Disruption and Hope: Religious Traditions and the Future of Theological Education

from Interim President Dr. Richard Green

ULS President’s Newsletter | Spring Term 2018-19

Volume II, Issue 12

“After John had been arrested Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Gospel.’”( Mark 1:14-15, NJB)

Earlier in 2019, Barbara G. Wheeler edited a book of essays entitled Disruption and Hope: Religious Traditions and the Future of Theological Education to honor Daniel O. Aleshire, the retiring Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools, who served in that role for decades. Among the several essayists contributing to the book is David L. Tiede, the former President of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, whom I knew from my days as Dean and Vice President of Augsburg University in Minneapolis. While others chronicled the origins and rich histories of and prognostications of theological education of the Anglican, Catholic, Evangelical, Mormon, Methodist and other mainline religious traditions, I was most intrigued by David’s contribution: “Promises to Serve: Re-forming Lutheran Theological Education.”

In his chapter, David eagerly lends a Lutheran voice to the discussion in view of the consideration of disruptions faced in the God-given time of “turning” (metanoia or shuv). His essay provides a refreshing reminder of my earlier study of Lutheran theology and what is understood as our believing, belonging and behaving. Further his writing is very instructive in that he discusses “I. Promises to Serve”, “II. Re-forming Theological Education”, and “III. Called and Sent.” The latter discussion, “Called and Sent”, is of special interest to me in that he chooses to focus on the seven ELCA seminaries. It is reassuring that he mentions the historical statement, declaring it to true today: “As goes the seminary, so goes the church!” Have we lived up to that clarion charge? Has United Lutheran Seminary adhered to such a declaration? Can we attest to such an achievement?

ULS has experienced some sense of disruption; disruption of varying degrees! But by the grace of God we continue to live up to the “Evangelical” in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. DISRUPTION AND HOPE MAY ABOUND. But by the grace of God, we are at a better place than we were two years ago. The turning, the metanoia, the shuv, to which we have been called is upon us. Thanks be to God for God’s saving grace and the faith we as God’s followers, siblings in Christ, have in God to lead us to this point at ULS. “A Time for Turning” is upon us!

Dear Jesus Christ, our Lord God, we ask your divine guidance as we continue to serve you, as we have faith in your Word and serve as your hands in the offering of theological education in the name of you and our neighbors in this changing world. As a time of turning is upon us, we have much more to do in service to you.


Richard Green
Interim President
United Lutheran Seminary

Significant Events & Updates

Financial Support

Click the following link to view ULS Financial Support information for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Staff Updates

Dr Charles Leonard is now Director of Contextual Formation at ULS. He continues as Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Dean of the Philadelphia Chapel.

Deacon Chelle Huth is now Director of Field Formation. She will continue her responsibilities as Director of Lifelong Learning and Certificate Studies.

Deacon Nancy Gable is joining us as Consultant, Admissions. Rev. Nate Preisinger is also joining us as Consultant (part-time), Enrollment Services.

Please welcome Henry “Hank” Kussay to the Seminary Community. Bringing with him over 15 years of financial accounting and auditing experience, he will serve as our Interim Controller overseeing the Financial and Business Offices for ULS reporting directly to Dr. Green.

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