For more information:
phone 216/283-1507

Cleveland Ecumenical
Institute for Religious Studies

Joe LaGuardia, Dean

St. Paul’s Church
2747 Fairmount Boulevard
Cleveland Heights, OH 44106


Winter 2015 Course Offerings

Political Power, Personality, and the Sovereignty of God:
The Books of First and Second Samuel

Rev. George Smiga, STD

Eight Saturdays | January 17 to March 7, 2015 | 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | $120 |
Forest Hill Church Presbyterian | Bodwell Hall | 3031 Monticello Boulevard | Cleveland Heights

First and Second Samuel capture a unique period in the history of ancient Israel. They mark the radical transformation from a marginal company of tribes to a centralized state. Such change was enabled by the development of urban centers, new technologies, and the accumulation of wealth. It was directed by the personalities of the prophet Samuel, the tribal leader Saul, and David who became king. The books of Samuel strive to discern God’s action in this epic upheaval. So will we. Join us for eight weeks of political intrigue, personal aggrandizement, and faith.
       Rev. George Smiga, STD, received his doctorate from the Gregorian University in Rome and teaches as part of the scripture department of St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe. He is the author of Pain and Polemic: Anti-Judaism in the Christian Gospels and has recently published The Gospel of John Set Free: Preaching Without Anti-Judaism. He is a priest and the pastor of St. Noel Parish in Willoughby Hills. He writes regularly about faith issues at:


Creating Common Good: a Focus on Economic Inequality
An Interactive Theological Conference from Trinity Institute Wall Street with the Keynotes Streamed Live Via Webcast, Featuring:

The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Many Other Esteemed Speakers

Thursday Evening, January 22, from 7 – 9 p.m. (Register 6:30 p.m.), Friday and Saturday, January 23 and 24, 2015, 9:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Register: Friday and/or Saturday 9:00 a.m. | $40 for Any Part or All of the Conference + $10 for lunch each day.
Location: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church | 2747 Fairmount Boulevard | Cleveland Heights | 44106


This year’s teleconference is for anyone who is interested in a practical, theological perspective on economic inequality. Economic inequality in the United States is a pervasive, overwhelming issue, and the conference has recruited an amazing variety of expert speakers to offer in-depth perspectives. Our society is increasingly made up of have and have-nots, and this consistently widening gap represents a condition that is decried by the prophets, forcefully addressed by Jesus, and singled out by a number of contemporary voices in economics and public policy as a serious but correctable obstacle to human thriving. You will not want to miss this event!
      The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, Rachel Held Evans, Jennifer Jones Austin, R.R. Reno and Several Others, including Barbara Ehrenreich, Juliet Schor, and Nicole Baker Fulgham., Each gives a presentation, followed by discussions by the participants at St. Paul’s. The aim of Trinity’s annual theological conference, now in its 44th year, is to equip clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. You are welcome to attend the televised opening worship service (Archbisoph Welby preaching, Dr. Cornell West Keynoting) on Thursday Jan. 22 at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s (Registration at 6:30 p.m.).

See schedule, speaker bios and much more at:


Contemplative Living
Alan Kolp, Ph.D.


Four Thursdays, January 22 –February 12, 2014 | $60 | 7 – 9 p.m. | $60
John Knox Presbyterian Church | 144502 25200 Lorain Avenue | North Olmsted | 44070


Thomas Merton describes the contemplative as someone who is fully awake. The contemplative is fully alive and living from the Source of Life known in our deepest self. Contemplative living has more to do with experience than doctrine. This class explores some of the salient resources that help define and form contemplative living. Special attention will be given to early Christian monasticism. The course goal is twofold: to gain knowledge about contemplative living and to deepen the practice of living contemplatively.
       Alan Kolp, Ph.D., is currently holder of the Baldwin Wallace Chair in Faith & Life and Professor of Religion at Baldwin Wallace University. Dr. Kolp earned a B.A. from Guilford College, a B.D. from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D from Harvard University. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany. He has been Visiting Fellow at U. of Birmingham and Kellogg College, Oxford U. in England, as well as at The Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley).





















Can We Talk about Race?

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