Volume 93 Number 1
Fall ; 2010
Alumni o er hopeful er ope messages in trying n times PAGE 6
Message from the president
I USED TO HAVE A REGULAR AND FRIENDLY ARGUMENT WITH A DEAR FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE at another seminary who would
argue that a good theological education from anywhere will prepare a leader of the church to serve anywhere. We did agree on one thing: the curriculum needs to be comprehensive and biblically and theologically sound and include all the disciplines that integrate theological learning with the practice of ministry. Our friendly disagreements were over my belief in the importance of context, both for the seminary and for learning in context, for leaders of the church. At the Philadelphia Seminary, we are blessed to be situated in the sixth largest metropolitan center of the United States and the second largest metropolitan area on the East Coast, with six million people, a convenient transportation system, and a rich diversity of communities, institutions, and parishes. More than 25 percent of the U.S. population lives within a 300-mile radius of the region. Our contexts are always changing. They are becoming more religiously pluralistic, multicultural, urbanized, and diverse. There are almost one hundred communities of faith on Germantown Avenue alone. This means that our theological curriculum needs to adapt to fit the changing context, especially as many of our congregations need to be developed or redeveloped to do ministry in their changing environments. It also means that we need to look for the best contextual education sites available to provide the best possible practical learning environments. As you explore this issue, you will learn from Dr. Charles Leonard and others how we take advantage of our context while preparing missional leaders. In Field Education, our first year students are sent on a rotation to the best possible congregation sites in the metropolitan area. We discovered that an exposure to a variety of superlative sites had great outcomes. The students experience a depth and variety of experiences that they bring to their first calls. The second year of Field Education provides the single parish focus that has been our primary practice for decades. Excellence in worship, a missional emphasis, good stewardship, and Christian education is necessary for any parish to be considered as a Field Education site. Not all LTSP students are preparing for Word and Sacrament Ministry, with students preparing for roles in Christian Education, Youth Ministry, and other areas. These require different contextual education locations. Our exciting new Master of Arts in Public Leadership prepares leaders for the intersection of theology and social
work, business or other disciplines, and students do internships in places like Lutheran World Relief or social ministry organizations. The ELCA also requires the time-honored tradition of internship — an extended period of learning in a parish context, usually in the third year of study. As faculty members, we are always impressed with how students have grown and matured in their understanding of ministry through their internships. As internships have become more expensive, new collaborative models have developed with institutions and congregations — models that provide a broad based learning environment and a parish experience. Friends and institutions have also helped to raise funds for internships like the newly created Lee and Dolly Butz internship for the Lehigh Valley to intersect pastoral ministry and community economic development. Some of the best contexts for learning do not have the funds to make an internship possible, making more funding models essential. Alliances and collaborations can make it work. When I would argue with my friend, I would point out that Jesus did not just teach in one place, but traveled all around the towns and cities of Israel, and, ultimately, to Jerusalem, challenging the apostles to do the same as they were being equipped for ministry. He would point out that the Bible is all about diverse contexts and peoples and how the Gospel of God addresses them all. My friend would emphasize the classroom with innovative teaching from texts in a world of many peoples and religions, and I would argue for integrated learning in rich and diverse contexts. Indeed, both sides of this wonderful conversation need to be cultivated. We need excellent teachers in the classroom, and we have those at LTSP. We also need veteran supervisors in the field who integrate the learning for our future leaders, and we need places where our future leaders can try out their skills and make the mistakes that insure good leadership. As you read this issue of PS, please know how grateful we are for your constant support as preparing leaders well for the church is a costly yet worthwhile endeavor. Yours in Christ,
Philip D. Krey President
ON THE COVER: The Rev. Maritza Torres-Dolich, MDiv ’02, with neighborhood children tending the vegetable garden outside of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Story on page 6.
Merri L. Brown
DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
FEATURES FALL 2010
Ministry in Today’s Context ..........................................................6
Alumni offer hopeful messages in trying times.
John Kahler Mark A. Staples
John Kahler Jim Roese
The Muhlenberg Tercentenary ................................................20
Academic Year 2011-2012
UTI Celebrates Its 30th Anniversary ..................................22
Celebrating an historic educational breakthrough.
Merri L. Brown Lois La Croix David D. Grafton Louise Johnson John Kahler Philip D. Krey Adam Marles J. Paul Rajashekar
Message from the President ....................Inside front cover Offerings
11 • 2011
PS, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119 Telephone: 215.248.6311 or 1.800.286.4616 Email: [email protected]
Visit us online: www.Ltsp.edu
PS is a publication of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and is distributed without charge to alumni/ae, faculty, staff, and friends of the seminary.
Alumni News ........................................................................................26 Alumni Spring Convocation 2011 Faculty/Staff News and Notes ..................................................28 Faculty/Staff Activities ................................................................28 Passages ................................................................................................32 In Memoriam ..................................................................................33 From the Foundation ......................................................................34
© Copyright 2010 The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Volume 93 Number 1
Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world.
See extended videos of many of those interviewed for this issue at www.Ltsp.edu/PSinterviews.
s n i v er
Celebrating our Past... Building our Future
To make a donation to LTSP, please go to www.Ltsp.edu/give
LTSP INTRODUCES INTERFAITH STUDIES CONCENTRATION
Beginning in the fall of 2010, LTSP students are offered a new MDiv concentration (MAR specialization) in Interfaith Studies. This is a new addition to existing concentrations in The Black Church (UTI), Metropolitan/Urban Ministry, Latino, and Multicultural Ministry/Mission at the MDiv level. The addition of the Interfaith Studies concentration is intended to highlight the reality of the Christian encounter with other religious traditions, both past and present, to help students develop skills for engaging in interfaith relationships as a form of ministry in a religiously pluralistic North American society, and to foster opportunities for a theologically informed and committed interfaith dialogue. This new emphasis is in response to requests from students who want to engage with issues and challenges in doing Christian ministry in a religiously pluralist society. The events of 9/11 and the continued controversies about Islam in America also added an urgency to educate public leaders who are knowledgeable about theological, religious, cultural, and pastoral issues that invariably come up in a multi-faith society. Students will receive a certificate along with their degree by taking a minimum five course units in the MDiv/MAR curriculum. LTSP offers a wide variety of courses to fulfill this certificate. Among the courses offered: World Religions, Christian Encounter with Other Faiths, Theory and Practice of Interreligious Dialogue, Scriptures of the World: Authority, Meaning and Public Use, Theology of Religions, JewishChristian Relations, Luther and the Jews, Islam and ChristianMuslim Relations, Jesus in the Islamic Tradition, Church and the Holocaust, New Religious Movements in America, and Christian Engagement with Asian Religions. LTSP also offers Interfaith Studies as a focus in the STM, DMin and PhD programs. Prof. J. Paul Rajashekar, Luther D. Reed Professor of Systematic Theology, directs the Interfaith Studies concentration.
LTSP THEME FOR THE ACADEMIC YEAR 2010-2011
Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society
THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION WITH YOUTH This past summer, young leaders from across regions 7 and 8 of the ELCA participated in the programs of Theological Education with Youth (TEY). TEY is a joint initiative of Philadelphia and Gettysburg Seminaries that creates spaces of theological exploration and discovery for high school age disciples. For more information on TEY go to www.theologicaleducationwithyouth.com.
2 PS FALL 2010
During the past few decades, theological education has been undergoing change. The change is more perceptible with regard to the gender, age, and racial/ethnic composition of faculty, staff, and students. Patterns of seminary attendance, academic schedule, and the structure of the curricula are undergoing change. With the advent of computers, the Internet, and modern technology, new and creative modes of delivery of education have been developed. Students have exhibited diverse motivations and vocational aspirations. Degrees have multiplied, theological disciplines have become specialized, and sources of financial support have shifted. The cost of theological education, dwindling support from denominations, debt load of students, pressure to reduce duration requirements — all have raised serious questions about the quality and sustainability of seminary education. These changes to some extent reflect societal changes that have impacted the church. The social location of the church and the long-standing privileges the culture had extended to Christian churches have now diminished. The religious landscape of our society has undergone change. The face of Christianity too has changed due to immigration and migration of people. Mainline denominations have experienced significant decline in membership. Denominations and denominational identity have weakened. In short, the ecology of theological education has changed and will experience further changes. The theme for the 2010-2011 academic year is focused on curricular implications of the changes underway in theological education. A series of presentations during the year are intended to address some of these critical issues. Please see the inside back cover for schedule.
FARMERS MARKET ON THE PLAZA
William Allen Plaza on the LTSP campus takes on a different look on Tuesdays when the Plaza is home to the Mt. Airy Farmers Market. The market attracts the seminary and Mt. Airy community with products direct from the farm. Market sponsors include LTSP, Valley Green Bank, Farm to City, and community groups including Weavers Way Coop, Mt. Airy USA, West and East Mt. Airy Neighbors, Mt. Airy Business Association and Mt. Airy Learning Tree. Valley Green Bank Marketing Director Leslie Seitchik and LTSP President Philip Krey, during a conversation, realized they both had a dream to bring a farmers market to the center of Mt. Airy. Seitchik had connected with Farm to City four years ago, but didn’t have a suitable space for the market. President Krey notes, “We have a lovely plaza and have envisioned this plaza to be a public space; a meeting and gathering place for the community. The Farmers Market is a great way to serve this purpose.” Learn more and watch a short video: www.Ltsp.edu/farmersmarket
PREACHING WITH POWER 2011
The 29th annual Preaching with Power, one of the initiatives of LTSP’s Urban Theological Institute, is scheduled for March 6-10, 2011. Preaching with Power brings outstanding African American preachers to Philadelphia to celebrate the finest in African American preaching and scholarship, and this year’s preachers and scholars include The Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis, The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Dr. Anthea D. Butler, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, The Rev. Dr. Loran E. Mann, and The Rev. Dr. Kevin Dudley, speaking and preaching at LTSP and at venues throughout Philadelphia. More information and locations: www.Ltsp.edu/preachingwithpower.
LTSP’S 150TH ANNIVERSARY
One of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg’s dreams, of a seminary in the city of Philadelphia, was finally realized in 1864 with the founding of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. In 2014, the school that at times has been known as Mt. Airy Seminary, Philadelphia Seminary, and LTSP will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The school has grown, moved, and changed over the years, remaining strong in its mission and purpose. Plans are already underway to celebrate this grand anniversary of this great school.
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BUTZ/HUNEKE HONORS AND EVENTS
LTSP’s mission is to raise leaders for the church in the world, and at the 146th Commencement, The Rev. John Huneke, ’53, pastor of Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Brooklyn, New York’s Highland Park Section, and Lee A. Butz, chairman of Alvin H. Butz, Inc., were recognized for their long history of service to their respective communities with the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Both leaders began their service in their current communities in 1973, with Pr. Huneke leading his congregation for over three decades, and Mr. Butz heading the Butz contracting business until 2007, when he assumed his current role. In addition to their commencement honors, both Pr. Huneke and Mr. Butz were honored at events closer to home. The week before commencement, on May 13, parishioners and friends of Pr. Huneke joined him at Reformation Church for an open house in celebration of the conferral of the Doctor of Divinity, and to support the establishment of The Rev. Dr. John G. Huneke Endowed Scholarship Fund at LTSP, which will benefit students from the Metropolitan New York Synod of the ELCA who are preparing to serve the church. Lee Butz and his wife Dolly were honored at “In the City for Good,” an Allentown, PA, event recognizing them for their long commitment to urban areas and his philanthropy throughout the Lehigh Valley, of which Allentown is a part. Friends, dignitaries and others from the Lehigh Valley came together to fellowship, taste a variety of foods from establishments in the Allentown area, and celebrate the conferral of the Doctor of Divinity on Lee Butz. Also recognized was the establishment of The Lee and Dolly Butz Scholarship Fund at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, which will support Lehigh Valley urban internships that will develop the specialized leadership skills needed to contribute to the revitalization of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.
ATSI: A SUCCESS STORY
The Asian Theological Summer Institute (ATSI) conducted its fourth Institute in June, 2010. Funded by The Henry Luce Foundation, ATSI began as a pilot project to mentor Asian and AsianAmerican doctoral students preparing for a teaching vocation. The success of the project convinced The Henry Luce Foundation to make a five-year commitment to strengthen this unique program. The institute brings together selected PhD and ThD candidates from all across North America for a week-long seminar at LTSP. Seven prominent Asian and Asian-American professors and scholars are invited as guest faculty to mentor these students as they prepare their doctoral research proposals. This interdisciplinary program has received so much attention that students had to be waitlisted this year for the Institute to be held in June, 2011. The Institute admits only 20 students each year. In 2010 we had 67 nominations and 34 students formally applied. The selected candidates came from the following 15 institutions: Boston University, Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Calvin Theological Seminary, Columbia Theological Seminary, Drew University, Duke Divinity School, Emory University, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Graduate Theological Union, Harvard University, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, North West University in South Africa, Princeton Theological Seminary, Toronto School of Theology and Vanderbilt University. The number of guest faculty was expanded to seven to accommodate the increased intake of candidates and the diversity of academic disciplines represented. The guest faculty included: Dr. Kwok Pui-lan (Episcopal Divinity School, MA, also the Presidentelect of The American Academy of Religion), Dr. Anne Joh (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, IL), Dr. Eleazar Fernandez (United Theological Seminary of the Twin cities, MN), Dr. Tatwww.Ltsp.edu
Ed Pawlowski, Mayor of Allentown, Pennsylvania (left), and Dolly and Lee Butz at the “In the City for Good” event .
