A Day At Columbia Inquiry + Worship + Formation

A Message from President Leanne van Dyk

What an important time to consider religious leadership – whether parish ministry, non-profit leadership, chaplaincy, advocacy, or vocations that engage race, science, health, food or ecology. We count it a privilege to be on this part of your journey. - Rev Sam White, Director of Admissions


Theological inquiry lies at the heart of Columbia Theological Seminary. We believe that service to God and to the broader world starts by asking hard questions about who God is, what God has done and is doing in our world today, and how we might participate in God’s still unfolding mission.

Faculty are the primary facilitators of this inquiry. Their pedagogical approaches focus not just on imparting knowledge, but on developing the moral imaginations of their students, equipping them to pursue innovative new approaches to service and scholarship. Take a look at a few examples of how our faculty approach their work, and how students are shaped by their experiences within and beyond the classroom


Regular worship of our God helps to orient and ground the work that we do together. Chapel services take place on our campus every Monday and Friday morning, and provide space for students, faculty, and staff to gather together both with one another and with God.

But worship extends beyond just these two weekly events – it animates all parts of our life together. Listen to this reflection by Dr. Lisa Weaver, Assistant Professor of Worship, which describes the impact and importance of worship as a way of life


Columbia’s mission is to “educate and nurture faithful, imaginative, and effective leaders for the sake of the Church and the world”. This means Columbia is ultimately a place of formation, development, and of sending. Our students take classes and engage in lively and rigorous conversations not just to get smarter or to speak more eloquently. Instead, their education is designed to send them out into the real world, equipped with the moral imagination and set of convictions necessary to work for justice, to advance truth, and to help build the Kingdom of God. Look here for a few examples of the creative and powerful ways students are putting their knowledge into action:

Visiting Campus

During this current Covid-19 pandemic, access to campus is limited to only essential staff. We are aware the best way to learn more about Columbia Theological Seminary is to visit the campus and the best time to come is while the seminary is in session. The campus is beautiful all year round. We hope you will get a chance to meet the students and faculty that make it special as soon as safely possible.

Further Conversation

Although we hope this webpage has given you a deeper sense of who and what Columbia Theological Seminary is, we also see it as merely an invitation for further dialogue and discernment. Please complete this form or contact our Admissions Office at admissions@ctsnet.edu to tell us more about your specific interests and calling. We would love to explore together how your passions intersect with what’s happening at Columbia. And if you’re ready to jump in, please know our Fall 2021 application will be available here starting in mid-September 2020.

There are so many other practical questions you might want to ask: about the application process, about student life, about on-campus housing. We are ready to help with all of those concerns you have, so please reach out! You can also learn more about campus life by visiting the Columbia Current.

As we continue developing and refining this webpage, please take a moment to tell us about how helpful it was to you and how we might expand or improve it for future audiences. (Look at adapting campus visit survey currently hosted in JotForm)