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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in Cherry Hill Seminary Students' LiveJournal:

Thursday, August 6th, 2009
8:15 pm
[northlighthero]
It's Official: Master's applications being accepted!
Hello, Friends;

As of July 31, 2009, Cherry Hill Seminary is proud to announce the opening of four master's degree programs.

Earlier this Spring we received our Religious Exemption from the State of South Carolina, allowing us to offer master's degrees in religious disciplines. As we continue to work toward voluntarily meeting the state's standards that are required of secular institutions, we are able NOW to welcome student applications.

Accreditation is still several years away, but, for most students, that's no reason to wait; most part-time students can expect to find our accreditation arriving before their graduation date.

Please visit our website at www.cherryhillseminary.org -- which has many new pages in the past two weeks -- for full details on our Master of Divinity degree, our Master of Pagan Pastoral Care and Counseling, Master of Pagan Ministry, and Master of Pagan Studies. Details may also be found on our website for our three certificate programs (which replace certificates offered under the old system.

Former students, recent students, and prospective students are all invited to visit early and often -- and then ask questions!

Love and light and lots of laughter to you all

--Maggie Beaumont

Dean of Students
Cherry Hill Seminary
Professional Education for Pagan Ministry
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
3:54 pm
[earthpen]
Seminary T-shirts
I just stumbled across shirts, mugs, totes, etc., bearing the Cherry Hill Seminary logo:http://www.cafepress.com/cherryhill
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
3:58 pm
[earthpen]
Fall Registration Now Available
Does anyone know when the fall semester begins?
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
6:17 pm
[evcelt]
Summer 2008 course registration open!
Summer 2008 course registration is now open!

http://www.cherryhillseminary.org/admissions/currentcourses.html

What course are you going to take? I'm thinking of the The/a/ology one...
Monday, April 21st, 2008
8:18 pm
[evcelt]
two kinds of "testimonials" needed
Holli Emore, CHS Executive Director, is looking for two kinds of "testimonials" from students:


"1. How great you think CHS is,



And



2. Cool things you are doing out there across North America"



You can let me know and I'll pass them on, or send them to her directly...
8:15 pm
[evcelt]
Announcements from CHS Board President
Dear Cherry Hill Friend,

This year’s Equinox brought with it rumors of Spring as well as rumors of changes at Cherry Hill. While Spring has yet to be confirmed in parts of the Midwest, I can tell you that there have been a number of changes at Cherry Hill—some of them exciting, some of them regretful goodbyes, and all of them reflected in the changing seasons that inform our Pagan worldview.

I am sorry that you have not heard from me until now. My own changing seasons have delivered to me a dual and conflicting challenge of both health issues and career advancements, meaning that I have had to slow down a bit and take care of myself in the past few weeks, but at the same time also take care of university departmental business and preparing students for their presentations at the regional American Academy of Religion. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Changes in Staffing-- At our March meeting, the CHS Board of Directors elected the following officers: Nikki Bado-Fralick, President; Kirk Thomas, Vice-President; and Cynthia Jane Collins, Secretary. The position of Treasurer remains open, but is currently overseen by the President. Directors at-large include Sue Curewitz Arthen, Debbie Fields-Berry, Judy Harrow, Michael McDermott, and Macha NightMare. Todd Berntson remains on leave until early fall.

We offer heartfelt thanks to exiting interim President Gail Schiesser whose persistence, long hours of hard work, legal/business expertise, and genuine wisdom have been crucial to our moving from a fledgling all-volunteer school to a more stable, professionally-managed organization.

We also wish the very best to our founder, Kirk White, as he leaves the Board to pursue other challenges. Kirk’s vision, passion, and inspiration encouraged us to take up the cause of higher education as preparation for Pagan ministry. Kirk, his long-time friends and co-founders, Laura Wildman-Hanlon, and Cat Chapin-Bishop, can now be seen on a new Founders Tribute page at our web site (content still being added). Thank you, Kirk, for your many years of service to Cherry Hill Seminary.

In March we also bid farewell to Laura Wildman-Hanlon, who has served CHS tirelessly in various capacities over the years, not the least of which was to reassure us all that Cherry Hill was worth the sacrifice of our personal time and talent. We cannot thank Laura enough for her years of dedicated volunteer service as Academic Dean and Registrar, which she carried out during her own tremendous life changes—such as adopting children and completing a college degree! Thank you Laura, for your devoted service to Cherry Hill Seminary.

Eddie Cranford, Dean of Technology, resigned in March, after providing outstanding technical support since Spring 2007. With Eddie’s assistance, our staff were able to work with more confidence in our infrastructure than we'd had in a good while.

