Eden Seminary’s College Speaker series launches with a great event at Lakeland University, Sheboygan County, Wisconsin on Monday, November 13th. Rev. Rebecca Turner, long-time Eden Contextual Education supervisor, spoke with students, faculty and the Lakeland community.  She sparked imaginations for the role of theological education and of congregations in social transformation for the common good. “Finding your Vocation for Social Justice”

Rev. Turner shared her personal story as leader of congregations and organizations active in addressing situations of immigration justice through sanctuary, reproductive rights, affordable health care, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQIA+ rights, food sustainability and more. Her role as a supervisor in Eden’s Contextual Education program has enabled her to mentor faith-based leaders who connect with local congregations in many ways. Lakeland student dialogue during the event engaged questions of involvement now and into the future through the variety of vocational paths open to them. Palpable energy filled the room.

Thanks to Lakeland University faculty – Rev. Dr. Karl Kuhn and Rev. Dr. Julie Mavity Maddalena – for your enthusiastic support and coordinating this opportunity to connect.

The Eden Seminary College Speaker Series is part of the Network Model of Theological affirmed by the Lilly Endowment “Pathways for Tomorrow” Initiative.

Dear Eden Students, Alumni, Congregations and Community Partners,

God’s heart breaks. We join this heartbreak.

The past weeks since the Hamas terror attacks and hostage-taking in Israel on October 7th and subsequent war on Hamas by Israel with widespread killing in Gaza have been times in the Eden Seminary community of deep grief and renewed actions for solidarity with traumatized and oppressed people.  We have seen this activated in our community and congregational networks, among alumni, and in our classes, worship life and faculty resources. We continue to pray and act for peace with justice- Just Peace.

The context of violence in Israel and Palestine is emerging as we speak. We see this not as a situation for unilateral statements that make a proclamation and move on, but for engaging in long-term deep relationships of solidarity and action. Here we share resources of the various ways and in various voices the Eden community is about that work.

With many people of Jewish, Muslim and Christian faith traditions, Eden Seminary reads our sacred texts to hold that the Sovereign God of all creation intends peace for the world. Just Peace – that comprehensive condition of economy, society, and culture in which the earth’s ample provision of resources is sufficient for the thriving of all people and creation. We grieve that the world God has made for peace, we have refashioned for war. It is in this context that we recommit to the work of Just Peace.

As a school of contextual teaching and learning, this moment matters. You, in Eden’s networks, classes, worship life are reflecting, preaching, praying, studying, and organizing.  Eden’s curriculum goal to support commitments and build skills for interfaith collegiality seems particularly urgent in resisting the religious nationalism and extremism undergirding this violence.

Eden students are thinking theologically about the Israel-Gaza crisis in classes.  In Professor Raquel Lettsome’s course Introduction to Bible,  students are engaging how Christians misinterpret and interpret the stories of  Israel’s Exodus and return from Babylon in ways that perpetuate violence and work for peace. Professor Sonja B. William’s Social Ethics students are examining their ethical positions and exploring how they put them into action.

In addition to teaching courses, Eden faculty are offering resources from the experience of various academic fields in the context of worship, teaching, and ministry.

Additionally, Eden alumni, church and community partners are active.

  • The Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza City attacked on October 19th is a partner of Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church Disciples of Christ and to other churches in Eden’s community and to the World Council of Churches. Attacks on other partners, including the St. Pophyrios Greek Orthodox Church in Gaza spark grief and condemnation. News and Resources here
  • Leaders in many denominations of which Eden alumni, students and communities are part have signed a letter led by prominent Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Arab-American groups. The statement condemns all violence against civilians by Hamas and the Israeli military. Read Full Letter Here 
    The letter urges U.S. policy makers to:

    • Publicly call for a ceasefire to prevent the further loss of life;
    • Prioritize the protection of all civilians, including by urgently securing the entrance of humanitarian aid into Gaza and working to secure the release of hostages; and
    • Urge all parties to fully respect international humanitarian law.
  • An interfaith text study group with St. Louis Christian and Jewish leaders met this week and is gathering monthly on the Eden campus.
  • “Just Peace” principles frame responses with the potential to make holistic and long-term change through the Just Peace hallmarks of (a) Friendship (b) Justice (c) Common security from Violence. Eden alum, Rev. Chip Jahn, emphasizes the efficacy of “non-traditional actors” including churches for Just Peace. His experience in war in Sri Lanka offers action steps in the current situation of conflict. Just Peace Principles and Story here.
  • U.S. Congresswoman, Corie Bush (MO 1st District) who received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Eden Seminary in 2022, introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives calling for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine. Resolution Here 

We pray:
“Holy and Merciful One,
In the face of evil
In the midst of terror
In the wake of trauma
In the shadow of unspeakable violence
We pray to you for the capacity to pray for peace.

Peace for people in Israel
Peace for people in Gaza
Peace for people all round this violent and shaken world.
In your sovereign, creative, and restoring purpose- Holy One- may it be so”
-Rev. Dr. Deborah Krause, President, Eden Theological Seminary, October 13, 2023-

Cultivating a Culture of Safety in a Digital World
Nov 2, 2023, from 1-2pm CT

Pastors always need to be mindful of appropriate boundaries when engaging in electronic communications and social media interactions with youth.  This informative presentation will offer guidance and resources for pastors that can help protect their most vulnerable congregants as well as themselves. Presenters Beth Boyer Kollas, Risk Consultant with Praesidium, and Elizabeth Vance, Senior Loss Control Representative with Insurance Board will be online for this event.  This zoom event is free and open to anyone. Please register here.

