Seminary student from Slovakia visiting Modesto to learn about U.S. churches

Seminary student from Slovakia visiting Modesto to learn about U.S. churches
Jozef Višnovský, a 27-year-old seminary student from Slovakia, has been checking out church life in the United States for the past three months. He’s attended services, Bible studies, staff meetings, youth events, even the women’s groups and quilting meetings at Calvary Lutheran Church in Modesto.
Read more on Modesto Bee

Church Corner
Calvary ChurchBy Wanda “LuLu” Harris“Oh, What a Savior, oh hallelujah, his heart was broken on Calvary. His hands were nailed scarred, his side was riven, he gave his life’s blood for even me.” read more
Read more on The Log Cabin Democrat

Church Services for April 9
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Virginia Theological Seminary Opens Call for Nominations for Dean and President

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) October 21, 2006

The Board of Trustees of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and its nominating committee have announced an international search for its 15th dean and president to take office in mid-2007. The search begins as The Very Rev. Martha J. Horne approaches her retirement after 12 years of distinguished service and leadership. Nominations are being sought for this important post. The Committee will review expressions of interest through February and conduct initial interviews in March.

The 12-year tenure of Dean and President Martha Horne has been an era of development, growth and change. The recruitment and nurture of a talented and accomplished faculty and staff, continued financial soundness, robust enrollments, distinctive programs, a beautiful campus with well-maintained facilities, and a dedicated Board of Trustees are measures of the achievements of Dean Horne and of the strength and readiness of VTS for the future. This moment is truly one of opportunity for the new Dean and President.

The Committee is being assisted by Academic Search, Inc. of Washington, D.C. If you know of individuals within the Anglican Communion who could provide outstanding leadership to Virginia Seminary, or if you wish to discuss the position further, please contact Dr. Herman Collier at 910-695-9953. Information provided will be held in strict confidence.

An Institutional Profile and statement of Presidential Qualifications, located on the VTS web site at, will provide more information about VTS and the position.

The review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made. Candidates should submit a letter of interest and a resume along with names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of five (5) professional references.

Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church and was founded in 1823. The school prepares men and women, representing all eight of the domestic provinces of the Episcopal Church, as well as students from several different provinces and countries within the Anglican Communion, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.


Raul Castro, Catholic leaders open Cuban seminary

Raul Castro, Catholic leaders open Cuban seminary
Javier Galeano Cuba’s President Raul Castro attends the opening ceremony of a new Catholic seminary in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday Nov. 3, 2010. Castro joined Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami and other Roman Catholic leaders to open the national seminary, the first religious construction on the communist-run island in more than a half century.
Read more on The Argus-Press

Baghdad church siege leaves 52 dead
Attack prompts worldwide condemnation and leaves Iraq’s beleaguered Christian community in despair At sunset yesterday, Raghada al-Wafi walked excitedly to mass with news for the priest who married her a month ago. Tonight, exactly 24 hours later, she returned to the Our Lady of Salvation church – this time carried by her family in a coffin that also contained her unborn child. Today the priest …
Read more on Guardian Unlimited

Kreitler Environmental Fund Announced at Virginia Seminary

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) September 13, 2006

The Very Reverend Martha J. Horne, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), announced the creation of The Kreitler Environmental Fund, aimed to empower clergy and the church with a strong environmental ethic in order to help conserve and preserve the environment.

“The Kreitler Environmental Fund is a wonderful tribute to the Kreitlers, as well as a splendid new resource for this community,” said Dean Horne, “It is vitally important for those who would be leaders in the Church to understand the responsibility we have to safeguard ‘this fragile earth, our island home’… this generous gift will enable us to equip men and women for the critical work of environmental stewardship in the congregations and neighborhoods in which they live and carry out their ministries.”

The Kreitler Environmental Fund is being established by Peter Gwillim Kreitler (VTS ’69), his wife Catharine B. Kreitler, brother Jay Kreitler, and friends, in memory of John (Jack) Henry Kreitler and Muriel (Billie) Gwillim Kreitler, the parents of Peter Gwillim and John (Jay) Taylor Kreitler.

“Our family has initiated this Environmental Fund because Virginia Seminary has had a long and distinguished heritage of sending men and women into the world in service to God throughout all of God’s creation,” said the Rev. Peter Gwillim Kreitler, minister for the Environment in the Diocese of Los Angeles and creator of the Southern California television Series, Earth Talk Today, “…this legacy has inspired the Kreitler family and friends to help foster and embolden new leadership informed by a strong environmental ethic that will help form a sustainable model for the future.”

