From Isolation to New Family


Editor’s Note: My Patheos Colleague, Catherine Dunphy, celebrates her first face-to-face meeting with her Clergy Project family member, Jerry Dewitt. I knew them before they knew each other, having interviewed them for the Dennett-LaScola study. Catherine contacted me directly after seeing our study and Jerry contacted me after hearing about the study and the newly [Read More...]

Back to the Future


Editor’s Note: “Brian,” the seminary student who wasn’t, sends an instructive and reassuring letter to his younger self about his life course. The message: Life is complex and trusting your gut is better than cursing and dismissing your doubts.                             ========================== Editor’s Note 11/27/14 This post has been updated using the writer’s original words, as [Read More...]

How Can Seminary-Educated Pastors Preach the Bible?

Editor’s Note: Our Atheist ex-pastor answers a question posed by one of our frequent commenters, Maine Skeptic, about the supposed divine origins of the Bible.  ========================= Dear Dave: I’ve been listening and reading works by Bart Ehrman, who is often criticized by professors and authors at Dallas Theological Seminary. While they paint Ehrman as attacking [Read More...]

Presbyterians: Please Confront Reality and Embrace Evolutionary Science

Editor’s Note:  After writing about Rev. John Shuck’s efforts regarding Evolution Sunday last week, I invited him to speak for himself – and he did!  Please read what he has to say.  I think he’s the future of the liberal church –if the church has a future. ================================  I am a minister in the Presbyterian [Read More...]

True Stories from Divinity School, Part I

Editor’s Note: John Figdor’s original reason for attending divinity school was to learn theology so he could effectively debate Christian apologists. Instead, he went a new pastoral route, becoming a humanist Chaplain.  The following essay is the last in the “student” series and the first in an occasional series about the academic study of religion. [Read More...]

Myths from the Past, Hope for the Future

Editor’s Note: In the second of three “student” posts, Catherine, a former Catholic chaplain student, discusses losing her faith during seminary and her concerns about Pope Francis’ criticism of seminary studies. By Catherine Dunphy It’s been nearly ten years since I graduated from seminary.  In that time I have done what I can to distance [Read More...]