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AND TO THINK SOME INVESTMENTS ONLY BUILD
YOU R S AV I N G S.
siong Benny Liew (Pacific School of Religion, CA), Dr. R.S. Sugirtharajah (University of Birmingham, England), Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian (LTSP, PA), and Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar (LTSP, PA). The Institute also sponsored a public lecture on “Post-Colonial Biblical Criticism, What Next?” by Prof. R.S. Sugirtharajah of University of Birmingham. An off-shoot of ATSI is formation of an Association of Asian Theological Educators in North America. The Association hopes to develop a network of Asian-American Theologians and contribute to the development of Asian-American Theology. The success of these programs is additional evidence of LTSP’s role in the development of theological education in a pluralist and multicultural American society.
Lutheran World Relief President and CEO John Nunes gave the keynote address to eighty-one degree and certificate recipients and their families and friends at the 146th Commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The event was held on the LTSP campus on Friday, May 21, 2010, a sunny, warm day perfect for a celebration. Honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees were awarded to The Rev. John Huneke, ’53, pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, New York, and Allentown, Pennsylvania contracting executive Mr. Lee Butz. Class co-presidents Elizabeth Nees and William Peterson also addressed the gathering. A full report of the day, including photo galleries and streaming media of Commencement day are online: www.Ltsp.edu/ commencement2010. See more about Doctor of Divinity recipients The Rev. John Huneke and Lee Butz on previous page.
PS FALL 2010 www.Ltsp.edu 5
September 30, 2008. Seeds of Faith Lutheran Church, Lisbon, Iowa.
How you choose to invest your savings is a reﬂection of your values. And when you invest with the Mission Investment Fund, you help fund building loans to ﬂedgling ELCA congregations like Seeds of Faith. Not only did Seeds of Faith use an MIF loan to install an environmentally friendly geothermal heating and cooling system in its new building, the congregation’s members actually built much of their new church building themselves. Just goes to show, sometimes sweat equity is the best equity of all. To learn more, contact us at 877.886.3522 or elca.org/mif.
MINISTRY IN CONTEXT
The Rev. Mariza Torres-Dolich, MDiv ’02, ventures onto the playground behind her church to meet with neighborhood children who have come to know her well. The playground features a community garden with a variety of growing vegeta-
“I feel we need to be engaged in ministry ‘out there’ beyond these walls of the church...”
bles planted by neighbors.
MINISTRY IN CONTEXT
Alumni offer hopeful messages in trying times
HARDSHIP, CONFLICT, AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES are familiar realities in today’s congregational “contexts.” These realities are hardly new, as seen in the translations of Lutheran Patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg’s letters from the 1750s by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia’s (LTSP) Professor Timothy Wengert. But these realities nonetheless create deep challenges for today’s church professional leaders and those they care about. Do congregations focus more on preservation or mission? Do they replace the roof, add a coat of paint? Or do they instead do patchwork maintenance as they stretch themselves to serve people in need in new ways? The choices facing today’s congregations can be wrenching, and they can also lead to new-found life in Jesus Christ. PS magazine staff took a summertime journey to congregations and a college chaplaincy led by LTSP alumni in rural, suburban, and urban settings to hear their perspectives. Interviews with alumni revealed gratitude for the seminary training they received in Bible, theology, and more practical matters, helping them to think “out of the box.” This story and others on these pages will afford faith-filled glimpses into what we found. “Generation Xers don’t have the same spiritual priorities as those of us who are older have for the church,” reflected The Rev. Keith Rohrbach, MDiv ’84, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He also leads a campus ministry initiative at Kutztown University, just blocks from the church, and so he rubs elbows every week with college believers and non-believers alike. “Younger people are more concerned about serving people beyond the walls of a church building than caring for the building itself.” He speculates this perspective could lead to a different looking church decades from now. Rohrbach, a 1984 LTSP graduate who recently returned from a youth mission trip to Pittsburgh, gets excited when he thinks about how once reluctant youth were transformed by a project to fix-up the homes of older people without the resources to make such repairs. But most of all he likes to talk about potatoes.
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MINISTRY IN CONTEXT
The Rev. Kim Cottingham, MDiv ’03, with a Vacation Bible School class of energetic children, featuring Bible lessons, lively music and water balloon tosses. Cottingham’s parishioners do not fear doing ministry beyond the church doors. She
has started an expanding campus ministry initiative by regularly biking over to Hudson Valley Community College...
When we met with him he had just finished harvesting and bagging a bunch of potatoes. Trinity has parishioners without jobs. Moreover, Kutztown University has had to make employment cuts. So the community has its share of individuals who are hurting economically. And many are hungry. “Last year we had a couple in the church who told us they had an acre of land behind the house that was just sitting there. Why not do something with it?” Rohrbach said. The idea that emerged was “The Potato Project.” The congregation planted 7,000 potatoes during the 2009 growing season and harvested 70,000. They gave the spuds to food pantries and shelters in the area. This year, Rohrbach explained, someone else in the community donated another five acres to the project. The estimated potato yield this year will be 430,000. “I can’t believe all that has happened,” Rohrbach said. “This year the project has turned ecumenical. We have churches from all over the region doing their share to tend the harvest, and we tell them that they can take the potatoes they pick back home and distribute them to folks in need in their own communities. I think that is part of the challenge for today’s church — finding ways to keep people — especially youth — excited about ministry and making a difference. It calls for churches to partner together across denominational lines in new ways. Sometimes that means deciding to be leading with ideas others have, and it can change the church and change people’s lives.” In Easton, Pennsylvania, Pastor Sue Ruggles, MDiv ’02, became pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, a downtown congregation where another LTSP alumnus,
MINISTRY IN CONTEXT
The Rev. Keith Rohrbach
The Rev. Sue Ruggles
The Rev. Richard Yost
The Rev. John Steinbruck, long ago founded ProJeCt, an ecumenical feeding and pantry initiative. Ruggles knows Easton well, having graduated from Lafayette College, where her husband, Roger, teaches civil engineering. Pastor Ruggles said many would-be members of the church find it uncomfortable to go to church in an urban setting that feels less safe to them. ProJeCt is still going strong, but what changed Pastor Sue’s life and min“We have churches from all over the region doing their share to tend the harvest, and we tell them that they can take the potatoes they pick back home and distribute them to folks in need in their own communities.” — Pastor Keith Rohrbach
istry was “that persistent knocking” on the church door soon after her installation. “I found myself greeting ex-offenders who had been released from the Northampton County Prison just up the street,” she said. “They wanted some food or clothing, or perhaps a bus ticket home to Berks County.” Ruggles was able to fund or find what they needed, but the encounters started her thinking. “What if I took some time each week to visit inmates?” She started visiting male inmates each Thursday afternoon, involving them in conversations and Bible classes. “Many prisoners have listened to words of judgment about what they have done, including from other Christians who visit them,” Ruggles said. Her classes focus instead on the theme “Making a Better
You.” “We’re taught to feed the hungry, clothe the orphan, and visit prisoners,” Ruggles said of her faith and seminary background. “When I talk to the men, I ask them about what is missing in their lives. How can we work together to build their self-esteem? God forgives you. Can you then forgive yourself ? What is it that God wants you to do now and in the future with your life?” It is an encouraging Word she delivers. She hopes to persuade other parishioners to join her. “But it is daunting,” she admitted. “It is hard to go through those five sets of locked doors to do these visits. I also tell people at St. John not to focus on the numbers when they get discouraged. Numbers are not the only measure of success in ministry.” In Clay, New York, The Rev. Richard Yost, MDiv ’05, a one-time Verizon executive, serves Immanuel Lutheran Church in a rural suburb of Syracuse. He said both seminary teaching and life in corporate management have assisted him in working with people in the church. A 2005 graduate of LTSP, the 59-year-old Yost finds himself serving a church about 20 minutes away from Camillus, the community he knew as a child. “Immanuel is really doing pretty well in these times,” he said. The church has known steady growth with parishioners who have customarily given more to the church each year during his five years of service. It is the kind of place where the pastor will go to his car and find gift vegetables on the seat, “planted” there by generous churchgoers with busy gardens. Joblessness is not a major current concern. People routinely drive 20 to 30 miles to come to Sunday worship. Ministry with older people is one priority in Clay, Yost said. What once was an informal luncheon of 15 folks at the
church the second Wednesday of the month now involves 70 or 80 people from around the community — and a featured speaker. Immanuel is also part of an ecumenical outreach to military personnel arriving at and departing from the Syracuse Airport. A number of Immanuel members help out distributing food and snacks and conversing with soldiers either facing uncertainty in places like Afghanistan and Iraq or rejoicing about returning home. In Allentown, Pennsylvania, LTSP alumna The Rev. Maritza TorresDolich, MDiv ’02, acknowledges that she and older members find it difficult to maintain a significant physical plant in an increasingly multicultural setting just west of downtown. Funerals of aging parishioners are a regular occurrence, but Pastor Maritza said the congregation has
“It is hard to go through those five sets of locked [prison] doors to do these visits. I also tell people at St. John not to focus on the numbers when they get discouraged. Numbers are not the only measure of success in ministry.” — Pastor Sue Ruggles
a positive spirit. “They encourage me to engage us in ministry that I think can make a difference,” she said. “That can be risky, but they say, let’s try it and see what happens.” On many mornings Pastor Maritza ventures onto the playground behind the church to meet and chat with neighborhood children who have come to know her well. The playground also features a community garden with a vari-
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MINISTRY IN CONTEXT
“Immanuel is part of an ecumenical outreach to military personnel
ety of growing vegetables planted by neighbors. “I feel we need to be engaged in ministry ‘out there’ beyond these walls of the church,” she said. The children have grown to depend on her visits and those of volunteers from other congregations in a program now called “Playground in the Park.” Sometimes she shares cookies and beverages with the children. During our interview comes a knock on the door. Brianna, a neighborhood 10-year-old, has come to inquire about piano lessons at the church. Word has gotten around that the church offers lessons. Pastor Maritza assures her it can happen. Brianna is excited. Funds for such lessons come from the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. Pastor Maritza said if she gets stuck in the office on playground days the children will “knock on my door” to see where she is. And through her conversations with youngsters, some of them about God, Pastor Maritza is getting to know “a lot of people.” Pastor Maritza calls The Rev. Dr. Nelson Rivera, associate professor of Systematic Theology at LTSP, a true mentor. “LTSP turned my life upside down,” she said. “My preconceptions were blown apart. I learned from Professor (Timothy) Wengert in a class on Lutheran Confessions that you have absolutely nothing to do with God’s love for you. That love is totally unconditional and it can’t be taken back no matter what you do.” It is a message she conveys to children and adults alike in myriad ways to help them feel better about themselves in an uncertain world. At St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in North Greenbush, New York, Pastor Kim Cottingham, MDiv ’03, whose first career was in the military, is busy with a Vacation Bible School class of energetic children, featuring Bible lessons, lively music, and water balloon tosses. Cotting-
... a number of Immanuel members help out distributing food and snacks and conversing with soldiers either facing uncertainty in places like Afghanistan and Iraq or rejoicing about returning home.” — Pastor Richard Yost
ham was influenced by her father and also her late uncle and mentor, The Rev. Henry Dierk, who decades ago was a Caribbean Synod Bishop for the former Lutheran Church in America. As an Air Force master sergeant once involved in launching satellites at Vandenberg AFB, Cottingham began to discern her call when she found herself caring less about the mission at hand than for the welfare of military colleagues. She recalled the first night she began to wrestle with other students at LTSP over the frightening prospect of learning Hebrew, and the advice of Old Testament Professor Dr. Robert B. Robinson: “Don’t overload. Relax. Find a balance between study, work, and life with colleagues.” She said the advice has stood the test of time. St. Timothy’s was born because of a mission startup dream some 52 years ago. St. Paul Lutheran Church in neighboring Rensselaer wanted to sponsor a new church and did. Ironically, St. Paul recently closed and the mission survived. Former St. Paul members worship at St. Timothy today. The St. Paul building is now a homeless shelter for women and children that is bulging at the seams and has a waiting list. Cottingham said economic conditions are better in North Greenbush than in neighboring communities, and the church supports a food
pantry and feeding program in partnership with an Episcopal congregation in Rensselaer, where many St. Timothy worshippers once went to church. St. Timothy’s has a modest church facility, and Cottingham finds her parishioners do not fear doing ministry beyond the church doors. She has started an expanding campus ministry initiative by regularly biking over to Hudson Valley Community College where she “hangs out” in the student union. “I bring something to eat and some reading material,” she said. Some students starting out at the college have known her through an area camping ministry and “need some support to get through the transition,” she said. Through them she meets others. When the subject of religion comes up, sometimes involving students from fundamentalist backgrounds, she said she starts the discussion by saying, “This is what is true for me. What is true for you?” Lively debates ensue. With some students the conversation turns to the needs of people around the campus and what might be done to serve others, a topic that also frequently comes up at St. Timothy’s. Cottingham also serves as an EMT and chaplain for local firefighters. Her military background fuels that interest. The Rev. Peter Bredlau, MDiv ’96, Muhlenberg College chaplain the past 14 years, hails from Wisconsin and found his faith being formed by a Lutheran summer camp experience there. After college near home, he took jobs in Western New York and at a publishing company in Philadelphia. Looking for a different experience, he one day found himself in the office of The Rev. George Keck, LTSP’s admissions director at the time. “I couldn’t explain to him why I was there, but we engaged in an amazing conversation,” he
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recalled. And soon he was in seminary. Bredlau still does not consider his call to have been a lightning strike experience. “I take it one day at a time, and it seems to work,” he smiled. “When college students tell me they are uncertain about what to do, what is ahead, I share my story as a pastor, and it seems to help them to know someone older personally understands what they are going through. It makes sense today. I don’t have it all figured out, and it is not terrifying. Vocation does not have a terminus. It is a conversation you need to engage in throughout life.” He remembers seminary teachers fondly, some of them seeming then to be academic icons. “It is great to know some of them now as people — President Phil Krey and Dean (Paul) Rajashekar for example.” Some of his best seminary memories are of working with facilities personnel, doing chores like shoveling snow on the campus. He mentioned lots of faculty and staff names and said simply, “Mostly I am just grateful to LTSP for allowing me to be there. I was struggling mightily with my life, always asking, ‘Why am I here?’” These days Bredlau enjoys engaging students — like the young man, now an attorney, who still stays in touch with him years after walking into the chaplain’s office needing to talk. The subject turned to many questions over many meetings — questions about God and faith. Lutherans today make up a comparatively small percentage of Muhlenberg’s student body, but students engaging with Chaplain Bredlau, including a class in which he deals with the theme “So What Do You Want to Be?”, learn a lot about the difference Reformer Martin Luther makes in their lives today. He teaches about Luther’s writings. “I tell them that Martin Luther was a major figure in our
collective history who was a proponent of education and co-education. I tell them that if you value critical thinking and the opportunity to challenge authority when authority is wrong, you have Martin Luther to thank for encouraging those values. I tell them that the idea of wondering about what to do with your life is not new, and that Luther’s ‘spin’ on Scripture basically empowers them to do what they want to do. People come here with the notion that they’ve got to make money, and they sometimes have anxieties because they feel pressures to go this way or that way or do what others expect of them. Luther tells us you can be what you want, and you can figure out a direction in life based on what you already have within you, and that what you have in you is enough. No matter what you choose to do, that is enough and you are enough because you have gifts from God, and those gifts are enough.” In speaking of the present and future church, in a congregational setting or otherwise, Bredlau believes Luther’s understanding of vocation is a truly profound and unique legacy Lutherans need to celebrate and espouse if they are to remain on the road to relevance for today’s and tomorrow’s believers and non-believers alike. “It is a source of Good News central to what God wants for us.” His message to the church is basically the same one he delivers to students. “We need to understand what we are and who we are, look at our reality and not try to be something we aren’t,” Bredlau said. “What we have to say about vocation is a relevant core message that sets Lutherans apart from everyone else.” View extended interviews at Ltsp.edu/ PSinterviews.