“Our parents, Billie and Jack Kreitler, always had a great love of the Episcopal Church and God’s natural sanctuaries from Cape Cod to the Florida Keys… they became increasingly concerned that future generations would not inherit as healthy an environment and they encouraged me, my brother Jay and all our family in our desire to preserve the places we love.”

Once fully funded, the Fund will support initiatives such as lectures, fellowships, and scholarships. The Kreitler Environmental Lectures, which will be held at the Seminary every other year, will explore the ways one’s appreciation and stewardship of the environment is enhanced by informed theological beliefs; the Kreitler Environmental Fellowships, awarded to a member of the Episcopal Church on an every other year basis, who would be in residence at the Seminary for one month, will provide recipients opportunities to deepen the Seminary community’s understanding and appreciation of why, from a Christian perspective, the environment matters; and the Kreitler Environmental Scholarships, will provide financial assistance for a student or member of the faculty of the Seminary to participate in a significant international or national consultation, conference, or event related to the environment.

Contributions to support this important ministry may be sent to The Kreitler Environmental Fund at Virginia Theological Seminary, c/o The Very Rev. Martha J. Horne, 3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia, 22304. For more information, contact Edwin K. Hall, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at 703-461-1711.

Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church and was founded in 1823. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and 9 different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.


The Black Voice at Virginia Seminary: New Book Addresses Plight Against Institutional Racism

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) July 27, 2009

The Rev. Joseph M. Constant, director of Ethnic Ministries and Student Life at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS), has just release a new book, “No Turning Back: the Black Presence at Virginia Theological Seminary” (Evergreen Press), which endeavors to capture the story of racism in the life of the institutions of the Bishop Payne Divinity School and the VTS.

“No Turning Back” was written in response to the 2006 General Convention Resolution A123 in which The Episcopal Church resolved to “acknowledge its history of participation in [slavery] and the deep and lasting injury which the institution of slavery and its aftermath have inflicted on society and on the Church.” The letter of apology from Dean Markham included in the book is an explicit acknowledgement of the Seminary’s own failures and is reflective of the commitment of the Seminary to address its own failures in eradicating racism.

“No Turning Back” also ensures that the rich history and tradition in the Episcopal Church amongst African Americans–particularly as it relates to theological education at VTS–is not lost.

“The total impact of this book is striking,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Seminary. “It is a powerful analysis and narrative of an institution’s interaction with unjust structures and a powerful challenge to us all to make the world different for the future.”

In addition to an introduction by the Rev. Lloyd A. Lewis, Ph.D. (VTS ’72), the Seminary’s Molly Laird Downs Professor of New Testament, the book includes a historical narrative and interviews with several of the black graduates of VTS. “My interviews with the graduates of Virginia Theological Seminary,” said Constant, “bear witness to the fact that those who are concerned with racial justice must pay close attention to the future of theological education since there is ‘no turning back.'”

A 2003 graduate of VTS, Mr. Constant comes to VTS following service at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. Born in Haiti, Mr. Constant is the founder of the Haiti-Micah Project, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to addressing the most basic needs of impoverished and uneducated street children in Haiti.

Asserted Constant, “It is my hope this book will open a dialogue at a Diocesan and local Church level and at seminaries as we examine the future of the Episcopal Church and the future of our black membership.”

Copies of “No Turning Back” are now available in the Cokesbury bookstore on the VTS campus and can be purchased by calling 703-461-1768.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary ( is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The Seminary prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. The Seminary currently represents more than 40 different dioceses and five different countries.


Susan Shillinglaw

Virginia Theological Seminary



African American Episcopal Historical Collection Dedicated at Virginia Seminary

(PRWEB) February 27, 2005

The esteemed African American Episcopal Historical Collection was formally dedicated on Thursday, February 24, 2005, in a ceremony at Virginia Theological Seminary. The Very Rev. Martha J. Horne, dean and president of Virginia Seminary, and Dr. Thaddeus W. Tate, Jr., president of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, opened the Dedication by welcoming guests who had traveled from places as far away as Chicago to participate in the days events.

The keynote speaker for the Dedication was the Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson Jr., Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, who wove the history of the Black Episcopalian into his own story, addressing the pointed question that former Black Panther leader, Malcolm X, once asked of him, “What is a black man doing in the Episcopal Church?” In a response that took Thompson years to formulate, he told the audience, “I find myself telling Malcolm X that the experience of Moses and the burning bush with God was an African experience… that the typical Anglican is a 35-year-old black woman in Kenya… and, by the way, have you heard of a man named Desmond Tutu, a black Anglican like me, who helped liberate the largest country in southern Africa?”

