Inauguration of President Latini

United Lutheran Seminary Remembers Robert Jenson

United Lutheran Seminary marked the death of Robert W. Jenson September 5th with sadness and deep thanksgiving for his two decades of service to the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, a predecessor institution.

Jenson led a career of teaching and research that energized wide ranging Lutheran and ecumenical audiences, but anchored a generation of pastors and church leaders while serving on the faculty from 1968 to 1988.

United Lutheran Seminary President Theresa F. Latini said that “For a significant swath of alums, Robert Jenson was and is an iconic figure and a key energizing intellectual force for a generation of theologians, pastors, and church leaders.”

During the two decades he spend at Gettysburg, he served on Lutheran-Episcopal dialogue team from 1968 and was later attached to the Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue.  Among his many books Lutheranism: The Theological Movement and Its Confessional Writings (written with Eric Gritsch) and Visible Words anchored a new emphasis on and influence of systematic theology.  Jenson’s influence on sacramental theology and practices was extensive in the latter half of 20th Century Lutheranism.  To that end, and in reaction to a church statement on communion practices in the 1970’s, he participated in early communion of young baptized Christians, a practice the Seminary at Gettysburg had already adopted and, although controversial at the time, soon became the practice across the church.

With his friend, Carl Braaten, he served as a founding editor of Dialog: A Journal of Theology. After leaving Gettysburg, Jenson and Braaten founded the conservative Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology in 1991.  The center organized numerous ecumenical conferences, and began publishing a journal Pro Ecclesia.

To faculty colleague and historian Gerald Christianson, his “theology was not conservative (his social/ethical positions frequently were), but respectful of the tradition; nor was it ‘modern’ in the sense of following Whitehead or the 20th century moderns, but stressing the approach of Barth on the dynamic of the Word and the contrast between the gospel and religion.”  Christianson added, “I learned a great deal from him.”

Born August 2, 1930, Jenson was educated at Luther College, Decorah, IA, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, the University of Minnesota, the University of Heidelberg (Dr. Theol.), and the University of Basel, SW.  He was ordained in 1955 in the American Lutheran Church, and became rostered in the Lutheran Church in America in 1968.

Late in his career he completed work on his magnum opus, the two-volume Systematic Theology (1997–99), which has since been widely regarded as one of the most important and creative recent works of systematic theology. In a review of this work, Wolfhart Pannenberg described Jenson as “one of the most original and knowledgeable theologians of our time.”

President Emeritus Michael Cooper-White reflected on Jenson’s place in theological education: “Generations of us students at Gettysburg Seminary (now United Lutheran Seminary) were privileged to sit at the feet of this preeminent Lutheran theologian of the 20th century.  Jens’ indefatigable and unrelenting insistence on proclaiming God’s gospel of unconditional love will continue to reverberate even though his prolific pen has been put down and his provocative voice will no longer be heard among us.”

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Jenson’s funeral is scheduled for 3pm Saturday, September 16, 2017 at Trinity Church (Episcopal), 33 Mercer Street, Princeton, NJ. Memorial contributions should go to the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology. Please make out the check to CCET and send it to this address: CCET C/o Immanuel Lutheran Church, 122 East 88th Street, New York, NY 10128.

 

God’s Yes and No: A Response to the Violence in Charlottesville, VA

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The good news of the gospel is a profound “YES” spoken to humanity. Yes, we are justified by grace through faith. At the same time, the good news of the gospel contains within it a clear and unequivocal NO; otherwise it is not good news. It is a NO to the ways we sin against God and our neighbors. It it is a NO to white supremacy and anti-Semitism and its many expressions on full display in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend: flaming torches, Nazi chants, intimidation, physical violence, and murder. It also is a NO to attempts to justify white supremacy, including appeals to free speech and many sides.

 There are no sides when it comes to proclaiming this gospel. There is but one place to stand, to speak, to act, and to pray. It is the place where Jesus stands, alongside of and for the sake of the liberation of people of color from exploitation and oppression perpetuated by white persons and groups in order to advance their own wealth, power, and privilege.