The Rev. Peter Bredlau, MDiv ’96, does not consider his call to have been a lightning strike experience.
“I take it one day at a time, and it seems to work ... When college
students tell me they are uncertain about what to do, what is ahead, I share my story as a pastor, and it seems to help them to know someone older personally understands what they are going through.”
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PhD Scholars talk about Connecting to the World from Different Places
Two 2010 PhD graduates from LTSP see a strong connection between serious scholarship and making positive changes in the world as Christian leaders.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Lohrmann loves the richness of the Lutheran tradition and church history. Born and raised in Washington State, he studied and served as a pastor while gradually moving east. Lohrmann decided he wanted to deepen his educational background by earning a PhD. “I figured it would make me a better teacher as a pastor, and if that didn’t work out I could teach elsewhere,” he said. At LTSP, he was profoundly influenced by Reformation Scholar Timothy Wengert. During his studies, Lohrmann wrote a thesis on a commentary from the Book of Jonah by Johannes Bugenhagen, one among the circle of reformers surrounding Martin Luther. Written after the death of Luther, the commentary wrestled with renegotiating the role of the church after Lutherans lost a difficult war in the 1500s. In terms of the commentary, the thesis depicts how faith unfolds in the world context in terms of the Scripture found in Jonah. This year, Lohrmann took a call as pastor of Christ Ascension Lutheran Church in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill section, a congregation that has roots dating to the Civil War, and which is the product of a merger with Ascension Lutheran Church, once part of the LTSP campus. Now writing a history of the congregation, Lohrmann finds excitement being part of a church that has consistently involved itself in concern for its neighbors by operating a
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child care center and having members active in community concerns. He describes examples such as the Philadelphia Walk Against Hunger, the Philabundance food program for disadvantaged Philadelphians, work with Lutheran Settlement House, which features a domestic violence counseling program, and cooperative ministries involving nearby St. Michael’s and Trinity Lutheran Churches. Lohrmann said in terms of his PhD studies that “there are bigger names out there, like Penn and Princeton, for earning a degree, but I believe the academic quality offered at LTSP is really about the same. I wonder where else I could have gone that affords the high level of academic thinking, where people can think critically and also learn how to struggle deeply with what it means to be a person of faith.” The Rev. Dr. Charles “Chaz” Howard, chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), calls himself a son of Baltimore, where he was raised, and a godson of Philadelphia. Once, he thought of the scholarly pursuit of an advanced degree as detached from the intense connection of dealing with tough urban issues like homelessness, poverty, and the role of women in the church. Along his theological journey, he decided that what mattered most is to relate one-on-one to a diverse audience rather than being a parish pastor. He was profoundly influenced by historically important figures like pastor and politician Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of New York, Drs. James Cone and Martin Luther King, Jr., and by mentors Dr. Cornel West of Princeton University and LTSP faculty member Dr. Katie Day. His LTSP thesis, “Incomplete Prophecies,” explored the intersection of Black Theology with capitalism, poverty, and theology of the 1960s. It helped him to appreciate economic systems and both the local and global contexts for ministry. Today he oversees a wide variety of Penn’s campus ministries involving all three Abrahamic traditions plus Hindu, Buddhist, and other disciplines, and strives to provide a safe place for all faith expressions. “Whenever there is a campus crisis involving, say, the death of a student, I get involved,” Howard said. He counsels students facing issues such as interfaith dating, grief and loss, and academic challenges. Howard came to LTSP because, as he carried out his ministry at Penn, he needed a strong, nearby academic program that afforded him flexibility to be with his family. “I really needed something with a teaching emphasis,” he said, “but what I found especially cool was the inspiring way in which professors like Dr. (Phil) Krey, Dr. John Hoffmeyer, and Dr. Day — through their mentoring and the lives they lead — demonstrate an involvement of Christ-like faith in today’s culture.” He cited Dr. Day’s Germantown Avenue Project (a photo history of evolving faith communities on Germantown Avenue) and the work of the Urban Theological Institute as examples “that paint ministry using a theological brush.”
View extended interviews at Ltsp.edu/ PSinterviews.
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“Rotation” Field Work Model Helps Seminarians Expand Horizons
Field work beyond the classroom has always been a vital dimension of seminary education for candidates studying for ordination at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). Candidates engage in clinical pastoral education, often in a hospital or other clinical type setting, and usually in the summer at the end of their first year of study. Often, the third year of their degree work is a full-time residence internship in a congregation or other setting. A comparatively new “wrinkle” to field work, known as contextual education, has been a “rotation model” for seminarians during the first year of study. This model involves students observing worship and congregational life, spending three Sundays at a time in a church before moving onto another location, visiting eight to 10 congregations overall during an academic year. “Seminarians often come to us having experienced life in comparatively few churches,” explained The Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard, associate professor of integrative theology and director of contextual education at the seminary. He has supervised contextual education at the school for the past 14 years. The rotation model challenges seminarians to scrutinize what they see happening in a congregation. “We ask them to try to understand what they observe,” Leonard said. “Who are the leaders and what do they do? What are the roles of women and youth? What is the worship style? How are they reaching out beyond the church walls? What are their views on serving where they are located?” The seminarians are asked to keep track of questions raised, and discuss them in Monday afternoon reflection sessions with parish pastors who lead the discussions. “These congregations and the pastors who lead the reflection sessions are folks we really trust, and they play a vital role in the education we provide,” Leonard said. The model involves seminarians in widely expanding their perspectives, he said. They experience worship in churches of denominations and multicultural settings
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Alumnus Ann Colley Challenges Lutherans to Share their Faith Stories with Strangers
“Get outside your church walls. People desperately need to know God has a purpose for their lives no matter what they have done...”
The Rev. Ann L. Colley, MDiv ’06, a Baptist who lives “around the corner” from LTSP, said enrolling at the Lutheran seminary down the street “was a tactic to run away from my calling” to serve as a pastor. “But what I learned at the seminary is a lot about the God of all of us. I once was very dogmatic, but I discovered a real heart for God at LTSP. The biggest thing I picked up was the Lutheran understanding of grace and what that means about loving people. No judgments. No critiques. I came out (in 2006) more loving, open, and grace-filled toward others.” Colley, an African American who is dynamically articulate about communicating her faith, is a single mother who is associate pastor for evangelism at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Northwest Philadelphia, a congregation with 15,000 parishioners, and where The Rev. Allyn Waller is pastor. Her son, Christian, 11, is a vital part of her life. “I have seven years left before he goes off to college, and I have been learning that a vital part of my ministry is being there for him.” Colley, once a pharmaceutical executive who became dissatisfied with corporate life, holds an MBA, and once thought she wanted to earn a PhD to qualify her to teach Bible and Religion. (In some of her spare time she teaches marketing and management in the Business program at Holy Family University.) She energetically rattles off the professors who influenced her — John Hoffmeyer’s approach to thinking about God, Pam CooperWhite’s (now the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling, at Columbia Theological Seminary) teaching about pastoral care, Katie Day’s conversations about the myriad faith communities she has researched along Germantown Avenue, Jon Pahl’s media wisdom about how faith speaks through the use of art, the liturgical and worship gleanings she learned from Gordon Lathrop. “I met so many students from a wide variety of backgrounds and walks of life. I made life-long friends at the school.” Part of the core of Colley’s ministry is reaching out to women in several prisons and leading visits involving Enon members to institutions like Bethesda Court, a personal care facility, and Inglis House, which serves individuals with disabilities and supports them to enjoy independent living. Of her overall ministry Colley said bluntly, “I would hate to have lived and said I never witnessed to how good God has been to me.” In her prison ministry, Colley said she has learned that a comparatively small number — 20 percent or so — are “hard core criminals. The other 80 percent were in circumstances of survival, not murderers or robbers but rather involved in prostitution to get money to care for their children, or drug abuse because they felt overwhelmed by life and wanted to escape its realities. I tell them I have no judgment on them, that all of us have fallen short in life. I tell them that no matter who they are or what they have done, God has a purpose for their life, and they can begin right now to live out that purpose. We pray for each other, for other inmates and for prison guards and officials who are their captors.” It is the same message of purpose she also uses on the street when she and Enon members go out day and night to meet strangers. “We meet people who are down on their luck, and if they want to come we bring them to the church for worship and offer them spiritual and practical kinds of help,” she said. That includes counseling and support to change unhealthy habits, including recovery options. “We just tell these strangers we love them and that God has a purpose for them too,” she said. One initiative she leads is to support seven Lutheran congregations trying to improve their evangelism approaches. The Lutherans accompany her in her street outreach in places like Philadelphia’s Olney section. She said she teaches the Lutherans that “we have a burden for souls. As Christians we have a goal to communicate that no soul goes unsaved, to serve our neighbors no matter what the circumstances.” A self-described city girl, originally from Chicago’s south side, Colley has a message for Lutherans and others striving to make a difference in their communities, but who may feel uncertain about how to go about it. “I know what God saved me from. It happened because of God’s grace and mercy. Tell others your story. We all need to get outside the walls of our churches and extend a hand to others to witness to the love of Christ. Be willing to be uncomfortable, to be stretched. Lutherans have so much to give. If you get outside the walls it will be OK. If people give back a message of rejection, it is Christ they are rejecting and not you. We are not perfect, but we have a message for people, that God forgives us no matter what we have done. We can be released from guilt and find a purpose God has in mind for us. Today, no matter where you are, people desperately need to hear that message.”