Preaching at an evening service in the Seminary Chapel in thanksgiving for the ministry of African American Episcopalians, was the Rev. Canon Angela Ifill (VTS ’95), Missioner for Black Ministries for the national Episcopal Church.

The Dedication marked one of the many ways in which Virginia Seminary continues to foster increased understanding of issues related to race and ethnicity and the elimination of the plague of racism.

The African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) is a cooperative effort of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and the Bishop Payne Library of the Virginia Theological Seminary. The AAEHC solicits, preserves, and makes available for research and public education unique documentary evidence of the African American experience in the Episcopal Church of the United States and its colonial antecedents.

Virginia Theological Seminary, which is the second oldest and the largest of the 11 Episcopal seminaries in the United States, has had a long standing interest in ministry by and among African Americans. From 1878-1949 the Bishop Payne Divinity School, in Petersburg, Virginia was the primary institution for the education of African American candidates for the Episcopal ministry. Bishop Payne Divinity School merged with Virginia Theological Seminary in 1953. The seminary’s library was later named in honor and in memory of the former divinity school.

More information about the collection, along with an 87-page research guide entitled, Prominent African American Episcopalians and Their Experiences in the Episcopal Church, 1746 – 2003: A Guide to African American Historical Resources in the Bishop Payne Library, Virginia Theological Seminary, can be found on the Seminary’s web site at


Special Report: 50th Anniversary of Baptist Seminary in retrospective — celebration Spring, 2009

Special Report: 50th Anniversary of Baptist Seminary in retrospective — celebration Spring, 2009

The 50th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (Mill Valley, California) celebrated this last part of Spring, 2009, ushered in memories and celebration of a Homecoming on the Mill Valley, Campus. Two highlights of the May 28 and 29, 2009 days included opening a time capsule and homecoming by elder graduates who appeared in Gold Robes.

In a public statement, the seminary remarks: “This place declares the Glory of God to all the nations,” said President Jeff Iorg as he stood before the open time capsule, speaking to alumni, students, faculty and staff. “Is there another explanation for the Seminary’s success other than God’s power and glory?”

President Iorg held up and marveled at the remarkably well-preserved items which had been sitting in the copper shoebox-sized box, nestled in the administration building’s cornerstone since 1959. Items included the Seminary bylaws, the Baptist Faith and Message, pages from the SBC minutes of 1950 showing action of the Convention accepting Golden Gate as a Southern Baptist seminary, copies of the first and 15th anniversary issues of the alumni magazine The Gateway, photos of the three Seminary presidents (Isam B. Hodges 1944-1946, Benjamin O. Herring 1946-1952, and Harold K. Graves 1952-1977), the first and the 1959 academic catalog of classes, the student-faculty directory and faculty group photo.

In an interview by email, Dr. Rodrick Durst, answered questions as part of a restrospective at this time of the 50th Anniversary. Dr. Durst has served as faculty and administration at Golden Gate since 1991. He also served eleven years as the Vice President of Academic Affairs and, prior to that, three years as the Director of the Southern California Campus. 

The seminary says of the professor, “Dr. Durst loves the classroom. He teaches theology and history from a leadership formation perspective. His passion is for developing life-changing ways of communicating and teaching Christian truth for transformation, retention and rapid reproduction.”

His remark:

How has the campus changed in its history, a broad question. A broad answer is good.

In my thirty-five year association with Golden Gate, I have seen the campus change dramatically in terms of color, constituency and delivery modes. Its student color demographic was 90% plus Caucasian in the 1970’s and is 50% Caucasian today, with the other half being African American, Korean, Chinese, and Hispanic. Korean students discovered Golden Gate in the eighties due to its Bay Area location, affordable tuition and biblical conservatism. They have been a significant presence for the last quarter of a century. 

The first seminary President was influenced by the seminary’s roots. “Who will open the western seminary?” Those words from former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president L. R. Scarborough in a chapel speech in 1924 were forever etched into the mind of Isam B. Hodges, then a student at Southwestern.

In an announcement the Seminary notes:  “Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary opened the doors to its Northern California campus in Mill Valley fifty years ago, in September 1959, after six years of planning and construction. The 148-acres of former dairy land called Strawberry Point became home to the first Southern Baptist seminary in the west, and today the five-campus system is known as the 10th largest seminary in the United States.”

Continuing our retrospective, Dr. Durst answered a second question by email.

