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ALPB => Your Turn => Topic started by: Scotty8284 on August 12, 2010, 08:54:56 AM

Title: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Scotty8284 on August 12, 2010, 08:54:56 AM
Since this seems to be of interest to many, I thought we could discuss it here.

Lutheran CORE presentations I've attended here in Western New York offered some interesting solutions for the short term that I think are very creative when it comes to pastoral education.

First thing mentioned was that the new church will be too small to invest in "bricks & mortar", so alternatives have to be found.

Second, basic subjects like Greek and Hebrew are the same regardless of the institution.  So a new seminary is not required for a good deal of the classes that would be offered.

It was mentioned that unlike the LC-MS, ELCA seminaries are not owned by the church.  According to the presenter, two seminaries, Luther and Southern, still have a number of orthodox professors on staff, and the seminary administrations are interested in working with NALC/CORE in creating a curriculum for orthodox students that would be approved by the new church.  (After all, as private institutions, their survival rests on filling the seats, and in good capitalist fashion, if this is what the market needs and they can supply it, it's the logical thing to do.)

In addition, there exist a number of orthodox seminaries.  I won't mention any names, but I believe there was one Methodist, two Anglican and one non-denominational suggested, where a "Lutheran Chair" could be established to provide for uniquely Lutheran content in those settings.

Another option being explored involved the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) and online courses.

I guess it boils down to this:  We're in a unique situation, and the old answers won't work (at least for the near term), so the committee really has to look outside the box in coming up with solutions for orthodox Lutherans.  I was impressed with the possibilities presented and increased my confidence in the many good people trying to bring forth a new Lutheran Church.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on August 12, 2010, 09:04:24 AM
items in the seminary education that will not be fulfilled in large part by online or even being a foreign part of another seminary is the community and formation a bricks and mortar place might provide.  Bricks and mortar discription fails to mention that people live in the bricks and mortar.   Harvey Mozolak
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: SmithL on August 12, 2010, 11:13:43 AM
It was mentioned that unlike the LC-MS, ELCA seminaries are not owned by the church. 

Really?  What controls does the ELCA have over their seminaries?
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: vicarbob on August 12, 2010, 01:32:45 PM
While harvey does present an excellent observation about bricks and mortar, alternative learning opportunities need to be offered as well. While it is true that 'community'is formed in traditional institutions those approved for the alternative route are more ofteh the not, second career. Clearly community has been formed with contempories within their respective Synod/Distict and local clergy conferences.
Scheduling 1 or 2 yearly gatherings of those preparing for this alternate learning is most beneficial. As stated before, i have been in a "process" for a LONG time and the "process" is ever evolving. However, learning for me has been within the community I have been called to serve and the clergy with whom I serve.
Grrk/Latin/ Hebrew are very good, but not for all, nor are they essential. I refer to many resourses in my sermon prep and have access to koine (?) Greek . A recent visit by a seminary professor to the congregation which I served left with wonderful comments about the sermon. Not one offer of "correction". I provided exegesis, and a solid, engaging sermon. Most importantly, the congregation was "hearing" what was being said. This was not learned in a traditional seminary setting, nor were the liturgical practices of the congregation. "you have clearly maintained the dignity of the Mass" was another comment offered.
This is not about "dumbing down" but "building up" persons called to serve the Church as ordained ministers-bishop/presbyter/deacon. All are not given the same gifts by the Holy Spirit, but eeach of us have been no less "gifted" to Proclaim His Word and Adminsiter His Mysteries.
Again I offer, K-I-S-S...keep it simple sinner/saint
pax
Still da PiT
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: John_Hannah on August 12, 2010, 03:29:26 PM
While harvey does present an excellent observation about bricks and mortar, alternative learning opportunities need to be offered as well. While it is true that 'community'is formed in traditional institutions those approved for the alternative route are more ofteh the not, second career. Clearly community has been formed with contempories within their respective Synod/Distict and local clergy conferences.
Scheduling 1 or 2 yearly gatherings of those preparing for this alternate learning is most beneficial. As stated before, i have been in a "process" for a LONG time and the "process" is ever evolving. However, learning for me has been within the community I have been called to serve and the clergy with whom I serve.
Grrk/Latin/ Hebrew are very good, but not for all, nor are they essential. I refer to many resourses in my sermon prep and have access to koine (?) Greek . A recent visit by a seminary professor to the congregation which I served left with wonderful comments about the sermon. Not one offer of "correction". I provided exegesis, and a solid, engaging sermon. Most importantly, the congregation was "hearing" what was being said. This was not learned in a traditional seminary setting, nor were the liturgical practices of the congregation. "you have clearly maintained the dignity of the Mass" was another comment offered.
This is not about "dumbing down" but "building up" persons called to serve the Church as ordained ministers-bishop/presbyter/deacon. All are not given the same gifts by the Holy Spirit, but eeach of us have been no less "gifted" to Proclaim His Word and Adminsiter His Mysteries.
Again I offer, K-I-S-S...keep it simple sinner/saint
pax
Still da PiT

