News Releases


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In Tribute: Margot Adler 1946-2014

On July 28, 2014, Cherry Hill Seminary lost Board of Advisors member Margot Adler, and the entire world lost a rare individual. Following are comments by our students and faculty in response to Margot’s passing. I first met Margot when she got in touch with me years ago asking about the words to a Pagan chant. Over the years we had wonderful email conversations about Pagan music and liturgy, so when we greeted each other for the first time one year at Pantheacon, it was like meeting an old friend. I confided to her that all day long I had …

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Solidarity: December 9, 2014

Cherry Hill Seminary is grieved by violence of any kind, and stands in solidarity with all oppressed peoples.  Our students and faculty are deeply involved in social justice work where they live throughout the U.S. and beyond, partnering with many organizations to address the unique needs of their own communities.  As a religious-spiritual organization, we admonish all to avoid the kind of judgment and labeling which has brought us to a social precipice of division into “them” and “us.”  We commend those who have made a stand for justice, and urge all who choose to protest the recent grand jury …

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Sad Farewell to CHS Teacher, Visionary, Friend

March 21, 2014 — We learned the sad news this morning of the passing of faculty member and Chair Emerita, Judy Harrow. It is difficult to overstate the impact that Judy had on Cherry Hill Seminary. Judy was involved from our early years, forming and chairing the first Department of Pagan Pastoral Counseling, pushing the organization to begin aligning our training with professional requirements at a time when most Pagans still only concerned themselves with coven secrets and ritual cycles. Without her wise shaping of the program, I can’t imagine what CHS would look like now. Judy was a gifted …

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Scholarship Endowment Gift A Challenge To Others

For Release: June 1, 2013 COLUMBIA – Cherry Hill Seminary has received a generous gift of $10,000 to endow a scholarship for graduate students. The anonymous donor has made the gift a matching challenge to others who support Cherry Hill Seminary’s mission of quality education and practical training in leadership, ministry, and personal growth in Pagan and Nature-Based spiritualities. Interest from the endowment will provide an annual scholarship to a master’s intensive, two of which are required in order to complete a Master of Divinity degree. “Not only are we grateful for the foresight of this donor, who has demonstrated …

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Ronald Hutton Speaks to Cherry Hill Seminary

Interview with Holli Emore: Saturday, April 20, 2013 Why is the history of witchcraft or any kind of paganism important to contemporary practitioners? For two reasons. The first is that modern witchcraft and pagansim were based on claims about the past, specifically with regards to the survival of a tradition. The second, because they both represent the revival of an ancient tradition or traditions, they must look to ancient ideas and images for at least part of their inspiration. Will you say more about this statement from your 2010 article for The Pomegranate? “Religions have, of course, very commonly divided …

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CHS Accepting Scholarship Applications Now to Jan 3

For Immediate Release:  December 27, 2013 Contact: Holli Emore, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org COLUMBIA, S.C – Cherry Hill Seminary is now accepting applications for Spring 2014 semester course scholarships. Thanks to the generosity of donors who gave nearly $4,300 during a fall drive, the “Bow Tie Campaign,” Cherry Hill Seminary will award: 1 master’s class to each of 2 different students 1 certificate class to each of 2 different students 1 Rhizomes package of 5 classes to 1 student or group (plus, 1 full Pagan Life Academy series to a previously-selected recipient.) Applicants for a master’s or certificate class scholarship must be existing …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Saddened by Violence in Boston

For Immediate Release April 17, 2013 Contact: Holli Emore, 888-503-4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org COLUMBIA, S.C. – Cherry Hill Seminary is saddened by the violence of Monday’s bombing at the Boston Marathon. Trustee Aline “Macha” O’Brien stated, “Our hearts go out to those directly affected by the explosions, as well as to everyone else who was there, to all the runners of the world, and to the good people of Boston. The pain of such terrible loss crosses all boundaries and unites us in our resolve not to be intimidated by such cowardly acts.” “Although our students study and train to minister effectively …

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CHS Announces Release of Pagan Life Academy for Incarcerated Pagans

CHS Announces Release of Pagan Life Academy for Incarcerated Pagans For Immediate Release:  October 15, 2013 Contact: Holli Emore, 888-503-4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org COLUMBIA, S.C. – Cherry Hill Seminary has just released its new Pagan Life Academy, a series of eight low-cost print lessons for incarcerated Pagans. The Pagan Life Academy series is pan-Pagan, presenting values, ethics, stories and ritual elements that are common to various Pagan traditions.  Each lesson uses elements common to nearly all modern Paganisms:  holidays, the calling of directions, ritual practice, and mythology.  Because inmates are incarcerated most often because they have made poor choices, our writer chose …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Saddened by Loss of Pagan Scholar Patricia Monaghan

For Immediate Release November 13, 2012 Contact:  Holli Emore, 888-503-4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org COLUMBIA, S.C. – Cherry Hill Seminary is saddened to learn of the passing of noted scholar, author and women’s spirituality movement leader Patricia Monaghan. Academic Dean Wendy Griffin said, “We mourn the loss of poet, visionary, and rigorous scholar Patricia Monaghan, PhD, whose contributions to those who venerate the Goddess cannot be overstated, from her early work in helping to develop Women’s Spirituality, through to her founding of the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology.  With an Irish heart and a Pagan soul, Dr. Monaghan found the …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Saddened by Attack on Sikh Sacred Space

For Immediate Release Contact: Holli Emore Monday, August 6, 2012 CHS@cherryhillseminary.org The Cherry Hill Seminary family of students, faculty, staff and board leadership is deeply saddened by yesterday’s attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek.  We express sincere condolences to all those who have lost loved ones, and to the wider Sikh community across our nation and the world. As Pagans, we are particularly sensitive to the violation of sacred space and disregard for human life which occurred.  Furthermore, we cherish the pursuit of ongoing education as an antidote to the violence bred in ignorance and misunderstanding. …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Names Two New Department Chairs

