Once again this summer we’re excited to be offering the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement intensive course, which this year takes place from August 4-10. The Rev. Jennifer Haddox ’06, associate director of the World Mission Initiative, has been coordinating this class annually since 2005. She also serves as one of the course instructors.
This year’s class brings together 30 people—five Pittsburgh Seminary students, several local residents, a variety of missionaries, and mission leaders from as far away as Minnesota and Texas. The slate of instructors includes pastors, professors (including our own Jannie Swart, associate professor of world mission and evangelism), and missionaries. The instructors’ global mission service has extended to Turkey, Europe, Russia, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, The Philippines, East Africa, Ghana, DR Congo, and South Africa.
“I expect it will be a dynamic course because of the diverse backgrounds and ministries of the participants and instructors,” notes Jen, who also put in 15-hour days (along with WMI Director and Director of New Wilmington Mission Conference, Dr. Don Dawson) on staff at the NWMC last month. She commends the annual program as “an inspiring and challenging week of hearing testimonies from the global church and the lives of missionaries who have dedicated their lives to live for the gospel in far-away places.” A large number of recent Pittsburgh Seminary graduates serve as volunteer coordinators, counselors, and worship leaders at NWMC.
A continent away, two current students—Alan Olson and Melanie Timbers—joined new PTS board member the Rev. Patrice Fowler-Searcy ’13 and four others on an eye-opening trip to Bolivia. Patrice serves as director of mission at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, and the group learned about the mission service of ELPC member Chenoa Stock as she works with UMAVIDA (Joining Hands for Life Network) to develop clean water sources there.
“Over the 10 days we traveled to five cities. We were unprepared for all we would witness,” reflected Patrice. “Our eyes were opened to the plight of our Bolivian brothers and sisters, our ears heard their stories, and our hearts were blessed by their resilience, fortitude, and hope for a brighter future.” The group is now eager to share with others what God is doing in Bolivia.
Through all these means—the Perspectives course, service at NWMC, and international mission trips—the worldviews of students at Pittsburgh Seminary are being expanded and transformed outside the classroom for remarkably effective ministry in the service of Christ throughout the world.
Thank you for partnering with us in our mission.
William J. Carl III
President and Professor of Homiletics
What does a theologian say to young preachers in the early 1930s, at the dawn of the Third Reich? The Rev. Dr. Angela Hancock, assistant professor of homiletics and worship, answers that question in her new book Karl Barth's Emergency Homiletic, 1932-1933: A Summons to Prophetic Witness at the Dawn of the Third Reich. This is the story of how a preaching classroom became a place of resistance in Germany in 1932-1933—a story that has not been told in its fullness. In that emergency situation, Barth took his students back to the fundamental questions about what preaching is and what it is for, returning again and again to the affirmation of the Godness of God, the only ground of resistance to ideological captivity. No other text has so interpreted Barth's “Exercises in Sermon Preparation” in relation to their theological, political, ecclesiastical, academic, and rhetorical context. Read Professor Hancock’s recent blog post on her new book.
Eighteen months of research and planning has culminated in the Seminary launching a new website. Be sure to check it out! The site is designed with prospective students in mind and also provides resources for alums, churches, and friends of PTS. We hope that you’ll visit often for stories about how students are following God’s call, how alums are bridging the Word and the world, and how faculty are continuing their service to the church and academy. Don’t miss the video tour!
The new online store offers hats, polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, and shorts, as well as tote bags and travel cups. You can select from different colors and have your ordered shipped right to your house. PTS merchandise makes a great gift for recent grads, new students, or alums looking to replace their favorite seminary sweatshirt. Buy your merchandise.