BOB

When can we expect the ordination?

Peace, JOHN HANNAH
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on August 12, 2010, 04:24:05 PM
[I have moved this over from the ELCA church thread Thanks for starting this one]

Where are the 358 pastors needed now with more congregations forming to that growing number? Does LCMC have enough pastors now? How many of those are retired or approaching with less than 5-8 years of service to give?

And the seminaries needed are not yet even off the drawing board. You need trained seminary professors. They are even harder to grow.

Point well taken L Smith.

I think this is a real challenge for all. I often pray for (and sometimes with) those in LCMC/CORE. But the question is bigger, and we need some serious "Praying to the Lord of the Harvest" at this time.

We (The AALC) have mature pastoral formation/sem processes, students, graduates, and pastors available, BUT I cannot imagine how we would handle a flood of 400 plus immediate needs - and associated pastoral transfers. I'm not sure LCMS could, without serious disruption.

I look at my engagement with LCMS's SMP/Deacon evolution the last decade and have two thoughts. First the trials of birthing such pastoral formation efforts are not trivial nor easy, and certainly not instantly available this month. It takes many years. Over a decade with the active and engaged support of two centuriy old Seminaries and Professors and libraries ... and SMP isn't quite there yet. Secondly I am thankful for that history, as it does show how it can be done, and for the infant results emerging as available to respond. Even the M Div/MTS dual track AALC system is heavily dependent on years of watching these LCMS struggles, and adapting

This is not easy and it spills over far beyond the LCMC/CORE challenge. LCMS is not so big that even she can ignore the reality. We in The AALC just keep receiving, one church here, one servant there, at a time, and pray most earnestly to the Lord of the Harvest.

400-1000 is a lot of burden to lay on the impending baby boomer demographic already looming. Some say its just a move over by the pastor with congregation, but the truth is that the musical chair vacancy illusion will "stop the music,' and provide a wake up cal to cold water as things unfold. MHO

TV
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on August 12, 2010, 04:39:36 PM
I'll add to the thread for questions if anyone wishes, the 10 year pay as you go path experiences, I took.

I have studied:

With mentors, (including retired sem profs)
And side classes from non-sem schools.
In a regional "House" with several professors, some active pastors (what I call church basement seminary)
With Seminary Professors (CTS/FW) in their DELTO distance ed program.
With Video Conferencing formal MTS classes (ALTS)

I obviously have some opinions, and have classmates that transferred to brick and mortar (ex:CSL) who have provided me with comparison feedback.

Any questions please feel free to ask.

TV

Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Evangel on August 12, 2010, 07:11:23 PM
Moved this over here from "The thread for info on churches voting to leave the ELCA & all follow-up."

On the other hand, LCMS, AFLC, and WELS have excellent places of pastoral formation and they (well at least the LCMS and AFLC) have been open to being utilized by other Lutheran bodies...  Orthodox Lutheran Seminaries are available.

Quite true.  Do realize that, unless something has changed most recently, it would be the graduate division via the MA (or PhD) that would be open to folks of denominations that are not in fellowship with the LCMS, not the MDiv.

Yes, but that should pose no problem. One would expect that if someone from LCMC, for example, came to the LCMS seminary in St. Louis, they would get the MA, but their coordinating committee anad colloquey committee would accept this as in fact an M.Div equivalent. The training would be there, the internship would have to be worked out through their own associations.

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Rob Buechler

Critical Mass for a seminary on the mission field is usually about 10 students.  Now that means a professor may teach every course the students take, or may bring in a retired pastor for a month or two, or whatever they can get.  The students might have to work as well.  That is not a bad thing.