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Ecumenical Understanding Fostered by Rotation Model Field Experience
“I’ll feel less anxious about interfaith and ecumenical relationships when I become a pastor.”
Senior seminarian Amanda Range, a North Carolina native, was baptized as an Episcopalian, grew up in a church of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, was president of the Christian Fellowship (campus ministry) program at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, and now belongs to a mission congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Wilmington, North Carolina. No wonder she felt completely at home during her first year of seminary, taking part in the “rotation model” field work experience where she and a small group of classmates visited eight congregations for three consecutive Sundays each to observe and partake in worship and drink in the climate at each church. “We visited Lutheran, Baptist, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and a new mission congregation among the sites,” Amanda recalled. The churches were in urban, suburban, and rural settings. “It was an amazing experience. We met with pastors and lay leaders, shared a meal in many of the host churches, and had a chance to ask questions.” The Monday after each Sunday visit, a pastor/facilitator met with Amanda’s group and helped them debrief their observations. “We felt welcomed at the churches we visited,” Amanda recalled. “We took part in many different styles of worship and came to know a variety of traditions.” Amanda said the rotation model continued her exposure to ecumenical traditions she came to know in the Hollins campus ministry program she led. “In college I came to appreciate other traditions and enjoyed interfaith conversations,” she said. “I think that kind of exposure is important for believers of all traditions. I came to LTSP in part because I wanted to be a part of a seminary that shares those values. I feel rooted in ecumenical openness, and so I was really open to the rotation model and all it offered me and my colleagues.” She noted that the model is useful as well to seminarians who come to LTSP without the kind of broad congregational experience she has known. “I think the collection of experiences and background I have known at seminary have opened me to God and the Holy Spirit in many special ways,” she said. “I also think this kind of exposure will make me less nervous than many peer leaders without the experience when it comes to dealing with ecumenical and interfaith opportunities I hope to encounter as a future professional leader.”
Seminary Emblematic of Episcopal/ Lutheran Partnership, Philadelphia Cathedral Dean Says
“The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are close cousins,” said The Very Rev. Judith Sullivan, newly appointed Dean of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral in the city’s University City section. Sullivan refers to Called to Common Mission (CCM), the ecumenical agreement between the two church bodies, as “emblematic, a restorative sign of the Kingdom. It defines that what we share runs far deeper than the much smaller differences between us. CCM is truly a model for ecumenical work.” Sullivan is herself an embodiment of the agreement. A resident of Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill, Sullivan holds her MDiv from General Seminary, an Episcopal school in New York, but she took much of her seminary training at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP),
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enrolling in the Fall of 2001 and completing her studies there almost two years later before finishing her requirements at General. “When I think of LTSP I just have to smile,” she said. “I could walk to the school from my home. It was such a formative time in my faith journey. Faculty and student body friends are people I remain in relationship with. Among the seminary’s great gifts to me were liturgical study with Professor Gordon Lathrop and what I learned about Pastoral Care from The Rev. Dr. Pamela CooperWhite, who was an Episcopal member of the LTSP faculty, now the Ben G. and Nancye Clapp Gautier Professor of Pastoral Theology, Care and Counseling at Columbia Theological Seminary. Dr. Cooper-White is a great friend and mentor.” Other highlights were studies in the areas of preaching, Bible, and theology, and an independent study of church history undertaken with LTSP Professor and President Philip D. Krey. Sullivan said she is indebted to the seminary for her training and calls the school a powerful institutional presence in the ecumenical partnership between Episcopalians and Lutherans. “It was such a wonderful community for me to be a part of, and it was very hard for me to leave the seminary,” she said. The Cathedral is “a unique place in the history of the Episcopal Church,” Dean Sullivan said. “It is the seat for the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.” The Cathedral is in the company of a variety of neighborhood churches, hospitals, colleges, and universities including Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, she added. “We see ourselves as an open door, a connector between the Episcopal Church and the complex urban, suburban, and rural communities in the five-county region surrounding us,” she observed. Current connections include ecumenical work to feed hungry people in University City and to form a hospitality consortium operating a food pantry. “We’re part of a mural arts initiative in the city, and we’re working on an interfaith healing garden at 38th and Chestnut Streets,” she said. Dean Sullivan noted that the Cathedral is facing many of the same challenges familiar to other worshiping communities. “A lot of folks we are in touch with are dealing with joblessness,” she said. “We’re an older church facing stiff costs to maintain our properties, and we’re not able to support the infrastructure as before. Our endowment isn’t fulfilling our needs. We have a lot of people in our community who are in pain because of today’s many uncertainties. When we look at the past we realize that today we are looking at a ‘new normal’ time, one of struggle and uncertainty. “But our plan is to meet those challenges by keeping on being the church, proclaiming the Gospel and living amid these temporal changes,” Dean Sullivan said. “In these difficult times we are blessed to have a Christian faith that is so deep, eternal, and assur-
ing that we are really where we want to be as a community of believers, despite all the challenges. Our faith has the power to open people’s ears so that they may hear and learn of a different way of thinking to support them in a secular age frequently known for its exploitation.” Dean Sullivan added that today’s Christians are more blessed by religious freedom than their predecessors. “We’re not thrown to the lions as was once the case,” she said. “The cost of being a follower in the twenty-first century is not what our forebears once endured.
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they may never have known before. “And what we feel they learn is that everyone has strengths and weaknesses in what he or she does, and no one has all the answers. Some are strong in worship. Some are strong in hospitality or evangelism, some are good with stewardship or teaching and preaching and others are not. But those with weaknesses have strengths as well. And what the students learn may profoundly impact how they conduct their leadership in churches after they graduate.” Ecumenical partners include the Presbyterian Church USA, Reformed Church in America, United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church, Moravian Church, the United Methodist Church, and independent congregations as well as Lutheran churches, he said. The total scope of contextual education helps students learn much about themselves and elements for the vision a congregation they serve might have. “We’re trying to help our students learn how to be the most effective leaders in this challenging time,” Leonard said. “Many congregations today have lost their way and forgotten the mission of the church. Churches are called to reach out and do something beyond themselves. The issue is how do they make Christ known? How do they show hope to others? Self-service is not the way. If they are content to fall into a hole rather than connecting with others, how effective will they be for people around them and for people in the pews?” He said the current state of the economy is a factor in the decision by many churches to “pull back” rather than taking risks in serving others.
To designate your Thrivent Choice Dollars to The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia go to www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice
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Investing in the Church’s Future Critical for Two Synods and their Bishops
TWO EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA REGION 7 BISHOPS whose synods have pledged significant campaign support for student scholarships at LTSP say that more than ever the church needs well-trained, creative professional leaders in order for congregations to survive by making a difference for Christ in their communities. “We’re facing declining numbers, and our members are aging,” said The Rev. Marie Jerge, MDiv ’78, Bishop of the Upstate New York Synod. She noted that population centers like Buffalo, New York have had dramatic population losses in recent decades, “and many in the younger generation have been making the decision to move out.” Increasing costs in areas such as health care have meant that congregations “just have fewer dollars” in these transitional times. But she added that, despite the challenges, opportunities abound. “Many churches that cannot afford to replace a full-time pastor are thinking creatively and collaborating with others in order to do effective ministry.” “We’re a Resurrection people,” Jerge said. “We’re asking our people to pray first and ground themselves in the Bible as they think through what their mission in Christ is at this time. How are they being called? We’re challenging people to grow in their faith and challenging our pastors to preach hope in what seems to many to be a hopeless time. I find that many of our youngest pastors — first call pastors — are showing incredible vitality and creativity in their ministry as they provide pastoral care to their people and hold up their congregations while they move in new directions. It’s exciting!” Much of the most creative work, she said, involves pastors from different denominations thinking strategically together about how to make the best difference. She described a suburban-rural congregational partnership in Buffalo that has strengthened and energized both churches, and a second partnership involving two Buffalo churches where the ministry and pastors are shared. “Attendance there has doubled.” “We’re supporting the seminary because we need a place for people to be trained and well-grounded in Bible and theology, but we also need leaders who are prepared to engage their parishioners in how to think and think creatively in these times,” Jerge said. An LTSP alumna, Jerge said the seminary grounded her well in many basics, but also taught her to think carefully about the context of a pastorate and how to approach ministry in a particular setting. The Bishop said that as part of a fund-raising campaign, the synod has pledged to find donors who care to support the education of the church’s future leaders. Bishop Samuel Zeiser, MDiv ’77, STM ’89, of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod said the synod council had approved the idea of a long-standing financial relationship with the seminary “to build up its financial resources and support students. If the church is to have a vibrant future it will need solid leaders, and we need to make an investment in that future.” He noted that support of the seminary is part of a synod campaign currently under development. Zeiser said the context for ministry in the synod is changing rapidly. “We’re really engaged in a transition in the way people earn their living,” he said. “Once stable large industries like Bethlehem Steel and Mack Truck are either changing or are gone altogether, and so the economics of our people and churches are really impacted. These industries once were a way people shaped their identities. What we want to say is God still has a place for them and a plan for what it means to be the church in this time. We need to help people identify themselves as God’s people in uncertain times.” The once farm-centered rural areas of the synod have changed in many locations to feature housing and other forms of development. Coal region communities no longer have the economic vitality they once had with the decline of mining in those areas. That change, combined with multicultural transition, has “redefined what it means to be part of a congregation. Congregations no longer have the kind of stable and ‘comfortable’ ministry they once knew, and that challenges congregations — not only in terms of their ministry within the church but how they figure out what they should be doing in their communities.” Zeiser described the developing new approach to ministry in Shenandoah, a coal region town. “If you only looked at the statistics you might think this church should be closed, but the con-
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gregation has opened itself up to its Hispanic neighbors by providing clothing, a food pantry, and recovery programs for the community.” He said a Department of Public Welfare official in the community had appealed to him, “Please don’t close this church down. It is the only place that no matter what time of day or night people come to me I can send them there for help.” Zeiser said that while such congregations are facing huge challenges, their context also presents great opportunities. “We need to sustain them and find new strategies for doing so, and that will take special leaders in the future who not only have a strong grounding in Scripture but also the ability to give character, color, and direction to their ministry. It is not simply social service, but telling the story of the Resurrection of Jesus and what that means for people today.” He said such a context for ministry “is not for the uncertain. It takes a leader who knows the meaning of grace and what it means to be a Lutheran. It takes someone able to deal with a wide variety of personalities, someone who is well grounded and accepting of others, someone with a lot of energy!” Zeiser, who grew up not far from the coal region community he described, said the seminary for him is a place that works hard at bringing together people from diverse cultures and backgrounds and creating a powerful sense of community. “I found LTSP to be a challenging academic environment,” he said. “I also got a sense of what the church had invested in my call, that it had made a commitment, that it wasn’t just about me, that it had a stake in what I did. It gave me a sense of the vision and standards and breadth of the church that I had not known before growing up in a place like Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania.”
Bishop’s Canoe Adventure Raises $6,000 for Lutheran Archives at LTSP
Photo by Ryan McFadden/Reading Eagle.
It began as a simple idea. Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod Bishop Samuel Zeiser and colleague The Rev. Carl Shankweiler, both alumni of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), had attended a meeting of the Schuylkill Mission District and had paused to gaze at the Schuylkill Canal. “It was a beautiful spot in the river, water lapping over the rocks, so scenic and peaceful,” Zeiser said. “Carl said to me, ‘What if we got into a canoe and took a ride on the river. We’d probably really enjoy that.’” Zeiser thought that would be the end of it. A week later Shankweiler called to say he had bought a canoe on eBay. Shankweiler mused about going forward with a canoe trip. He also wondered about whether the trip might be used to garner support by the mile for a favorite interest — the Lutheran Archives Center at LTSP. The Archives is a major repository for Lutheran history both regional and from around the country. Shankweiler reflected with Zeiser about the colonial travels of Lutheran Patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg identified in Muhlenberg’s journals. Maybe they could learn first-hand about what it was like to travel in those 1750s days in something other than a car. “Maybe we could raise a few hundred dollars for the Archives by getting donations by the mile,” Shankweiler said. They put an announcement in the packet given out at the synod assembly. “Before we knew it the project was growing beyond our imagination,” Zeiser said. The Reading Eagle newspaper wanted a story and a photo. The Lutheran magazine did a piece about us. Channel 69 News did a story. One congregation donated $1,000 toward the project.” On a June day, the duo paddled to Reading from Hamburg. The 23.4 mile trip lasted from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm with stops along the way in Shoemakersville and Leesport. “Muhlenberg did not spend a lot of time in a canoe from what we have been able to learn,” Zeiser noted, “but we did find a reference in his journals to his crossing the river by canoe. Apart from that, the trip did help Carl and me to recognize the way natural geography played a role in the way colonial era pastors got from place to place.” With cars today, you just don’t think much about travel, but it was not always easy. The project raised about $6,000 for the Archives. The amount raised might have been less than that, but some donors upped their gifts when they heard Shankweiler and Zeiser had briefly gone overboard in the midst of their journey!
