November 2, 2020
Mark S. Burrows joins The Seminary Explores to talk about his recent teaching on wonder and its significance in a pandemic – with some Mary Oliver and Rachel Carson in the mix. Burrows has taught at graduate theological schools in the U.S. and Europe, most recently The Protestant University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany. His Ph.D. and M.Div. are from Princeton Theological Seminary. An historian of medieval Christianity, his research and writing have focused on those creative minds among the mystics, visionaries, and poets who often found themselves living and working at the margins of Christianity.
July 27, 2020
This podcast was the final Seminary Explores program with Dr. Gerald Christianson who announced his retirement after 44 years of being a host of the program. He discussed the goal of the program, the types of interviewees the program sought to interview, and the theological underpinnings which guided the program.
He also talked about the justice issues he wish he had pursued. In addition, he recalled excitement on doing live shows in which an adult Sunday school class would observe the interview and then be able to ask the guest speaker questions following the recording. The podcast ended with him signing off for the last time. (Or is it?)
January 13, 2020
Pastor Andrew Geib, Associate Pastor, St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg, identified nine top stories in religion for the year 2019: ELCA Church Sanctuary issue, United Methodist possible split, Women in the Church, Collapse of Christianity, the burning of Notre Dame in Paris, and more. While the stories were mostly grim, he ends with word of hope for listeners.
November 4, 2019
Dr. Christian B. Keller, Professor of History and General Dwight D. Eisenhower Chair of National Security, Department of National Security and Strategy, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA, and author of The Great Partnership: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and the Fate of the Confederacy, argues that the Christian connection between Lee and Jackson was a significant glue that bonded the two generals’ friendship, and this in turn supported their strong professional relationship. Although one was Episcopal and the other a Presbyterian, they were both firm believers in Divine Providence, and as evangelical providentialists, were not that different from many Americans of that era.
June 17, 2019
Ron Couchman, a 52-year member of the Gettysburg College staff was the former Registrar and is currently working in Special Collections and College Archives, shares his personal story of coming out as a gay man with the help of therapy and his congregation, St. James, Gettysburg.
With the leadership of a task force of which he is a member and the support of the pastors, the congregation has adopted Reconciling in Christ which emphasizes welcome, equality, and justice. The task force holds a celebration of “Reconciling” each January. He recommends a helpful resource, “ReconcilingWorks,” as a way for congregations to build community beyond itself.
April 22, 2019
Guest host Carla Christopher spent time with Michael and Zach Zakar, authors of Pray the Gay Away, a book that chronicles their experience of coming out to their Christian Iranian mother and their own personal experiences during this process of self-discovery. They are advocates for LGBTQIA+ rights and offer support to youth who are coming out through their mobile app, My Twins Chat.
This deeply personal and at times humorous discussion will make you laugh and make you stop and think.
February 11, 2019
Dr. John Hoffmeyer a Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at United Lutheran Seminary defines and describes the history and the focus of systematic theology. He shares his formation in the field from his undergraduate years to his studies in Germany and his doctoral studies at Boston College. Those theologians who have influences his work include: James Cone and Robert Jenson, and Eberhard Jüngel. Future projects for Dr. Hoffmeyer includes work on the nature of theological education (examining theory and practice) and the doctrine of the Trinity.
October 22, 2018
Pope Frances has called a special meeting in Rome for February 2019 to address the scandal in the Roman Catholic Church concerning the abuse of boys by priests, but will it be enough?
Dr. Christopher Bellitto, Professor of History , Kean University, and author of “Renewing Christianity.”, explores the history and future of this ongoing crisis. How it has been handled and ignored in the past and what is being done about it now. He believes that–despite the bishops’ historic reservations toward “secular” interference—the first call when abuse is suspected must be to the police.
July 2, 2018
Rev. Dr. Mark Oldenburg, Professor of the Art of Worship, Dean of the Chapel, United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg), and hymn writer refutes the notion that good hymns aren’t written anymore and cites numerous resources online and in print. Recent hymnody has been enriched by music from the southern U.S. and by “world music” (especially Africa). He plays and discusses two examples of his own hymns, the first of which was declared the best new hymn of 1988.
June 4, 2018
Richard Michael, Interim Pastor Big Spring United Lutheran Church, discussed his recent travel to the Holy Land. Having led several groups over the years, he described the sites the group visited, the orientation to the trip for participants and the benefit of the trip for participants. For him and individuals in the group, the arrival to the Holy Land was “coming home” since the sites (cities and roads) are familiar to Christians through their reading of scriptures. In addition, Michael discussed the political realities which exist. Such a trip helps pastors to preach and teach more effectively and assists participants to reflect more critically when reading scripture and listening to sermons.