United Lutheran Seminary joins those who have proclaimed God’s NO to the hatred and violence on full display not only in Charlottesville over the weekend but also each and every other day throughout the United States of America. We stand in solidarity with Bishop William Gohl and other alumni of our predecessor schools who made public witness in Charlottesville against racism. We pray with the ELCA conference of bishops for God’s kingdom to come on earth as in heaven. Trusting in the Spirit’s work among us, we commit ourselves to peace, justice, and reconciliation, without which our proclamation of the gospel rings hollow.

On behalf of United Lutheran Seminary,

The Reverend Dr. Theresa F. Latini, President
The Reverend Dr. Kristin Johnsten Largen, and
The Reverend Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, Co-Deans

 

Also signing in agreement to this statement are members of the faculty:

The Rev. Dr. Wayne Croft
The Rev. Dr. Katie Day
The Rev. Dr. Maria Erling
Dr. Vincent Evener
The Rev. Dr. Mark Vitalis Hoffman
The Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer
Dr. Michael Krentz
The Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard
The Rev. Dr. Mark Oldenburg
The Rev. Dr. Storm Swain
The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman
The Rev. Dr. Gilson Waldkoenig
The Rev. Dr. Angela Zimmann
The Rev. Dr. Martin Zimmann
The Rev. Dr. Alison de Forest
Mr. Evan Boyd

 

John Largen Appointed Interim Director of Contextual Formation

The Rev. Dr. John Largen will serve as for United Lutheran Seminary beginning August 1, 2017. In this one-year, half-time, interim appointment he will work closely with the Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard, Director of Field Formation, as well as other faculty and staff members supporting contextual and field education.

Reporting to United Lutheran Seminary Co-Dean Jayakiran Sebastian, Dr. Largen will have major responsibilities for internship placements, student assessment, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) evaluation, and the facilitation of good communication between the Seminary, supervisors, field education sites, and students.

Dr. Largen previously served many years at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina as the Pastor to the Seminary Community for Spiritual Formation. He has parish experience in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and he served as a longtime member of the ELCA Virginia Synod Candidacy Committee. He has also been an internship and field work supervisor for Gettysburg Seminary. He is a graduate of Newberry College, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and the Graduate Theological Foundation of South Bend, Indiana. Most recently, Dr. Largen was Chaplain for the Transition at Gettysburg Seminary and he taught the semester-long Spiritual Formation course at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Fourth Annual Craft Beer Brew Fest on Gettysburg’s Seminary Ridge 

United Lutheran Seminary To Hosts Popular Event

ULS17-15

Fourth annual event will feature a greater variety of local, regional and national craft brews and hard ciders— plus a truly unique Gettysburg experience!

GETTYSBURG, PA (July 25, 2017) – Tickets are still on sale for the fourth annual Gettysburg Brew Fest on historic Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg Saturday August 19th.  The event takes place from 3:30pm to 7pm.

The United Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg campus is preparing its historic grounds for the event that features an expanded array of 50 craft brewers and cideries, with multiple food vendors in a stunningly scenic and historical open field.

General Admission tickets are still available and on-sale now through the event’s website (www.GettysburgBrewFest.com) for $45 each and will be limited to 2,000 attendees to ensure a great experience will be had by all who attend. Another sell-out is anticipated. Designated drivers can share in the experience for just $20 each. All ticketed guests will receive a commemorative pint sampling glass. The Brew Fest, hosted by the historic seminary, is a key fundraiser for the historic preservation of the 185-year old campus. VIP tickets are sold out.

 

brew fest aerial photo

Craft Brew Fest on Seminary Ridge

“The Brew Fest further features one of the finest views and historic landscapes of the Battlefield in Gettysburg,” said seminary staff member John Spangler, “and opens this place to visitors who may not otherwise travel to the area as a result of interest in our history alone. Moreover, it showcases the Seminary’s view rich campus and Seminary Ridge Museum experience to residents and visitors who otherwise may not have access to this area of the first day of the battle,” he added

In the midst of the First Day Battlefield, with spectacular views of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and scenic South Mountains and set against the backdrop of the iconic building housing the Seminary Ridge Museum— the event offers attendees a unique setting that cannot be replicated elsewhere.

“The sold out 2014 – 2016 Gettysburg Brew Fests proved its popularity, attracting more than 2000 ticketed guests from dozens of U.S. states and Canada,” stated Curt Foreman, president and CEO of Brewfest Partners, co-producer of the event. Foreman added, “As testament to our already loyal following, we nearly doubled the available VIP tickets to 225 and sold them out in less than three days. The successful Gettysburg Firkin Fests, next one in November, certainly helped reinforce the type of quality events the Seminary hosts.”