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The Muhlenberg Tercentenary
Academic Year 2011-2012
DURING THE ACADEMIC YEAR 20112012, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will mark the tercentenary of the birth of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. We are doing this in partnership with many organizations, most notably Muhlenberg College, and over 100 congregations — from Georgia through New York — whose legacy is directly tied to Muhlenberg. Special programs and events are being planned for families, for women, for scholars, for alumni, and for congregations. Artifacts and historic documents are being preserved and readied for display including Peter Muhlenberg’s robe, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg’s journals and diaries, and a beautifully painted wooden box belonging to Anna Muhlenberg. Special exhibitions are being planned at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, as well as at the German-American Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and a traveling exhibition from Halle, Germany will tour across the United States. Resources are being gathered and posted on the Muhlenberg 300 website for congregations — a speaker’s bureau, worship materials, and a curriculum for catechetics. Website pages are being created to include an online map highlighting Muhlenberg’s churches and other points of interest, and a comprehensive calendar noting the events of the year of all of our partners. An international scholarly conference is being organized by Muhlenberg College, LTSP, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Together we are working to tell the story of this Lutheran pastor who was a church administrator, an immigrant father of children who themselves became leaders in early America, a colonial pacifist, and a prolific writer whose words paint a clear picture of life in the colonies. As we work toward this year, some may question the value of looking back. Some may suggest that because we are a very different church than we were when Muhlenberg lived, there is little value to studying a man who was born 300 years ago. But it is in preserving our history that we preserve our identity. It is by looking at the past honestly that we learn our strengths and weaknesses. It is by understanding where we have been that we can plan for where we are going. In one of the old family Bibles is a short verse Henry Melchior Muhlenberg wrote at about the time he was confirmed: “Two hands, both fresh and strong, did my Creator give; They shall not idle be as long as I shall live; First I will raise them up to God to praise and pray, And then they may begin what labor brings each day.” Today, almost 300 years later, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) defines its mission in the simple phrase: “God’s work. Our hands.” Two very different moments in time. One common call. During the forty-five years of his ministry, Muhlenberg organized new congregations as continued immigration led to the establishment of new communities. Today the church he nurtured on American soil numbers 4.5 million members and nearly 10,500 congregations across the U.S. and Caribbean in the ELCA alone. The church has continued the missionary enterprise that brought Muhlenberg to America. The challenges of immigration, language, and planting new churches continues. Join with us as we discover together our shared past and write a new chapter in the Church’s history. Visit the Muhlenberg 300 website at www.muhlenberg300.org.
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...The scales that weigh the destinies of man defy his understanding. A moment may determine the course of generations of human lives. It was to such a moment that the hands of the dial moved on the evening of September 6, 1741, when Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, now recognized as the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, received the call to leave family and friends, in a land that then enjoyed comparative comfort, to serve the leaderless Lutherans in Pennsylvania. Other Lutherans had gone to America before him. Others had planted their churches in the American colonies. But to Muhlenberg fell the task of organizing scattered Lutherans along the Atlantic Seaboard, of establishing churches for them, and of forming the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States, the mother synod of the United Lutheran Church in America. The above excerpt is from a publication edited by Gordon B. Fister as part of the Muhlenberg Bicentennial Celebration organized by Muhlenberg College in 1942.
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UTI 30TH ANNIVERSARY
TO HEAR THE STORY OF THE REV. WILLIAM B. MOORE is to learn the heart and soul of the 30-year-old Urban Theological Institute (UTI) at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). No wonder Moore, the pastor of Tenth Memorial Baptist Church in North Philadelphia, has recently embraced an appointment as chair of the Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors (UTICA). Before Moore departed North Carolina to accept a call in Philadelphia, he was telling a neighboring pastor, The Rev. T. Robert Washington, that he wanted to complete his education. “If you are called to ministry you are also called to preparation, and we must take that preparation seriously,” Moore said recently. “You should check out LTSP,” Washington told him. “That’s my seminary.” Several years after becoming pastor of Tenth Memorial Church, the UTI initiative began under the leadership of the late Rev. Dr. Randolph Jones and The Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis, who envisioned and founded the program enabling students to study part time while they held regular
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jobs. Working with LTSP and then Dean Faith Burgess, Jones and Willis have been fond of saying that LTSP embraced their idea “when no one else would.” Moore enrolled in the program. “I found UTI offered three critical qualities,” Moore said. “First, it was relevant. It met the needs for my ministry at Tenth Memorial. It had the ingredients necessary for success for someone like me. Second, it was high quality, not fly by night. It was well-respected academically. I knew I had found a gold mine with the seminary’s long history of quality and substance. Third, it was convenient for a full-time pastor like me with times for classes that met my needs Tuesday evenings and Saturdays.” He completed the requirements for his MDiv in four years during the 1980s — one of the scores of graduates connected with UTI. And what a ministry has unfolded at Tenth Memorial, where Moore has served for 36 years. The congregation hosts a drug recovery program. You cannot drive through the church’s community without seeing the transformation that Moore said has been inspired by the people he
loves and his UTI education. Homes, more than 200 in one form or another, dot the neighborhood — rehabilitated row homes, a six story high rise apartment building for retirees, 51 homes for low and moderate income residents, and 10 homes especially built for first time home-buyers. A sign in front of some of the newest properties advertises their sale at $110,000. “We’ve wanted people to find affordable housing so that they could afford to raise their children in these hard times and afford their education and manage the rest of their lives,” he said. “Having a good home is a critical piece of that life formula.” Moore is not a fan of the “prosperity gospel” trend in which pastors, on television and elsewhere, suggest believers are predisposed to wealth. “These pastors convey that it is all about their listeners and viewers. God doesn’t promise anything like that. God wants us to be comfortable, certainly, and God promises to be with us, but it is really not about us. It is about serving others, not just about serving ourselves.”
UTI 30TH ANNIVERSARY
Moore’s appreciation for UTI is echoed by several colleagues — The Rev. Dr. Ernest Morris, pastor of Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ; The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia’s Germantown, and The Rev. Dr. Richard Franklin Norris, Bishop of the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Jones and Morris have been host pastors since its inception for UTI’s 28-year old “Preaching with Power” initiative, which each spring invites highly regarded African American preachers to Philadelphia pulpits. Norris celebrates a collaboration with the AME Church’s Payne Seminary in Ohio that he said has made possible “a whole new flavor” for relationships involving aspiring church leaders across denominational lines. He notes that local AME students through the collaboration can take some of their classes at LTSP without having to travel to Ohio. Jones, a past UTICA chair, praises the seminary and UTI for the “genuine sense of inclusivity, innovation, and openness they have generated so that trained leaders have the knowledge to meet urban
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challenges.” UTI was a breakthrough 30 years ago in that it enabled “bi-vocational and bi-professional students to take seminary courses that only had been available during the day. The program forged a change in the educational concept and ideology of the time.” Morris said simply that for working people interested in professional church leadership 30 years ago, “there was no opportunity for formal education. When UTI was offered it opened doors for them. It has been so helpful to so many men and women who have been able to enhance their ministries.” With the Fall 2010 30-year celebration, UTI Director The Rev. Dr. Quintin L. Robertson said his leadership goal looking toward the future is to “strengthen the foundation” established by founders Jones and Willis in collaboration with other leaders. UTI is expanding its horizon these days, overseeing a Black Church Concentration within LTSP’s MDiv program, and a Black Church Specialization in the Master of Arts in Religion program, both aimed at professional church leaders interested in Black Church issues. UTI also oversees a Black Church focus
in LTSP’s DMin program. A new UTI certificate offering in Christian Ministry complements a Certificate in Church Leadership. Quarterly seminars in partnership with African American religious communities are being established as well. “We want to cultivate a deeper understanding, appreciation of, and respect for African American theological inquiry and religious history,” explained Dr. Robertson, an ordained elder of the Church of God in Christ. Such an outreach, he said, will further “enrich the church and the seminary community.” The three-day fall gala celebration Oct. 13-15 included an African American Sacred Music Concert coordinated by Sheila D. Booker and including greetings from Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, a worship celebration with The Rev. Dr. Carolyn A. Knight as guest preacher, and a gala reception and banquet with featured speaker The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes. View photos and videos of UTI’s 30th Anniversary Celebration at www.Ltsp.edu/ UTI30.
UTI 30TH ANNIVERSARY
UTI Alumna Lois Barksdale’s Story: Many Roles with God as her Guide
BISHOP LOIS BARKSDALE, recent graduate of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), said God was always involved as her remarkable career unfolded. “The right people were there every step of the way for me,” she said with typical enthusiasm. “That was God at work in my life. I know it.” First, she was a licensed beautician. Then came retail, her becoming one of only two African American buyers for Strawbridge & Clothier in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Peter Strawbridge then asked her to open a new store in the Neshaminy Mall. Next a friend told her that she should take the federal civil service exam and get a job with the government. “You’d be good at that,” the friend told her. Once a “straight A” student at Gratz High School where she was class president, Barksdale passed the test easily. She steadily rose through the pay grade ranks within the Department of Labor. Barksdale was the first woman to serve in the Philadelphia office as an investigator. “My responsibility was to examine the internal affairs practices of labor unions, check out financial and election practices and assure that union members in good standing had their rights,” she said. Sometimes cases she worked on made the headlines. She investigated United Mine Workers election practices involving Joseph “Jock” Jablonski and his presidential successor Tony Boyle, and the union reran the election. Jablonski was a reformer who had campaigned on behalf of mine safety issues. In 1974, Boyle was convicted of having hired a hit on Jablonski, his wife and daughter in Clarksville, Pennsylvania, on January 5, 1970, and all three were killed. Over a 30-year Department of Labor career she worked both in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, becoming the first area director for the Department. She ended her government career in 1995, having served as the national director of field operations. Because of her experience, knowledge, and dynamic personality, Barksdale was regularly invited to serve as a consultant or speaker by organizations like the U.S. Air Force, the Tennessee Valley Authority, housing authorities in Newark, New Jersey, and St. Louis, and the American Federation of Government Employees. She could have made a new career from accepting such invitations. “But by 1995, I knew that I was done with secular work,” she said. “God was calling me in a new direction.” That year, Barksdale founded Word Alive Worship Center, a church of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in rental space in Philadelphia. Her husband, Jerome, a deacon, was then, as well as now, at her side. (The couple married in 1961. Daughter Beverly, born in 1964 is a licensed minister in Delaware. Jerome has held a variety of vocational posts, including service as a Philadelphia transit worker.) Recognized as a gifted administrator as well as a pastor, Barksdale served 15 years on her church body’s state council, 10 years as general secretary for New Destiny Fellowship International, a mission organization, and three years as assistant pastor at Pentecostal Bridegroom Temple in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane section. God also came to her 11 years ago in the form of her brother, an LTSP alumnus, and Barksdale became persuaded that having an MDiv would give her important credentials as an influential leader and pastor. She studied part-time in the seminary’s Urban Theological Institute (UTI) for roughly one-third of that program’s 30year history, receiving her degree in May, 2010, and thus she fits the classic profile of many UTI scholars who frequently spend many years to achieve their academic goal. She said coincidentally she was appointed Bishop for her church body’s Region 1 (Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware) after she graduated. “I didn’t seek that appointment,” she said. “I was perfectly happy to support other leaders.” Now she regularly meets with pastors in her region to provide them with support and counsel. “Studying in the UTI was an awesome experience for me,” she said. “I was impressed with the history, how the school developed a partnership with UTI founders Dr. Randolph Jones and Dr. Andrew Willis to enable African American leaders needing an additional education and credentials the opportunity to get them while remaining part of the working world and studying part-time. I really had an awakening through my studies. I learned the Creeds. I learned about the evolution of the church by taking an In-
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UTI 30TH ANNIVERSARY
troduction to Christianity course. I learned the church has a mosaic and discovered how all the pieces fit. I studied Greek and the Bible, and understand more now about its translations. UTI provides its scholars with a bridge to get from where they are to where they need to be in today’s world. Jesus Christ really erases any caste system in the faith. In UTI, those of us with different faith perspectives had the chance to interact with each other and talk about what we believe and discover how to deal with each other. It was just awesome.” As Barksdale learned at seminary, she was also praying about finding a permanent home for her congregation. God removed some early stumbling blocks, and five years ago Word Alive moved into a vacated church building at 801 West
Luzerne Street in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park section. The building was once the home of St. Simeon’s Lutheran Church. “The church is truly located in the state’s crime capital,” she said. A park down the street is known as a haven for prostitution. Two summers ago she confronted the neighborhood drug lord and asked him to stop selling drugs next to the church. The two began to hold conversations, and she worked to bring the church into the young man’s life. “I really believe he was headed here when he was shot to death outside the door,” she said. She is part of a police clergy organization that holds prayer on neighborhood street corners and provides telephone numbers in case neighbors feel they need to talk about what is going on in the community. She believes it is where her congregation belongs.
