Educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world.

Courses and Events

Registration at least 4-8 weeks prior to each course is encouraged; pre-course preparation or reading may be required.  Courses may be canceled or postponed if sufficient numbers of participants are not enrolled 3-6 weeks prior to the start date of the event.


Growing Into Tomorrow…Today

(PCUSA Board of Pensions Pre-Retirement Planning Seminar)

Starting: 10/21/2014
Ending: 10/22/2014

Planning for retirement can be challenging. This free-two day seminary is for members of the PCUSA Board of Pensions and guests planning to retire within the next fifteen years. Look beyond finances to inform, educate, and inspire a journey toward wholeness in retirement.

  • Identify key questions for discernment
  • Assess your finances and options for saving before retirement
  • Discuss healthcare and housing options
  • Create next steps in life balance, relationships, housing, health and finances

The seminar will be led by a Board of Pensions Education Specialist and Retirement Planning Consultants. Seating is limited to 30 participants. Course registration for this event is through the Board of Pension (www.pensions.org/seminars) and will be announced in the summer of 2014.  Please direct general inquiries to education@pensions.org or call 800-733-7752 ext 7223.. Registered participants will receive instructions about housing and meals as part of the registration process.

Instructors: Board of Pensions Education Team 


Food & Garden Spirituality in the New Testament

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 10/23/2014
Ending: 10/26/2014

Garden. Vineyard. Mustard seed. Tree of life. Soil. Root. Branch.  In this session we will explore together agricultural imagery that is at the heart of biblical stories and teachings. Our traditions invite us to return regularly to the garden, to experience anew how human beings can only thrive when we are integrated into the whole of creation.

Instructor: Gail O’Day                                                 Location: Montreat Conference Center 

Details and registration 


Post-Retirement Seminar

(PCUSA Board of Pensions Post Retirement Living Seminar)

Starting: 10/23/2014
Ending: 10/23/2014

Retirement planning doesn't end when you retireThis free one-day seminar is an informative update on the state of the Pension Plan and other applicable resources. It’s designed for those who receive a pension check from the PCUSA Board of Pensions: retired plan members, survivors, and their guests. Covered topics include:

  • One’s vocation in retirement
  • Pension Plan update
  • Medicare and Medicare supplement update
  • Post-employment financial management
  • Housing allowance and retirement
  • Assessing your estate plan (including updating wills)

 The seminar will be led by a Board of Pensions Education Specialist. Seating is limited to 30 participants. Course registration for this event is through the Board of Pension (www.pensions.org/seminars) and registration will be announced in the summer of 2014.  Please direct general inquiries to education@pensions.org or call 800-773-7752, ext. 7223. Registered participants will receive instructions about housing and meals as part of the registration process.

Instructors: Board of Pensions Education Specialist


NEW COURSE: Small Churches: Adventures in Vitality - REGISTRATION IS CLOSED AS OF 9/18/14

Starting: 11/3/2014
Ending: 11/5/2014

Do you have fewer than 150 in your worship service?  This event is for you! 

Three former Alban Consultants present material specially designed for small congregations. A series of four learning modules address key aspects of small church vitality, including a closing session designed to help participants integrate their learning. Discounts for teams are available.  

Instructors: Congregational Consultants Sarai Rice and John Wimberly, and Senior Consultant Dan Hotchkiss. 

Event Details


Compass Points: Personnel and Leadership

(PCCCA Certificate Course)

Starting: 11/6/2014
Ending: 11/9/2014

The focus of this class is Christian leadership, which is key to effective camp and conference ministry. Participants will explore staffing models that achieve both programmatic and mission goals.  An introduction into human resource issues and staff development will be covered.  This course is offered as a pre-event at the 2014 PCCCA Annual Conference which takes place at the Heartland Presbyterian Center (Kansas City, Missouri) on November 9th-14th. 