That doesn't get you the nice dining hall, or the pretty chapel, or the museum...err library. ( Give them LOGOS Silver with Luther Works, the Concordia Electronic Library and a few other things... they'll save a lot of $$0 Have 3-4 pastors of good teaching and mentoring skills and you can still do it.

As my deacons are known to adapt - the purpose of all ceremonies is to give people what they need to know about Christ.  The adaption here - the purpose of all seminaries is to prepare men to give the people God calls and marks/will mark as His what they need to know about Christ.

WIll it produce scholars in ivory towers?  Possibly, but that isn't its goal.  Its goal is to produce men ready for the pastorate, and ready to proclaim Christ that His people may reflect HIs glory to a world hid in darkness.

There are two organizations that have appeared in the last 4 years or so.  The Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) and the Beyond the River Academy (BTRA).  BTRA got up and running first and has had a few dozen students, including a half dozen or so now pastors like me (I'm from the first class of BTRA students).  BTRA has a charter not to provide MDiv degrees but to train and certify experienced laypeople to be pastors.

ILT has something like a dozen people in an MDiv program that has just completed its first year.  They have also rolled out a pastoral certification program somewhat similar to BTRA - I think I've heard they have a number of people in that program as well.

Since the LCMC requirement for Ministry is an MDiv "or equivalent", the combination of the BTRA program or ILT's pastoral certification program plus years of life experience have been considered the "or equivalent".

I pretty sure that all three of these options are open to potential pastors in LCMC, NALC, or any other Lutheran church body that would wish to use them. 

{new material} TV, I'd compare BTRA to the regional "House"/church basement seminary with some technology to make it do-able largely on-line.  ILT is probably more like the DELTO program run by a seminary with sem profs doing the teaching on-line.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Jim Butler on August 12, 2010, 07:46:47 PM
Since this seems to be of interest to many, I thought we could discuss it here.

Lutheran CORE presentations I've attended here in Western New York offered some interesting solutions for the short term that I think are very creative when it comes to pastoral education.

First thing mentioned was that the new church will be too small to invest in "bricks & mortar", so alternatives have to be found.

Second, basic subjects like Greek and Hebrew are the same regardless of the institution.  So a new seminary is not required for a good deal of the classes that would be offered.

It was mentioned that unlike the LC-MS, ELCA seminaries are not owned by the church.  According to the presenter, two seminaries, Luther and Southern, still have a number of orthodox professors on staff, and the seminary administrations are interested in working with NALC/CORE in creating a curriculum for orthodox students that would be approved by the new church.  (After all, as private institutions, their survival rests on filling the seats, and in good capitalist fashion, if this is what the market needs and they can supply it, it's the logical thing to do.)

In addition, there exist a number of orthodox seminaries.  I won't mention any names, but I believe there was one Methodist, two Anglican and one non-denominational suggested, where a "Lutheran Chair" could be established to provide for uniquely Lutheran content in those settings.

Another option being explored involved the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) and online courses.

I guess it boils down to this:  We're in a unique situation, and the old answers won't work (at least for the near term), so the committee really has to look outside the box in coming up with solutions for orthodox Lutherans.  I was impressed with the possibilities presented and increased my confidence in the many good people trying to bring forth a new Lutheran Church.

I'm seriously trying to stay away from posting. It takes too much of my time.

However, this is an issue that has been on my heart.

I want the NALC/LCMC to succeed. At our convention, we in the LCMS said that we want to support those movements.

I'd like us to open our seminary doors to NALC/LCMC students.

I know, traditionally we've done just LCMS students, but we did open our doors to students from the AALC before we were in fellowship. We might have to develop a more strictly academic MDiv for those students--e.g. vicarage after seminary which their church body would have to work with them on--and yes, we'd have to figure out how to handle women (they could be enrolled in our deaconess program at our seminaries which is a strong program or we could let them get a three year, academic MDiv and do what they want like Fuller, Gordon-Conwell, and other seminaries do).

But man, the impact we could have! And the impact the interaction of those students with LCMS people could have on us. I think it would really be a positive thing.

OK, other LCMS people, esp. Prof. Gard--could this be possible? Could we get creative and develop something like this to really support these fledgling bodies?
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: loschwitz on August 12, 2010, 08:10:14 PM
JEButler writes that traditionally St. Louis has just done LCMS students.

