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Theological Education Matters

Stories from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries, pastors, friends and all who care about theological education. Join the conversation!
Opening doors - and not lingering in the hallway
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 4/17/2017 12:10:28 PM

It’s been said that “When God closes one door, God opens another, but it’s Hell in the hallway.” That was true for me for a few years as I came to the fork in the road and chose a pathway. It took me a few years, and some hellish times in that hallway, to realize I had chosen the wrong pathway. Once I admitted that full-time ministry and seminary was the pathway for my life, the proverbial boulder upon me fell off, and I felt a lightness to my life like never before (and in some ways, not since). read more

The dry bones coming to life all around us
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 4/12/2017 2:30:43 PM

How can we bring life to the story of Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones? Look for examples of ways that dry bones have come to life in the communities around us.  read more

God works with the world for life
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 4/8/2017 12:51:09 PM

God rhetorically asked as Ezekiel is led to and surveys a valley full of bones, “Mortal, can these bones live?” God knows the answer to this question, Ezekiel knows God knows the answer to this, we know the answer to this question. That’s not what is in question. What is in question is if they and we believe there is life beyond what we are now experiencing. read more

(Nearly) 200 years of service in Huntsville, Alabama
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 4/4/2017 2:46:02 PM

This church believes in the power of theological education, supporting Huntsville Female Seminary for its entire 78 years of existence. FPC also spurred the birth and growth of other Presbyterian churches in Huntsville: Trinity, Northminster and FaithFellowship Presbyterian Church in Huntsville was sponsored by FPC. The church reaches out into the world by supporting mission workers and mission trips, and by supporting Habitat for Humanity projects. read more

Will there be enough ministers?
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 3/15/2017 11:08:43 AM

Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty of the Theological Education Fund at the Presbyterian Foundation spoke at NEXT Church 2017 as an Ignite speaker. His topic was "Will there be enough ministers to support Christ's future church?" This is intended as an invitation to begin a conversation about what we can do about this looming crisis and how we can better support Presbyterian seminaries and encourage seminarians. Please join us in this conversation! You can reach Lee at
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Lent devotionals to guide your walk
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 3/3/2017 8:39:05 AM

PC(USA) seminaries and Presbyterian publications provide many resources to guide you on your Lenten walk. Find a short listing of resources in this post.  read more

Lent calls us to reflect on what is dying and rising in our church today
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 2/28/2017 9:02:43 AM

This Lent, through the resources our seminaries and other provide and gatherings of Presbyterians like at the NEXT Church national gathering March 13-16 in Kansas City, let us find time to reflect on what is dying and rising in our church today. read more

A new logo - just in time for transfiguration
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 2/16/2017 7:13:27 AM

The Theological Education Fund's new logo echoes the themes established in the Presbyterian Foundation logo, while also tying in our support of Presbyterian seminaries and theological education. read more

A Devotion for Transfiguration
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 2/14/2017 7:13:30 PM

Getting up and going on our way, moving beyond our fear and the status quo, has over and over again been where I have met the Christ, the New Life, and experienced transformation of myself and others.  
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Why does theological education matter today?
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 2/6/2017 10:12:08 AM

Thanks to Rev. Dr. Frank Yamada, President of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, for sharing this guest post with us. He reflects on theological education from his experience as a seminary student, professor and president. He seeks to answer the question, "Why does theological education matter today?" read more

Read and hear: recommendations from Presbyterian friends, part 2
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 1/24/2017 3:56:02 PM

This is the second of two blog posts covering the topic of what people are reading or recommend these days.

It started with a question I posed on my Facebook page: What are you reading or recommend be read to survive and, even more, understand what's going on today politically, economically, racially, and theologically?

I received a tremendous number of responses from all across the country, from scholars, theologians, justice workers and friends. I received so many responses I decided to divide it into two blog posts. You can read the first one here.
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Read and hear: recommendations from Presbyterian friends
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 1/20/2017 12:25:34 PM

What are you reading or recommend be read to survive and, even more, understand what's going on today politically, economically, racially, and theologically?
I recently posted this question on Facebook, and received a tremendous number of responses from all across the country, from scholars, theologians, justice workers and friends. We have compiled below a list of books that they suggested below. People seem drawn the strongest to works that discuss racial division, class warfare and America’s treatment of the poor and oppressed.
For over a year now, I have been reading almost daily from theologian, pastor, and mystic Howard Thurman’s “Meditations of the Heart.” Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited is also formative for me.  You may remember Thurman as formative for Martin Luther King, Jr. 
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A time for study and renewal
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 1/6/2017 3:18:39 PM

Ministry cohorts are a ritual of reflection and preparation for many in ministry.  read more

How ministers learn in practice of ministry
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 12/12/2016 10:32:44 AM

The report asks a central question that we think about here daily: What stories of pastoral leadership could be told to help make the nuance and significance of pastoral work visible to a wider audience?
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See, and be seen
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 12/9/2016 1:36:06 PM

Matthew 11 is the Revised Common Lectionary Gospel ready for the third Sunday in Advent (December 11, 2016). John’s disciples are charged to “Go and report what they hear and see” concerning Jesus’ identity.

