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Michael Jinkins
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The Rev. Dr. Michael Jinkins is president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he also serves as Professor of Theology. Dr. Jinkins has been ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 30 years. In addition to teaching as a seminary professor for 17 years, he served 12 years in congregational leadership. Michael is passionate about theological education and preparing men and women for practical, public, and pastoral leadership in a world of cultural and religious difference.

Entries by Michael Jinkins

In the Name of God

(0) Comments | Posted September 14, 2015 | 5:53 PM


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been described by Prince Charles of Great Britain as "a light unto this nation," referring to his moral, spiritual and intellectual leadership in the United Kingdom. While recognizing Sacks' distinctive contributions to Britain, where he served...

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The Pope 'Minds His Own Business'

(24) Comments | Posted September 2, 2015 | 10:40 AM

The political commentator's argument was unequivocal. He said that the pope should restrict himself to spiritual and religious matters and stay out of politics. According to him, the pope should mind his own business. The pundit's ire (and I didn't catch his name...
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No More

(1) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 12:06 PM

Thus read the sign carried by a grieving member of Charleston's Black community: "No more." A plea. A lament. A cry of sorrow. An expression of anger.

The BBC coverage of the murder of nine men and women at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, communicated the...

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Christ Is Risen! Alleluia!

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 10:14 AM

Anne Lamott retells a classic Hasidic story that has stuck in my mind. It is about a rabbi who always told his people "that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scripture on their hearts." One of the rabbi's people asked him, "Why on our hearts, and...

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Leadership and Change (Part 2)

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2014 | 10:57 AM

In the last "Leadership Notebook" posting, I mentioned that the best theory I've come across to help leaders deal with change was developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard in 1972.1 Their model has proven useful in congregations and schools, as Debbie and I noted in our book...

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Leadership and Change (Part 1)

(1) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 2:10 PM

Several years ago, in a now classic essay in the Harvard Business Review, Charles F. Knight, then chairman and CEO of the Emerson Electric Company in St. Louis, Missouri, discussed the primary reason most business ventures fail. His comments, written specifically for a business audience, are worth hearing...

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The Talk

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 3:30 PM

When some parents say they need to have "the talk" with their kids, they are speaking of that awkward conversation so many of us have had with a prepubescent child about "the facts of life." But for many parents these days, "the talk" is about something rather different than "the...

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Two Simple Reasons to Give

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 12:52 AM

My daughter, Jessica, who sometimes just calls to share a joke with me, gave me a great cartoon from the New Yorker magazine a few years ago. I keep it on my desk. Moses stands on the mountainside holding the Ten Commandments up so the crowds below can see them....

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Faith and Business

(1) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 6:13 PM

The church has a knack for depreciating the vocations of the laity. Well, perhaps not all vocations of the laity. The church routinely blesses vocations like the helping professions and education, especially if they are in the not-for-profit realm. But the church is ambivalent, at best, when it comes to...

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Overcoming Tribalism

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 12:19 PM


By now we've all seen the relatively new research about the aversion very small children have to people who differ from them. "Stranger aversion" runs just as deeply in society, it seems, as its opposite "hospitality" runs in our faith.


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The Danger of Values

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2013 | 9:37 AM

One of the more disturbing features of American culture today has to do with the meaning and status of "values." During election cycles we often hear about the voting preferences of "value voters," a phrase that gives the impression...

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Why Tenure Matters

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 7:31 AM

The dramatic countryside of Northeastern Scotland along the craggy banks of the Don River, a wild stream that tumbles from the Highlands to the North Sea, may account to some degree for the flinty character of this region's famous son, William Robertson Smith. The warmth of the family hearth in...

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"Unwinding": The Power and Limitations of Story

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 2:33 PM


In his remarkable new book, The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013), George Packer sets out to describe "the vertigo of that unwinding" which has affected virtually every aspect of American life since the 1960s.

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Prophetic Voices

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 2:44 PM

2013-04-07-ladderpropheticvoices.jpg"Therefore, because you impose heavy rent on the poor and exact a tribute of grain from them, though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, yet you will not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink...

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Outfoxing Hedgehogs

(14) Comments | Posted February 22, 2013 | 1:15 PM

It has been said that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who think there are two kinds of people in the world and those who don't. The person who said this was making the point that things (and people) are always more complex than they may...

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Creativity, Education and the Gift of 'Stress'

(2) Comments | Posted January 18, 2013 | 10:06 AM

Psychologists have long recognized that for most of us there is a creative "sweet spot," or (perhaps more accurately) a "sweet zone," somewhere on the continuum between a complete lack of stress and disabling distress. Most of us need the variety of inputs life brings, including experiences of dissonance and...

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Faith and Political Rhetoric

(1) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 12:01 PM

For some time now, and throughout this election season, a sort of economic and political rhetoric has grown up around the country. This rhetoric belongs exclusively neither to the Republican nor to the Democratic Party, and, indeed, has "liberal," "conservative" and "libertarian" supporters. Its variants are many. The premises of...

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They're Called Students

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 11:02 AM


Some years ago while I was serving as dean of another theological school a controversy arose that has helped clarify some core educational issues for me. A member of that Board of Trustees with a distinguished record in the upper...

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Intellectual Empathy

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 12:15 PM

Our old professor would enter the classroom like a phantom from another age. His black master's gown billowed behind him as he came through the door, the North Atlantic wind whipping across the quadrangle of King's College and into our drafty ground-floor classroom. Halfway through his lecture, what with his...

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The Tragedy of Labels

(6) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 7:17 AM

One of the best ways to dismiss the ideas of others, without ever having to think about them, is to label them as quickly as they are uttered.
C. S. Lewis, in his classic satire of demonic possession, "The...

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