Tell us, please, how many Baptist churches are there in the west.

There were few Baptist churches in the west in 1959 when the Mill Valley campus opened. Now there are over 2,000 Southern Baptist churches in California alone. This western constituency rapidly began to reflect the west after the great post-war Southern migrations ceased in the early sixties. Today our constituent churches reflect the west, if not the Pacific Rim, and not the so-called Bible belt. In 1959, Mill Valley was the sole campus of Golden Gate, which was and is mandated by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to provide ministerial leadership to SBC churches in the western half of the U.S. To better achieve that mandate, the Northern California campus has intentionally multiplied and sacrificed resources to open campuses in Los Angeles (1973), Vancouver, WA (1981), Phoenix, AZ (1995) and Denver, CO (1996). 

The seminary catalog tells readers: “Golden Gate’s mission is shaping effective Christian leaders to accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the churches of the West and the world. At Golden Gate, students share unparalleled opportunities to participate hands-on in the real world of ministry and mission in North America and across the globe.”

Further statements on the seminary purpose for this retrospective add: “Joining the Golden Gate family means becoming part of a community of people committed to sharing the message of Jesus Christ in creative, practical, life-transforming ways.

“Every year, we train more than 1,900 men and women at our five campuses and multiple Contextualized Leadership Development centers across the West. We pray that Golden Gate Seminary can become your partner as you seek to fulfill God’s call in your life.” The seminary President says as part of its statement of purpose from its catalog.

One current student remarks of her time at the seminary: “I was drawn to Golden Gate because of my desire to have a greater spiritual impact on the lives of others. I am passionate about reaching lost people and I believe training from Golden Gate will help me to become a better minister. Golden Gate does not just train church leaders, but effective leaders for Christ.” (From the seminary website.)

Another woman student says from the seminary website: “My seminary experience has been nothing short of life-changing. I am learning to delve deeply into the Scriptures, to wrestle with understanding them so that my proclamation is accurate and insightful and, most importantly, empowered by the Holy Spirit. I am also learning to wrestle with this thing we call the community of faith – learning to love my brothers and sisters in Christ as I love myself. I am learning to love those outside the Kingdom with grace and truth, loving them into the family. More than anything, seminary is enriching my own walk with Jesus and helping me be more like him.”

Here is a taste of the current leadership sense and training of students. Certainly, the seminary is centered on Jesus Christ. These characteristics are taught as part of Christian Formation and Education:

Leadership characteristics related to being a follower of JESUS:

1. Following Jesus — A Christian leader understands the biblical, theological, historical, personal, and experiential foundations of being a follower of Jesus.

2. Spiritual Disciplines — A Christian leader practices the spiritual disciplines of being a follower of Jesus.

3. Christ Commitment  — A Christian leader demonstrates commitment to living as a follower of Jesus through knowing God through Jesus and knowing self.

4. Integrity — A Christian leader demonstrates integrity, meaning he or she consistently applies biblical

principles in character and actions.

5. Wisdom — A Christian leader demonstrates wisdom, meaning he or she follows God’s Spirit to apply biblical principles to complex life situations.

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is part of the emerging Church movement. Dr. Durst notes in the email interview:

In the same line of history, what aspect of the emerging Church movement is now prevalent in the teaching and ethos of the Seminary on its anniversary (50 year)?

Without losing focus on Christian grace and truth, classes are now taught with a distinct awareness of cultural diversity, generative creativity, and spiritual authenticity. Courses and chapels challenge students to move from being spectators to participants in their learning experience. All five senses and multiple learning styles are employed so that students can engage from their strength rather than be forced into one model or mode of learning. The classrooms and faculty computers are wired for the Internet. Many faculty are on Facebook or other social networks and use these to keep in touch with their students.

A great deal has notably changed in the 50 years of seminary life, and as a look back

 A highlight of the festivities was honoring the Seminary’s “Golden Graduates” during commencement on May 29. Twenty-eight of those who graduated from the Berkeley and Oakland campuses from 1949-1959, donned golden robes and walked with the Class of 2009.”

During this time of retrospective, we asked Dr. Durst to give us perspective on the current seminary life. He did this in the interview by emails in two parts:

We’ve heard the term “Postmodernity” so many times. Will you comment?

If we can call the emerging culture “Postmodernity,” then that culture is moving away from the anthropocentric toward an ecological centricity, away from nationalism toward a global/local awareness, and away from trust in truths expressed propositionally toward truth conveyed in stories, especially stories in graphic formats. The emerging postmoderns are rather allergic to denominational structures but are rightly fascinated by spirituality. Spiritual formation is now core in the curriculum and students from this generation relish the challenge ancient spiritual disciplines bring to their inner authenticity.

