Three Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries are among 18 theological institutions selected for the inaugural listing of “Seminaries that Change the World” (STCTW).

The three PC(USA) institutions that made the list are Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary.

“The selected seminaries and divinity schools have demonstrated great innovation in theological education, in integration with classical approaches for learning, even as they navigate negative stereotypes about organized religion and work to expand narrow definitions of traditional ministry,” says the Rev. Wayne Meisel, a Presbyterian minister and founder of STCTW.  

Seminaries that Change the World is part of a movement to reclaim the important historic role that theological education has played in promoting community and justice while training and launching local and world leaders in all areas of society,” he added.  

“This is a shout out from the rooftops that this connection between seminary and justice work is worth paying attention to,’’ said Meisel, who selected the schools after visiting theological campuses across the country over the past three years. In future years, schools will be selected for the list through an application process.

Meisel has a long and distinguished career in the world of community service, service learning and civic engagement. He was appointed to serve on the President’s Commission on National and Community Service, where he is credited for being one of the architects of the AmeriCorps Program.  He also served as a founding board member for Teach for America and is the Founding President of the Bonner Foundation.  Currently, he directs the Center for Faith and Service, which develops innovative programming for churches and denominations and seeks renewal of theological education through the reintegration of faith and service.  

CHICAGO ― McCormick Theological Seminary has called Ted Hiebert to be its next academic dean and vice-president of academic affairs. Hiebert is a leading scholar in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and is a nationally recognized teacher among theological educators.

Commenting on the appointment, McCormick President Frank Yamada said, “I can think of no other seminary that has produced as many senior administrators as McCormick Theological Seminary. Ted Hiebert is the next among a host of leaders to be called from McCormick’s faculty to the position of academic dean. I am excited that one of our own, and one of our best scholars and teachers has said, ‘yes,’ as we are bringing in a new generation of faculty at McCormick. Ted’s leadership and experience will help us to ensure that the prestigious reputation of our faculty will continue to be what sets our seminary apart.”

Hiebert is professor of Old Testament at the seminary. He has been a member of the faculty since 1995. Prior to McCormick, he held positions at schools that include Harvard Divinity School, Gustavus Adolphus College, Louisiana State University, and Boston College. Hiebert received his B.A. in English Literature from Fresno Pacific University, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Classical Hebrew and Hebrew Scriptures.

The author of several books, Dr. Hiebert’s scholarship has focused on the Pentateuch and the Prophets. He was also an editor and translator for the well-received Common English Bible, a contemporary translation that is now widely used in congregations across North America.

AUSTIN, Texas ― Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary has appointed the Rev. Blair R. Monie to the Louis H. and Katherine S. Zbinden Distinguished Chair of Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, effective fall 2014. He will teach in the areas of pastoral ministry, church administration, congregational leadership, stewardship, and liturgy. 

“Blair Monie brings exceptional experience, wisdom, and leadership to this faculty position,” said Austin Seminary Academic Dean Allan H. Cole Jr. “Our students will benefit from his pastoral presence, love of learning, and love for the church, all of which will help equip them for ministry in rich and lasting ways. I eagerly await his arrival and am grateful for the opportunity to work with him.”

Monie has served as pastor/head of staff of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, since January, 1995. He has been involved in theological education since his ordination in 1973, including nine years as a supervisor in Princeton Theological Seminary’s “Teaching Church” program.  His doctor of ministry work at Princeton, “Developing a Theology of Ministry Through Seminary Field Education - An Analysis and Critique,” was related directly to his experience with the formation of students. 

Monie has served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) broadly. He served on the Board of Trustees of Austin Seminary from 2003-2012. For nine years, he was a reader of qualifying examinations for Princeton’s DMin program, aimed toward developing a coherent theology of ministry. He was a member of the General Assembly Council of the PC(USA), chairing the Congregational Ministries Division. He was also a member of the Committee on Theological Education (COTE), and he chaired the Ecclesiology Committee of the 217th General Assembly in 2006.

PRINCETON, N.J. ― Princeton Theological Seminary welcomes Rose Ellen Dunn as its new associate dean for academic administration, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. 

Dunn comes to the seminary from her position as associate director of theological admissions at Drew University, where she works primarily with students applying to the Ph.D. program in the Graduate Division of Religion. She has also been an adjunct faculty member at Drew, as well as at Montclair State University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary. 

