San Francisco Theological Seminary Auxiliary is delighted to announce that the presenters for the 2013 Seminary for a Day will be Rev. Dr. Jana Childers, Professor of Homiletics and Speech Communication, and Rev. Elizabeth McCord, Director of Enrollment. Childers will lecture on “The Truth Will Out: The Power of Non-verbals in Preaching.” McCord will give a presentation on “The Changing Faces of Seminary.” Chapel will be led by the SFTS New Testament Exegeses class.
Childers holds a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union and Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. She enjoys an international reputation as a preacher, a popular conference speaker, and has been featured by the Chicago PBS show "Thirty Good Minutes" and on the "Great Preachers" television series. Childers has written, edited and contributed to many books and articles on the art of preaching, including the award-winning Birthing the Sermon: Women Preachers on Creative Process.
Childers has a clear sense of the difference between preaching and teaching. "Preparing to preach is introspective, it's you and the desk you are sitting at," Childers said. "But when you teach, you are engaged with the world even as it is in the process of changing. You see where students are coming from and what they, and the world, are moving toward.” Childers focuses on presentation skills as well as content. "It is unlikely that anyone else will ask them in their adult life to pay attention to their diction. I want their congregation members to say, 'Oh, I can hear you clearly.'"
McCord holds a Masters of Divinity from SFTS and earned her Bachelors degree from Davis & Elkins College, a Presbyterian-affiliated school in West Virginia, where she was named the Purdum-Goddin Distinguished Graduate. She was a leader in her campus ministry program and also served as a circuit preacher in rural West Virginia, driving to two different churches each Sunday for 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. After graduating from SFTS, McCord completed a year of Clinical Pastoral Education at John Muir Medical Center in Concord, Calif., where she specialized in oncology. She has also served as a Christian educator at San Geronimo Community Presbyterian Church. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, McCord understands all too well that The Church is in a major period of transition. “As Director of Enrollment, I’m very optimistic about the future of the seminary and feel privileged to welcome new students into the community that nurtured my own call to ministry,” McCord said. “I believe SFTS offers a depth and breadth of theological education that will enable future Christian leaders to respond to the changing church with wisdom, flexibility and compassion.”