In these hard times, Barksdale believes it is a new day for the church. “When the heater breaks or something like that someone always comes forward to help out financially,” she said. “We always make the budget. But it’s not all about numbers. We want people to come to our church and truly feel the presence and love of God without some preconceived notion of what we stand for. “We need to think through how we do church today. Pentecostalism is a way to worship that is upbeat, fiery and different.” It’s a description that seems to suit Bishop Lois Barksdale to a T. Is she thinking of retiring anytime soon? She chuckled. “I’m an adrenaline junkie,” she said. “I wouldn’t know what to do if I retired. I always have to be doing something for the Lord.”
Founded in 1847 as a Lutheran college, Carthage highly values its affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Our liberal arts curriculum includes courses that explore and celebrate religion and spirituality. Faith-oriented programs and student religious organizations offer students many opportunities to strengthen their faith as they discover how they can serve others in the Church and in the world.
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The Rev. George Handley, ’56, LTSP 2010 Distinguished Alumnus/a
As we lift Handley’s gifts and talents given to congregations, synods, and the wider church, we can not forget his love of history and the church. His many writings on the history of Lutherans and biographical sketches of pastors in Virginia, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, Lutheran churches in Central Trenton, New Jersey, and reflections on the 300th anniversary of the ordination of Justus Falckner (the first Lutheran ordained in America) show his keen interest of Lutheran history. No wonder LTSP is so blessed to have George Handley as the current President of the Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia and his leadership on the Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic. His diligent work can be seen in the Heinecken Room in The Brossman Center at LTSP as many hours were spent arranging the shelves with books appropriate for a pastor’s study in the Heinecken years. As parish pastor, synodical assistant, church wide coordinator, and historian of the Lutheran Church, George Handley brings distinction to LTSP in areas of leadership, faithful service, and a significant contribution to the life of the church. Therefore, The Rev. George E. Handley, ’56 is awarded the 2010 Distinguished Alumni/ae Award.
Handley with alumnus The Rev. Chris Duckworth (left) who was an intern of Handley, and President Krey.
THROUGHOUT HIS SERVICE TO THE CHURCH, our 2010 Distinguished Alumnus/a, The Rev. George E. Handley ’56, who received his award at the 2010 Spring Convocation Alumni Banquet, has been committed to parish ministry, the wider church, and to LTSP. After Handley’s ordination in 1956 by the United Lutheran Synod of New York and New England, UCLA, he served in three parishes: St. Thomas, Jamaica (Queens), New York, Christ Lutheran in York, Pennsylvania, and Grace Lutheran in Waynesboro, Virginia. Following his eighteen years of service in the parish, Handley was chosen to be Secretary and Administrative Assistant to the Bishop of the Virginia Synod of the Lutheran Church in America and later the ELCA.
Having gone from the parish to synodical service, his next journey led him to be the first ever Coordinator of Ministry Leadership, Region 7 (Northeast Region). As the pioneer of this position in the newly formed ELCA, Handley’s home base was located on campus at LTSP from 19881995. His synod, churchwide, and ecumenical positions included Coordinator of Evangelism Program Ministry with the National Council of Churches, and Coordinator of United Lutheran Appeal in the Virginia and Metropolitan Washington DC Synods. As he started his ministry as a parish pastor, so he returned to parish as interim pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Trenton, New Jersey, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
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(photo: Reading Eagle online)
The Rev. Thomas F. Irwin Jr., MDiv ’79, was installed September 26, 2010 as the new pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church, Laureldale, PA.
Teal Anderson, MDiv ’10, was ordained and installed at Faith Lutheran Church, Logansport, IN, on October 9, 2010. Donna M. House, MDiv ’10, and Scott A. Staub, MDiv ’10, were ordained on July 25, 2010, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Boyertown, PA. The preacher was The Rev. Marcia Bell. Staub has been called to Trinity Lutheran Church, Topton, PA, and House has been called to St. John’s Lutheran, Nazareth, PA. Jocelyn Johnston, MDiv ’10, was ordained on September 19, 2010, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, East Windsor, NJ, and has been called to serve as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Barnegat Light, NJ. Martin Lohrmann, PhD ’10, was installed on January 6, 2010 as pastor of Christ Ascension Lutheran Church in Chestnut Hill, PA, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. www.christascension.org Christine Myers Parker, MDiv ’10, and Mark E. Parker, MDiv ’07, are pleased to announce the arrival of Luke Raymond Parker, 7 lbs. 14 oz., 22 inches, born September 1, 2010. Elizabeth Nees, MDiv ’10, was ordained on September 19, 2010, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, East Windsor, NJ, and has been called to serve as pastor at Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Millville, NJ. The Rev. William R. Petersen, MDiv ’10, was called to Faith Lutheran Church, East Hartford, CT, on May 23, 2010, and ordained on June 4, 2010.
May 3 and 4, 2011
(Tuesday and Wednesday only, note later dates)
Dr. Peter Pettit, MDiv ’80, department of religion studies and the director of the Institute for Jewish Christian Understanding at Muhlenberg College, was promoted to associate professor. Pettit received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, his master of divinity from LTSP, and his master of arts and doctorate from Claremont Graduate University. Julie DeWerth, MDiv ’91, began call as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in King of Prussia, PA, on June 1, 2010. Wolfgang Herz-Lane, MDiv ’01, was installed as bishop of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA on September 18, 2010, in Baltimore, MD. He served as a parish pastor in Camden, NJ, before being elected to the six year term as synod bishop at the synod’s 2010 Assembly on June 12, 2010. ELCA Presiding Bishop The Rev. Mark Hanson delivered the sermon. Also installed at the service as an assistant to the bishop was LTSP alumnus The Rev. Ed Kay, MDiv ’07. Dr. Dirk Lange, MDiv, STM ’01, associate professor of worship, Luther Seminary, is the recipient of a 2010-11 Lilly Theological Research Grant for the project “Rethinking Communal Prayer: A Baptismal Discipline.” Matthew Cimorelli, MDiv ’03, is serving as pastor at Reformation Lutheran Church, West Long Branch, NJ. Darryl W. Kozak, MDiv ’06, returned to his native Southern California this past summer, and on August 15, 2010, began a new call as the Associate Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Manhattan Beach, CA. He had served his first call in Brooklyn, NY. J. Lena Horst Warren, MDiv ’08, was ordained on October 17, 2010, at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Norwich, CT. Warren has received a call to Salem and Immanuel Lutheran Churches in Naugatuck, CT.
One God, Many Christs: How Jesus is Incarnated in America
Reunion Class Anniversaries celebrated at Spring Convocation: 1936, 1941, 1946, 1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2010
This year’s presenter is Richard Wrightman Fox, who is Professor of History at the University of Southern California (USC). His scholarship has centered on the crossroads of American social, cultural, and intellectual history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a special focus on how religion and secularity in the United States have evolved in relation to one another. Look for Alumni Spring Convocation 2011 registration material in your mail in early February and online at www.Ltsp.edu/ convocation11. Nominations for the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 2011 must be in by December 31, 2010. The award will be given at the Alumni Banquet on Tuesday evening, May 3, 2011. Please nominate via email to [email protected]
, or nominate online at www.Ltsp.edu/award.
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DR. KATIE DAY The Charles A. Scheiren Professor, Church and Society; Director, Metropolitan/ Urban Concentration July 2010:
Professor Wengert Receives Honorary Doctor of Divinity
THE REV. DR . TIMOTHY J. WENGERT, Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor, Reformation History at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, delivered the baccalaureate sermon at Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin, and received an honorary doctorate of divinity. Prof. Wengert teaches and does research in Reformation History and the Lutheran Confessions. In 1981, he discovered and published notes on two of Martin Luther’s sermons from 1520. He is associate editor of the Lutheran Quarterly and has edited two volumes of essays on Martin Luther by scholars whose contributions first appeared in the journal: “Harvesting Martin Luther’s Reflections on Theology, Church, and Ethics” and “The Pastoral Luther: Essays in Luther’s Practical Theology.” He served on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)-United Methodist dialogue, on the ELCA Task Force for Studies in Sexuality, and as co-chair of the Commission of the World Mennonite Conference and the Lutheran World Federation. In February 2000, the city of Bretten, Germany, awarded him the Melanchthon Prize for contributions to the field of Reformation scholarship, especially for his book on Philip Melanchthon and Erasmus. This is the first time that the prize, awarded every three years, was given to an American.
Carthage College is a four-year, liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, located in Kenosha, Wisconsin (information about the award from Carthage College).
presented to General Assembly, PCUSA, policy “Gun Violence, Gospel Values,” which was passed unanimously; continued research on Germantown Avenue project which is featured on the Duke Divinity Webizine, Faith and Leadership (www.faithandleadership. com/multimedia/faith-the-avenue); October 2010: presented paper at Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) on an aspect of that research, “Seeking (and selling) the Shalom of the City: Methodological Considerations in Measuring the Economic Impact of Urban Congregations;” met with Interfaith Relations Committee of the National Council of Churches for presentation on, and tour of, Germantown Avenue; attended AAR (American Academy of Religion) and chaired session on Public Theology and co-chaired a consultation on Religion and Cities; Temple University Honors Class: “Religion in Philadelphia: Ethnographic Research Methods;” November 2010: participant, Engaged Scholars Conference (sponsored by Hartford Seminary in Louisville, KY); active locally in Heeding God’s Call (a faith-based gun violence prevention organization); continued to meet and work with the Communal Discernment Task Force of the ELCA.
DR. DAVID D. GRAFTON
Director of Graduate Studies; Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations January 2010: served as
the ELCA pilot program for Sojourners short term mission projects; May 2010: presented “Images of Muslims in America,” New Jersey Synod Assembly; April 2010: moderated panel at the International Symposium on Islam, Salvation and the Fate of Others, University of Illinois; published “The Arabs of Pentecost: GrecoRoman Views of the Arabs and their Cultural Identity,” Theological Review 30/2 (2009): 183-201; reviewed: A Common Word: Muslims and Christians on Loving God and Neighbor, Miroslav Volf, Ghazi bin Muhammad, and Melissa Yarrington (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2010), Journal of Ecumenical Studies, forthcoming 45, No. 2 (Spring 2010): 315; “That All May Believe: A Theology of the Gospel and the Mission of the Church,” Carl E. Braaten (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2008), Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 64, no. 2 (April 2010): 216-218; “The Theology of Tariq Ramadan: A Catholic Perspective,” Gregory Baum, (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2009): Journal of Ecumenical Studies 45, no. 1 (Winter 2010): 149.
resource scholar for Luther College Globalization Trip to Egypt; presented “Islam in America,” ELCA Ministerium of Western Montgomery County; FebruaryMay 2010: served as presenter in
DR. ERIK M. HEEN Professor
of New Testament and Greek
reviewed Sharper Than A TwoEdged Sword: Preaching, Teaching,
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and Living the Bible, Michael Root and James J. Buckley, eds. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008 in Currents 37:2 (April 2010), 14849; reviewed Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies for Promoting Success and Retention in Higher Education by Kathleen F. Gabriel (Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2008). Teaching in Theology and Religion 13:1 ( January 2010), 7375; published “Theological Perspective” on Rev. 5:11-14 for the Third Sunday After Easter; Rev. 7:9-17 for the Fourth Sunday After Easter; and Rev. 21:1-6 for the Fifth Sunday After Easter in Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Common Lectionary. Year C, Volume 2, Edited by David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 414-18; 43842; 462-66; January 2010: presented “The New Testament Theology of Diaconia,” Diaconal Ministry Formation Event, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg; February 2010: presented “Lenten Texts,” Upper Bucks Conference Retreat, Little Zion Lutheran Church, Telford, Pennsylvania; April 2010: presented “The Typological Exegesis of Scripture,” at a gathering of Book of Faith Initiative advocates, LTSP; “Lectionary Texts in the Season of Pentecost: Year C,” Upper Montgomery Lutheran Conference, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Zieglerville, Pennsylvania; “The ELCA’s Understanding of Scripture,” A Dialogue with Mark Chavez, St. James Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; May 2010: presented “Lutherans and the Bible: Past, Present, and Future” at three sessions during the Upper Susquehanna Synod Bishop’s Retreat, Penn Wells Hotel and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania; June 2010: workshop facilitator, “Easier Said Than Done: The Bible as
Norm in the ELCA and Beyond;” presented Keynote Address, “Lutherans and the Bible: Old and New,” La Crosse Area Synod (ELCA) Assembly: “Rooted in the Word.” Decorah, Iowa.
