Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Continuing Education for Social Workers and Psychologists

The Seminary will host two continuing education events in May for social workers, psychologists, and therapists. The first, “Reflections of Ministry” will be held May 8 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.; the second “Meditations of Compassionate Communion and Presence” will be held the next day from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

During the May 8 presentation, Fr. Lama John Makransky, professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston College, and Bonnie Thurston, ordained minister and former professor of New Testament at PTS, will share insights into the way meditation forms Buddhist and Christian spiritual practices. The dialogue complements the workshop that will be offered the next day by Makransky on the relation of mediations of compassionate connection and presence and clinical work.

Registration for both events is $135 ($30 for just Friday and $125 for just Saturday). Visit www.testsite.pts.edu/Spirituality_and_Psychology, call 412-924-1345, or e-mail ConEd@testsite.pts.edu for more information on either event. Participants earn two APA credits for the Friday program and six for the Saturday event.

Makransky combines an academic career as a professor of Buddhism and comparative theology at Boston College with his role as a spiritual teacher within the natural ease tradition of
Tibetan Buddhism (dzogchen). He has practiced meditations of compassion and wisdom from Tibetan traditions for more than 30 years and has pioneered new ways of bringing these powerful contemplative methods into the secular world of social service and social justice by making them accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths. Makransky is senior faculty advisor and lecturer for Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Centre for Buddhist Studies in Nepal, affiliated with Kathmandu University and Rangjung Yeshe Institute.

Thurston held the William F. Orr chair in New Testament and was a full professor in the New Testament faculty at PTS until 2002. Prior to her time at the Seminary, she taught at Wheeling Jesuit College. She left the Seminary to devote herself to writing, teaching, and leading workshops and retreats. Thurston received her degrees from Bethany College (B.A.) and the University of Virginia (M.A. and Ph.D.). She has also done post-doctoral study at Harvard Divinity School, Eberhard Karls University in Tubingen, and the Ecole Biblique, in Jerusalem. She has written numerous articles and books, including To Everything a Season: A Spirituality of Time. Thurston is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa. and approximately 380 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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