After putting on an excellent Winter Intensive at PantheaCon, Brighde (Patricia Allen) reminded us in January that her original commitment to Kirk White of six months as Dean of Students had stretched out over more than two years, and that she felt she could no longer maintain that work in addition to her job and other personal commitments. She remains with us through May 30, and in that role will complete the year of work with our first field education student, Ms. Dorothea Basili, placed with us by Pacific School of Religion.

Holli Emore continues as our Executive Director, affirmed by a special vote of the Board in March. You may recall that Holli was recruited by Kirk White nearly two years ago to help him develop a board of directors since Cherry Hill was about to receive its nonprofit ruling by IRS. Holli reluctantly agreed to serve as our first Board President while we grew in our leadership. By the end of her first year, we had recognized a valuable talent (and her many years of experience as a nonprofit manager and consultant) and we asked her to consider leaving the Board to become our first Executive Director, which she did in January.

Finally, over the first weekend in March, the Board met for a wonderful retreat and strategic planning. Many of us met face-to-face for the first time, and we were hosted grandly by the Gaia’s Rising CUUPS group in Columbia, S.C. At that time we reviewed our by-laws and adopted a new set (which will be posted online soon). A notable outcome of that decision is that Cherry Hill Seminary is no longer owned by, affiliated with, or answerable to the Communitarian Church. We made important decisions about going forward with our pursuit of accreditation, and set up task forces to guide the work of the seminary.

While many of these changes may feel sudden, I can assure you that they result from and represent the past year’s hard work by leadership to move Cherry Hill to a more professional level, with strong viability for survival and growth. Some of our changes have involved moving us into compliance with state and federal regulations, as well as into best practices in nonprofit management.

Change always creates new challenges, and sometimes apprehension, or even friction, as we confront the unknown. But remember, the Goddess changes everything She touches, and take heart in Her blessings as we continue to grow and learn together.

During this time of change I ask each of us to focus closely on the mission of Cherry Hill Seminary, which (as refined and adopted at our board retreat) is "to provide quality higher education and practical training in Pagan ministry."

The Board also adopted the following vision statement–

CHS supports Pagans and their communities by:

* Providing an extensive education in diverse aspects of Pagan philosophy, practice, and skilled ministry;

* Supplementing existing ritual and magical skills with training for professional ministry and counseling;

* Serving as an ongoing resource for individual continuing education; and

* Providing a forum for scholarship and community


Education for Pagan ministry is what Cherry Hill is about. It is the reason we exist, and must be the basis for every action or decision we make in carrying out the work of Cherry Hill. This is the time to release anything that does not serve this mission and vision. And it is the time to embrace and support the work that makes us stronger, more efficient, and better able to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.

Many of you have served the vision of Pagan ministry education for years now, with only token pay, or none at all. I know that I follow in the venerable footsteps of leaders who have gone before me. Please accept here my earnest gratitude for all that you have done and for all that you have given to Cherry Hill. I also ask for your support as we go forward.

This year I challenge us all to nurture the new growth of Cherry Hill Seminary in the following ways:

Challenge 1: Double our enrollment by the start of Spring 2009.

Challenge 2: Raise awareness of and respect for Cherry Hill Seminary.

Challenge 3: Improve our efficiency of operation to a new level.

Each of us can support these challenge-goals by simply speaking up for Pagan ministry education at every possible opportunity. We can encourage our local, regional, and national Pagan communities to take advantage of the stellar programs we offer. We can work together to help our administrative staff revamp procedures and infrastructure.

I dream of a day when all who find meaning in earth-based religions can find their ministry and counseling needs met by competent, trained professionals. Please accept both my thanks and my challenges as we move into that future together.

Blessings for the new season!

Nikki Bado-Fralick, Ph.D.

President, Board of Directors

Cherry Hill Seminary
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
12:31 am
[evcelt]
Cherry Hill Seminary Director of Chaplaincy testifies in DC on Friday!

Cherry Hill Seminary Director of Chaplaincy and Lady Liberty League National Coordinator of Prison Ministries Testifies Friday In Washington On Religious Discrimination In Prisons



BETHEL, VT—The Rev. M. Patrick McCollum will be part of a six-member panel of experts presenting to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on Friday, February 8, 2008, on Religious Discrimination and Prisoners' Rights. The panel is being convened to shed light on the nature and extent of the problems which have arisen in this context and to discuss what can be done to resolve inmate grievances in United States prisons. After a period of public comment, a report by the Commission will be made available to Congress.

McCollum has a long and successful history of ministering to those unable to practice their faith in institutional settings. He is the Director and Chair of the National Correctional Chaplaincy Directors Association, and is the statewide Wiccan chaplain for the California Department of Corrections, has served as a Wiccan chaplain in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, has helped mentor chaplains from many faith traditions across the country, and has advised state and federal correctional institution officials on religion issues across the nation.

