The Seminary Explores
Reconciling in Christ: A Personal Story

Reconciling in Christ: A Personal Story

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.

You Can’t Pray the Gay Away

You Can’t Pray the Gay Away

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.

Iran: The Prospects for Peace with a Forbidden Country

Iran: The Prospects for Peace with a Forbidden Country

July 29, 2018

A widely traveled, award-winning “ambassador” of peace, Rev. Sandra Mackie, Spiritual Director, Ruth House, and Recipient of the Lifetime Peacemaker Award, Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice, believes that fear is a significant factor in war, and that better understanding is a key ingredient for peace. She observes that Iran should not be lumped together with other Mid-East nations. Iranians are not Arabs, but Persians with a long and proud history. They want to be democratic and open to the West, but free and independent; and when threatened, they think it necessary to develop a nuclear program.

Lutherans and Catholics “On the Way” to Unity

Lutherans and Catholics “On the Way” to Unity

January 30, 2017

After almost 500 years since the Reformation, Donald McCoid, Bishop Emeritus, Southwest Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA, and staff member on the “Declaration” Commission discusses, Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry, Eucharist offers an unprecedented series of 32 “statements of agreement” between Roman Catholics and Lutherans. The culmination of 50 years of dialogues, they signal that Catholics and Lutherans are “on the way” to full, visible unity. Approved 931-9 by the ELCA Church-wide Assembly, the full document is available free on-line. A study guide for congregations will soon be released.

Top Stories in Religion for 2016

Top Stories in Religion for 2016

January 2, 2017

Dr. Donnella, Chaplain of the College at Gettysburg College, shared his thoughts on Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Inter-religious dialogue, and Pope Francis. While he expressed his hopes in light of these topics, he also was saddened by the lack of religious and civil tolerance during the recent political issues in the United States.

Black Lives Matter?

Black Lives Matter?

November 21, 2016
Dr. Strobert sits down with Dr. Richard Stewart, retired Associate Professor of Church Administration and Practical Theology, Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and Dr. Joseph Donnella, Chaplain of the College and adjunct Professor of Religious Studies, Gettysburg College to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement.

This wide ranging discussion explores the realities of being a member of a minority in the United States. Some topics covered include how people of color (even retired pastors) are often perceived as a threat; living a life in tension; ambivalence vs. practicality; theology beyond traditions; laws may be passed but they don’t change attitudes; and the lessons that Black parents must teach their son’s when encountering police. 
“Left Unsaid”: The Secret to the Longevity of our Constitution

“Left Unsaid”: The Secret to the Longevity of our Constitution

July 4, 2016

Dr. Kenneth Mott, Professor of Political Science, Gettysburg College; author of “The Supreme Court and the Living Constitution” takes us on a tour of the U.S. Constitution.  In addition to a structure and a process for an American government, the Constitution assumes a distinction between permanent principles and occasional demands, between the “permanent” will of the people and the “whim” of frequent change. Thus what is left unsaid is the key to the endurance of the Constitution. The role of the Supreme Court becomes critical in keeping this dialogue alive and well.
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A Masterwork of Doubting Belief: R.S. Thomas and His Poetry

A Masterwork of Doubting Belief: R.S. Thomas and His Poetry

April 25, 2016

When it comes to poet/priests, R.S. Thomas is about as good as it gets. This Seminary Explores conversation includes insight into his relevance and the brilliant tensions in his work by John McEllhenney, author of A Masterwork of Doubting Belief: R.S. Thomas and His Poetry.

For more information on the R.S. Thomas Literary Festival visit: http://www.st-hywyn.org.uk/rst.html

Health Care Ethics in the Finnish Context

Health Care Ethics in the Finnish Context

April 11, 2016

In this episode, Pastor Karoliina Nikula discusses the larger field of Bio-Ethics, using the specific example of cochlear implants in Finland.

Genetics, Immunology and Microscopic Worms:  The Natural Curiosity of a Scientist

Genetics, Immunology and Microscopic Worms: The Natural Curiosity of a Scientist

March 14, 2016

In this episode, a part of our ongoing series about Science for Seminaries, geneticist Dr. Jennifer Powell describes her work and the importance of genetics for understanding life.