Online registration for this event is available at http://ac.pccca.net.  Questions about registration or the Compass Points Program in General? Please contact Joel Winchip, PCCCA Executive Director, at joel@pccca.net or 803.322.0232. For additional information please see http://www.compasspointsprogram.org/calendar/


The Still Small Voice is the Sound of Sheer Silence: Contemplative Prayer for Beginners

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 11/10/2014
Ending: 11/14/2014

When Elijah went to the mountain of the Lord and experienced the presence of God, traditional Bible translations say he encountered a “still small voice.” But the New Revised Version translates that same phrase as the sound of sheer silence! For centuries, Christian saints, scholars and mystics have recognized that silence is the key to spiritual growth — and that meditation and contemplation are the keys to silent prayer. But beginning (or deepening) a practice of meaningful, regular silent prayer can be challenging indeed. This experiential retreat, perfect for beginners (but suitable for everyone), explores the elements of contemplative prayer in a gentle, structured, and supportive way. We will address the common challenges in the practice of contemplation: from distracted thoughts, to restlessness, to difficult or “afflictive” memories and feelings, as we consider the wisdom of both past and present teachers of the contemplative way. Best of all, we will have time every day to begin and deepen our own adventure of meeting our loving God in silence.

Instructor: Carl McColman                                         Location: Columbia Theological Seminary

Details and registration


A Sacred Pause: Preparing for the Advent Journey

Spirituality Program Prayer Retreat

Starting: 11/15/2014
Ending: 11/15/2014

Is it possible to live into Advent in a more conscious, intentional way than ever before?

Amid our many distractions, is there a path in this season to a deeper awareness of God’s presence?

This half day prayer retreat is designed to find a way to say YES to those questions. Through prayer and reflection we will seek ways to develop a more intentional rhythm for our Advent journey, and avoid getting caught up in the “Christmas rush.”

Leader:  Deedra Rich, Baptist minister, spiritual director, and retreat leader, formerly the Associate Director of Spirituality at The Center for Lifelong Learning. 

Details and Registration


Leadership in Ministry Workshop (Atlanta) NEW Extended Learning Opportunity

Pastoral Excellence Program

Starting: 11/17/2014
Ending: 11/19/2014

Dates:             Session I - Nov. 17-19, 2014

                      Session II – March 9-11, 2015

The Center for Lifelong Learning is a new location for Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops beginning in the fall of 2014. Participants will learn how the concepts of family emotional process can be applied to their own ministry contexts, and, explore the theological implications of these concepts. This program is comprised of two three-day sessions (fall and spring). Each session follows the themes of Dr. Edwin Friedman’s book, Generation to Generation, with one day devoted to each of the minister’s three interlocking families: the minister’s own personal family (nuclear and extended), congregation member families and the congregation as a family. 

The Program fee of $480 includes all program fees, refreshments and six meals for each session (dinner Monday through lunch Wednesday). Thanks to a generous grant from the Pastoral Excellence Network (PEN) two nights of housing on campus is prvoided.

Details and registration 


The Pastor’s Own Family and Congregational Leadership

(A Workshop by Ronald W. Richardson for the Flint River Presbytery Partnership)

Starting: 11/19/2014
Ending: 11/21/2014

A major omission in pastoral training is the person of the pastor. In addition, pastors do not often think of their own family of origin as a major resource for becoming better leaders within their congregations. Doing family of origin work is the best way to address these challenges and become more competent in our congregational leadership. This workshop will focus on how to do how to do that family of origin work, addressing specific questions around particular or unique situations that may occur so that participants will leave the workshop with a plan for how to proceed in their own families.  


Sea Kayaking: An Eco-Travel Seminar

Starting: 12/30/2014
Ending: 1/6/2015

Welcome the New Year amidst the unpredictable beauty of God’s creation. Participants in this eco-travel seminar will spend five days sea kayaking through the Bahamas. We will camp on the islands, learn about environmental ethics, and take time for spiritual renewal. Participants must be of at least average fitness, able to swim, and willing to live “off the grid” for a week. Experience in backpacking/camping and/or kayaking helpful but not necessary. We will learn the skills and best practices for kayak camping and open water travel in a safe and encouraging environment.

Click the booklet below for more details. Deadline for initial registration and deposit is October 30, 2014.


Trip leaders: Mark Douglas and Steve Harrington

Details and registration


Lectionary Studies Lent/Easter B through Christmas C (January Seminars)

Starting: 1/20/2015
Ending: 1/23/2015

Designed for the preacher and teacher, this seminar will provide you with a fresh look at lectionary passages (RCL) from Lent B to Christmas C AND time to use what you learn to polish your worship and preaching plans for the coming liturgical year. Early registration discount through November 1.

