Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Bridging the Word and the World

1/19 2012

A Day in the Life of a Seminarian

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I type this after working a couple of hours at the library where professors come to get books on their latest papers and projects, where pastors come to get a deeper understanding of the text they will be preaching on, and where students come in and out working on their own projects for class and ministry. As I write this, I am aware of a lunch meeting going on. This meeting is comprised of students that meet weekly to listen to a guest speaker and then they pray for each other, the campus, and the world. I’ve spent the morning learning more about what Anselm was talking about with Boso in Cur Deus Homo in my Christology class. That class has friends that I have taken about a dozen classes with by now, friends that I look forward to seeing and enjoy sharing life with as we learn together. I type this before a family ministry class where we are learning about current family systems and approaches for ministry. Tomorrow I will be in Hebrew class constantly seeking to understand what God has said to the world and to me through this language.  

When I was considering seminary, PTS was not necessarily on my radar. However, during the Urbana Missions Conference in 2009, I met the President of the Seminary, Dr. Bill Carl. I enjoyed talking with him and learning about a seminary I had not previously considered. This school is committed to preparing leaders for the mission of the Church while also maintaining a strong emphasis on academic excellence. I am always challenged by what I am reading and hearing in class at PTS in transformative ways. I know that I came here in order to be equipped to minister more effectively wherever it is that God will send me after I leave this place. Every day I am challenged by the faithfulness of those who continue to seek excellence in their studies and who chose to engage in Christ centered relationships. I also give thanks for the constant prayers of my friends and family for this journey that God has set me on at PTS. I’m glad I decided to come here and I look forward to what God has yet in store for me.

Paul, Middler M.Div.


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.

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