This is Central

Reflections

Some Things Matter Both a Great Deal and Not at All

A Reflection from Alyssa Bennett Smith, Central MA(TS) Alum When I began the MDiv program at Central in 2011, I had ideas. Really big ideas. My husband (who was a year ahead of me in the same program) and I wanted to start an intentional community. We wanted to think creatively about ministry and come...
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THIS IS CENTRAL: A Little History and an Invitation

by Dr. Pamela R. Durso
I am thankful for the warm welcome I’ve received from the Central community in my first week and deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as the seminary’s next president. Last week was filled with conversations and meetings, many of which were virtual. I met with seminary leadership and staff. I attended briefly two Doctor...
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DMin Creative Leadership Track Equips Learners

Des Peres Assistant Professor of Congregational Health Dr. John Park Explains how the DMin Creative Leadership Track Equips Learners Central’s DMin program offers a track in creative leadership. This unique track has equipped and graduated students with tools and connections that helped them to be the kind of leaders they need to be as they...
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Creatively Serving People as a Missionary in Daily Life

Director of Korean Programs and Associate Professor of Practical Theology & Contextual Ministry Education Dr. Samuel Park Reflects on Prospective Graduate Eunho Lee’s Experience at Central  “As a worship leader in my church, I see my role not as a position of carrying the burden of leading congregants into the worship,” says Eunho Lee, a...
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A Foundation for Thoughtful Navigation and Critical Engagement

Landreneau Guillory Professor of Biblical Studies Dr. David May Reflects on How the MA(TS) Degree Prepares Students for Leadership   The Master of Arts (Theological Studies) degree provides a path of exploration and engagement for those persons open to new ideas and perspectives.  In a changing world where theological and religious questions are raised both explicitly...
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On the COVID Pandemic (1) - "Plagues, the Finger of God?"

Seung Ho Bang (from a Hebrew Bible perspective 1) (한글 Click to read in Korean) Before last Easter, I emailed my excavation director saying that we were planning to have our Easter service through Zoom. In reply, he told me, “Oh, we’re going to have a Passover Seder through Zoom as well!” “A Passover Seder...
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코로나 팬데믹: 구약 (1) - "전염병, '하나님의 권능'인가?"

Seung Ho Bang (구약관점 1) (Click to read in English) 지난 부활절 전, 제가 참가하고 있는 발굴 프로젝트 감독에게 부활절 예배를 줌을 통해 할 것이라는 이메일을 보냈습니다. 그런데 “어, 우리도 유월절 예식을 줌으로 할 거야”라는 답장을 받았습니다. “유월절을 줌으로?”라는 생각이 머릿속에 스쳐 지나갔습니다. 좀 이상하기는 하지만 이제 코로나바이러스가 우리 삶의 여러 가지를 많은 다른 방향으로 바꾸어...
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Christians in the 21st Century

Samuel Park Challenges in the 21st Century (한글 Click to read in Korean) The development of modern human science and technological civilization is remarkable. Thousands of years passed between the development of industries dependent on the labor of humans and animals and the evolution of the 18th-century mechanized industry through steam engines (1st Industrial Revolution)....
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21세기 그리스도인

by Samuel Park
Samuel Park, PhD 21세기의 도전 (Click to read in English) 현대 인간 과학기술 문명의 발전은 눈이 부실 정도다. 인간과 짐승의 노동력에 의존하던 산업이 18세기 증기기관을 통한 기계화혁명이 일어나기까지 수 천년의 세월이 흘렀다 (1차 산업혁명). 그러나 증기에너지에서 전기에너지를 통한 대량생산 혁명까지 백여 년 (2차), 전기에서 컴퓨터 인터넷을 통한 정보혁명까지 백여 년 걸렸다 (3차). 21세기는 이런 축적된...
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The Micah 6:8 Project

A Reflection from Dr. Tarris D. Rosell, Professor of Pastoral Theology--Ethics and Ministry Praxis  "And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV)  The "Micah 6:8 Project" is a learning activity that I added about 15 years ago to...
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Christ in the COVID

Reflection from Pastor Dionne T. Boyice, MDiv 2019 and current DMin student  Currently, I am enrolled in the Embracing Design Thinking course at CBTS. This course teaches and encourages creativity in worship leadership. It challenges us as spiritual leaders to dig deeper in cultivating new and innovative designs for relevant worship.  Embracing Design Thinking, along...
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I Am Ready and Leading!