As a

Inmates graduate from Seminary at San Quentin Chapel as part of Southern Baptist program by Peter Menkin

Inmates graduate from Seminary at San Quentin Chapel as part of Southern Baptist program by Peter Menkin

The program for ministry at maximum security prison San Quentin in Northern California, outside San Francisco, proves the maxim, minister where you are at the moment. For inmate Mark Baldwin, serving a life sentence, he will prove the maxim well for with his new diploma in ministry earned from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary based in the town Mill Valley, which is near the prison, will be ministering to fellow inmates for a long time—lifelong.

The Certificate for Ministry earned by the recent June, 2010 graduate Mr. Baldwin in the Southern Baptist tradition, as the seminary is a Southern Baptist seminary, is part of a larger and national program that applies the same maxim throughout its teaching efforts reach, which is really more than national. It is worldwide. That maxim remains the same wherever students learn and go into ministry. Minister where you are at this time in your life, and in the many places where you may be a long time in their location or place of life.   In a conversation by phone with a Seminary spokeswoman, more details of the educational program called Contextual Leadership Development (CLD) was found. CLD finds its home base at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary just north of San Francisco at the Southern Baptist Seminary. The Spokeswoman offers these fast notes on the CLD centers:    

  CLD center:

is established under a cooperative agreement between Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and a local Southern Baptist Church, association or state convention
offers diploma programs in Christian ministries, theology, and church planting
offers classes in English, Korean, Spanish, Thai, Chinese, Hmong, Mien, Russian, and Haitian, depending upon the center location
is approved by the CLD National Office and the Office of Academic Affairs of Golden Gate Seminary

CLD – home page on website:     She points out how Don Beall, employee of the Seminary for 5 years, has the job of running this innovative and successful program of ministry-in-place. This writer was told in that same phone conversation, “There are over 60 CLD centers in the United States. A CLD Center needs to be established…It is ethnic, but has evolved to be cultural and started out to meet the needs of ethnic people to meet the grasp of learning English to provide future ministers during their student days in the Seminary program with an education in their own language so they can have a ministry. There is a cultural relevant group for every people group in their respective country. It is currently taught in 17 States, and 11 languages.”   In the specific ministry program at San Quentin prison, the four inmates who graduated with their certificate this June, 2010 will be supervised by Prison Chaplain Morris A. Curry, Jr. (an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Church). He is Pastor to all Protestant inmates at San Quentin Prison, and supervises the four graduates, and the one previously graduated inmate who is himself an ordained Southern Baptist Minister. (All are inmates.)   The relationship between Pastor Curry, the director of the national program Don Beall (an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Church), and the Seminary itself is close and genuine for they have a mutual simpatico that is driven in part by the cooperation and interest of the Seminary, as evidenced by the participation of the Seminary President in the worldwide CLD program, and specifically in what is seen as the Seminary’s important educational program at San Quentin. So the Spokeswoman told this writer, “The President is very supportive and the Seminary considers it a major outreach. We have many students and graduates in the CLD program.” The San Quentin Prison program is the second such prison program of its kind in the United States, and the Seminary hopes to have a second of their own in another Prison. That would make three such programs.   The Seminary is dedicated to CLD, and prisons are a favorite among favorites because of San Quentin’s proximity to the Seminary—but 20 minutes away.   “Don Beall was one of the first teachers at San Quentin in 2007. He’s very involved in the other CLD centers because this one is special and it’s all nearby the Seminary. (He has been teaching one semester, two times a week, and every fall for a long time.)” So the Spokeswoman explains to this writer in the interview by phone.   The following interview with Don Beall reveals the dedication of the leadership in the CLD program, displaying mostly that the dedication is Bible based, and tells us something of Don Beall’s role. The interview by email was sent to this writer from Washington State, in the Western United States, when The Reverend Don Beall was on vacation this July, 2010.   1. What is your role, and how do you see this developing leadership and ministers?  Peter, I serve as the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Contextualized Leadership Development (CLD) National Director. I work with local CLD Directors and Registrars to provide orientation, make sure they receive adequate training, coordinate our cooperative agreement/partnership.   2. Will you speak to the nature of the San Quentin ministry as a ministry in place–its Biblical authority and basis? The Bible teaches us to visit those in prison and that “some of us used to be” which teaches us that God gives eternal life to all who call upon His name. Matthew 28: 19-20 commands us to teach those we come in contact with. Preparing men at San Quentin to serve the Lord through His church in prison and outside of prison is the task of all believers. 3. Where next might the Southern Baptist Church begin another prison ministry study program? We do not initiate setting up local CLD centers across North America but respond to local Southern Baptist Church (SBC)–churches, associations and state conventions who desire to provide theological training. We will evaluate each request with a face to face meeting with those interested.  4. How do you find the support of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in this study program and ministry? Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (GGBTS) provides training support and encouragement to the local CLD Director. Dr. Jerry Stubblefield (retired GGBTS Faculty member) and Pastor/Chaplain Morris Curry who serves as the San Quentin CLD Registrar. We help enlist instructors at San Quentin, provide Course Syllabus Templates and evaluate each instructor’s syllabus to make sure what is being taught is the GGBTS course listed 5. If I recall right, you visit at San Quentin yourself. Tell us something about what you are doing with prisoners? I have volunteered to teach each CLD 1111 Ministry Foundations one semester two nights a week for 15 weeks. I also help advise the San Quentin students on their progress toward earning a Diploma in Christian Ministries or a Diploma in Theology.    The graduates of this June, 2010 ceremony, complete with sermon by Seminary President Reverend Doctor Jeff Iorg, was the same as a graduation given at the Southern Baptist Seminary proper. The graduates were Mark Baldwin of California, 50; Robert Butler of California, 51; David Cowan of Pennsylvania, 42; and Darrell Cortez Hartley of Missouri, 46.

