agenda: What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?, will take place on April 11 and 12 at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church. Keynote speaker Dr. Mercy Amba Ewudziwa Oduyoye, the former deputy general secretary of the World Council of Churches (1987-1994) and initiator of the Circle of African Women Theologians, is considered to be the premier theologian on African Women’s theology, missiology and culture. The preacher for the community-wide reception, book signing, and opening service on Thursday evening is the Rev. Dr. Suzan “Sujay” Johnson Cook, founder and CEO of Woman’s Wisdom Worldwide. Rev. Dr. Sujay is known as the “pastor of Wall Street.” Oduyoye and Johnson, along with Drs. Emilie M. Townes, Kelly Brown Douglas, Rosetta E. Ross, Gay Byron, Eboni Marshall-Turman, and the Reverend Michelle Watkins-Branch, will address effective ways to demystify prevailing socio-cultural amnesia in relations to the emancipation of all peoples, including religious freedom, human rights, and liberation from subjugation.
Union Presbyterian Seminary has been awarded a $250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. in support of the seminary’s new Church-Serve Initiative. The program is designed to address the economic challenges facing ministers who accept first calls in small churches with limited budgets.
Trustee Agnes W. Norfleet (M.Div.'86) began her ministry on Feb. 3 as the new pastor at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, a 2600-member congregation that is now the largest church in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be headed by a woman. In her new role at Bryn Mawr, Norfleet will be responsible for leading worship and preaching; moderating the church’s governing body, the Session; and serving as the head of staff, which includes four other pastors. A Service of Installation for the Rev. Dr. Norfleet will take place during worship on April 7 at 10 a.m.
The Leadership Institute has received a grant from the PC(USA) for a small church workshop in the fall of 2013. The grant allows Union Presbyterian Seminary to offer this workshop at a significantly reduced cost for participants.
The Huntington Library has awarded Mark Valeri a fellowship to do research in its archives and write a paper for its Sacred and Secular Revolutions Project.
Joshua Ralston is the newest member of the Union Presbyterian Seminary faculty and joins the community as instructor of theology in January 2013. Trained as a systematic theologian, Ralston brings a deep expertise in interfaith issues, Muslim-Christian dialogue, and human migration as a matter for theological reflection. Much of his teaching and research, Ralston writes, concerns “the challenge of faithfully articulating and creatively re-thinking Christian claims about God and the world in light of scripture, the history of Christian thought, other religious traditions (especially Islam), and the shifting socio-political landscape of the 21st century.”
Each year, Union Presbyterian Seminary awards Congregational Leadership Awards for innovative ministry for a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation. Each of the eight awards carries a $1,000 prize to support the congregation in its ministry.
"Squaring the Womanist Circle: Translating Black Women’s Religious Scholarship into Community Service" is a project that will serve as a launching pad for a continuing Institute of Womanist Studies at Union Presbyterian Seminary. Project directors are Katie G. Cannon, professor of Christian ethics at Union Presbyterian Seminary; Angela D. Sims, assistant professor of ethics and Black church studies at Saint Paul School of Theology (Kansas City, MO); and Erica E. Kierulf, Ph.D. candidate at Union Presbyterian Seminary.
Duck-ho Oh (Ph.D.'96) was elected as the new president of Hanil University and Theological Seminary in Junju, Korea by the board of trustees on September 27, 2012.
Ten years after starting classes in a leased space at Queens University of Charlotte, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte campus, celebrates a $7 1/4 million building campaign and campus of its own.