Reflection from DMin student Mary Wood, who serves as pastor of Calvin United Church of Christ in Toledo,Ohio On the first week of March 2020, I was sick at home with a sinus infection. This kept me away from pastoral church ministry. Since my pace had slowed, I started reading what was happening in Italy...
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Pandemic Pause

It has been a couple months now since I packed up my office, taking with me the books and files needed to teach online from home.  For some in the healthcare field and supportive industries, the pandemic brought a frenzy of activity in efforts to save human lives.  For the 1.5 million Americans who have...
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Journey to Readiness Unique to Each Student 

A Reflection from Grant Officer Rev. Dr. Angela Jackson   Working with students – whether through grant programs, as a ministry mentor, or in the classroom – is one of my greatest joys. I love witnessing their unfolding vocations and ministries as they matriculate through seminary and emerge as increasingly thoughtful, confident leaders. For some, ministry...
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Stay-at-Home Order Leads to Using New Skills Gained

A Reflection from Liz Larrivee, M.Div. student from the Ann Arbor, MI, Site  As a charter member of the Ann Arbor, Michigan, extension campus M.Div. program, I value Central’s academic excellence and faith community formation through an innovative blended learning approach.  The creative contextual learning-based curriculum provided hands-on new church plant experience at New Waves...
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Transcending Geographical Boundaries to Find the "Sacred"

Reflection from Marci Wilson-Boggs, MDiv Student, Class of 2020   The Worship Class we experienced in the fall of 2019 via Zoom was a great opportunity for us to transcend the boundaries of geography to determine what we decided collectively would be "sacred." As we studied the liturgies across history, we were able to let go of...
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Transition to Online Teaching Seamless

Dianne C. Shumaker Assistant Professor of Peace and Justice Dr. Ruth Lofgren Rosell Reflects on the Relevancy of Central’s Innovative MDiv Curriculum  When the pandemic hit and there arose the need to socially distance and shelter in place, many schools and seminaries were left scrambling as how to proceed with the process of education.  Such...
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A Central "Cloud of Witnesses"

A Reflection from Central Alum. Rev. Tyler Tankersley, Pastor of Ardmore Baptist Church, Winston-Salem, NC Not long ago I was driving to visit a member of my congregation who lives about an hour away in rural North Carolina. I plugged their address into my phone’s GPS app and turned on some music. The robotic voice...
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For Such a Time as This

A Reflection from MDiv Student Debbie Giese  April of 2020 finds me in places I never thought I’d be. One, clearly, is being under quarantine during a global pandemic in a country that can’t agree on anything. The second is preparing for my third term as a seminarian at CBTS.   Shortly before my 52nd birthday,...
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Worship Online?

A Reflection from Women's Leadership Initiative MDiv Student Andrea Huffman I remember being flabbergasted when Central announced that our Worship Leadership course would be online. “How do you learn to lead worship online?” my classmates and I asked incredulously. We had been attending Central for three years, and half of our classes met in person...
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50th Anniversary of Earth Day: A Reflection

by Rakmi Shaiza “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 4:24. I only came to hear about Earth Day after I moved to the USA. Back in 2002, I came across a small book in the library about it published by the United Nations. After reading the book,...
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Holy Saturday - Liminal Space

  Holy Saturday, situated between the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is what might be called liminal space.  It is an in-between time that bridges what was, to what will be.  It is a transitional time between what is known and has to be let go of, and the unknown future. The friends...
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A Lament

  "My God, my God, why.........?" Why has our world been turned upside down, as wave after wave of crisis and grief crash over us? Why the betrayal, the dissonance, the difficulty grasping what has happened? Why the escalating deaths, untruths, and incompetence of leadership? How long, O God, how long? How long will the...
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Seeking Truth - A Reflection for Holy Friday

Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands at a distance; for truth stumbles in the public square, and uprightness cannot enter.  Truth is lacking, and whoever turns from evil is despoiled.  The Lord saw it, and was displeased that there was no justice.  (Isaiah 59:14-15, NRSV)   Pilate asked Jesus, "So you are a king?" ...
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Theological Studies in the Time of a Pandemic

by David M. May, Ph.D. Landreneau Guillory Chair of Biblical Studies Central Baptist Theological Seminary Living in this unprecedent time of the Pandemic of 2020, multiple existential questions arise—from the deep and thoughtful question, “Will I risk my life in serving others who are infected with COVID-19,” or the simple and quotidian question, “Where can I...
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A New Way of Being Church