In 2014, Gettysburg Seminary partnered with Foreman’s BrewFest Partners, based in Racine, Wisconsin. BrewFest Partners brings over 25 years of festival management experience, including executing 13 successful brew festivals in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida—and more.

For more information about the Gettysburg Brew Fest, visit www.gettysburgbrewfest.com

ABOUT THE United Lutheran Seminary: Formerly known as the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, United Lutheran Seminary is a leading graduate and professional theological school of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, on campuses in Gettysburg and Philadelphia, preparing outreach oriented pastors, mission leaders and public theologians for the 21st century church and world. Uniquely located at the historic crossroads of Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg, and Northwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania its graduates go on to serve dynamic ministries in churches, social ministry and other public service settings around the world.

Excitement Builds as United Lutheran Seminary Prepares to Welcome more than 60 New Students

Also Welcomes Admissions Staff Member, the Rev. Rebecca Erhlich

July 20, 2017 —  A newly configured United Lutheran Seminary staff and faculty is preparing to welcome more than 60 new students for the fall semester in the first professional degree areas, including preparation for pastoral ministry (Master of Divinity degree) and diaconal and other service areas (Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership).  The semester begins in late August, 2017, with shorter intensive format courses starting earlier in August and student orientation on August 26th.

The transitional year from the consolidation of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Gettysburg Seminary will include a strong majority of full time students distributed across the two historic campuses. Leading the admissions effort were Director of Admissions Nate Preisinger and the former Director for Admissions at Gettysburg Lauren Muratore. Muratore has since taken a call to parish ministry at Christ Lutheran Church, and Salem Lutheran Church, both in Baltimore, MD.

United Lutheran is also welcoming the Rev. Rebecca “Becca” Ehrlich as the Associate Director of Admissions based at the Gettysburg campus of ULS on August 1st, 2017. Her admissions work includes contacting prospective students, arranging and leading campus visits and prospective student days, and planning and leading discernment events.  Ehrlich grew up just north of Albany, NY in an interfaith household. She attended Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA for her undergraduate degree, and double-majored in Dance and Dramatic Arts Criticism. She then attended LaSalle University in Philadelphia, earning an M.A. in Theology and Ministry in 2007.  She began discerning a call to ordained ministry while at LaSalle, and entered the M.Div. degree program at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, graduating in 2011.

Ehrlich has been working in ministry over the last 13 years, doing mostly children, youth, and young adult/campus ministry work. She served in her first call as solo pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Frewsburg, NY and then served as one of the pastors at Zion Lutheran Church in Clarence Center, NY.

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Carlsons Accept New Call in Kearney, Neb.

United Lutheran Seminary announces that the Rev. Dr. Richard Carlson and the Rev. Dr. Michelle Carlson have received and accepted calls to serve as co-pastors of First Lutheran Church in Kearney, NE.

Richard Carlson, who was named to the inaugural faculty of United Lutheran Seminary, has taught New Testament and administered contextual education and post internship candidacy at Gettysburg Seminary since 1990, and for more than a decade as the Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies. He served in parishes in north Minnesota from 1983 to 1990, after receiving degrees from Concordia College (BA), Wartburg Seminary (MDiv.), and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Ph.D). Michelle Carlson, has served as pastor of Mt. Zion Haugh’s Lutheran Church in Keymar, MD since 2008. As an adjunct or visiting professor, she has taught at Gettysburg Seminary, Lancaster Seminary, Wesley Seminary and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (Garrett Seminary). She received her MDiv degree from Gettysburg in 2001 and PhD. In congregational studies from Garrett Seminary in Evanston, IL, in 2009. She has taught Christian education and directed Lifelong Learning for Gettysburg Seminary in recent years.

“For over a quarter century Prof. Rick Carlson has “opened the Scriptures” for seminarians and so many others throughout the church,” said the Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen, Co-Dean of United Lutheran Seminary. “He has also played a key role in Gettysburg Seminary’s outstanding contextual education and leadership formation programs. During the past decade Dr. Michelle Carlson has shared her wisdom teaching Christian education courses and directing Gettysburg’s lifelong learning programs for several years. And, Largen concluded, “both have been valuable colleagues to fellow members of the faculty.”

