Contact Us Subscribe


Summer Program 2005 

Turning Our Hearts and Minds Toward God



I Would Trust God More: The Dynamics of Faith in the Parables of Jesus

Earl Palmer

Saturday Seminar, June 11   9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: $50 ($90 per couple; $35 student)-includes lunch

First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley (Sanctuary),

2407 Dana Street, Berkeley


Join us for another day with Earl Palmer, outstanding teacher and exegete of Scripture, as he leads us in seeing the world through the parables of Jesus. Rev. Palmer will lead us in considering the risks of faithfulness, finding balance, the surprise of time, and other issues that the parables highlight. He will also consider “the greatest parable” of all.



Just As I Am: Journal-Keeping for Spiritual Growth

Virginia Hearn

Saturday Seminar, June 18, 9 a.m.-noon and 1:30-4:30 p.m.


Cost: $40 (lunch not included)


Self-discovery and spiritual understanding are the primary objectives of this innovative approach to journal-keeping. Amid the “tyranny of the urgent” we have little time to reflect on where we've been, what we've learned, and where we're going. This popular workshop teaches people—with or without significant writing experience—how to make their personal journal a tool for insight, perspective, and spiritual motivation.



The Ethical Challenge of Other Religions: Cooperation in the Face of Disaster

Bernard Adeney-Risakotta

Evening lecture, Friday, July 8 (tentative)           7 p.m.             Donation

Cosponsored with and held at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, College Lounge


As Christians living in a pluralistic society, we’re challenged in how we view other faith and treat their practitioners. How do we affirm the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in an intellectual climate where all claims to absolute truth are suspect? The responses of people of faith to the recent Southeast Asian earthquake and tsunami reflect these challenges. Dr. Adeney-Risakotta works with Muslims in an area where more than 200,000 people lost their lives.  Bernie and his wife Farsijana are PCUSA mission co-workers who know first-hand that real convictions, when accompanied by humility, facilitate dialogue and caring action.



Christian Moral Values in an Age of Diversity & Conflict

David W. Gill

Saturday Seminar, July 30, 9a.m.-4 p.m.


Cost: $40 (lunch not included)


In our era of political partisanship, media sound-bytes, and celebrity preacher pontification, us ordinary people need to ask out loud: Who gets to define “Christian Moral Values”?   In this seminar we will turn away from the politicians, the pundits, and the “amen corner” preachers who serve them, and go back to the sources: Jesus and Scripture.  The Sermon on the Mount, the Ten Commandments and other classic texts will guide our two-fold quest for (1) a robust and faithful Christian moral identity and (2) a biblical strategy for how to salt the earth and light the world (rather than just shout our approval of some worldly option).



Practicing Care in the Helping Professions

Susan S. Phillips

Graduate Theological Union class, Monday-Friday; August 8-12, 8:30 a.m.-12:30

PacificSchool of Religion in Berkeley

For registration information visit ( )


This course offers an interdisciplinary study of caring practices drawing on contemporary sociological and theological thought, Christian wisdom and practice, and on each seminar member's experience in giving and receiving care.  We will examine narratives from practice and personal experience in the context of faith; discuss shared readings to help us engage in critical discourse concerning care; and explore the notions of the good life and faithful practice embedded in caring professions and private caring. (Continuing education units or graduate credit through the GTU).



Garden or Circus: Christian Care in the Face of Contemporary Pressures

Susan S.  Phillips

Sunday evening lecture, August 14, 2005--7:00 p.m.  

Cosponsored with and held at First Presbyterian Church of Santa Rosa,

1550 Pacific Avenue, Santa Rosa

Free of charge


How do we as Christians in the U.S. respond to the demographic changes compounding our experience of stress? In our remarkable adaptability, people can neglect needed reflection and response to conditions that shape our lives. This evening we will consider some of those conditions, in the context of biblically-informed reflection.



New College Berkeley invites you to study with Susan Phillips in Austria this fall!

Foundations of Spiritual Life

Susan Phillips & Diane Deutsch

15 - 25 September 2005--Schloss Mittersill, Austria (for graduate credit)

For detailed course and registration information, visit

_ _ ( ).


This course on Christian spirituality is designed to facilitate the integration of personal faith and public ministry.  Its goal is to broaden and deepen the participants’ theological and spiritual understandings of Christian discipleship. Practical theology, spiritual disciplines, along with developmental and historical spirituality, will be the academic core of the course.


Summer Institute 2005 Faculty


Bernard Adeney-Risakotta (Ph.D.) is a Christian ethicist who grew up in Asia and now teaches at Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, in Java, Indonesia.  He is the author of Strange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural World.


Diane Deutsch (Ph.D), a psychologist and spiritual director, has been affiliated with The Center for Ministry in Oakland, California, for over twenty years, serving as a consulting psychologist, career development counselor for church professionals, and church ministry team development consultant.


David W. Gill (Ph.D.) is NCB co-founder, former president, and founding professor of ethics at NCB, and former professor of applied ethics at North ParkCollege, Chicago. His books include Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles.


Virginia Hearn, (B.A.) a professional editor, is NCB professor of communications and author of Just As I Am: Journal-Keeping for Spiritual Growth, What They Did Right: Reflections on Parents by Their Children, and Our Struggle to Serve: The Stories of 15 Evangelical Women.


Earl Palmer (M.Div.) is senior pastor at University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, Washington and author of many books, including The Book That James Wrote and Prayer, Between Friends.


Susan S. Phillips (Ph.D.) is Executive Director and Professor of Sociology and Christianity at New College Berkeley, edited (with Patricia Benner) The Crisis of Care, and is a spiritual director.



Dear Friends,


As followers of Christ we need to continually renew our inner lives as we find ways to express our faith in the world.  We need to nurture our interior, spiritual life in order to respond to the challenges of the world around us.

     To explain what it means to be his disciples Jesus often used images, like the lilies of the field and the mustard seed, that make their way into our minds and take root. Jesus also used parables, stories about ordinary life—like baking bread or losing a coin— to reveal the meaning of God’s kingdom. The standard way of describing parables is that they are “earthly stories with heavenly meaning.”  What we want to do in this NCB Summer Institute is imbue our earthly stories, our lives, with spiritual meaning.


Please join us as we explore ways to do this.


In Christ,



Susan S. Phillips                                                       Sharon Gallagher

Executive Director                                                    Associate Director

Preparing the whole people of God for active ministry in all the settings in which God has placed them

2029 Durant Ave. | Berkeley, CA 94704 | (510) 841-9386 |