Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

President's Communique October 2013

Dear Friends,

We’re excited to celebrate several key aspects of partnering in ministry during the month of October. The first is coming up quickly—on Thurs., Oct. 3, donations to PTS have the opportunity to qualify for matching funds through the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving program. The earlier in the day you call or go online to make your gift, the better the chance of its qualifying for the matching funds. Thanks for marking your calendar and maximizing your gift to the Seminary.

Then on Friday, Oct. 18, we look forward to hosting graduates, friends, and representatives of churches who have provided leadership to Pittsburgh Seminary, especially in the area of student scholarships. Over dinner in the John Knox Room, student recipients of many of the named the scholarships at PTS will have the opportunity to thank personally the people who have relieved their burden of overbearing debt to attend seminary. What an important partnership this is for furthering God’s kingdom throughout the world!

Two days later, on Sun., Oct. 20, Seminary faculty and administrators will travel to area churches that have invited them to lead worship, present a minute for mission, teach Sunday school, or celebrate worshipping God in other ways. Sharing our gifts with congregations who support the mission of Pittsburgh Seminary is one important way of expressing our thankfulness for such faithful partnership in providing well-equipped Christian leaders for a wide range of ministries throughout the world.

Ultimately, Pittsburgh Seminary’s goal in all these partnerships consists in glorifying God. It is God’s purpose that inspires our work. It is God’s power that enables us to carry it out. It is God’s grace that sustains us in body and in spirit. And it is our gratitude that motivates us to service in answer to God’s call on each of our lives.

Gratefully for your service in our shared devotion to Christ,

William J. Carl III
President and Professor of Homiletics

P.S. If you would like to have a Seminary faculty member participate in your worship service on October 20, or receive bulletin inserts or other materials, please call 412-362-5610 or e-mail reception@pts.edu. You may also download the bulletin inserts or videos from our website.

Professor Writes Book on Violence in the Bible

The Bible frequently depicts God as angry and violent, and also sometimes depicts human violence as positive or even as commanded by God. This forms one of the most vexing problems in approaching Scripture and in interpreting the Bible for preaching and teaching today. The Rev. Dr. Jerome F. D. Creach, Robert C. Holland Professor of Old Testament at PTS, has written Violence in Scripture (WJK, 2013) a volume in the series Interpretation: Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church. In this work, Creach first examines the theological problems of violence and categorizes the types of violence that appear in Scripture. Then, he wrestles with the most important biblical texts on violence to work through specific interpretational issues.

Four-Part Series Asks, “Who is God for Us Today?”

Christians regularly use the word “God,” but what do we mean by “God”? Join others in answering this question during the four-part continuing education course “Who is God for Us Today? Insights from Paul, Anselm, Bonhoeffer, and Alexander Schmemann.” Classes meet Mondays Oct. 21- Nov. 11 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. John P. Burgess, James Henry Snowden Professor of Systematic Theology, will lead the course. Learn more.

Archaeology Lecture Explores Radiocarbon Dating

Join Dr. Christopher Bronk Ramsey from Oxford University, Tues., Oct. 22, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. for the archaeology lecture “Developing Scientific Chronologies for Archaeology: How Radiocarbon Dating and Volcanic Eruptions Can Help Us Better Understand Our Past.” In recent years, radiocarbon dating of organic remains has become an increasingly significant part of archaeological fieldwork, and under the direction of Professor Ramsey, the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at Oxford University has emerged as one of the premiere testing facilities in the world. Today, the outcome of many debates—such as the historicity of Israel's United Monarchy under David and Solomon—pivots on the results of this technical line of inquiry. Additionally, the Museum will be open from 6:30-7:15 p.m. and after the lecture. The lecture and reception to follow are free and open to the public.

PTS Welcomes Prospective Students to Campus

The Seminary invites you—or someone you know—to be our guest for the two-day visit event, designed for you to learn about our master’s level programs, the admissions process, and financial aid. You will have the opportunity to attend faculty led workshops, participate in a vocations workshop, attend worship in the chapel, have lunch and dinner with current students, view housing options, meet faculty, and tour the campus. Join us Oct. 24-25. Our $50 application fee will be waived for all participants. Register online.

Continuing Education Department Offers a Number of Events this Month

October is another busy month with a variety of events planned for pastors and lay leaders. Be sure to check out all of the offerings!
Oct. 2-23 / The Evolving Image: Seven Million Years of Human Evolution and What It Means for Christian Faith Today / Ronald S. Cole-Turner / Learn more
Oct. 2 - Nov. 6 / Polishing Your New Testament Greek Reading (Term 1) / James Durlesser / Learn more
Oct. 3-4 / Finishing with Vitality: A Seminar for Pastors / David C. Rich / Learn more
Oct.7 - Nov. 4 / Bio-Spiritual Focusing: Using the Body as a Bridge to Psychological and Spiritual Insight / CE for Psychologists and Social Workers / Martha Robbins / Learn more
Oct. 7-11 / Training for Interim Ministers (Basic Unit, Part I) / Carolyn Jones, Robert Anderson, and Brenda Barnes / Learn more
Oct. 21-25 / Religious Education Theory and Practice / A Church Educators' Certification Elective / Joyce MacKichan Walker / Learn more
Oct. 21 - Nov. 11 / Who is God for Us Today? Insights from Paul, Anselm, Bonhoeffer, and Schemann / John P. Burgess / Learn more