She is a graduate of Drew University, holding the M.A., M.T.S., and Ph.D. degrees from that institution. Her doctoral dissertation, Finding Grace with God: A Phenomenological Reading of the Annunciation, is forthcoming in 2014 through Pickwick Publications of Wipf and Stock Publishers.
Dunn is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Philosophical Society, and the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy.

DECATUR, Ga. ― The Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary is accepting applications through Dec. 1 for its Thompson Scholars 2014 program, April 29-May 2, 2014.

The program ― “A Different World: Evangelism for the Screen Share Generation” ― will focus on defining the new world we live in and how we share the gospel with a generation that lives via the small screen.  

Applicants will be notified of their status by January 15, 2014. This is a limited enrollment event.  For additional information, including the link to the electronic application, visit

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. ― San Francisco Theological Seminary has invited all enrolled and non-enrolled students to sign up for itsMuilenburg-Koenig History of Religion Seminar.” The spring semester course will be taught by Christopher Ocker, professor church history.

The seminar, which is being offered online for the first time in its five-year history, investigates a theme from various historical periods from the perspectives of the many disciplines relevant to theological study. The theme for this Spring semester is “Spirit,” and will involve a broad, cross-disciplinary study of spirit ― divine, human, and everything in between – from a variety of cultural and historical, and theological perspectives.

The on-line class will primarily consist of weekly readings, interactive exercises, short papers, contributions to a course Wiki, web conferences, and a final paper, coupled with a mandatory two-day workshop on the SFTS campus. Online students must attend this February 23 – February 24 workshop, in which scholars from around the country and world will come to SFTS to discuss their current research on spirit. On-campus housing for this event will be available starting at $50/night. To register for lodging, please click here.

RICHMOND, Va. ― Christine Luckritz Marquis joined the Union Presbyterian Seminary faculty here this past summer as assistant professor of church history.

A Ph.D. graduate in Early Christianity from Duke University, Luckritz Marquis's fields of preliminary examination include early Christianity, Islam, and art history. Her dissertation was entitled “Haunted Paradise: Remembering and Forgetting Among Ascetics of the Egyptian Desert.”

Luckritz Marquis has several years of experience in field archaeology with the Yale Monastic Archaeological Project in the Egyptian desert at Wadi al-Natrun. She previously taught at LeHigh University, Moravian Theological Seminary, and Duke University.

A recipient of numerous grants and awards, Lukritz Marquis has received, among others, the Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship; Julian Price Graduate Fellowship in Humanities/History; Summer Research Fellowship, Duke University; and the Dissertation Research Travel Award, Duke University.

LOUISVILLE ― Following the lead of institutions nationwide, the bookstore at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has moved to a virtual home at Students are now able to order textbooks for the spring 2014 semester.

Because the eCampus warehouse is located in nearby Lexington, most orders will be shipped overnight for next-day delivery. Other benefits of include discounted prices on new and used textbooks, the option for students to rent some of their textbooks and to purchase eTextbooks, and online buy-backs at competitive rates.  

"Once we get used to using the website, I believe will be a better option for both students and faculty," said Sue Garrett, dean of the seminary. "This should be a fairly seamless transition." 

The bookstore’s web address is Questions should be directed to eCampus’ Virtual Bookstore Program Customer Service Team at 1-877-284-6744 or

PITTSBURGH ― The Rev. Andrew Purves was installed Nov. 12 as the first Jean and Nancy Davis Professor of Historical Theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary during a special worship service.

"The inauguration of the Jean and Nancy Davis Chair in Historical Theology is an important event for the future of PTS. It emphasizes the seminary's continuing commitment to teaching and scholarship for the church,” said Purves. “I am honored to be the first person installed into this position and am grateful to the seminary for recognizing my work as a theologian/teacher in the church of Jesus Christ.”
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Purves received degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh, and a Th.M. from Duke Divinity School. His Ph.D. is from the University of Edinburgh. Purves came to the US in 1978 and was ordained by Philadelphia Presbytery. He served as minister of the Hebron Presbyterian Church, Clinton, Pa., until 1983, when he was called to join the faculty of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Purves has a long list of publications, both books and articles, academic and popular. His books include The Search for Compassion: Spirituality and Ministry, Union in Christ (with Mark Achtemeier), A Passion for the Gospel (with Achtemeier), Encountering God: Christian Faith in Turbulent Times (with Charles Partee), Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation, The Crucifixion of Ministry, and The Resurrection of Ministry.