The Rev. Dr. Theresa F. Latini, President of United Lutheran Seminary, summed up the response of a grateful seminary community, saying “we express our profound gratitude to both Rick and Michelle Carlson for their outstanding contributions to seminary life and learning.” She continued, “That they now embrace co-pastoring a parish is but further evidence of their commitment to respond to God’s call and serve among the faithful in the ELCA’s Nebraska Synod.”

This call to serve as co-pastors will represent the first time that the two have worked directly together as ordained leaders in a church setting. The Carlsons are expected to begin their ministry at First Lutheran Church in Kearney this coming August 1st.

Two Historic Pennsylvania Seminaries Become United Lutheran Seminary July 1

At the exact midpoint of the 500th anniversary year of Martin Luther’s initiation of the 16th Century Reformation, two American theological seminaries with deep roots in Pennsylvania, will become one school. At the stroke of midnight, July 1, 2017 Gettysburg Seminary and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia will form United Lutheran Seminary on two campuses in Gettysburg and Philadelphia.

Gettysburg Campus Aerial

Gettysburg Campus

Founded in 1826, Gettysburg Seminary is the oldest continuing Lutheran theological school in the Americas. The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia got its start in 1864. Together the schools have graduated more than 10,000 church leaders who have served in religious and public contexts.

“The United Lutheran Seminary is a new venture founded on rich traditions,” said Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, speaking for the 3.8-million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). “It brings together urban and rural, Lutheran and ecumenical ministries,” she added.

United Lutheran Seminary opens with 325 students and 21 faculty members, with another 50 staff members working across the two campuses. The decision to unite came from a determination by both schools’ boards in January 2016 to create a stronger single theological seminary, one that could offer premier programs on both campuses, sustain a larger faculty than either alone, and offer enhanced learning formats in distributed, online and hybrid class settings. The campuses are located at 7301 Germantown Avenue, in Northwest Philadelphia and 61 Seminary Ridge in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Campus Aerial

Philadelphia Campus

As the united school comes into being, it will also receive its first leader, the Rev. Dr. Theresa F. Latini, who will assume the office of United Lutheran Seminary President as of July 1st. As the leader of the new theological school, Latini said the “strength of United Lutheran Seminary comes from its trust in God’s grace and its call to join Jesus’ ministry of healing, justice, and reconciliation.” She added “Our wide array of educational programs as well as our communal practices of worship and care will prepare students for faithful and innovative ministry in the twenty-first century.”

With the new school comes a newly-designed, integrative curriculum. Kristin Johnston Largen and Kiran Sebastian, co-deans of the Seminary, emphasize that faculty will offer interdisciplinary perspectives in classrooms in ways that enrich the pedagogy for seminarians.

Student debt for graduate seminarians remains an issue in today’s religious communities. United Lutheran Seminary offers unprecedented financial aid for its students, with full tuition scholarships for eligible full time ELCA students and generous matching of grants to students from other traditions up to full tuition levels.

United Lutheran Seminary begins its life fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Association of Theological Schools. The Department of Education of the Commonwealth of PA has issued approval of the consolidation of the two schools. All current students have pathways to complete their degrees in the normal timetable according to the school’s deans.

Both schools bring particular, distinctive gifts to the united school, with Philadelphia offering a specialized and broadly ecumenical Urban Theological Institute, and a large commuting population in the metropolitan area and Gettysburg contributing strong community life of residential learning and a commitment to green practices. The Gettysburg campus also features the award-winning Seminary Ridge Museum interpreting the national tensions of slavery and freedom in the historic seminary building that served as the largest fixed field hospital on the battlefield.

Even though President Latini will begin mid-summer, her inauguration is planned for November 2, 2017 in Lancaster, PA. She will live on both Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses, and serve as Professor of Pastoral Theology as well. July 1st also marks the retirement of Gettysburg Seminary President Michael Cooper-White after 17 years at the helm, and President David Lose of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, begins a new call to serve as senior pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN.

“May God bless students, faculty and staff as they set out on this journey together,” said Presiding Bishop Eaton, and “Godspeed!” to this new school.