Instructors: David Bartlett, Brennan Breed, Erica Durham, Michael Morgan, Raj Nadella and Khalia Williams.

Details and Registration 


Reading Thomas Merton’s Journals as Lectio Divina: An Intimate Way of Reading with Crisis and Mystery

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 1/29/2015
Ending: 2/1/2015

Thomas Merton’s life-long journal project (1939 – 1968) is a key to understanding both his life and developing work.  The journals also work like a prayer book. Record, catalyst, and an inspiration for books he himself published, the seven volumes of the complete journal, as excerpted in the edited THE INTIMATE MERTON, will be examined through focused study.  This selected gathering of entries, taken from each volume of the complete journals, will be used as material which can be seen to function as fuel for Lectio Divina.

Reading the selections in THE INTIMATE MERTON, the class will do several things. First, we will begin to become familiar with particular passages (and with the 16 journals which have been published – by Merton, or adapted by him, as well as edited by others). Secondly, the course will focus on entries from these selections to understand more fully the process of spiritual journey.  These are entries not just for Merton but for anyone’s spiritual journey. Lastly, it will be possible also to examine many of these entries in detail as a four step process which clearly encourages rereading and prayer.  

Instructor: Victor Kramer

Details and Registration


S3 2014 Cohort Concluding Retreat

Starting: 2/9/2015
Ending: 2/11/2015

The four peer learning groups in the 2014 Cohort will conclude their work,  reflect on their projects, share lessons learned with one another.  The schedule will include ample time to work on group and project evaluations and explore options for continued peer group learning.  Monday evening includes a dinner featuring reports by each group.  Participants will receive registration information by December 1, 2014.


A Dwelling Place for God: Discerning Anew the Relations between Creation, Eschatology, and Ecology

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 2/12/2015
Ending: 2/15/2015

This course is especially for those who wish to rediscover a Christian spirituality that is rooted in and integrates creation, worship, justice, and hope. Early Judaism and Christianity both understood the temple as a symbol of the whole creation, an image of heaven and earth as they were meant to be, and as the place where God’s presence was to be found. The early Christians shaped their corporate practices and self-understanding as the “body of Christ” in light of the story of Christ, which depicted Jesus’ body as a living temple (e.g., John 2:23). Images of temple and creation are found throughout the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation. How might reclaiming this material, now largely forgotten or misunderstood, provide us with models of spiritual practice and imagination for people living at the edge of history?

Instructor:  Stan Saunders                                Location:  Columbia Theological Seminary

Details and Registration


The Seven Concepts That Will Change Your Teaching

Starting: 2/23/2015
Ending: 2/25/2015

Has your teaching become routine? Is your bag of teaching tricks and methods running thin? Do you want to be more effective in your teaching? This program is for congregational educators—lay teachers, pastors, teaching staff, program staff who want to be more effective in their teaching.  This is a three day educational workshop for personal and professional development in the area of teaching and learning in the congregational context.

Participants will be introduced to seven powerful concepts (“big ideas”) about teaching and learning that will form a framework for new ways to approach teaching and learning in work and ministry

Instructor: Israel Galindo

Details and Registration


Compass Points: Development

(PCCCA Certificate Course)

Starting: 2/25/2015
Ending: 2/28/2015

The course will examine multiple aspects of development in the camp and conference setting. Learners will explore fund development as well as staff, volunteer, and board development. It will conclude with study of a site, master, and strategic development plan. This class will be taught by Scott Henderson of Meadowkirk at Delta Farm (Middleburg, VA) and Mike Huber of Upper New York Annual Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries (Moravia, NY). The location for this program will be Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center in Brownstown, Indiana. To learn more about the Compass Points certification program, go to www.compasspointsprogram.org. For questions about registration or the Compass Points program in general, please contact Joel Winchip, PCCCA Executive Director,  at joel@pccca.net  or 803.322.0232.


