The Theological Issues, Institutions and Christian Education Committee of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) began their day Monday by confirming two nominations from the General Assembly Mission Council to the Mountain Retreat Association’s board of directors. They are ruling elder Heath Rada and the Rev. Dean Thompson.

Ruling elder Gary Luhr, executive director of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities, presented the list of affiliated colleges and universities to the committee. He reminded them that “historically, higher education is the highest form of mission beyond the local congregation” that Presbyterians practice. The list of colleges and universities has remained consistent for the past 25 years. The committee approved the list of colleges and universities as well as the list of secondary schools.

Overture advocate the Rev. Reggie Tuttle, Presbytery of Long Island, spoke to item 17-01, which sought to establish an institute for parental leadership to strengthen parenting skills for heads of at-risk families. Tuttle spoke passionately of his experiences working with families and said, “I want to encourage the church to focus on parents and what the church can do to help save vulnerable children.”

The motion was disapproved by the committee with comment, commending the Long Island Presbytery for their commitment to addressing parenting issues with at-risk families.

The committee also heard from seminary presidents. Two of the ten Presbyterian seminaries are celebrating bicentennials this year. The committee heard from the Rev. Brian Blount, president of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va., as well as listened to the traveling alumni choir from Princeton Theological Seminary. Both institutions were founded in 1812.