PC(USA) Minute For Mission ~ Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary

The Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study dates back to 1892 and has the longest history of any denominational mission and prayer book in the United States.

Today’s PC(USA) Minute for Mission from the Mission Yearbook…

The Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you. (Isa. 14:3 NIV)

Johnson C Smith SeminaryWhen Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (JCSTS) was founded in 1867, in the wake of the Civil War, its mission was to educate black men who had been enslaved. Over time, the institution, like many historically black colleges and universities, developed curricula that would empower African American men and women while benefiting the country as a whole.

Leadership, social engagement, and empowerment remain at the heart of the seminary’s culture and mission. In the fall of 2012, JCSTS, with the help of the Community Foundation of Atlanta, launched a Community Engagement Fellows Program designed to foster a culture of Christian service and activism among seminarians. The first class of student fellows mentored neighborhood children, created a community food bank, designed a quilting ministry for elderly women, and studied demographic shifts in underserved sections of the city.

In November 2012 students helped lead JCSTS’s inaugural HIV/AIDS Conference, which provided information and fostered the leadership necessary to conduct effective ministry among individuals and families affected by AIDS. It took its theme, “Creating HIV/AIDS Competent Churches and Leaders,” from a report of the same name adopted by the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the PC(USA). Students also planned the follow-up conference held December 2013.

JCSTS prides itself in providing students a one-of-a-kind laboratory for learning to address contemporary issues as they mature in Christian faith, biblical literacy, caregiving ability, and leadership.

—Paul T. Roberts, president-dean, Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary