Tag Archives: diversity

Save Us From Ourselves

By Laura M. Cheifetz, Vice President of Church and Public Relations, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation

You’ve heard it! Our PC(USA) leaders are a black man, a white woman, a black woman, and a gay Latino man. Things will not be the same, ever again! Right?

A lot happened at the 222nd General Assembly. J. Herbert Nelson was elected to be the next Stated Clerk (our head of communion*), T. Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston were elected Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly, and it was the first GA for Tony de la Rosa in his position as Interim Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (he came on staff last year).

Of course, there are four other agencies of the church whose presidents are white men, but those named above are the most visible current faces of the PC(USA). Continue reading Save Us From Ourselves

Executive VP to Fulfill New Role at Columbia Theological Seminary

Decatur, GA—Columbia Theological Seminary President Leanne Van Dyk announced the creation of a new leadership position this week, Vice President of Intercultural Leadership Development and Diversity. Dr. Van Dyk further announced the appointment of current Executive Vice President and Dean of Faculty Deborah Flemister Mullen to serve in the new role. As part of the new leadership position, Dr. Mullen will create, plan, and implement comprehensive strategies to impact the culture of the Columbia Seminary campus.

Dr. Mullen will transition from her role as Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty this summer. She will then be on sabbatical from summer 2016 to summer 2017, at which time she will return to take up the new role. The Board of Trustees has authorized the formation of a search committee for a new academic dean, with plans to appoint an interim dean in process. Continue reading Executive VP to Fulfill New Role at Columbia Theological Seminary

On Not Being the “Safe” One

By T. Denise Anderson, 222nd General Assembly Co-moderator Candidate (with Jan Edmiston)

While at the NEXT Church National Gathering last week, I engaged in a number of conversations about race. Some were about encounters with race and racism. Others were about racial justice. But the one that was most resonant for me was a conversation I had with a few other people of color about representation. In that discussion, and in subsequent conversations I would have with other people of color, we talked about what happens when people of color are “at the table” in conversations and in leadership. An interesting phenomenon occurs: it becomes obvious to us very soon that we are there because it is assumed we are “safe.” Continue reading On Not Being the “Safe” One

Breaking Boundaries

By Carrie Weatherford, MDiv ’16, Director of Children and Family Ministries at Roswell Presbyterian Church

The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
    the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the spirit of counsel and might,
    the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:2 (NRSV)

Through August and September, I was able to gather around a small table with a group of really special people. Usually, it was a table right outside the Broyles Leadership Center in the courtyard. I am pretty sure that if our same group had gathered at a restaurant, people might wonder how we all came to be together. Continue reading Breaking Boundaries

The “C” Word

By Claudia Aguilar, MDiv ’11 Associate Director of Recruitment and Student Services

If you ask around campus: “what’s the best thing about Columbia?,” I am almost sure that the majority will say “community.” I am not really sure if that is the answer we have all learned to give when that question is asked (habit is a powerful thing) or if people really mean it, but I know that we use it way too much around here and that dilutes the meaning of the word. But if you ask me the same question, my answer would be “community.” Why? I could start by talking about Columbia’s spiritual life: we hold chapel services four times per week, we have student-led spirituality workshops and prayer time, we break bread together during communion every Friday, every school year begins and ends with worship, reminding us that everything we do during the school year is worship. Our love for God is at the heart of our life together.  Continue reading The “C” Word