McCollum has taught Pagan Chaplaincy Training at the Leadership Institute, part of Circle Sanctuary’s annual Pagan Spirit Gathering, for the past seven years. His involvement with Circle Sanctuary’s outreach goes back nearly thirty years. As the National Coordinator of the Lady Liberty League Prison Ministries Program, and a member of the National Advisory Council of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, McCollum was closely involved with efforts by those groups which resulted in a policy change within the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs to include the pentacle symbol on the list of approved symbols permitted to be inscribed on the headstones and markers of fallen soldiers.

As the newly appointed Director of the Chaplaincy Program of Cherry Hill Seminary, McCollum specializes in courses which address issues encountered by chaplains ministering in institutional settings, such as prisons. Cherry Hill Seminary provides distance-learning graduate-level higher education for Pagan ministry.

"It is an honor to be invited to participate in the dialogue and to share a Wiccan’s point of view," said McCollum in a recent interview. "Those in minority faiths are seldom the opportunity to be heard, even when the issue concerns their rights. I am hopeful that this invitation is indicative of what we can expect going forward; that there is truly a desire on the part of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to ensure that inmates receive equal treatment, and a willingness to better serve minority religions."

For more information about this story, please contact Holli Emore, Cherry Hill Seminary, at 888.503.4131, or CHS@cherryhillseminary.org, or Rev. Angie Buchanan, Circle Sanctuary, Lady Liberty League, at 608.924.2216, 847.456.4833, or Angie@circlesanctuary.org.
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
2:27 pm
[evcelt]
Great accomplishments by a CHS faculty member
David Oringderff (a faculty member in the CHS Pastoral Counseling department) posted the following on the Sacred Well listserv. Sacred Well is an organization that serves military Pagans and their families, which David heads:

'Three years ago the Sacred Well Congregation was elected to the COMISS
Network (http://www.comissnetwork.org/html/comiss_network.html
<http://www.comissnetwork.org/html/comiss_network.html>) as a
Religious Endorsing Body for ministers in specialized settings. We
were the first, and so far the only, organization of a non-traditional
faith group elected to that body. Participating in the COMISS Network
has proven to be a very productive undertaking. We have established,
and continue to establish and strengthen, liaison, friendships and
allies in COMISS as we continue to make inroads into the dominant
culture for religious freedom, tolerance and education.

Our Director of Military Affairs, Rev Marci Drewry, and I have just
returned from the 2008 Annual Forum. This was a milestone event in
that on very short notice, we were asked to lead the Interfaith
Worship Service to open the Forum. We were able to put together an
ecumenical service with a distinctively Wiccan flavor. We invited the
Divine Presence with a candle in a glass chalice; the ritual included
a reading of Desiderata, reflections by Marci on Yuletide and its
meaning in our tradition, active meditation to music, a brief history
of the 50’s folk song by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, “Let there be
Peace on Earth.” Then Marci led the assembly in the singing of the
song, and it was phenomenal. We closed with the standard “Love is the
Law and Love is the Bond, the Circle is open but unbroken…” The
service was very well received, and over the course of the weekend, we
heard numerous comments about how much it was enjoyed, and descriptive
adjectives of “beautiful,” “moving” and “powerful.” We also had the
opportunity to present and discuss some of our milestones this year
and participated in interest groups and subsequent discussions.'
Sunday, January 6th, 2008
9:43 pm
[evcelt]
Exciting announcement
From M. Macha NightMare:

"The Consultation on Contemporary Pagan Studies has been accepted as a full consultation by the AAR (American Academy of Religion) three years ahead of schedule. The CCPS website where you can find lots of excellent resources is now up at:

http://www.aarweb.org/Meetings/Annual_Meeting/Program_Units/PUCS/Website/main.asp?PUNum=AARPU139

One of the prime movers behind this effort is CHS faculty member Michael York. Other members of this group currently teach at CHS or have offered lecture series at CHS.

Yours in changing culture,
Macha"

Current Mood: pleased
Tuesday, December 11th, 2007
5:02 pm
[evcelt]
The holy quest of learning
[crossposted to allgoodstuff and chseminary_st]

A wonderful Witchvox" article by Holli Emore, chair of the Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary:

A Joy for All Seasons

Current Mood: pleased
Monday, December 10th, 2007
1:04 pm
[evcelt]
Welcome
I know there's no-one else in this community yet, but I thought I'd put this here so anyone finding it will have a starting point.

I'm Hugh Eckert. I have just been made the student rep at Cherry Hill Seminary.

I'm enrolled in the Public Ministry program and in my third class here at CHS. I live in Northern VA (DC area).

I'm a a syncretic, polytheistic Pagan with some Vodou and Hoodoo elements in my practice.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about CHS. The best email address to use for me is first name dot last name at gmail dot com.

Blessings,
Hugh
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