  Speaking from a podium in the Protestant Chapel, Seminary President Iorg told the graduates, “It takes time to tell about Jesus. I challenge you to show Jesus Christ.” The Sermon spoke of the Holiness of the moment, and this writer thinks he meant by that the Holiness of the men’s new ministry in place, and the Holiness of their graduation into ministry. This wonderful sermon was a form of blessing and commissioning.   In the Sermon, preaching Seminary President Iorg said Jesus went to the most strategic places possible. He looked to minister to the product of people’s backgrounds, where they were, in the place where they live, and in the state of their lives. He said that for these new ministers, “The Church is San Quentin.” He offered a blessing, and proclaimed, “Bless the Lord.”     Donald Hart, a graduate of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary is a teacher of men in the Protestant Chapel in San Quentin for the CLD program. He taught the four recent graduates, though did not teach the one previous graduate of the program. The Protestant Chapel is inside the Prison, of course.   This interview by phone with the writer was held with Donald Hart regarding his teaching ministry to inmates. Don says of the men, “They are very proud; it is one of the programs they put a lot of effort into.” :   Don has been teaching at San Quentin for two years.   How long have you been on the faculty of the Seminary?   Approved as an adjunct for the San Quentin project two years ago, I was a student at the Seminary finishing up my Theological Masters–passed the Masters of Divinity and focused on research and writing. It’s between the Masters of Divinity and the Ph.D. I did my undergraduate work at California Baptist University in Riverside, California.     Have you had experience in teaching prisoners prior to your San Quentin experience?   I had none. Actually, San Quentin was my first time in being involved with prison ministry. I think it was a combination of both; I did not know how prepared I was until I started. If someone wanted to be involved in this ministry, they have to have a passion for teaching for one. And along with the teaching is spiritual discipleship of the men. You also have to have the mindset that men in prison can be rehabilitated… That God has a plan for them where they are at or where he wants to put them in the future.  

Southern Baptist Seminary Guest Speaker Examines Sin: Admirable Talk In An Ongoing Series Of Subjects By Peter Menkin

Southern Baptist Seminary Guest Speaker Examines Sin: Admirable Talk In An Ongoing Series Of Subjects By Peter Menkin

Southern Baptist seminary guest speaker examines sin: admirable talk in an ongoing series of subjects
by Peter Menkin

Guest speaker examines sin at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California for 40 minutes speaking before students, their friends, and the public with the theme, “We can win in our war against sin in our life.” Pastor Jim Fitzpatrick tells how belief influences behavior, citing Romans 6 the Bible during his admirable talk. Readers can hear the sermon in its entirety here.

Part of an ongoing series of sermons by speakers as well as faculty spokeswoman for the Southern Baptist seminary says, “…we often have music (songs and instruments) prior to the sermon – with the attendees singing – very much like a church worship service.” Upcoming guests can be found on the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (GGBTS) website here. “Attendees include students, staff and faculty. The public is welcome, and depending on the speaker, others may attend. For instance, Robert Wilkins will be the speaker selected by our African American Christian Fellowship. He is Young Adult Pastor, Allen Temple Baptist Church and President and CEO, YMCA of the East Bay, located in Oakland.”