This is the first event in a new series called Eden Amplify.  Amplify events are free seminars covering a broad range of ministry topics for clergy, congregation members and the general public. Eden Amplify is about empowering today for impact tomorrow.

Eden’s Press Hall tower witnesses to the presence and mission of the Seminary.  Interfaith collegiality is central to our identity and formation of our students.At sunset on 9/15 the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins. Next week will mark the observance of Yom Kippur 9/24-25, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The ten day period between is known as the “Days of awe.”As a sign of love and gratitude to our Jewish colleagues, friends, and neighbors, Eden Seminary will light its tower in bright white light, a traditional color for these holidays, symbolizing the new year, purity, restored relationships and hope.Gmar tov, Tzom kal, and Happy Holidays!


This summer, the Eden Gleaning and Garden Project has been growing and harvesting produce for area food pantries and ministries. Over the past 4 months, we have partnered with farmers in Indiana and Illinois to glean thousands of pounds of asparagus, corn, potatoes and cabbage.

Our next gleaning trip is this Saturday Sept 2, and we would love to have you join us.

  • Departing Eden @ 7:30 am Central (Schroer Commons parking lot) and returning to Eden by 7pm.
  • Meeting in Vincennes Indiana at St John’s UCC @ 11:30 (Eastern)

The tasks for the day allow for varying levels of physical exertion: from moderate (harvesting, lifting bags, and climbing in and out of a wagon) to light (counting and bagging produce). Bring water, snacks, and a knife (for harvesting). Lunch is provided. The forecast is for temperatures in the high 80s, so dress appropriately. We will be in the fields mid-day for 2-3 hours

If you plan to join us or have questions, please contact:
Kristen Leslie (
[email protected]) 203.376.4537
Co-Director of the Eden Gleaning and Garden Project

Making a difference, while having fun. It doesn’t get better than that!

Eden’s Press Hall tower witnesses to the presence and mission of the Seminary.  Colors of the Deaconess Foundation shine from the Eden tower this week as the 2023 CDC Freedom School® concludes its final sessions of the summer.

The tower of the Press Hall at Eden Theological Seminary is a recognizable presence on the Webster Groves campus.  Local neighbors as well as alumni and the community around the world often identify Eden’s campus with the iconic tower.

Lights in the tower also now witness to the mission of Eden Seminary through occasional displays that share particular stories. In June, lights on the tower expressed solidarity with members of the LGBTQIA+ community through a celebration of PRIDE.  This week, the tower lights bear witness to partnerships that make possible a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School® for young scholars in Webster Groves.

Children and their leaders and families have filled the buildings and fields of Eden Seminary this summer with laughter, joy, curiosity, and learning. “The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® are intergenerational, culturally competent summer programs, built on literacy, leadership and social advocacy. The curriculum is rooted in the Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Summer.”  It is an inquiry-based, multi-cultural, hands-on curriculum that celebrates African cultural concepts of the intergenerational village and “Harambe” and enables literacy building and critical reflection. Learn More here.

Peace UCC of Webster Groves leases space on the campus of Eden Seminary for congregational life, worship and programming, including the hosting of Freedom School® for 6 weeks in the summer.  The Deaconess Foundation sponsors this network of CDF Freedom Schools® in the St. Louis area, joining Freedom Schools throughout the United States.  “CDF Freedom Schools® provide meaningful engagement opportunities for congregations by placing them in proximity to the needs of children in order to inform faith-based advocacy.”  Since 2016, Peace UCC has served as one of those St. Louis congregational hosts. Other host sites in the St. Louis area include Christ the King UCC and Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being.

With gratitude for the children and their leaders and families, for Peace UCC and for the Deaconess Foundation, the lighted tower at Eden Seminary bears witness.

Eden Seminary at the United Church of Christ General SynodEden was well represented at the United Church of Christ General Synod in Indianapolis, IN, June 30-July 4. The Eden booth and bookstore was a great success. Along with attracting many prospective students to Eden’s MDiv, DMin, MCL, and other non-degree programming, it quickly became a landing place for friends, graduates, musicians and authors to gather and share talents and stories, catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Look closely at the photos below…you may see someone you know!

Connect with Eden at Events around the Country

June 1-3: Indiana-Kentucky Conference UCC Annual Meeting (Indianapolis, IN)

June 1-4: Webster Art Fair (Webster Groves, MO)

June 5-9: Hampton Ministers Conference (Hampton, VA)

June 8-10: Wisconson Conference UCC Annual Meeting (Greenlake, WI)

June 17: Southern New England Conference UCC (Worchester, MA)

June 17: Harris-Stowe State University (St. Louis, MO)

June 24-25: St. Louis Pride (St. Louis, MO)
Eden will share a booth with Gateway Open and Affirming

June 25-27: National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (Milwaukee, WI)

June 29-July 4: UCC General Synod (Indianapolis, IN)

July 5-9: The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (Atlanta, GA)

July 10-12: E.K. Bailey Preaching Conference (Dallas, TX)

July 29-Aug. 1: Disciples of Christ Assembly (Louisville, KY)

Recruiter, Rev. Dr. Justin Shamell meets Eden alumni and faculty