United Lutheran Seminary Names Theresa Latini As Its First President

The United Lutheran Seminary named the Rev. Dr. Theresa F. Latini as the first president to lead the unified Seminary with campuses at Gettysburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

President-elect Latini, who will also be Professor of Practical Theology, will officially begin July 1, 2017, which is also the inaugural date of United Lutheran Seminary (ULS), a consolidation of two historic Lutheran Seminaries in Gettysburg and Philadelphia. ULS is the oldest seminary of the 3.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), dating to 1826.

United Lutheran Seminary - President - Theresa Latini

Latini comes to the presidency with extensive experience in theological education as an educator and administrator. She has written two books and many articles on topics such as Christian vocation, congregational leadership, and racial reconciliation. She previously served as the George C. Weinman Chair of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Luther Seminary and continues to advise students in Luther’s Ph.D. program. Currently, Latini is associate dean of diversity and cultural competency and professor of practical theology and pastoral care at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She has expertise in conflict mediation and has consulted with congregations and judicatories throughout the United States.

Latini will lead the new theological school, whose roots run deep in Lutheran identity in America and broadly across historically ecumenical Christian commitments. “I am honored and humbled to be called to serve as the first president of United Lutheran Seminary. Grounded in the promises of God, this bold and innovative union of two historic Lutheran institutions will enable us to educate and empower public Christian leaders for confessionally rooted, ecumenically connected, and interculturally competent ministry in the twenty-first century. I look forward to co-laboring with students, staff, and faculty at ULS and with colleagues throughout the ELCA as together we join God’s work of healing, justice, and reconciliation.”

An ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Latini’s background includes pastoral positions in Minneapolis, MN and Levittown, PA.  She received both her M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. The PCUSA has been a full communion partner of the ELCA since 1997. Full Communion partners share a commitment to interchange of clergy and an official recognition of agreement in essential doctrines and sacramental understanding.

The Rev. Dr. Elise Brown, who chairs the Seminary Board of Trustees, affirmed that “Dr. Latini brings a broad range of academic experience and expertise in pastoral care, cultural competency, diversity, and conflict resolution.” Brown continued, saying these “areas of expertise will serve United Lutheran Seminary and the wider church in forming leaders for the 21st century in a church that has undergone significant change.  We are thrilled a full communion partner with such deep passion for and understanding of Lutheran reformation theology and history has agreed to serve with us.”

Consulting with the Rev. Charles Miller, the leader of the search team, ELCA “Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was very affirmative of the ULS presidential search committee’s work and its decision to recommend Dr. Latini.”  During the search process, Miller also observed “After two interviews and some forty questions ranging from ‘what is a seminary?,’ ‘what does it mean to be Lutheran in America today?,’ and ‘how do you work with people who don’t agree with you?,’ Dr. Latini’s responses persuaded our committee that she was ULS leadership-ready! Her answers were thoughtful and theologically astute. Dr. Latini’s gifts and experience equip her exceptionally well to lead ULS in its pivotal and formative launching on July 1, 2017.”

President-elect Latini will begin as the Seminary President July 1, with a planned inauguration for November 2, 2017 in Lancaster, PA. She will live at both Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses with her husband, Tom van Deusen, and daughter Eleanor.

The search for a seminary president was launched last fall following the decisions of Gettysburg Seminary President Michael Cooper-White to retire after 17 years of service, and President David Lose of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, took a call to serve as senior pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN.


The United Lutheran Seminary, the oldest of the eight seminaries of the 3.8 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a consolidation of Gettysburg Seminary and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. One seminary on two campuses, ULS prepares women and men to be outreach oriented public theologians and mission leaders.  It provides programs in continuing studies, advanced theological education, and specialized educational programs for informed lay persons, ordained and other rostered church leaders. More information is available at the Seminary’s web site:  www.UnitedLutheranSeminary.edu  or by email info@ULS.edu or by phone at 717.338.3000.

An Update on the Teachers of United Lutheran Seminary

United Lutheran Seminary will begin with a 19-member faculty that embodies the depth, diversity, and breadth of teaching experience of a leading edge theological school.

Even as final offers from the board and acceptance by those offered positions were pending, the professors who will constitute the initial United Lutheran faculty have been working together shaping the new highly integrative curriculum for launch this summer. Following authorization by the new Board of Trustees in January, contract offers were extended and faculty members had a 30-day period in which to respond. Some current LTSP and LTSG faculty members will retire this summer, and Dr. Nelson Rivera has accepted a theology position at the Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. The Rev. Dr. Jayakiran Sebastian and the Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen will continue in the role of co-deans through the end of the calendar year, and selection of a permanent dean will involve faculty, the board and new president.