Compass Points: Non-Profit Management

(PCCCA Certificate Course)

Starting: 2/25/2015
Ending: 2/25/2015

This class will cover a wide range of topics relevant to the managing a non-profit business including communications, governance, risk management, finances, and a basic business plan. This class will be taught by Dan Scheneman of Heartland Presbyterian Center (Kansas City, MO) and Lauri Sojourner of Gravatt Camp and Conference Center (Aiken, SC). The location for this course will be Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center in Brownstown, Indiana. To learn more about the Compass Points certification program, go to www.compasspointsprogram.org.


Immersion Experience: An Invitation to a Deeper Spiritual Life

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 3/8/2015
Ending: 3/11/2015

Discover the key ideas and foundational practices for the grand adventure of life in the Spirit! During this Thursday-Sunday Spirituality Immersion Experience, you will explore the origins of the Christian spiritual tradition, while learning the formative elements of Biblical, monastic, and Reformed spirituality. Our schedule includes time for personal reflection through guided meditative journaling — an exercise for exploring your own unique journey with the living God. Getting to know your fellow students, in both small group and one-on-one settings, will support your practical application of the knowledge acquired over the course.

Location: Montreat Conference Center

Details and Registration


Leadership in Ministry Session II

Pastoral Excellence Program

Starting: 3/8/2015
Ending: 3/11/2015

The Center for Lifelong Learning is a new location for Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops beginning in the fall of 2014. Participants will continue to learn how the concepts of family emotional process can be applied to their own ministry contexts, and, explore the theological implications of these concepts, building on their work in November 2014. Each session follows the themes of Dr. Edwin Friedman’s book, Generation to Generation, with one day devoted to each of the minister’s three interlocking families: the minister’s own personal family (nuclear and extended), congregation member families and the congregation as a family. The Program fee of $480 includes all program fees, refreshments and six meals for each session (dinner Monday through lunch Wednesday). Thanks to a generous grant from the Pastoral Excellence Network (PEN), two nights of on-campus housing are provided.


New Course with Marjorie Thompson

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 3/19/2015
Ending: 3/22/2015

Details and registration coming soon!


The Process of Aging and Implications for Ministry

Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course

Starting: 4/13/2015
Ending: 4/15/2015

NEW CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN OLDER ADULT MINISTRY

This course will explore practical ways that our congregations, families, and caregivers can adapt and respond to age-related changes in body, mind and spirit in order to enhance the well-being and quality of life among older people.

Leader: Mary Ann Johnson

Details and Registration


The Church: A System of Relationships. An Introduction to Bowen Systems Theory and Congregational Leadership

Starting: 4/14/2015
Ending: 5/1/2015

This course is an introduction to Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST) applied to the congregational context and to congregational leadership.  Through formal guided discussions, reflecting on personal experience, and examining latent theological ideals of congregation, Church, and leadership, participants will gain a new understanding of their congregation and their leadership roles. This is an online course

Instructor: Israel Galindo

Details and Registration


Teaching for Transformation with Older Adults

Older Adult Ministry Certificate Course

Starting: 4/16/2015
Ending: 4/18/2015

NEW CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN OLDER ADULT MINISTRY

Teaching and learning methods that enhance engagement in, and ownership of, the learning process are as important for older adults as they are for all ages. Explore learning styles, examine effective teaching methods, experience current teaching-learning theories, and consider application to and adaptations for older adults.

Leader: Joyce MacKichan Walker

Details and Registration


Thompson Scholars 2015 - Spiritual Pioneers: The Call, Risks and Blessings of Church Development

Starting: 4/21/2015
Ending: 4/24/2015

Thompson Scholars 2015 will explore the topic, “Spiritual Pioneers: The Call, Risks and Blessings of Church Development." This annual event brings together pastors and other church leaders with a special interest in evangelism. Dr. Jeffery L. Tribble, Sr., associate professor of ministry at the seminary, will lead the seminar, assisted by Rev. David I. Neville, Jr., D.Min, Rev. Jin S. Kim, D.Min., and Rev. Sara Hayden.

This year’s seminar is designed for those new to church planting and development, or who are tasked with organizing a new worshipping community or revitalizing an existing community. This is an application-based program. Qualified applicants will be accepted until we reach maximum enrollment. For an application form, click here. The application deadline is December 1, 2014. Applicants will be notified of their status by January 15, 2015. Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in previous Thompson Scholar seminars. For additional information, including a link to the application, click HERE.