A Reflection from Central Alum and Pastor of Blue Valley Christian Church, Rev. Lois Kelley At Blue Valley Christian Church (BVCC) we like to say, "we are so far outside the box that we can't see the box and don't want to see the box." About six years ago, BVCC decided to sell its building....
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Reflections on the Politics of Contempt

“Super” Tuesday during Lent - March 3, 2020 By John Jones IV, Ph.D. 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be...
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One Church's Response to Joining God in Saving the Earth

Several members of Englewood Baptist Church in Gladstone, Missouri, participated in Joining God in Saving the Earth: Mobilizing for Action on the Climate Crisis at Central in October as their churchwide retreat. The congregation was in the middle of a worship series, Celebrating God’s World, based on the book Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and...
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Lessons in Following Jesus from Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Love Your Enemies" (Part 2)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also helps us understand what Jesus meant when he told us to love our enemies.  Almost inevitably, efforts towards justice will be resisted by those who are at risk of losing their greater privileges, and sometimes this resistance will be vigorous and even venomous.  We see this in reading the...
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Lessons in Following Jesus from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me" (Part 1)

As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week, I am reminded of the profound influence his life and teachings have had on my thinking, faith, and understanding of what it means to live as a Christian. It was while I was in high school that I became deeply aware of...
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Blessed are the Peacemakers

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence    It was still Christmastide - a season for celebrating the birth of Christ.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we had heard words from the prophet Isaiah declaring that God's anointed one would be the "Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6) and...
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4000 Volunteer Hours Later: My Reflection on Leading Stitching Change

by Rakmi Shaiza Not long ago, I heard a live interview broadcast on NPR about a four-year-old grandson saying goodbye to his grandfather because his family was no longer safe to stay in the Syrian border region. With so much love, anguish, hurt and emotion, the grandson asked his grandpa, "Why are you not coming...
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Earth’s Caretakers

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence National Geographic regularly shows up in my newsfeed, and I find much that is intriguing.  I love learning about our earth’s creatures.  Did you know that mother whales whisper to their young to keep them close and safe?  And I’m amazed at the...
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A Time to Speak about the Climate Crisis

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence   Most weekends I am able to escape the hustle and bustle of Kansas City and retreat to our place in the country.  As I now sit on the deck, overlooking green trees and sparkling water, I hear the morning birdsong and breathe...
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Teaching Jesus’ Nonviolent Way in Myanmar

By Ruth Rosell, Director of the Buttry Center for Peace and Nonviolence   Recently my husband Terry and I, along with our son Nehemiah, were in Myanmar, teaching the class “Transforming Society and Conflict in Ministry” for the joint Central Seminary/Myanmar Institute of Theology Doctor of Ministry program.  Those taking this class included pastors, denominational...
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That Old Gang of Mine - Ron DeVore, MDiv 2008

The recent Disciples of Christ General Assembly was its usual combination of joys and challenges, just like real life.  Being profoundly lazy, I like easy joys like good preaching, interesting workshops, useful vendors and reconnecting with old friends.  I like these things so much, I’m willing to scale the challenges represented by the thousands of...
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Lifetime Connections - Ron Stair, MDiv 2008

When you take classes together, work on projects together, worship together in chapel, and eat meals together once a week, you build a special bond with you classmates, so it is always heartwarming to cross paths with them years later.  That's what happened when I attended the Disciples' General Assembly in Des Moines.  A group of...
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Alum-Professor Connections Flourish Beyond Seminary

A Reflection from Central Alum Jake Taylor, Pastor of Maywood Baptist in Independence, Missouri     In my undergrad at a large university, I never made a connection with a professor that extended beyond the classroom. Central Seminary was different. The small classes, deep subject matter, and professors who valued the callings of their students...
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Looking for upcoming events?

Centralize 2021

September 23, 2021 3:00 pm
Location: Virtual
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ReShaping Church Open House

September 30, 2021 4:00 pm
Location: Virtual
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World Communion Chapel (English Language)

October 5, 2021 5:15 pm
Location: Virtual
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