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Guest Commentary: Mike Huckabee’s charm doesn’t convert Jimmy Carter

Presidential contender Mike Huckabee, an ordained preacher in the Southern Baptist Convention, adores its theology. Born-again Jimmy Carter deplores it. Carter severed Southern Baptist ties in which he was raised because some leaders snarled like roaring lions at other Christians. Recruiting former president Bill Clinton, another Southern Baptist, Carter has cobbled together a coalition of Christians disgruntled with a denomination that keeps women in their place, strictly behind their men.

Seminary baccalaureate services, commencements held for 2007


The seminaries affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) planned a variety of events in spring 2007 honoring graduates and awarding degrees. These included:


Austin Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas

The Reverend Dr. Robert M. Shelton, former president and Jean Brown Professor Emeritus of Homiletics and Liturgics of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary addressed graduates at the APTS commencement on May 20. Sixty-seven students were expected to receive degrees: fifty-two, the Master of Divinity; ten, the Master of Arts in Theological Studies; and five, the Doctor of Ministry. Among this year's graduates is Shelton's wife, the Reverend Frances Tilton Shelton, receiving the D.Min. degree.

Robert Shelton joined the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary faculty in 1971 and was named the Jean Brown Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in1982. He served as academic dean for fourteen years before becoming president in 1996. Shelton served as interim senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas from October 2005 until November 2006. Shelton served as moderator of the 163rd General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in 1993, and has served on numerous committees and boards of that denomination and of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


LPTS women’s ordination anniversary celebration

LOUISVILLE -- In some ways, the anniversaries of women's ordination that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is in the midst of celebrating this year -- 100 years for deacons, 75 years for elders, 50 years for ministers -- are momentous, historic events.

And in other ways they are like a panorama of smaller stories -- layers of personal remembrances, snippets of impressions, allegories laden with history and meaning and politics.

Some are funny stories -- such as when a class of five women arrived at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1980 and found urinals in the women's restrooms and potted plants in the urinals.

Some are painful -- the stories of women who felt called by God to serve at a time when the church said, "Absolutely not."

And some tell folks that as far as the church has come, there are still young women, and women of color, and lesbians who want to be ordained, and mature women scarred by the fighting, who would say the Presbyterian church hasn't come nearly far enough.

27 former GA moderators endorse re-election of Kirkpatrick as stated clark

Twenty-seven former General Assembly moderators have signed a letter endorsing the re-election of Clifton Kirkpatrick as stated clerk of the Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The letter, which was initiated by former moderator Marj Carpenter, an elder from Big Spring, Texas, says that Kirkpatrick has done "an excellent job under very difficult circumstances and much pressure."

Outlook reporter, art director honored by Associated Church Press

TORONTO — Leslie Scanlon, The Outlook's national reporter, and Stann Bailey, its art director, received honors from the Associated Church Press during the organization’s annual meeting here April 18-21.

Scanlon, who has been with The Outlook for four years, received a second-place award in magazine newswriting for her coverage of the Cincinnati Presbytery meeting at which minister Stephen Van Kuiken lost his ordination last summer. (That decision was later overturned by the Covenant Synod PJC.)

Gracious Separation: just an idea for now

PORTLAND — A sprinkling of people wore buttons that said: "Gracious Separation, A Faithful Choice," and a workshop to discuss it was packed, but it was far from clear whether people were just curious about the idea or willing to actually support it. The Presbyterian Coalition board has not endorsed it — it’s presenting options but not pushing openly for any — and the Lay Committee, where the idea reportedly has some support and some opposition, hasn’t voted yet.

A Letter to the PC(USA) from 29 former GA Moderators

Dear Fellow Presbyterians:

Serving as General Assembly Moderator has been one of the high points of our lives. It confirmed our confidence in the thousands of faithful congregations and strengthened our appreciation for the integrity and vitality of our theological heritage, represented most profoundly in the 11 confessional statements in our Book of Confessions.