On Thursday, I offered a sermon for PC(USA) national staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program, and Presbyterian Women in Louisville Presbyterian Seminary’s Caldwell Chapel that I wanted to share with you.

I wonder who and what you are seeing and imagining that you believe God notices and many are ignoring?

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Seminaries providing Advent devotionals
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 12/2/2016 8:00:00 AM

It is a reflective time of year, and particularly now, a year in which we need the light of Christ in our lives. I am grateful for the efforts of those at Presbyterian (U.S.A.) seminaries who write and produce Advent devotionals designed to help guide us in our walk this December. 

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TheoEd Stories: Building the Foundation for a Beloved Community
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 11/30/2016 8:31:03 AM

Guest Post by Beth Neel

One of the worst arguments I had in seminary was with a dear friend the week before ordination exams. We stood on the steps outside of Stewart Chapel, both of us utterly stressed out about the impending exams which felt like the final test of our ministerial worthiness. I was all of 28, single, wet behind the ears (though I didn’t think so). My friend was a married mother of two elementary-age kids, working part-time, with her husband stitching together a variety of part-time jobs. And there we were, arguing on the steps about our respective stress levels and the exams. I was not at my best.

But we got through the argument and the exams. Weeks later, when the results arrived in the mail, she and I and three of our other friends decided we would have dinner together that night, and open our envelopes together. Among the five of us, we had taken 20 exams, and we passed 18 of them. There is no better pizza than the one we shared that night, no bubblier Champagne than the bottle we shared.

That same night four of us had an evening class to which we arrived late, much to our professor’s horror as her mentor was the guest lecturer that night. We snuck in the back, rosy-cheeked and giddy with our academic success, and only slightly chagrined. At graduation, that same professor told us she remembered that night, how we came in, and that she wanted to stop the class and celebrate our success with us. Grace abounds.

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Faithful Questions Lead to Remarkable Reversals
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 9/12/2016 12:00:00 AM

I served as a guest preacher at First Presbyterian Church in Durham on Sept. 11.  I’m sharing with you here the introduction to the sermon, which centered around faithful questions, which are at the heart of theological education. I invite you to read the text or listen to it at the link to the church web site at the bottom of this post. Thank you for FPC Durham for the invitation. 

What an honor it is to be here again at First Presbyterian Church in Durham, especially in this your centennial year! I am a longtime fan of this church and those connected to it including, of course, your pastor Mindy Douglas. Mindy is my favorite Montreat Small Group Leader ever and a leader in the PC(USA) nationally especially in the area of leadership and theological education. read more

A Presbyterian Perspective on Racism
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 6/29/2015 2:24:31 PM

DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Cynthia Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel Simmons, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and Myra Thompson: nine human beings, children of God, African American, lost forever when they were shot the evening of Wednesday, June 17, 2015, during a Bible study being held at Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.
These losses are yet another reminder in this a dreadful season of hate crimes that #BlackLivesMatter. I pray we remember and learn from the response of Myra Thompson’s family and others to these murders. They forgave the alleged murderer. They advised him to repent. I am convinced that Mother Emanual AME Church shaped them each so beautifully and for that, I give thanks. The nine were from families formed by their faith, committed to learning more, and able to think and act theologically even in the midst of an unimaginable traumatic and heinous events.
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Investing in Theological Education Starts with Us
by Lee Hinson-Hasty 2/1/2015 4:56:25 PM

For the last 22 years, the Committee on Theological Education (COTE), the General Assembly, and PC(USA) seminaries sought to energize giving to theological education in the PC(USA). Each of these entities has consistently called on the Church to prioritize fundraising as a lever to launch new leaders into ministry and strengthen congregations in general and the PC(USA) in particular. Actions of the 220th and 221st General Assemblies (2012 & 2014) resulted in the shift of the Theological Education Fund (TEF) to another PC(USA) national agency. As of January 1, 2015, the fiduciary administration and funds raising responsibilities of the TEF was relocated from the Presbyterian Mission Agency to the Presbyterian Foundation. 
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