AJC, Shalom Hartman Institute Host Christian Scholars Retreat

February 6, 2013 – Los Angeles – Prominent Christian scholars from diverse seminaries, universities, denominations, and congregations across North America are gathering in Los Angeles, February 8-10, for the inaugural Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI) Alumni Study Retreat. The event is sponsored by American Jewish Committee (AJC) and Shalom Hartman Institute (SHI), which together host the annual CLI program.


“CLI gathers a unique core group of Christian scholars and introduces them to classical Jewish text study in the context of modern Israel,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. “The Alumni Study Retreat is another step toward realizing our dream of a multi-cohort CLI community that will have an indelible positive impact on Christian-Jewish relations.”


“The unique nature of CLI and its success have already begun changing the tenor of the conversation among Christian and Jewish scholars,” explains Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit Halachmi, Shalom Hartman Institute director of CLI. "It is a profound and new model of what religious thought-leadership can achieve. The enthusiasm of CLI alumni and participants and their involvement in every aspect of the Retreat is indicative of the impact that the AJC-Hartman program is having. Many CLI alumni have already integrated CLI teachings and study program methodologies into their work in universities and seminaries. The trust realized through our joint learning now enables us to engage with the challenges of the Israeli and Palestinian future. This will in turn ultimately impact positively on discussions about Israel throughout the Christian community."


CLI, now in its sixth year, is an intensive 13-month educational program beginning and ending with 10-day seminars at SHI in Jerusalem. Monthly distance learning enables participants to continue their studies while working in their home communities. The Alumni Study Retreat will focus on joint Jewish-Christian learning about the Holy Land, building on CLI foundational immersion in the themes of God, ethics, and community in Judaism. During the retreat, SHI scholars will introduce New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel, an innovative curriculum on Israel, which invites North American Christians to experience a sustained engagement with Israel in its contemporary reality and its complex challenges.


The CLI Alumni Study Retreat is generously supported by the Allen H. and Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust and the Levine Institute for Building Interethnic and Interreligious Partnerships.


Participating alumni–28 of the 41 CLI participants will be attending-- include seminary presidents, deans, professors, denominational officers and pastors:


Dr. Paul Alexander, Palmer Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Thomas Baima, Dean, Graduate School of Theology, University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary

Rev. Dr. Radu Bordeianu, Duquesne University

Rev. Dr. William Borror, Senior Pastor, Media Presbyterian Church

Dr. James Buchanan, Director, Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Xavier University

Rev. Dr. James Butler, Fuller Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Campbell, Past President, McCormick Theological Seminary                 

Rev. Dr. Jerry D. Campbell, President, Claremont School of Theology

Rev. Dr. Robert Cathey, McCormick Theological Seminary

Dr. Lynn Cohick, Wheaton College

Rev. Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, Dean, McAfee School of Theology

Rev. Dr. John Deckenback, Conference Minister, United Church of Christ

Rev. Dr. Lincoln Galloway, Claremont School of Theology

Dr. Angela Kim Harkins, Fairfield University

Rev. Dr. J. Frederick Holper, McCormick Theological Seminary

Dr. Robert Hunt, Director, Global Theological Education, Perkins School of Theology

Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, Claremont School of Theology

Rev. Dr. Hak Joon Lee, Fuller Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, Senior Pastor, Middle Collegiate Church

Dr. William Madges, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, St. Joseph's University

Rev. Dr. Molly Marshall, President, Central Baptist Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Esther Menn, Lutheran School of Theology

Rev. Dr. Robert N. Nash, Jr., Associate Dean, Doctor of Ministry Program, McAfee School of Theology

Dr. Elena Procario-Foley, Iona College

Dr. Love Sechrest, Fuller Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Siker, Loyola Marymount University

Dr. Michael Trice, Assistant Dean, Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry


For more information and to arrange interviews with program leaders and participants, contact:

Hartman Institute, www.hartman.org.il

Laura Gilinski, laura.gilinski@shi.org.il Chief Development and Public Relations Officer


AJC, www.ajc.org  

Kenneth Bandler, bandlerk@ajc.org Director of Media Relations

Copyright 2014/2015 AJC