Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will offer “The Future of the Church” Tues., Jan. 10, 17, 24, and 31, 2012 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. The Rev. Dr. Edwin Chr. van Driel, assistant professor of theology at Pittsburgh Seminary, will lead the course.

Currently, we are a church exhausted by unresolved conflicts, anxious about declining membership, and nervously eyeing our competitors in the religious marketplace. Rather than offering quick fixes and techniques, this course will delve deeply into our biblical and theological resources to help pastors and their congregations re-think what it means to be “church.” In addition to the four weekly presentations, there will be an opportunity to take part in online interaction between classes with Dr. van Driel and other course participants. Clergy, ministers, and laypersons from congregations of any denomination are encouraged to participate.

Topics for discussion include “Church and Covenant: A Thought Experiment” Jan. 10, “Outside the (United) Church Is No Salvation: An Argument” Jan. 17, “Bearing with One Another in Love: Engaging Objections” Jan. 24, and “The Household of God: Rooted in the Future” Jan. 31.

In addition to those meeting at Pittsburgh Seminary, this course will be broadcast live from PTS to the off-site locations. Attendees at the off-site locales will see and be seen by all participants. Discussion will involve participants at all locations—Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church, Wheeling, W.Va. and Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pa. Refer to the brochure for information regarding registration at the of-campus sites.

van Driel joined the faculty at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2009. Previously, he taught at Fordham University. A native of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he holds master’s degrees in theology and philosophy from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, and an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University. Edwin’s current interests are in Christology, eschatology, and ecclesiology. In his book Incarnation Anyway (Oxford, 2008), he asks the basic question, “Why did God become incarnate in Jesus Christ?” arguing that the purpose is not just to deal with human sin. Rather, God’s goal from the beginning of creation was to become tangibly present in human form in the midst of God’s people. Edwin has recently completed a book on the unity and future of the American mainline church. An ordained minister in the PC(USA), he is also a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, which is preparing the new hymnbook for the PC(USA).

Contact the Office of Continuing Education at 412-924-1345 or ConEd@testsite.pts.edu for information. Learn more online.

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 310 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.