DR. MICHAEL KRENTZ Director
of Music Ministries/Seminary Cantor December 2009: organ ac-
companist for annual performance of Messiah at Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; January 2010: lead workshop entitled “I Have to Play a Gospel Hymn — Help” for January Jumpstart hosted by seven chapters of the American Guild of Organists; presented “Theology on Tap” at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Doylestown, Pennsylvania; February 2010: played recital in the Lenten organ recital series at First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania; March 2010: taught a session on music and worship for Project Yachad, The Lehigh Valley Coalition for Jewish Education; July 2010: led workshop for the conference of Region 1 of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, “Music for Organ and Instrument with Limited Resources.”
MATTHEW O’REAR Associate Director of Admissions opened
DR. JON PAHL Professor, History of Christianity in North America; Director, MA Programs
LTSP’s 147th academic year with Hymn Festival along with Michael Krentz, Director of Music Ministries/Seminary Cantor, and Sheila D. Booker, Assistant to the Director of Music Ministries. Used words and music given, in one way or another, by four eminent musicians and a poet who have died in the past year — Paul Manz, Richard Proulx, Horace Clarence Boyer, The Rev. Herbert F. Brokering and Richard Hillert.
published “Empire of Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence” (NYU Press, 2010); “The Core of Lutheran CORE: American Civil Religion and White Male Backlash,” in the “Journal of Lutheran Ethics,” May 2010, online at www.Ltsp.edu/ LJE-Pahl; “Music is Prayer: Reconsidering Secular Music,” in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Lutheran Ethics. The article addresses the work of “The Groove Daemons,” a band made up of LTSP alumni, students, faculty, and friends, and their exploration of the theological, spiritual, and ethical implications of six secular tunes, view online at www.Ltsp. edu/LJE-Groove; lectured or delivered papers at The University of Houston, The University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Carthage College (WI), and The University of Chicago; continues active as co-chair of the Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Group in the American Academy of Religion, and in interreligious dialogue with Jews, Muslims, and Hindus; steered the new Master of Arts in Public Leadership to approval by the PA Department of Education.
DR. NELSON RIVERA Associate Professor, Systematic Theology and Hispanic Ministry; Director, Latino Concentration August
2010: published The Earth Is Our Home, a book on Mary Midgley’s evolutionary epistemology (Imprint Academic, Exeter, England); March 2010: presented as part of a panel on Latina/o Pedagogy at Palmer Theological Seminary; July 2010: taught the course “Confesiones Luteranas” at Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico.
DR. J. JAYAKIRAN SEBASTIAN
H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures; Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center published Enlivening the
Past: An Asian Theologian’s: Engagement with the Early Teachers of Faith (Gorgias Press, 2009); January 2010: participant and presented “Pierced by the curved
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ACTIONS by the LTSP BOARD OF TRUSTEES at their spring meeting included two new faculty appointments and granting of tenure to a member of the faculty. The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman was appointed Assistant Professor of Homiletics, and began her appointment July 1, 2010. The Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft., Sr., will join the faculty in February, 2011 as the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr. Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies. The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney was named Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, with tenure. In a way this is a homecoming for Drs. Wiseman and Croft, who were both students in the Doctor of Philosophy program at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey. The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman Prof. Wiseman came to LTSP from Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina, where she held the position of Associate Professor of Ministerial Studies, and also directed Hood’s Supervised MInistry program and was coordinator of United Methodist Studies. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, Academy of Homiletics, Society of Biblical Literature, and Association of Theological Field Educators. Prof. Wiseman was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Liturgical Studies with concentration in Preaching and Worship, with additional specializations/extensive work in Postmodern/Emergent Worship, Liturgy, and Worship Space and Design, from Drew University in 2006, receiving the Dean’s Honor Award as the outstanding student of the class. Her dissertation topic was “Grace Space: The Creation of Worship Space for the Postmodern/Emerging Church.” She also holds a Master of Philosophy from Drew (2005), Master of Divinity (with honors) from St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas CIty, Missouri (1996), and Bachelor of Arts in History from Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas (1985). Elder/Full Member of the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church, 1996, Prof. Wiseman served local churches in Kansas and New Jersey as senior pastor for 15 years. The Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr. Prof. Croft believes that the academy, the pulpit, and the community need to be connected, and he plans to remain in the pulpit at The Church of the Redeemer Baptist in South Philadelphia as he joins the faculty part time in February, maintaining that connection. He last served in academia as Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics at Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University. Prof. Croft earned a Doctor of Ministry, with distinction, Master of Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. His doctoral dissertation was entitled “You Jes’ Wait A Little: A Comparison of the Motif of Hope in African American Preaching During the Slave and Post-Civil War Periods.” He holds a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, a Master of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary), a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Trinity College, and an Associates degree from Pinebrook Junior College. Pastor of The Church of the Redeemer since June 1993, the membership has grown during his tenure from 177 to over 1,900. Prof. Croft serves as founder of the Redeemer Renaissance Community Development Corporation, Dean of the Pennsylvania Eastern Keystone Baptist Association, is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and has been inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr., Board of Preachers of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Prof. Croft’s sermons, along with the article What Does it Mean to Preach Biblically Today (Winter 2003), have been published in The African American Pulpit, and he has also contributed to the book From One Brother to Another: Voices of African-American Men, Volume II (Judson Press). He was one of the preachers during Preaching with Power in 2009, and is already active in activities of the Urban Theological Institute at LTSP. The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney Prof. Gafney, who joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2005, was granted tenure and raised to the position of Associcontinued on page 32
Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman
Dr. Wayne E. Croft, Sr.
Dr. Wil Gafney
aculty Additions and Changes for the 2010 Academic Year
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end of a rainbow: Decolonizing the Body of the Martyr” at “Envisioning Postcolonial Theologies to Decolonize the Body of Christ,” United Theological College, Bangalore, India; March 2010: keynote address, World Day of Prayer, The Ecumenical Fellowship of Indian Churches in Philadelphia, at St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, on the theme: “Let everything that has breath praise God;” June 2010: faculty mentor, Asian Theological Summer Institute 2010, LTSP; participant, Network of Asian Theological Educators, Planning Meeting, LTSP; Contribution to a Festschrift: “On Walking Through the Cemetery: Continuity and Transformation in Reading Death in an Indian-Christian Community,” in Tat-siong Benny Liew, ed., Postcolonial Interventions: Essays in Honor of R.S. Sugirtharajah (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2009), pp. 178-189; “Foreword,” in Rob Arner, Consistently Pro-Life: The Ethics of Bloodshed in Ancient Christianity (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2010), pp. viiix; “Tribute and Introduction,” in Vanlalthlana, Doctrine of Grace: Augustine’s Doctrine of Grace and Human Free Will and an Appraisal from a Mizo Christian Perspective (Delhi: ISPCK, 2010), pp. xi-xiii; reviewed The South Indian Pentecostal Movement in the Twentieth Century, Michael Bergunder (Grand Rapids, MI/Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans, 2008), in Theologische Literaturzeitung, 135. Jahrgang, Heft 1 ( January 2010), pp. 112-114.
mentary series Feasting on the Word (Westminster John Knox Press), Homiletical Commentary on Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25, Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18, and Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 20-24; Fall 2009: reviewed William A. Dyrness’s Senses of the Soul: Art and the Visual in Christian Worship, Homiletics, Fall 2009; reviewed Audrey Borschel’s Preaching Prophetically When the
News Disturbs: Interpreting the Media, “Encounter,” Fall of 2010; taught four United Methodist District workshops in North Carolina on several topics, including Clergy Self-Care, Worship as Evangelism, and The Emerging Church; August 2010: taught two workshops on Worship and Biblical Literacy for Augsburg Fortress.
DR. TIMOTHY J. WENGERT
Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of the History of Christianity May 2010: Baccalaureate
New Director of Student Services Joins LTSP
THE REV.JOHN BERNTSEN, PhD, joined LTSP’s staff on February 8, 2010, as the new Director of Student Services. Pastor Berntsen’s most recent call was in parish ministry as senior pastor at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Perkasie, Pennsylvania. He previously served several congregations in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA. Pastor Berntsen has also been involved in formation and academic pursuits. He served on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s Candidacy Committee, as member and chair. He was a member of the First Call Theological Education Colleague Mentor Group, has led a Formation Group at LTSP, and was a Guest Lecturer in Religion at Muhlenberg College and Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology at Mary Immaculate Seminary, Northampton, Pennsylvania. Pastor Berntsen graduated cum laude from St. Olaf College (BA), from Yale University Divinity School (MDiv), and from Emory University with a PhD in Theological Studies. His doctoral thesis was on the theology of Karl Barth. He was also Reader in philosophy and political science, Manchester College, Oxford University, England. He was ordained by the Iowa Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, predecessor body of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in 1980.
preacher at Carthage College and recipient of an honorary doctorate; led colloquy at the Duke August Library (Wolfenbüttel, Germany) celebrating the 450th anniversary of the death of Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560); July 2010: co-chair and chief drafter of Healing Memories: Reconciling in Christ — Report of the LutheranMennonite International Study Commission, which was published for the deliberations of the Lutheran World Federation, leading to the vote to ask the Mennonite World Conference for forgiveness for the past persecution of Anabaptists by Lutheran reformers; published collection of essays, Philip Melanchthon, Speaker of the Reformation (Ashgate Variorum Press).
DR. KARYN L. WISEMAN
Assistant Professor of Homiletics
presented “Best Practices for Teaching Preaching: How the Summer of Love Led Me to Using Rubrics for Evaluating Preaching;” at the Academy of Homiletics in Washington, DC; selected to preach to the Academy of Homiletics, preaching a sermon entitled “Defying Gravity;” published three entries for the com-
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John Newpher, One-time LTSP President and Parish Pastor
THE REV. DR . JOHN D. NEWPHER , 90, LTSP president from 1971 to 1975 and pastor of six congregations over a 40year ministry career, died Saturday, May 22, 2010, after a brief illness. “Dr. Newpher was president of the seminary during a time of renewed commitment to the present campus,” recalled Dr. Robert Blanck, vice chair of the LTSP Board of Trustees during Newpher’s tenure. “Before he became president, the seminary had contemplated establishing a campus in West Philadelphia with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, and it had also later considered consolidating with Philadelphia Divinity School, a seminary of the Episcopal Church. After considerable discussions, neither step was taken,” Blanck recalled. “So the focus shifted to the 14-acre Mt. Airy campus. While he was president, the Hagan Administration Building was expanded, and improvements to faculty housing, which had been deferred, were made.” It was a strong financial period for the school, Blanck noted. Newpher returned to parish ministry in 1975, becoming pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Slatington, Pennsylvania, and retired in 1985. Born March 28, 1920, the Reading, Pennsylvania native earned a Bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College (1942), a Bachelor of Divinity (1945) and a Master of Sacred Theology (1946) from LTSP, and a Doctor of Sacred Theology (1958) from Temple University. Ordained in 1945 into the United Lutheran Church in America, he first served a two-point Pennsylvania parish, Salem in Audenried and St. Paul in Beaver Meadows, from 1946 to 1948, followed by calls to Christ Lutheran Church, Camden, NJ (1948-1953); Ascension Lutheran Church, Philadelphia (1953-1961), and Christ Lutheran Church, Oreland, Pennsylvania (1961-1971). He and his widow, the former Suzanne Van Arsdale of DuBois, Pennsylvania, resided in Ambler, Pennsylvania, and were members of Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, Ambler. Also surviving are four children from a first marriage with former wife, Gladys: John, Peter and Valerie Newpher, and Pamela Macon; and three stepchildren, Karen Vickter, Sandra O’Brien, and Louis Eble. Read a detailed obituary at www.Ltsp.edu/newpher
“Faculty Additions” continued from page 30
ate Professor by the Board of Trustees in April 2010. Her course offerings include: Heroines, Harlots and Handmaids: the Women of the Hebrew Scriptures, Suffering in Job and the Holocaust, An Introduction to the Dead Seas Scrolls, and Exodus in African and African American Exegesis. Among her research interests are feminist biblical studies, rabbinic studies, and issues in translation. Her recent projects include an exploration of motherhood in messianic genealogies in “Mother Knows Best: Messianic Surrogacy and Sexploitation in Ruth” in Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and their Children (Brill), and a commentary on Ruth and article on responsible Christian exegesis of the Hebrew Scriptures in the African diasporic biblical commentary The Africana Bible
(Fortress). Dr. Gafney has also contributed to the Lutheran Study Bible, now available through Fortress, and is anticipating publication of a commentary on the book of Numbers in the “African Women’s Bible Commentary.” Her essay on transformative teaching practices will be published by the Society of Biblical Literature. A number of Dr. Gafney’s sermons in Jewish and Christian congregations, along with her complete profile, are posted on her LTSP profile page, www.Ltsp.edu/people/wgafney.
