In 2023, four individuals received certificates in Older Adult Ministry from the Center for Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network. All four completed the certificate’s four courses between 2022 and early 2023. 

Jo Branton

chair of the Act III Older Adult Ministry and member at Heritage Baptist Church in Cartersville, GA.

Rev. Kimberly Cheng

a United Methodist minister, who was serving Clinton United Methodist Church in Clinton, OH, at the time she took the OAM courses.

Rev. Shelley Gardner

a Presbyterian clergywoman who serves as chaplain for the Jarvie Program/Presbyterian Foundation, an elder-care program that provides chaplain support, social work services, and in many cases, financial support to elderly individuals in the Greater New York area.

Robin Johnson

director of mental health and leader of the 55+ adult ministry at Clear Lake Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX


We also celebrate the awarding of a Level II Certificate to Robin Johnson in August 2023.

Her project, Addressing the Issues of Loneliness in Older Adults: A List of Best Practices in Faith Based Settings, involved an assessment of her congregation’s practices and recommendations for how to incorporate best practices to address the gaps in her congregational setting.

Working with the associate pastor of congregational health, Rachel Young, as her project supervisor, Robin completed her Level II capstone work in two months.

“The timing of this project was intentional,” said Johnson. “The research and subsequent assessment are already helping me make adjustments in the planning of activities for our senior adults beginning this fall.”

Sarah Erickson, the former director of Lifelong Learning at Columbia Theological Seminary and current POAMN member, served as OAM certificate advisor for the project.

“I am delighted to see the first Level II Certificate completed before I retire. Robin and her project supervisor demonstrated how to effectively work together in the development, implementation, and assessment of a Capstone Project. Kudos to them both!”

Learn about the Older Adult Ministry courses and Level I and II Certificates through POAMN and the Center for Lifelong Learning. (Scroll down to the Older Adult Ministry section.)