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

New Sculpture of Celtic Cross Installed


On a rainy morning mindful of a typical day in Scotland, a new sculpture of a Celtic Cross was installed on the Columbia Theological Seminary campus today. Once installed, a small group of staff and faculty gathered around for a reading from the Bible and a moment of prayer.  

“For centuries, the cross has been a symbol around which faithful followers of Jesus Christ have gathered,” said Dr. Steve Hayner, president of the seminary. “We hope this cross will likewise be a focal point for us as we endeavor to learn and to serve together on a daily basis.”  

At 12 feet 6 inches and 2000 pounds, it is one of the largest Celtic crosses in North America. The bronze and steel cross now stands in front of the John Bulow Campbell Library in the middle of campus. The sculpture was given as a gift to the seminary by Irwin Belk in honor of his wife Carol Grotnes Belk. The artists who created the sculpture are Jodi Hollnagel-Jubran and Hanna Jubran.

The Celtic cross includes a circle representing the sun. Some suggest this was done to give pagan followers an idea of the importance of the cross by linking it with the idea of the life-giving properties of the sun. Others claim that placing the cross on top of the circle represents Christ's supremacy over the pagan sun.

Columbia Theological Seminary shares a commitment of "educating imaginative, resilient leaders for God's changing world." As an educational institution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Columbia is a community of theological inquiry and formation for ministry in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. Columbia offers seven graduate degree programs and dozens of lifelong learning courses and events as a resource for church professionals and lay people.

Michael Thompson
Director of Communications

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