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The Rev. Phares O. Reitz, Diploma ’39, died July 15, 2010. Although not the oldest pastor in the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, he was the longest serving, having been ordained on May 24, 1939, at the age of twenty-two. He matriculated at Muhlenberg College at the age of 15, and graduated from LTSP in 1939. Following his ordination, Pastor Reitz served Berrysburg-Lykens in Dauphin County, PA (19391950); St. John Lutheran Church, Hamburg, PA (1950-1956); and St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Allentown, PA (1957-1975). From 1975 until his retirement in 1981, he was the administrative assistant to the president (bishop) of the synod. The Rev. William E. Dennis, BD ’50, STM ’62, 83, of Stroudsburg, PA, died on October 9, 2010, at home. Pastor Dennis graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, the class of 1947 with an AB degree. From there he attended LTSP, graduating in 1950 with his theological degree. Later he earned his STM from the seminary’s graduate school. The Rev. Larry Tropp, MDiv ’55, died on Saturday, February 13, 2010. The Rev. Martin L. Acker, BD ’57, died Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. He graduated from Muhlenberg College in 1954, and LTSP in 1957. He served as a student assistant minister in Souderton and Bethlehem, PA, from 1954 to 1956, while at the same time serving as weekend chaplain to the Lutheran students at Lehigh University. While still in his senior year at LTSP, he was called by the Board of American Missions of the United Lutheran Church of America to develop a mission congregation in King of Prussia, PA. The Rev. Charles E. Mertz, BD ’57, died June 10, 2010. Following his ordination in 1957, Pastor Mertz served Zion Lutheran Church, Spring City; Peace Lutheran Church, Cornwells Heights; St. John Lutheran Church, Tremont; Zion Lutheran Church, Donaldson; Christ’s United Lutheran Church, Ashland; and Reformation Lutheran Church, Reiffton. He retired in 1992. The Rev. Donald W. Wert, BD ’59, 77, of Lehighton, PA, died October 7, 2010, at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. He was the husband of Janice Ruth (Reichard) Wert. The couple celebrated its 56th wedding anniversary last July 31. He graduated from Moravian College, and LTSP in 1959. He was ordained on May 23, 1959, by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, fulfilling his long-time aspirations of becoming a pastor. The Rev. Richard Stephens, BD ’60, 78, of Harleysville, PA, retired pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Kulpsville, PA, died September 9, 2010, of kidney cancer at Grand View Hospital in Sellersville, PA. The Rev. Juan Cobrda, STM ’84, former bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), died July 1, 2010, after an illness. Cobrda, 79, was also a former bishop of the United Evangelical Lutheran Church (UELC) in Argentina. Cobrda attended LTSP From 1955 to 1958, and earned his STM at LTSP in 1984. The Rev. Arvo E. Beck, MDiv ’85, of Allentown, PA, passed away September 28, 2010, in his home. His wife, The Rev. Barbara A. Davis, died March 29, 2010. He is survived by daughters, Mia Clements of Oviedo, FL, and Elizabeth Beck of New Bronxville, TX; and six grandchildren. The Rev. Barbara A. Davis, MDiv ’87, died suddenly on March 29, 2010. Following her ordination in 1987, Pastor Davis served as pastor of Mediator Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, until 1990. In that year she married The Rev. Arvo Beck and became co-pastor with him of the Good News Parish in Greeley, Shohola and Lackawaxen, PA. From 1992 until 1997 she was engaged in advanced clinical pastoral education, and in 1997 she became assistant chaplain at Good Shepherd Home. She served there until her retirement in 2007. The Rev. E. Jeanne Beadle, TEEM, died suddenly on October 11, 2010. Ordained in 2003, she served throughout her ministry as the pastor of the Deaf Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church, Reading, PA. She was one of only eight pastors serving deaf congregations in the ELCA. Delores Russell Brown, MDiv UTI ’05, entered the Church Triumphant on May 25, 2010. Lois Amutha Fernando, MDiv ’08, died May 10, 2010, after a long illness. She is survived by her husband, Edwin Fernando, STM ’03, pastor of Nava Jeevan Lutheran Church, Kendall Park, NJ.
Priscilla Schlenker Kinney, former vice president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, and a member of the LTSP Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2010, died on April 15, 2010. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. Over the last twenty-two years she experienced several relapses and underwent a number of surgeries and treatments. The daughter of The Rev. Luther F. and Elizabeth Schlenker, and the wife of The Rev. George G. Kinney, Priscilla found countless ways to serve in a church that had not yet opened doors to women of her generation. In 1963 she was a delegate to the Lutheran World Federation student assembly in Helsinki, Finland. Her volunteer and community services ranged from organizing a nursery school at St. John, Jersey City, NJ, to serving as associate director of community ministries of Community of Hope in Atlanta, GA to being a member of the Board of Education of Plymouth, CT. Professionally, she worked for many years for social ministry organizations. She was director of admissions and social services for the Lutheran Home in Worcester, MA, and director of volunteer services and then director of residential services for the Lutheran Home at Topton. In the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod, she served on the social ministry team, stewardship committee, synod council, and strategic planning task force, and as a member of the board of LTSP. In 2001 she was elected vice president of the synod, an office she held until 2009. Priscilla is survived by her husband, The Rev. George Kinney, and by two daughters, Anne and Katherine. The Priscilla Schlenker Kinney Fund has been established at LTSP to provide student scholarship support. Gifts in Kinney’s name can be made online at www.Ltsp.edu/give — select the Fund in the “other” dropdown list.
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Campaigns for Scholarship Aid Launch in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York Synods
TWO CAMPAIGNS for student scholarship aid with goals totaling nearly $3 million began in the fall of 2010. Once these goals are attained, the funds will be permanently endowed and generate the equivalent of ten full tuition scholarships for seminary students. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod campaign aims to raise $2.5 million, and the Upstate New York Synod campaign has set a $250,000 goal as part of the synod’s comprehensive campaign plan. The success of these campaigns is critical to the future of the church and to seminary students. In a recent consultation with current LTSP students to discuss student debt and financial concerns, students felt torn between the need to work more hours outside of their studies to pay the bills while still finding time for quality study, reflection, and preparation. They expressed concern about students who did not return to the seminary for financial reasons or who were considering doing so. The students recognized the financial pressures on the seminary and other institutions of the church, but appealed for both increased financial support and guidance in keeping total student debt as low as possible. Unless addressed directly, the student debt problem will adversely impact not only the students of the seminary, but the church itself. Despite ongoing efforts to maintain low tuition rates, the cost of theological education continues to grow, and the number of financial requests for student aid made by LTSP students grows in kind. According to the ELCA, student indebtedness averages over $30,000. If the seminary cannot provide additional financial aid as needed, student debt will continue to get worse and potential future leaders of the church could be discouraged from pursuing seminary studies. Already many synods withhold candidacy applications for students if their personal student loan debt exceeds $20,000. Here are few points to consider: A recent LTSP entering class of 44 students had a median per capita debt burden of $32,611 before any seminary costs. This
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amount reflects the debt burden of all recent classes, with yearly increases raising the level of debt more than incrementally. The seminary in these economic times receives less support from synods and the ELCA (combined total is less than 10 percent of the budget) as it attempts to keep tuition and fees as low as possible. Currently, only 50 percent of the $26,000 annual cost to educate a student is met by tuition and fees. Seminary endowments, trusts, and gifts must meet the remaining 50 percent. Recognizing that graduating LTSP students will have, at best, modest compensation, they will face a formidable challenge as they assume leadership responsibilities in strengthening the mission of the church. LTSP, while attempting to keep student indebtedness in check, must also continue to strengthen its mission of faithful teaching in preparing ample numbers of future leaders for our church. Currently, LTSP provides 12 percent of its annual budget for student aid. Successful completion of this campaign will
move the seminary closer to its vision of offering 20 percent of the budget as student aid while relieving financial pressure on other aspects of the institution. The two campaigns for scholarship aid will offer direct support to current and future students preparing for ordained ministry and for other ministries of the church, and will help to ensure access to theological education of the highest order for generations of LTSP students to come. The success of this ambitious undertaking, on the heels of the successful Building in Faith for People of Faith campaign, will depend on the leadership of the seminary’s friends and supporters who may be in a position to help accomplish its goals. For more information on the scholarship aid campaigns in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York Synods, or for more information about the seminary’s efforts to address student indebtedness, please contact the LTSP Development Office at 215.248.6316 or [email protected]
Planned Gift Results in $1.3 Million for Student Aid
More than fifty years ago, Ethel Eby wrote a will providing for the creation of a trust to benefit her family upon her death. At the time, she wrote that when those family members passed away, the remainder of the trust funds would be used to benefit the students of The Lutheran Theological Seminary Philadelphia (LTSP). Mrs. Eby died in 1957. In August of 2010, the seminary was notified that it would receive $1.3 million to establish The Samuel E. & Ethel M. Eby Endowed Scholarship Fund. Samuel and Ethel Eby were members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Wallingford, Pennsylvania. Her foresight and commitment to the ministry of LTSP illustrate the incredible impact that planned gifts can have on future generations. The seminary gives thanks for her vision and to all those who have included LTSP in their estate plans. For information on planning giving opportunities, please contact Mr. Larry House, Director of Leadership Giving, at 215.248.7390 or [email protected]
First UCC Bridgeport
FIRST UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT, is a small congregation determined to make a big difference in its community and for its sister churches. On Sunday, May 2, 2010, the church presented gifts of $50,000 each to Lancaster Theological Seminary, a United Church of Christ (UCC) school, and to The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. First UCC, founded in 1894, had 600 members in the 1960s, but as its membership dwindled, the congregation chose to sell their building to the Bridgeport Tabernacle Seventh Day Adventist Church. The two congregations had a creative partnership, as Tabernacle had been meeting there already. The sale provided the UCC congregation with a substantial pool of resources for supporting ministry. The gifts to the seminaries came with the encouragement of First UCC’s pastor, The Rev. Karen DeWerth-Wamester, who is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). The church previously made significant gifts to local helping agencies including the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Bridgeport chapter of Habitat for Humanity,
John Kaufmann: Continuing to Serve LTSP
The Rev. Dr. John Kaufmann, long a vital member of the LTSP community who we wrote about in the Fall 2009 issue of PS, died December 5, 2009. His love for his alma mater and community was expressed in a $2 million bequest to LTSP, with a significant majority of the gift to be placed in a restricted fund called the John and Doris Kaufmann Fund for the Krauth Memorial Library. You can read more about Dr. Kaufmann and his gift online: www.Ltsp.edu/ JohnKaufmann.
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LTSP Appoints Vice President for Advancement/ Foundation Executive Director
The Rev. John V. Puotinen has been appointed as Vice President for Advancement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and Executive Director of the LTSP Foundation, according to The Rev. Dr. Philip D. Krey, seminary and foundation president. Pastor Puotinen was selected following a nationwide search. Pr. Puotinen comes to LTSP from the University of Dubuque/ Dubuque Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, where he has served as Senior Vice President of Development since 2005. He led the university through the concluding stages of a ten year capital campaign that concluded in 2008 with a record $128 million in gifts from over 4,700 donors. Before joining the University of Dubuque, Pr. Puotinen served as Vice President of the Foundation of Lutheran Life Communities, Arlington Heights, Illinois, a provider of services in Greater Chicago, along with development positions at Luther Manor, Milwaukee,Wisconsin, and Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, and was an investment executive with Piper, Jaffray, Inc. He was developer and founder of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Libertyville, Illinois. He is a pastor on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Pr. Puotinen received a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois. He began his service at LTSP in August 2010.
“First UCC Bridgeport” continued from page 35
and the Merton House food pantry (and several smaller churchbased food distribution sites), as well as to the Silver Lake Conference Center Scholarship Fund. Read a more detailed account and see photos online: www.Ltsp.edu/UCCBridgeport.
To make a donation to LTSP, please go to www.Ltsp.edu/give
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010 CONVOCATION 11:30 am
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 NOLDE LECTURE Tuesday, April 5, 2011 CONVOCATION
Teaching Church History in Seminary Curriculum
Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center
Sunday, December 5, 2010 ADVENT VESPERS 7:30 pm Grace Epiphany Church of Mt. Airy www.Ltsp.edu/adventvespers Tuesday, December 7, 2010 CONVOCATION 11:30 am Teaching Theology in Seminary Curriculum Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center Tuesday, February 15, 2011 CONVOCATION Teaching the Practice of Ministry in Seminary Curriculum 11:30 am Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center Tuesday, March 1, 2011 CONVOCATION Seminary Education: What the Church Expects? Bishop Roy Riley Sunday-Thursday March 13-17, 2011 PREACHING WITH POWER
Prof. Norma Cook-Everist, St. John’s Visiting Professor
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Women’s Day of REST, REFRESHMENT, RENEWAL LTSP Campus www.Ltsp.edu/restrefresh
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
FACULTY PANEL: Insights from the convocation series
Tuesday-Wednesday, May 3-4, 2011 SPRING CONVOCATION 2011 Tuesday, May 10, 2011 CONVOCATION
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