The Slingshot: Seminary degrees; Kilauea eruption; Healing crystals

(RNS) — The gold standard for church leaders — the Master of Divinity — is losing some of its luster to its humbler cousin, the two-year Master of Arts. For lots of Puna residents, a volcanic eruption like the one currently charging through their region is both an awful natural disaster and an invigorating spiritual reckoning. Given that crystals can be used to ‘make a promise to mama earth,’ it would seem important to know how they were extracted from mama earth.

The Slingshot: James Cone; Liberty University; Faith and football

(RNS) — James H. Cone, the scholar known as the ‘founder of black liberation theology,’ died Saturday at age 79. Where the loss of the mantle of ‘largest’ in its category might go unnoticed for other universities, it may cause more of a stir for Liberty. Women came to the rescue with designs and practical solutions for problems created by men when Fifa banned female players from wearing hijab.

The Slingshot: Evangelicalism’s future; Liberty’s online empire; Planet X’s return

(RNS) — President Trump’s alliance with white evangelicals prompted a meeting of evangelical leaders at Wheaton College, even as they sought to take the focus off him. The real driver of growth at Liberty is not the students who attend classes on campus but the far greater number of students who are paying for credentials and classes online. Planet X is back with a fresh 2018 doomsdate.