Christian Leaders Completing Year-long Study of Judaism in Israel

July 19, 2013 -- JERUSALEM – Sixteen prominent American Christian leaders are completing an intensive 13-month educational program on Judaism, as part of the Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI), a partnership of AJC and the Shalom Hartman Institute.

The last stage of the CLI program, from July 17-25, takes place in Jerusalem where it began in July 2012. Participants engage in nine days of studying Jewish texts, focusing on Jewish concepts of community. In between the two programs in Israel, the 16 Christian leaders, representing diverse denominations, have engaged in monthly distance-learning sessions, studying classical Jewish texts with leading Israeli scholars.

“CLI fosters a unique approach in advancing interreligious relations. It provides an open space for Christian leadership to experience and study Judaism and Israel from a Jewish perspective,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations. ”We look forward to working with the CLI fellows as they apply their learning to Christian education and Jewish-Christian relations.”

“The mixture of Jewish and Christian scholars challenges all of us,” said Dr. Marcie Lenk, Shalom Hartman Institute’s Co-Director of New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel. “There is an honesty and depth which comes from studying together.”

With generous support from the Allen H. & Selma W. Berkman Charitable Trust, CLI, co-sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute and AJC, has been training top leadership of Christian seminaries, denominations and theological schools since 2008. Most of the 41CLI alumni attended the February 2013 inaugural CLI Alumni Study Retreat in Los Angeles.

The 2012-2013 program is the third cohort of CLI fellows, and includes:

Dr. Paul Alexander, Professor of Christian Ethics and Public Policy, Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University, Philadelphia, PA

Rev. Dr. Thomas A. Baima, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Professor of Systematic Theology, University of St. Mary of the Lakes/Mundelein Seminary, Mundelein, IL

Rev. Dr. Radu Bordeianu, Associate Professor, Department of Theology, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA

Rev. Bill Borror, Consultant, Unity Center, Chester, PA

Dr. Lynn Cohick, Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

Rev. Dr. Lincoln Galloway, K. Morgan Edwards Associate Professor of Homiletics, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA

Rev. Dr. David P. Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics, McAfee School of Theology, and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

Dr. Angela Kim Harkins, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Center for Judaic Studies, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

Dr. Robert A. Hunt, Director of Global Theological Education and Professor of Christian Mission and Interreligous Relations, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

Rev. Dr. Hak Joon Lee, Professor of Theology and Ethics, Fuller Theological School, Pasadena, CA

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis, Senior Pastor, Middle Collegiate Church, New York, NY

Rev. Dr. Molly T. Marshall, President and Professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Shawnee, KS

Rev. Dr. Gregory Mobley, Professor of Christian Bible, Andover Newton Theological School, Newton Centre, MA

Rev. Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, Associate Professor of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA

Rev. Dr. Robert Nash, Associate Dean for Doctor of Ministry Studies and Professor of Missions and World Religions, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

Dr. Michael R. Trice, Assistant Dean for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle, WA

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