Ministers are not merely those men and women who manage to get through a rigorous course of studies in Greek, Hebrew, Theology, Church History, and the rest. It is not simply a matter of intellectual ability or academic excellence. As I look back over 50 years of ministry in and around the church, beginning in my high school years what really gets me is not the books I have read are the institutions I have attended or the degrees I have one but rather the people who have taken me by the hand and showed me how to render service to God and humankind by doing it for me first, with me second, and then standing behind me while I did the work myself. My life is full of these people – and I grateful.
Likewise, Columbia Theological Seminary – and the world – has witnessed the passing of a great saint and mentor in Dr. Stephen (Steve) A. Hayner, president emeritus. Steve was only 66 years old but he lived a life of service to God and others. I especially honored to have known Steve when we were together at Park Street church in Boston back in the early’ 70s. I will never forget him – and will thank God for him by the way I give myself to others.