Previous Workshops and Programs

Exploring the Caves of Eastern TN
with Chuck Sutherland

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education will present a program titled "Exploring the Caves of Eastern Tennessee" on Oct. 20-21 in Pleasant Hill. It will take place in Adshead Hall on the lower level of Fletcher House on the Uplands Village campus (86a Church Drive, Pleasant Hill (Just Off Main St. Across From Pleasant Hill Elementary School).

The presenter is Chuck Sutherland, an expert caver, professional photographer and avid conservationist. A geographer by training, he currently serves as the geographic information systems specialist for the Upper Cumberland Development District. He is also working with the state of Tennessee to create new maps for state parks in the Upper Cumberland, and is using LiDAR data to reveal previously unknown cave entrances.

An Update on Cuba 

Rev.  Elmer Lavastida
July 7 and 8 2017

This is the second Ted Braun Memorial Program being offered by the Shalom Center for Continuing Education. The Lavastidas will update us on the important work they’re doing at the B. G. Lavastida Center for Christian Service in Santiago de Cuba and talk about current conditions in the country.

William Isom

 Media, Public Discourse and Democracy Program May 12-13

The Shalom Center for Continuing Education is offering a free program titled Media, Public Discourse & Democracy on May 12 – 13 and everyone is invited to attend. The presenter is William Isom, Director of Community Outreach for East TN PBS and Coordinator of the Rural Broadband Campaign.

           Fri. May 12:
A free and open media is essential to civic engagement and public discourse on policy and social concerns. Unfortunately, commercial interests often overshadow the mandate for education and dissemination of important information. We will review how the foundations of journalism have been derailed since the 1960s and discuss how community members are proactively creating their own democratic media outlets in the South.

Sat. May 13:
With the advent of new technologies, amazing organizing tools are now available to social justice workers, thus increasing their ability to reach thousands within and outside of their own areas. In rural TN, however, those tools aren’t necessarily accessible, many times due to poor, expensive or nonexistent broadband internet service. We will hear about collaborative grassroots efforts aimed at closing the digital divide in mountain communities, the challenges and successes of this work and how increased publicly-owned options can foster local participation in civic life across issues.

Black Girl Magic: Shining though Spirituals 
and Classical Music

Featuring Jayme Alilaw, Brittney Boykin, and Michael Ruff  

Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. on the Main Stage of the 
Cumberland County Playhouse
Sponsored by the Shalom Center for Continuing Education, the Pleasant Hill Community Church, Uplands Village and the Cumberland County Playhouse 


Harmonica Exercise for Lung Program
“Making Music to Improve Breathing” - Nov 4 2016

Pastor of Peace United Church of Christ, Greensboro, NC
"Moses, Pharaoh, & Fidel: Cuba and the Social Construction of Revolution" - August 27, 2016
“2016 Cuba Seminar Trip” - August 28, 2016

MARGIE HUNTER: author of Gardening with
the Native Plants of Tennessee: The Spirit of Place

“Tennessee’s Billion Year Journey: How We Came to Be What We Are”- April 1, 2016
“Ecological Gardening: Native Plants in the Tennessee Landscape” - April 2, 2016 
Margie's blog:

Sharron Eckert

TN Awarded Cultural Arts Leader

"Our Common Value Systems - Local and Transplanted Residents"

Beverly Watts

Executive Director

Women and Economics in Tennessee


 Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, Executive Director  

Tennessee Economic Council on Women 


Tennessee Culture

Kathy and Mike Guinn, Storytellers

"Science and Religion are not Enemies"

Michael Dowd 
Author of Earth Spirit and 

“Culture, Place, and History of the Upper Cumberland”

Jeanette Keith
Author, Professor, Historian




“Not your average Composer, Conductor, Singer/Songwriter"

Music Director of Nickel City Opera in Buffalo, NY

Former Artistic Director of Memphis Opera



Adrienne van der Valk 

Associate Editor of Teaching Tolerance for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)


Maria Gitin: Civil Rights Activist

Author of  The Bright Light of Ours 1965: Stories From a Teenage Freedom Fighter in Rural Alabama


Charles McCollough: Author, Writer, Sculptor, Theologian


Medea Benjamin: Co-Founder of CODE PINK 

Author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control


Stephanie Teatro: Coordinator and Director of Advocacy for TIRRC (Tennessee Refugee and Immigrant Rights Coalition)


Tom Neilson Concert: Song Writer, Folk Singer, Historian and Educator

Creating a Future of Sustainable Communities,
Nancy Seaberg, Certified Permaculture Consultant

A Follow up to Faithfully Facing Dying.

Faithfully Facing Dying, a program about end of life options.
Ed KilbourneSinger, storyteller, and folk theologian.

All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice; Citizens of the Empire: The Struggle to Claim Our Humanity; and Media and Journalism in the Empire (Obedience and Disobedience in the Face of Power) Dr. Robert Jensen, Professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas, Austin, where he teaches media law, ethics, and politics.
"Lazarus, Come Forth!"  An Evening Meditation and Book-Signing with Reverend John Dear, S.J.  
******************************************************* Border and Immigration Issues presented by Reverend Dan Romero, founder of  the Daniel F. Romero Border Ministries Center, San Ysidro, CA, one of the UCC commissioned Centers for Education and Social Transformation.********************************************************
Magdalen House and Thistle Farms, Nashville, led by Founder and Director, The Rev. Becca Stevens,  Episcopal chaplain of St. Augustine's at Vanderbilt University,  social entrepreneur, and author of five books.
******************************************************* Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Outsourced Intelligence, led by Tim Shorrock, a Washington, DC based investigative journalist who grew up in Korea and Japan of United Church of Christ (UCC) missionary parents.  His writings are in numerous major journals and he is frequently heard on NPR and "Democracy Now."
******************************************************* Transforming Faith into Action, led by Millard and Linda Fuller.
******************************************************* God, Church, and State: Critical Issues and the Challenge to Prophetic Response, led by Bonganjalo Goba and Barry Lynn.
******************************************************* Three compelling dramas of faith, presented by Al Staggs: Oscar Romero: A Martyr's Homily; A View from the Underside: The Legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Clarence Jordan and the God Movement.
******************************************************* Domestic and International Violence: Their Ethical and Political Context, led by Marie Fortune.