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release February 1, 2012 Contact: Holli Emore CHS@cherryhillseminary.org Cherry Hill Seminary Names Two New Department Chairs COLUMBIA, SC — Cherry Hill Seminary is pleased to announce two new academic appointments. Valentine McKay-Riddell, Ph.D., is the new chair of Pagan Community Education, and David Oringderff, Ph.D., is the new chair of the Department of Pagan Pastoral Counseling. A long-time professor for the department, Oringderff is well known for his role in the founding of Sacred Well Congregation, as well as many years of advocacy on behalf of Pagans in the U.S. Armed Forces. Oringderff is a graduate …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Awards First-Ever Pagan Master of Divinity Degree

For Immediate Release, August 16, 2012 Contact: Holli Emore, 888.503.4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org COLUMBIA, SC — Cherry Hill Seminary today announced the graduation of Sandra Lee Harris, awarding her the Master of Divinity in Pagan Pastoral Counseling. Harris is the first student to complete her master’s degree since Cherry Hill Seminary first opened its graduate program in 2009. “When I started in 2002, Cherry Hill Seminary was the first and best opportunity I found for inexpensive and trustworthy Pagan education beyond the training I received in the Fellowship of the Sacred Grove,” said Harris in an interview. “By the time the masters …

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Eminent Scholar Named Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Contact: Holli Emore December 30, 2010 888.503.4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org Eminent Scholar Named Academic Dean of Cherry Hill Seminary COLUMBIA, SC — Cherry Hill Seminary announces the appointment of Wendy Griffin, Ph.D., as its new Academic Dean, effective January 1, 2011. “I am thrilled, simply thrilled, that Wendy is coming aboard as our new Academic Dean! I cannot think of a better person to lead CHS towards accreditation,” said Aline O’Brien, Chair of the Board of Directors. “At precisely the right time in the Seminary’s growth, Wendy brings her unique combination of academic rigor and priestesshood to …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Supports Patrick McCollum

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Contact: Holli Emore January 29, 2010 888-503-4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org Cherry Hill Seminary Supports Patrick McCollum in 9th Circuit Case Against California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation COLUMBIA, SC—Cherry Hill Seminary denounces an assertion that Christianity is the only faith protected by the U.S. Constitution, made in a friend of the court (amicus) brief filed this week in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief is part of a years-long struggle by the Seminary Director of Chaplaincy, Rev. Patrick M. McCollum, to compel the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to eliminate its discriminatory policies …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Honors Outgoing and Welcomes Incoming Dean of Students

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Contact: Holli Emore February 8, 2012 CHS@cherryhillseminary.org Cherry Hill Seminary Honors Outgoing and Welcomes Incoming Dean of Students COLUMBIA, SC — Cherry Hill Seminary has appointed Candace Kant, Ph.D., Dean of Students. Former Dean of Students Maggie Beaumont has been honored by naming her Dean of Students Emerita. Kant holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in history from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Ph.D. in history from Northern Arizona University. She has taught history, women’s studies, and religious studies courses at the College of Southern Nevada since 1976, including such classes as the …

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9-11 Offerings

Remembering Sept 11

Ten years ago Cherry Hill Seminary was a fledgling online presence, no less pained by the violence of September 11, 2011, than our sisters and brothers in the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, non-religious, and other religious communities across the country, around the world. Ten years later, our faculty and students reflect on the meaning they draw from this decade of grieving, self-examination and, we hope, healing.  No doubt, the aftermath of September 11 became part of the journey of some to Cherry Hill Seminary where they join with others in building reservoirs of wisdom. At first, we intended to issue a …

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Cherry Hill Seminary Honors Judy Harrow by Library Naming

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 16, 2009 Contact: Holli Emore (888) 503-4131 chs@cherryhillseminary.org Cherry Hill Seminary Honors Judy Harrow by Library Naming Columbia, S.C. – The Board of Directors of Cherry Hill Seminary has approved the naming of its online library, the Judy Harrow Library & Information Center. Harrow, recently retired as Chair of the Pastoral Care and Counseling Department, has served the Seminary as faculty since 2000, and for the past year as a board member. The first Wiccan to be legally registered as clergy in New York City in 1985, after a five-year effort requiring the assistance of New …

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Cherry Hill Seminary To Grant Master’s Degrees

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Contact: Holli S. Emore January 7, 2009 888.503.4131, CHS@cherryhillseminary.org Cherry Hill Seminary To Grant Master’s Degrees COLUMBIA, SC — Cherry Hill Seminary is pleased to announce that the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education has notified the school of the religious exemption which allows the Seminary to grant master’s degrees. Beginning in September 2009 Cherry Hill Seminary will offer the following Master’s degrees. Master of Divinity (72 hours). Basic professional ministry degree, balancing Pagan academics, personal spiritual development, and Pagan ministerial practice. Most professional religious positions, such as chaplaincy, certain types of counseling, and other …

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M. Macha NightMare to realign duties with Cherry Hill Seminary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 15, 2008 Contact: Holli Emore, chs@cherryhillseminary.org or (888) 503-4131. M. Macha NightMare to realign duties with Cherry Hill Seminary Columbia, S.C. – M. Macha NightMare, a longtime teacher and administrator at Cherry Hill Seminary, will resign as Chair of the Public Ministry department and take a position on the Board of Directors, effective Oct. 31. Nightmare in 2002 designed and taught the online course, “Call of the Dark Mother: Working with Death and Dying.” “Call” has consistently remained one of the most popular courses offered by Cherry Hill. During that time NightMare also served as Public …

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