MEET OUR

STAFF

Building Community
Beyond the Classroom

The Enrollment & Student Affairs staff creates experiences, programs, and initiatives designed to connect with, empower, and prepare students for life and ministry beyond the seminary.

From our passionate and engaging admissions team to our imaginative and pastoral student life programs to our outstanding Center for Academic Literacy, Columbia believes transformative academic learning takes place in, but is not limited to, the classroom.

Here, we take seriously the task of creating a broad web of support that ensures students’ success. And we like to have some fun while doing it! We are eager to partner with you on your journey to and through Columbia Theological Seminary. Get to know our staff below.

Meet Our Team!
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Rev. Matthew B Rich

Director of Admissions and Vocation

A love for the transformational possibilities in theological education and his own seminary experience led Matt from congregational ministry to Columbia in 2011. As a do-it-all admissions professional, Matt enjoys both the technical side of day-to-day operations and being a pastoral presence for colleagues and prospective students. With roots in the Baptist churches of North Alabama and South Tennessee, Matt studied Religion, Congregational Studies, and Classics at Samford University before completing his MDiv at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Matt loves nature photography, gadgets, and is an armchair meteorologist. His days at home are full of outside play, reading, and making music with his wife Deedra and their two young daughters.

Rev. Matthew B Rich

Director of Admissions and Vocation

A love for the transformational possibilities in theological education and his own seminary experience led Matt from congregational ministry to Columbia in 2011. As a do-it-all admissions professional, Matt enjoys both the technical side of day-to-day operations and being a pastoral presence for colleagues and prospective students. With roots in the Baptist churches of North Alabama and South Tennessee, Matt studied Religion, Congregational Studies, and Classics at Samford University before completing his MDiv at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Matt loves nature photography, gadgets, and is an armchair meteorologist. His days at home are full of outside play, reading, and making music with his wife Deedra and their two young daughters.

Rev. Ruben Jimenez-Abrams

Columbia Connects Grant Coordinator & Administrative Assistant

Ruben currently serves as a Columbia Connects Grant Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at Columbia Theological Seminary, collaborating with the admissions team in building relationships with prospective students. Ruben received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where he double majored in Christian Studies and History. He went on to receive a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Ruben is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. His wife Linda and he reside just west of Atlanta in Austell, GA along with their two cats, Ramses and Apollo.

Rev. Ruben Jimenez-Abrams

Columbia connects coordinator and Administrative Assistant

Ruben currently serves as Columbia Connects Grant Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at Columbia Theological Seminary, collaborating with the admissions team in building relationships with prospective students. Ruben received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where he double majored in Christian Studies and History. He went on to receive a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Ruben is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. His wife Linda and he reside just west of Atlanta in Austell, GA along with their two cats, Ramses and Apollo.

Min. Natarsha P. Sanders

Connector

Natarsha joined the Columbia Admissions team in September 2020. She is absolutely delighted to serve as a Connector, helping prospective students discern their path to Seminary. The process of discernment is one she knows firsthand; Natasha is an alum of both Hollins University and North Carolina Central University. After firmly declaring that she was done with school forever, she decided to enroll in Columbia’s DEdMin program in 2018 - see how the Lord got the final say? When not doing “Columbia things,” you can find Natarsha all over her community seeking to live God’s call in Isaiah 1:17 - learning to do good, seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, and pleading for the widow. By her side through it all is Lorenzo, her husband of 17 years, whom Natarsha says is “the only one who could ever reach me!” Cue the queen, Aretha Franklin!

Min. Natarsha P. Sanders

Connector

Natarsha joined the Columbia Admissions team in September 2020. She is absolutely delighted to serve as a Connector, helping prospective students discern their path to Seminary. The process of discernment is one she knows firsthand; Natasha is an alum of both Hollins University and North Carolina Central University. After firmly declaring that she was done with school forever, she decided to enroll in Columbia’s DEdMin program in 2018 - see how the Lord got the final say? When not doing “Columbia things,” you can find Natarsha all over her community seeking to live God’s call in Isaiah 1:17 - learning to do good, seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, and pleading for the widow. By her side through it all is Lorenzo, her husband of 17 years, whom Natarsha says is “the only one who could ever reach me!” Cue the queen, Aretha Franklin!

Mrs. Sarah Kate Bumgarner

Connector

Sarah Kate is a lifelong Presbyterian, growing up as a PK (preacher’s kid) in churches throughout North Carolina and Southwest Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Christian Education from Presbyterian College in 2012 and a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Columbia in 2018. After a decade serving Atlanta-area churches in children’s ministry, Sarah Kate recently returned to Columbia as a Connector. She relishes the opportunity to continue serving in ministry and connecting with others while also devoting more time to her family as a full-time mom. Sarah Kate adores her husband Robert, whom she met while at Presbyterian College, and their two little girls. As a former student at Columbia, Sarah Kate experienced first-hand this warm, engaging, and diverse place and hopes to use that to support new students in their own seminary journey.

Mrs. Sarah Kate Bumgarner

Connector

Sarah Kate is a lifelong Presbyterian, growing up as a PK (preacher’s kid) in churches throughout North Carolina and Southwest Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Christian Education from Presbyterian College in 2012 and a Master of Arts in Practical Theology from Columbia in 2018. After a decade serving Atlanta-area churches in children’s ministry, Sarah Kate recently returned to Columbia as a Connector. She relishes the opportunity to continue serving in ministry and connecting with others while also devoting more time to her family as a full-time mom. Sarah Kate adores her husband Robert, whom she met while at Presbyterian College, and their two little girls. As a former student at Columbia, Sarah Kate experienced first-hand this warm, engaging, and diverse place and hopes to use that to support new students in their own seminary journey.

PHONE

404-687-4582

OFFICE

CH201A / Box 36F

Ms. Carlene A. Knights

Director, Student Financial Services

Affectionately known around campus as “Bishop Free Money,” Carlene uses her 20 years of experience working in financial aid to help students find creative ways to afford their education. As the daughter of a Bishop, Carlene saw firsthand how the careful management of financial resources could have a major affect on a ministry’s vitality and impact. Assisting students with their personal finances and helping them build skills to manage money effectively is a passion that brings Carlene joy. Her door is almost always open, so be sure to stop by when you have a chance. If the door is closed, she may be watching a ballgame (“sports are my second love, behind Christ,” she says) or off using her beautiful voice to sing with Columbia’s gospel choir.

PHONE

404-687-4582

OFFICE

CH201A / Box 36F

Ms. Carlene A. Knights

Director, Student Financial Services

Affectionately known around campus as “Bishop Free Money,” Carlene uses her 20 years of experience working in financial aid to help students find creative ways to afford their education. As the daughter of a Bishop, Carlene saw firsthand how the careful management of financial resources could have a major affect on a ministry’s vitality and impact. Assisting students with their personal finances and helping them build skills to manage money effectively is a passion that brings Carlene joy. Her door is almost always open, so be sure to stop by when you have a chance. If the door is closed, she may be watching a ballgame (“sports are my second love, behind Christ,” she says) or off using her beautiful voice to sing with Columbia’s gospel choir.

PHONE

404-687-4582

OFFICE

CH201A / Box 36F

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