Those who will constitute the first faculty of United Lutheran in full- or part-time positions are:

  • Richard Carlson, Biblical Studies and Director of Contextual Formation
  • Wayne Croft, Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies
  • Katie Day, Church in Society
  • Maria Erling, Modern Church History and Global Missions
  • Vince Evener, Luther and Reformation Studies
  • John Hoffmeyer, Systematic Theology
  • Michael Krentz, Dean of the Chapel (Philadelphia Campus)
  • Kristin Johnston Largen, Systematic Theology
  • Charles Leonard, Practical Theology and Director of Field Education
  • Mark Oldenburg, Worship and Dean of the Chapel (Gettysburg Campus)
  • Jon Pahl, History of Christianity
  • J. Paul Rajeshekar, Systematic Theology
  • Quintin Robertson, African American Studies and Director of Urban Theological Institute
  • Brooks Schramm, Biblical Studies
  • Jayakiran Sebastian, Mission and Cultures
  • Storm Swain, Pastoral Care and Theology and Director of Anglican Studies
  • Mark Vitalis Hoffman, Biblical Studies
  • Gilson Waldkoenig, Church in Society and Director of Town & Country Church Institute
  • Karyn L. Wiseman, Homiletics

Presidents David Lose (Philadelphia) and Michael Cooper-White (Gettysburg) spoke of the faculty appointed to further shape and launch United Lutheran Seminary, which now has received final authorization from the accrediting agencies and Pennsylvania Department of Education. The two presidents, who will conclude service in June, stated: “This will be a premier cadre of scholar-teachers who bring to bear the rich legacies of two outstanding Lutheran institutions of theological education. The ULS faculty will be marked by diversity and depth, passion for their scholarly disciplines combined with a deep commitment to the formation of churchly leaders. In addition to mentoring students, they will be a great resource to the church, both in the sponsoring Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and in expanding ecumenical circles as well.”

Curriculum that is Integrative, Experiential, and Empowering

This faculty has given shape to a new curriculum that goes beyond a tweaking of the predecessor schools. United Lutheran Seminary will offer both degree and certificate study in expanding modes and locations, including residential, online and a variety of different hybrid courses. Degrees authorized by accreditors and the PA Department of Education include: Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership (MAML), Master of Arts (MA) (which will include a specialization in Public Leadership), Master of Sacred Theology (STM), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin). Certificate programs in Church Leadership and Christian Ministry through the Urban Theological Institute will continue as will the Youth Ministry Certification  School and the Certificate in Theological Studies.” The Seminary plans a robust Lifelong Learning program on both campuses. All current students, including PhD program students, will be supported through the completion of their degrees.

With United Lutheran Seminary’s path-breaking approach to theological education, students will be challenged to integrate, embody and demonstrate the capacities required for ministry.  The curriculum is designed to be integrative, experiential, and empowering, in order to form leaders who can step boldly into the current realities of ministry today, and who will be dynamic leaders for the church’s future.

Theological education is a holistic endeavor that includes not only classroom study, but also a variety of field education settings, connecting  the conceptual with the experiential, the science with the art of ministry. This innovative curriculum is designed to help students acquire and perfect skills they need for ministry. United Lutheran envisions preparing graduates in such a way that they can immediately step into a ministry setting with confidence that they can lead and inspire others. Watch for more detail about the exciting new approach to the ULS learning environment.

Presidential Search & Staff Organization

The fall launch of a presidential search also proceeds on schedule. Chair of the presidential search committee, the Rev. Charles Miller, reports that finalists have been selected from a strong field of candidates and are being interviewed. He remains optimistic that the committee will be able to recommend a candidate for election by the Board of Trustees at its April 20-21 meeting. If all proceeds as hoped, inauguration of the new president is scheduled for November 2nd.

The staff hiring also proceeds apace, with a number of key administrative staff positions now filled by current employees from both schools. Staff has been selected in admissions, advancement, academic and student services, communications and technology and other areas, with more interviews scheduled. An open search is underway for the Director of the Library (combining Krauth and Wentz libraries), who is expected to be named later this spring.