Once upon a time, though, St. Louis provided training for members of the young Norwegian Synod.  This was back in the 1850s into the 1870s.  There was even a Norwegian professor on the faculty, first Lauritz Larsen and later Friedrich Schmidt. 

A number of pastors did come out of the program, and yet there was an undercurrent of friction.  During the Civil War the strongly Unionist Norwegians were unhappy with Dr. Walther's sympathy for the Confederacy and his support of slavery.    Friedrich Schmidt, of course, touched off the election controversy when he criticized Dr. Walther's crypto Calvinism.  The Norwegian connection pretty much ended in 1876 with the founding of Luther Seminary.  Nonetheless many years later the Norwegians returned and proceeded  to wreak havoc upon 801. 

Does Concordia really want these people back a third time?

Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Evangel on August 12, 2010, 08:31:38 PM
I thought some connections were being built between ILT and Concordia SL - I don't know the extent of those connections though I recall Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto was on  the faculty listing at ILT (http://www.ilt.org/Faculty.html).

A couple of years ago there were some representatives of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines at an LCMC event pitching their seminary to potential LCMC seminarians.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Kforni on August 14, 2010, 10:06:47 AM
The "house of studies" approach is an intriguing element in the mix of options for the emerging Lutheran church bodies.  The development of such a site (among various sites) in a predominately Hispanic - Latino context in the USA could go a long way in strengthening mission development in that rapidly growing demographic reality.  There could be a network of such houses, linked with more institutional and on-line theological education components, all contributing to the formation of orthodox, confessional, mission-focused Lutheran pastors.   A variation on this theme could be the use of existing houses or properties on appropriate seminary campuses. 
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: vicarbob on August 14, 2010, 08:08:32 PM


BOB

When can we expect the ordination?

Peace, JOHN HANNAH

[/quote]

LONG>>>>>PAINFUL         STORY
Still a Pastoral Vicar
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on August 14, 2010, 08:36:31 PM
The M.Div. at both LCMS seminaries has been restricted to men preparing for the pastoral ministry of the LCMS. Fort Wayne has hosted the AALC students for several years and was instrumental in bringing about fellowship between the two Synods. We have also trained many students from around the world at the request of their Church bodies.

One immediate option is the M.A.- students could be admitted to that in short order. Those credits could be applied toward a M.Div. when and if a path is developed. I think that it is possible to also open up the M.Div. to men preparing to be pastors. A number of protocols would need to be established (field work, vicarage, etc). Both of our seminaries are what they are confessional, conservative and orthodox Lutheran institutions.

Personally, I would like to see this but I have no real voice in the matter. Fort Wayne has always been the missional (to use a modern term) seminary and Dr. Dean Wenthe, our president, continues that tradition. If the emerging Lutheran bodies approached him, I am certain that he would do what he can. I suspect that the new Synodical President would also want to use our resources to encourage confessionalism.
.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Harvey_Mozolak on August 14, 2010, 09:04:44 PM
But Daniel could you allow our women seminarians?  Harvey Mozolak
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Evangel on August 14, 2010, 09:32:59 PM
...
A couple of years ago there were some representatives of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines at an LCMC event pitching their seminary to potential LCMC seminarians.

What is the relationship between the two US Concordia's and St. Catharines?  Anything beyond the sharing of the name Concordia?
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on August 14, 2010, 09:35:59 PM
But Daniel could you allow our women seminarians?  Harvey Mozolak

Again, I am only speculating and speak for no one but myself. Any official reaction would have to come from those charged with leading the seminaries.

Here is my guess. If other hurdles could be overcome, men might be admitted into the M.Div. I do not see either seminary admitting women to the M.Div. or training future women pastors in other degree programs. To do so would be contrary to what we as a Synod believe, teach and confess. Nor would there be any compromise in our Synods positions on other issues like Eucharistic practice or higher critical studies of the Bible.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: LutherMan on August 14, 2010, 09:40:16 PM
...
A couple of years ago there were some representatives of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines at an LCMC event pitching their seminary to potential LCMC seminarians.

What is the relationship between the two US Concordia's and St. Catharines?  Anything beyond the sharing of the name Concordia?
The two Concordia Sem's in Canada used to be LCMS sems until 1988.  Now, they are in fellowship with us via the Lutheran Church-Canada. (which used to be a district)  Same doctrine, for the most part, except Canada seems to be a tad more confessional.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on August 14, 2010, 09:41:43 PM
...
A couple of years ago there were some representatives of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines at an LCMC event pitching their seminary to potential LCMC seminarians.

