Our Persistent God

By Shannon Johnson Kershner, DMin ’99

In some ways, this should have been the easiest sermon I have written in a while. Luke (18:1–8) tells us right off the bat what this parable is supposed to be about. While introducing Jesus’ telling of it, Luke states outright in verse 1 it is a parable about the need for persistent prayer and the call to not lose heart. Thus that interpretation should direct the way we hear the parable, right? Maybe. Continue reading Our Persistent God

We’re Moving!

Dear Friends,

In a few days, we will be launching a new website at www.CTSnet.edu. (Note: this is the same address as our current website.) This is an exciting development for us at Columbia Theological Seminary, and we look forward to the many ways it will serve you as members of our wider community who have been following along with us.

One of the greatest developments over the past couple of years has been the creation and rapid growth of this, our Columbia Connections blog. It started out as a small experiment, and is now one of our largest venues for talking about the issues that are important to us. Thousands of visitors have been finding their way here each month!

With the creation of the new website, we will be moving and merging the blog as a permanent part of our website and our larger communications efforts. It is our hope that the website and blog will be of mutual benefit in raising the profile of all that we do here at Columbia Theological Seminary. As soon as the new website goes “live,” you will be able to reach Columbia Connections blog at www.CTSnet.edu/columbia-connections.

You will also be able to reach our enews updates about The Center for Lifelong Learning called Journeying Together at www.CTSnet.edu/journeying-together.

For those of you who are already followers of this blog either through WordPress or via email, we plan to bring you with us. If you are not yet a follower on WordPress or by email, we hope that you will consider doing so once the new site is live.

Again, we thank you, our wider community, for all the great ways you supports us. Your interest in our work is what has made this blog great!

Grace and Peace,

Michael Thompson, Director of Communications

For the Bookshelf: The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry

Root, Andrew, and Dean, Kendra Creasy, The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (2011), InterVaristy Press, Downers Grove, Illinois.

By Guest Blogger Pat Olds

This book’s content is collection of published essays from Dr. Kendra Creasy Dean and Dr. Andrew Roots. It is a resource for reshaping or reframing a youth ministry that is more relational and relevant to the spiritual needs of 21st century youth. The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry offers practical theology as a means of connecting together the culture content and context of youth to biblical truths for Christ-centered reflective thinking and application that informs faith formation. Continue reading For the Bookshelf: The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry


By Teri C. Peterson, MDiv ‘05

In many congregations, summer was a slightly (or much) slower season, and as autumn approaches we gear up for an onslaught of new and returning programs. Sunday School returns from sabbatical, the worship schedule may expand to more services, youth groups and confirmation classes and adult education and fellowship opportunities and Presbyterian Women circles and mission projects and and and…

For many pastors and church staff, looking at the September calendar can feel daunting. Continue reading AND, AND, AND.

For the Bookshelf: The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation

Rainer, Thom S., Rainer, Jess W., The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation. LifeWay Christian Research, B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tennessee, 2011.

By guest blogger Pat Olds

The context and content of this book is an “old school vs. new school” dialogue: interpretation and insight between two generations, a baby boomer father (1946-1964) and his Millennial adult son (1982-1994). The intergenerational dialogue is undergirded by a survey study of 1,200 Millennial adult respondents, males (51%) and females (49%); white (61%), African American (14%), Hispanic (19%), Asian (5%) and Multiethnic (1%). The categories surveyed and evaluated were norms, values, motivation, diversity between young and old, lifestyles, work environments, finances, future outlook, relationships – marriage, children, elders, friends, coworkers and mentors, leadership, communication and religion, soul views. The father-son millennial study of post-moderates life experiences reveals the character traits of “typical” Millennial adults includes: self-expressive, teachable, financially confused, technology savvy educated and opened to different world views.

The survey results characterized the millennial adults as being: Continue reading For the Bookshelf: The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation

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