Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, led by Pastor Mark Driscoll, announced Monday that it will host both certificate and degree programs in Bible and Theology studies at the undergraduate and graduate level at the church's Bellevue location. Classes are scheduled to begin in the Fall of next year.
Corban University has agreed to terms to host a one-year certificate in Biblical Studies, and Western Seminary to host a Master of Arts and Master of Divinity program.
"I am enthusiastic and optimistic about Corban University's partnership with Mars Hill Church," said Sheldon C. Nord, president of Corban University. "It is consistent with our strong desire to be 'Christian thought leaders' – a leading voice on cultural, philosophical and academic issues, with a commitment to raise up future leaders who will champion the cause of Christ in their respective disciplines." more >>
The Church of England said it would "repent" for its previous homophobia in a major new report on human sexuality, but rejected the idea that traditional teachings on marriage should be seen as homophobic.
The Anglican Communion also rejected notions that the report, which recommends that clergy be allowed to "accommodate" same-sex relationships, contradicts traditional teachings, as some news headlines have suggested that clergy can start "blessing" gay marriage.
"The recommendations do not propose any change in the church's teaching on sexual conduct. They do propose that clergy, with the agreement of their Church Council, should be able to offer appropriate services to mark a faithful same sex relationship," a statement on the Church of England's website explains. more >>
Among the millions of families celebrating Thanksgiving this week are many Native Americans who see it as a time to come together and give thanks, but some are reminding their fellow citizens that there is very little understanding of indigenous peoples' history in the U.S., and that the path to reconciliation is still a long one to walk.
"It feels like our Native community is an old grandmother, who has a very large and very beautiful house. And years ago, some people came into our house, and locked us upstairs in the bedroom. Today, our house is full of people. They are sitting on our furniture, they are eating our food, they are having a party in our house. They've even come upstairs and unlocked the door to our bedroom, but it's much later, and we're tired, we're old, we're weak, we're sick, and so we can't, or we don't come out," reflects Mark Charles, a speaker and writer located on the Navajo Reservation in Fort Defiance, Ariz., in a video posted earlier this year titled "Being Native American in the US."
"But the thing that is most painful, is that virtually no one comes upstairs to find the grandmother in the bedroom. Nobody sits down next to us on the bed, and simply says: 'Thank you. Thank you, for letting us be in your house.'" more >>
In his first major written work as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis denounced the world's "tyrannical" economic system while urging further support for the poor, arguing that the church must be poor and be for the poor.
Francis criticized "ideologies that defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation," which he attributed to an "idolatry of money" – much like he has done in the past, when he blasted the free market system and claimed that a global "cult of money" was holding the world captive.
The Vatican leader added in his 50,000-word "apostolic exhortation" that the current economic system is "unjust at its root." more >>
Evangelist Franklin Graham is preparing for his first sermon in Thailand for the Abundant Life Festival, where he will speak in front of thousands of people and answer deep questions, such as what or who is behind the universe.
"Every one of us, at some point in our lives, has looked up at the stars in heaven," Graham told reporters in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
"And we wonder and ask ourselves, 'Is there something – or someone – behind this universe?'" more >>