Pastor Jim Fitzpatrick (Crosspointe Baptist Church) Vancouver, Washington, spoke with this writer.

Note that remarks from the sermon are briefly reported, then significantly followed by comments from Pastor Fitzpatrick on his sermon, as given in an email interview with this writer. Pastor Fitzpatrick answered the questions from his home in Vancouver, Washington, which is near Portland, Oregon.

The preacher starts off by preaching, “’While we’re always told to live a holy life, Romans 6:11-14 tells us how to do so. You can win in your war against sin.’”
Dr. Fitzpatrick is a Doctor of Ministry graduate of Golden Gate Seminary, an adjunct professor at the Seminary’s Pacific Northwest Campus.

The statement from GGBTS ends its report on the sermon with, “Fitzpatrick concluded by urging his listeners to ‘begin new every morning; to commit yourselves daily and to surrender your body and your mind – to offer yourself before the Lord. That is the way to win in your war against sin.’”

The Interview with Pastor Jim Fitzpatrick

From your sermon you say your favorites are Romans 6-8 (two of them). Will you tell me which quotes they are, and cite them or give me the text? These 3 chapters, Romans 6,7, and 8 are my favorites because of their emphasis on growing as Christians to become the holy people God desires us to be. I especially like chapter 8:1- therefore, there is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus and 8:31-39 which teaches that believers are secure in Christ. The chapter begins with no condemnation and ends with no separation for believers.

Do you refer to the Bible as reference and source frequently when speaking in the pulpit at Golden Gate Theological Seminary because of the imperative directed by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and others who want Southern Baptist seminaries to rely more heavily on Biblical statement or source? Or are there other reasons? No, I was not aware of what Dr. Mohler said. My belief is that the Bible is God’s written communication to us. It is the source of authority. My comments as a pastor/teacher have no power on their own. The power/authority comes from the written Word of God (The Bible). I am one of many who are considered expository preachers. I always preach directly from the Bible and typically work my way through entire books, line upon line, precept upon precept.

Does your work with youth leadership lead you in this sermon as you find relevance for seminary students, though all may not be so young? Still, they are students. What is your focus for seminary students, as a tone? I just know that all of us, regardless of age struggle with the same issues. For the believer who deeply desires to live a godly life, sin and temptation are continual enemies. I felt it made sense to speak to this particular audience on this topic of Victory over Sin because it is something all Christ- followers desire in our lives.

You say, “You can win in your war against sin.” I note you use Romans 6: 11-14. What specifically tells you this is so? Why Paul, and do you lean towards Paul in your own faith and work as a pastor? These verses are very clear. God wants us to have victory over sin. Each of the four verses clearly teach that or allude to it in some way. Victory over sin does not mean we will ever be sinless in this life, but we can sin less and less as we apply the concepts found in these verses. I don’t necessarily lean towards Paul in my preaching, although I do like the 13 books of the New Testament that he wrote.

Though this question has been touched on, How did you find the seminary listener different from others you’ve had the opportunity to address in a sermon? I am not sure. Again, my feeling is that all people have similar questions, issues, hang ups etc. I do know that I presupposed some Bible knowledge and understanding that I may not have assumed with an audience that does not know the scriptures as thoroughly as this audience does.

Tell us a few words about man as sinner, and why did you choose this topic? We are all sinners. We were born into sin and we willingly choose sin. I chose the topic because we are all in the same boat. We all sin, we all struggle, and we all need help beyond ourselves to defeat sin.

I did like your statement on belief influencing behavior. It is compelling and promising. Is there more to say on, Why or how does our belief influence behavior? Will you say a little more for readers? We act on what we truly believe. If we say we believe something but never act upon it, my guess is we may not really believe it at all. For example, as a follower of Christ, I believe there are not many ways to God but one – faith in Jesus Christ. Because I believe that, I am motivated to share this truth with others.

You don’t mention the devil, as I recall. Is sin created by the devil? So many people would like to know what you think who will look at this article about your sermon on sin. I did not mention the Devil, only because he is not mentioned in this passage. However, I certainly believe in the Devil – the Bible speaks quite a bit about Satan. We see from other passages that the Devil is a liar, a murderer, a deceiver etc. He certainly influences people to sin, although we are responsible for our own sins. I don’t believe it is correct to say the Devil created sin. Sin entered the world when Adam and Eve gave in to the temptation of the serpent (the Devil) of their own free will. Jesus was tempted by the Devil, but did not choose to sin.