Praying with Julian of Norwich

Certificate in Spiritual Formation

Starting: 4/23/2015
Ending: 4/26/2015

 

The fourteenth century anchoress and teacher of prayer has, in our own era, become recognized as one of Christianity’s most masterful and comforting spiritual guides, as witnessed, for example, by Paulist Press’s choice of her Revelations of Divine Love to initiate its important series of the Classics of Western Spirituality.  During a 24 hour period of serious illness, Julian was drawn into an intense sixteen part dialogue with Christ on the Cross, during which He “showed” or “revealed” seminal truths which she was to proclaim to all her “fellow Christians.”  These were not new ideas, but rather core truths that had become neglected during the past centuries, some of which indeed seemed to contradict some of the major emphases of the Christianity of her era.

By reading carefully the Long Text of Julian’s Revelations, this class will examine and  meditate on those key insights into God’s relationship to Creation as revealed to her expressly for the sake of us, those “fellow Christians” of whom she is so aware--God’s non-condemnatory love and goodness constantly active in all that exists; humankind’s partnership with God through life in the Trinity; God as Mother, courteous, familiar, easy to be with; and Jesus’ astounding promise to the whole world “that all shall be well.”

Instructor:
Dewey Kramer
Location: Montreat Conference Center, lodging information here

Details and registration

 



Preaching the Verbs - A New Approach to Preaching

Starting: 5/4/2015
Ending: 5/6/2015

If you do a quick survey of any Bible passage, you’ll find that the verbs dominate. It’s what we do and don’t do that preoccupies human beings. And it’s the verbs we cannot imagine for ourselves (live, liberate, forgive, resurrect) that the church offers, and that we reach for, week after week. Dr. Anna Carter Florence puts a twist on dramatic theory and invites us to read the biblical “script” by focusing on the verbs that are given and chosen by the characters. What new things will we see and hear in both our sacred text and our human drama when we connect the verbs? How can that, in turn, change and renew our preaching?

Instructors:  Dr. Anna Carter Florence, John Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, assisted by Rev. Khalia Williams, Chapel Coordinator and Adjunct Professor of Worship and Preaching.

Details and Registration

Want to stay for an entire week, for independent study/worship planning? See extended stay housing option, or indicate on registration form number of additional nights (departure Friday, May 8).


New Course: Colloquy for Mid-Career Clergy

Pastoral Excellence Program

Starting: 8/10/2015
Ending: 8/12/2015

Dates:             Session I - August 10 - 12, 2015

                      Session II – January 11 - 13, 2016

This new, application-based program is designed for mid-career clergy (ten to twenty years into full time ministry). Applicants should desire to participate in a professional formative conversation, to reflect on their vocational experience, and assess their ability to meet the leadership demands/needs of their organization. Attention will be given to addressing common experiences and issues of mid-career clergy: facing either a normative or unanticipated career transition, standing at a vocational crossroads of some sort, engaging in reflective self-assessment, and finding support among peers.

For an application form, click HERE. The application deadline is April 15, 2015; applicants will be selected and notified in May. Enrollment is limited, and attendance is required at both sessions. For additional information, including a link to the application, click here.

Instructors: Dr. Betty Pugh Mills, Rev. Jonathan Ball


Leadership in Ministry Workshop (Atlanta)

Starting: 11/16/2015
Ending: 11/19/2015

Dates:     Session I - Nov. 16-19, 2015
               Session II – March 7-9, 2016

The Center for Lifelong Learning will host a second cohort for Leadership in Ministry (LIM) workshops beginning in the fall of 2015. Participants will learn how the concepts of family emotional process can be applied to their own ministry contexts and explore the theological implications of these concepts. This program is comprised of two three-day sessions (fall and spring). Each session follows the themes of Dr. Edwin Friedman’s book, Generation to Generation, with one day devoted to each of the minister’s three interlocking families: the minister’s own personal family (nuclear and extended), congregation member families and the congregation as a family. 

The Program fee of $480 includes all program fees, refreshments and six meals for each session (dinner Monday through lunch Wednesday). Thanks to a generous grant, two nights of housing are provided for each session.

Registration for the 2015-16 Cohort will open in May, 2015.