A trio of denominational leaders will once again offer seminary students a for-credit deep dive into all things Presbyterian at the upcoming 224th General Assembly in Baltimore next June.
The course, “Presbyterianism: Principles and Practices,” will be co-taught by Cliff Kirkpatrick of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Paul Hooker of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and Jerry Van Marter, former director of Presbyterian News Service and current stated clerk of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery.
The three-credit course – which was begun in the early 1990s by former GA Moderator the late Jack Rogers -- is designed to provide firsthand experience of how a General Assembly works; inform students about the structure, purpose, mission and theological and polity underpinnings of the PC(USA); and enable them to track the development of theological and social teachings of the denomination as key issues work their way through the General Assembly.
Beginning with dinner Friday night, June 19 and continuing until the evening of Thursday, June 25, participants will be involved in a variety of class activities, including interviews with key leaders of the Assembly and advocates for many of the issues that will be discussed and debated throughout the week; attendance at worship services, Assembly committee meetings, plenary sessions and other special events of the Assembly; and daily debriefing sessions.
Kirkpatrick is Professor of World Christianity and Ecumenical Studies at Louisville Seminary and Stated Clerk Emeritus of the General Assembly. Hooker is Associate Dean for Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies at Austin Seminary and a is member of the General Assembly’s Permanent Judicial Commission. Van Marter spent more than 26 years with Presbyterian News Service and later served as interim director of communications for the Office of the General Assembly. Among them, the three have attended more than 100 General Assemblies.
Some costs for the course will be underwritten by the Presbyterian Writers Guild. Course credit will be offered through LPTS and APTS. Students from other seminaries will be granted credit through Louisville Seminary. Host families in Baltimore will proved housing for students.
For more information and/or to receive the course syllabus and rubric, including the reading list, detailed schedule and requirements needed to receive credit, contact Jerry Van Marter at Jerry@midkentuckypresbytery.org