A logical follow-up to the previous question, at least as it occurs to me: Why can’t man ever be sinless? In a Bible study I attended recently in San Francisco’s Bay Area a man declared more than hopefully that because of Jesus Christ we are forgiven of sin. He believed that and wanted to believe it. We can never be sinless in this life because we are all born with a sin nature = a desire and an ability to sin. The sin nature does not go away when we come to Christ. I would wholeheartedly agree with the man from the Bible Study. Jesus Christ came to bring forgiveness of sin. When we put our faith and trust in Christ as our Savior, we receive the forgiveness for all of our sins – past, present, and future.

Believers will probably be right with you when you say, Sin is slavery. One is free to go, when emancipated, as your story of Abraham Lincoln explained. What does free mean? I did hear you say in your sermon, it means, “Free to live with Jesus.” Anything else? Someone who is free has choices. Believers are free from the control of sin. We don’t have to choose to sin. Instead we are free to make choices that honor and please God.

Your sermon is more than upbeat, it is positive in its statements of promise regarding sin and Jesus Christ. You say, We can win in our war against sin in our life. Have you known anyone who is losing in their war against sin in their life? What has it done to them? I think many believers live defeated lives. The reason for this is often we do not fully embrace the new life we have been given. Christians are not just improved people, they are transformed people. I regularly deal with people who struggle to walk with God and live the kind of life God requires/desires.

Your sermon ends with how sin is a matter of the heart, not the mind. You tell a good story to illustrate this belief. In the sermon that lasts about 40 minutes, and a Southern Baptist sermon can be longer, is that not so? My question becomes: Is it the pastor’s job to help the heart solely, and that of your typical Baptist in the pew? I think effective preaching engages the mind, heart, and will all at once. Christianity is a religion of faith, but our faith is not some crazy leap in the dark. It is more of a step into the light. Christians used to be at the forefront of intellectualism in our society. I think some preaching is strong in volume, but weak in content. The issues we face in life are matters of the heart. We struggle sometimes because our wills are weak. Therefore, it is essential to go after the mind, heart, and will in preaching.

To the final question, and there is a long quote from Luther at the end, so stay with me if you will. Your thoughts and wisdom are invited. Question: Is there a similarity in the different ways Christians see sin. As an example, the following quotation found on an internet discussion list, Yahoo’s Monasticlife. Please comment: Grace is the key word in understanding all that motivates God to be involved in our lives. Grace

Serene Magnificence Atop Mato Mofino Hill ? St. Joseph’s Seminary and Church

Serene Magnificence Atop Mato Mofino Hill ? St. Joseph’s Seminary and Church

Set atop the Mato Mofino, a hill in the Southeast part of the city, the setting of this originally Jesuit Church completed in 1758 is one of the most beautiful churches in the world, something that appeals to an artist’s eye so well that people sketching it is no strange sight. The setting and the church make a lovely picture that anybody will enjoy and appreciate, even without realizing the history behind the magnificent St. Joseph’s Seminary and Church.

With its cruciform plan, lovely domed ceiling and arresting Baroque architecture, which is known for its intricate and elaborate work, St. Joseph’s church makes a lovely contrast with the seminary, which is striking in its simplicity. The seminary also has a history to go with the architecture.

It was founded in 1728 by Jesuits, with the intention of educating young people of Macau and foreign students. Evangelization was another aim of the seminary. In 1758, the Marquis of Pombal lost his faith in the Jesuits and had them imprisoned in Lisbon. It was about two and a half decades later that the Lazarists took over the seminary, and soon brought much acclaim to the high standard of education at the seminary, soon having it called the royal seminary. In 1800, it was honored by Dona Maria I, the Portuguese Queen, as the ‘House of the Mission Congregation’.

While the architecture of the church itself has been carefully preserved, the seminary has been restored a few times over the centuries. It has also been modified and expanded – it has an extra third floor now that the original seminary did not have. It is documented that the seminary was restored once in 1903, again in 1953 and the last time in 1995.

While historic and marvelous sites can attract visitors to various locations throughout the day, everyone has to take a rest when the day ends. For you, as a tourist, a luxury hotel Macau, such as the Sands Macao Resort Hotel, will be just perfect.

Naveen Marasinghe is an Online Marketing Executive at eMarketingEye which is a search engine marketing company that offers PPC Management and SEO services and specializes in serving the online travel and hospitality industry.