Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Celebrates 217th Commencement

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will celebrate its 217th commencement activities Fri., May 31, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at East Liberty Presbyterian Church. The Service of Thanksgiving will be held Thurs., May 30, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s Hicks Memorial Chapel.

Anticipated graduates include 92 total with the following students receiving degrees—48 Master of Divinity (including one Master of Divinity/Master of Social Work joint degree with the University of Pittsburgh and one Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry through the Seminary’s Metro-Urban Institute), eight Master of Arts, six Master of Sacred Theology, and 30 Doctor of Ministry.

The Rev. Dr. Leanne Van Dyk, dean and vice president of academic affairs and professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland Mich., will be the Commencement speaker. Dr. Martha Robbins, Joan Marshall Associate Professor of Pastoral Care at PTS, will speak at the Service of Thanksgiving. Complete schedule of events.

Van Dyk combines her love of teaching with a passion for the work of theology and a conviction that the teaching theologian must always keep in mind the present needs of the church. Her years in San Francisco, where she served on the faculty of the San Francisco Theological Seminary, sharpened her focus on the issues of cultural diversity that face the church today. She brings to Western an excitement for the rich resources within the Reformed tradition for speaking theologically across cultural and religious boundaries. Van Dyk has also served as a member of the Core Doctoral Faculty at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif.; as a member-in-residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton; as a member of the Wabash Center's Consultation on Theological Education; and on the Catechism Committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). She serves on the editorial boards of Perspectives, the Journal of Reformed Thought and the Scottish Journal of Theology.

Robbins’ position relates theological, spiritual, psychological, cultural, and ethical insights to the practice of pastoral care. She is the director of the Pneuma Program that offers educational and supervised training of clergy and laity for the ministry of spiritual direction and leadership. In addition to obtaining her professional license as a clinical psychologist, Robbins is a graduate of Maryville University (B.A.), St. Louis University (M.A.), and Harvard University (Th.D.). She remains active in facilitating retreats and workshops on various topics of Christian spirituality, spiritual formation, the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, pastoral care, and psychology and has lectured in Israel, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada as well as the United States. She co-founded the Pittsburgh Consortium on Faith and Health, the Spirituality and Psychology Program (an APA approved program for granting continuing education credits for psychologists and other mental health providers) and the Certificate Program in Spiritual Formation within the Continuing Education Department, all for which she remains an advisor and a frequent instructor.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is a graduate professional institution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Founded in 1794, the Seminary is located in Pittsburgh, Pa., and more than 300 students are enrolled yearly in the degree programs. The Seminary prepares leaders who proclaim with great joy God’s message of good news in both word and deed. PTS is rooted in the Reformed history of faithfulness to Scripture and commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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