Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

1/12 2012

Education and Continuing Education at PTS

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We as students at Pittsburgh Seminary have access to amazing faculty, thousands of resources in the Barbour Library, and an invaluable and often overlooked opportunity—Continuing Education workshops and lectures. While these events are designed with pastors and lay leaders in mind, students are encouraged to attend and typically can do so FREE! These opportunities supplement what we learn in the classroom about the books of the Bible, the historical Church, and ministry around the globe. Upcoming is the timely topic of social media in ministry. During a four-part series the Rev. Dr. Deirdre King Hainsworth, assistant professor of ethics and director of the Center for Business, Religion and Public Life at PTS, will address “Building Faith Online: Using Social Media in Ministry.”

The Internet has been available publicly for 20 years, and since its beginning denominations and congregations have been working on ways to use it well. During this course, participants will examine the use of social media in the church, how it works, and what emerging trends are shaping where the technology is heading. The group will consider what happens to the Christian message when using social media to share the story of God’s work. Topics to be discussed include “Social Media Basics,” “Can the Gospel be Tweeted?” “The Church in Cyberspace,” and “Best Practices for Social Media in Ministry.” As church leaders in the 21st century, we are certain to gain insight from these workshops!

I encourage you to check out all of the Continuing Education events at Pittsburgh Seminary and consider how your “education” and “continuing education” will enable you to serve God in the world.

Melanie, Senior M.Div.


1/5 2012

Alum Rebecca Jones Bridges the Word and the World in Zambia

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Recently Pittsburgh Theological Seminary alum Rebecca Jones ’11 received The Phillips Talbot Global Ministry Fellowship, awarded by Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church (New York City). She was selected from a national pool of PC(USA) students nominated by their seminaries for the award. This highly competitive fellowship funds a two-year program of ministry that includes a year-long immersion experience in the dynamics of the Christian church in the “Global South.”

After ordination and a summer-long orientation in the U.S., Rebecca moved to Kitwe, Zambia, to work as an intern with Theological Education by Extension Zambia. Throughout Africa, the Church is experiencing such growth that the demand for ordained leadership cannot be met. With TEEZ, she is helping to  train lay leaders, teachers, and preachers through classes on Scripture, theology, and skills for ministry in an effort to address the leadership shortage in Zambia. When she returns, she will put her experiences to work as a staff member of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church for six months before pursuing her next call to ministry.

Please visit the Rev. Rebecca Jones’ Blog to get a glimpse of how she bridges the Word and the world in Zambia.


12/29 2011

PTS Welcomes New Prof of Homiletics

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The Board of Directors has named the Rev. Dr. Angela Dienhart Hancock as assistant professor of homiletics and worship. Dr. Hancock connected immediately with both students and faculty as a person of deep faith, considerable academic and parish experience, and substantial knowledge of how to model and teach both preaching and worship. She will be a wonderful addition to our already stellar faculty.

Angela will begin March 1, 2012. She has taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg.  An ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she has served as pastor to Presbyterian congregations in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

Hancock earned her bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University, Bloomington and her M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where she won prizes in preaching and church music. Her dissertation, to be published by Eerdmans, is a contextual interpretation of Swiss theologian Karl Barth’s “emergency” venture into the field of practical theology at the University of Bonn in the early 1930s, based on unpublished archival material. As such, it is an interdisciplinary study involving the fields of history and rhetoric in addition to systematic and practical theology. Hancock’s next project extends her work on Karl Barth and rhetoric to the North American context, tentatively titled, “Preaching in Tongues: Postliberalism and the Rhetoric of the North American Pulpit.” Her scholarly interests include systematic theology, homiletics, liturgical theology, rhetoric, performance theory, history, and philosophical hermeneutics.

Angela continues to preach, teach, and lead worship in a variety of ecclesiastical settings. Her professional affiliations include the Academy of Homiletics, the Karl Barth Society of North America, and Society of Biblical Literature.

Born in Ohio, Angela grew up in Southern California. She converted to Christianity while in college. She met her husband, Trent, while in seminary, where they sang in the touring choir together. After their first pastorate (they were co-pastors), Trent served as an Army chaplain with the 101st Airborne Division. He was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and is currently an associate pastor in Morrisville, Pa. During her first year in the Ph.D. program at Princeton, Angela was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and spent most of the next year in and out of the hospital undergoing five rounds of intensive chemotherapy. During the course of her treatment, she received more than 1,000 transfusions of blood and platelets from hundreds of different donors. She has been in remission since 2004. From time to time Angela speaks on behalf of the Red Cross (once on television!), especially encouraging people to donate platelets, a more involved process than simple blood donation, but a critical need for many cancer patients. 

In her free time, Angela enjoys playing bridge, The New York Times crossword puzzle, hiking, film criticism, a cappella singing, photographing very small things, and arranging music for her family (all string players).

 The Rev. Dr. William J. Carl III, President

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