Stephen A. Hayner, national president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship from 1988 to 2001, was elected June 15 as president of Columbia Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)–related school in Decatur, Georgia. Hayner, who joined the Columbia faculty in 2003 to teach evangelism and church growth, was to succeed Laura S. Mendenhall on July 1.
Robert H. Schuller, the founding pastor of Crystal Cathedral in southern California, has announced that he has turned over the administrative duties of his ministry to his daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman.
Religious organizations reported a 5.5 percent increase in donations last year, a marked contrast from the nationwide 2 percent decline in charitable giving, according to a study by the Giving USA Foundation.
New Hampshire became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage as Governor John Lynch signed a bill rewritten slightly by lawmakers to ensure that religious organizations and their employees would not be forced to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies.
Poor criteria: When writer Paul Wilkes helped start a ministry to the poor and homeless in Brooklyn, supporters discussed whether they should use some criteria to identify the truly needy. Wilkes's spontaneous response was: "Just that they come to us, literally begging, says enough. Let's not humiliate them further. I didn't see Christ applying a means test. We're not going to either" (In Due Season, Jossey-Bass).