What is the relationship between the two US Concordia's and St. Catharines?  Anything beyond the sharing of the name Concordia?

Concordia Edmonton and Concordia St. Catherines are the seminaries of the Lutheran Church - Canada, the sister Synod of the LCMS. The LCC was once part of the LCMS but formed a national Synod some years ago. We share a common heritage and theological position. Since we are in fellowship, our pastors can serve in each others parishes and transfer betweren the two Synods and parishoners are welcomed at the altars of either Synod.

St Catherines was founded by Concordia Theological Seminary - Fort Wayne through the efforts of Dr. Robert Preus and Canadian leaders.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Weedon on August 14, 2010, 09:46:20 PM
AND St. Catharines boasts the fabulous Dr. John R. Stephenson on its faculty.  An amazing scholar and writer!
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Evangel on August 14, 2010, 09:49:48 PM
OK, just sayin' ... St Catharines was at an LCMC event a couple of years back offering their services for LCMC seminarians ... I have no idea if there are any who went that way.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: LutherMan on August 14, 2010, 09:51:36 PM
We collided again in answering, Dr. Gard.  I like being on the same page with you and Weedon. :)   Walking together and all that. :)
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on August 14, 2010, 09:53:34 PM
We collided again in answering, Dr. Gard.  I like being on the same page with you and Weedon. :)   Walking together and all that. :)

i must be doing something right!
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Erma S. Wolf on August 14, 2010, 10:21:14 PM
    I have hesitated to enter into this discussion, as I will not be part of the NALC and am not in any kind of position to speak for what that body will or will not approve regarding appropriate education and candidacy procedures for those seeking to serve as pastors in that church.  However, since I am still the co-chair of the Lutheran CORE working group on Theological Education, and have discussed with others the needs of those both remaining in the ELCA and those who will be in the NALC and who are/will be candidates for the ordained ministry, I will speak up in a limited way.

   In looking at what is currently available in the way of seminary education for Lutherans in the United States (and to a limited extent in Canada), the main thought right now is to try and determine which, among all of the possibilities out there, would best serve those who after all want to serve in Lutheran parishes, especially those who view themselves as being somewhat "moderate" and orthodox, confessional, and traditional.  While the NALC will not be looking to establish a "bricks and mortar" seminary, there is concern for how to gather people together in some physical form or fashion (and not just by the internet) to establish an ethos that reflects the kind of church the NALC plans to be.  And while those planning to serve in the ELCA will be under the supervision of the ELCA candidacy committees in the synods, Lutheran CORE hopes to be a supportive link to those who seek it, in order to be able to stay in the ELCA even though holding one of the, shall we say, "less popular" of the positions regarding PALMSGRs among the clergy and the blessing of such relationships. 

    Seminary education at non-ELCA seminaries has been allowed in the ELCA since its beginning, and it is anticipated that the NALC will have to work with candidates at various seminaries, some perhaps of the ELCA, others still Lutheran but non-ELCA, and still other schools which are non-Lutheran.  While the fine seminaries of the LC/MS have come up as possibilities for such training, it has been recognized by all on the L-CORE working group that this is not at the present time available for those who are not candidates for ministry in the Missouri Synod.  And there have been some questions raised that the training at a Missouri Synod school would be so geared to the policies and polity of the LC/MS that it would be of questionable workability for anyone heading to ordination in another Lutheran body.  It is also recognized that since the NALC plans to have women ordained to the office of ordained ministry as well as men, that Missouri Synod seminaries will not work for them.  Obviously, for women remaining in the ELCA, attending LC/MS seminaries in order to obtain the M.Div. degree would be a non-starter. 

     I bring this up here because I don't want anyone to get the idea that either Lutheran CORE or the NALC have any plans to try to "convince" the Missouri Synod that they should change their policies (or theology) in order to allow confessional women candidates for the ministry to attend those schools in the Master of Divinity track.  I think it is important to respect the deeply held beliefs of the Missouri Synod on this matter, including this church body's teaching on how Scripture is to be understood on this matter.  While we may disagree with this understanding, it is possible to have mutual respect and seek other ways in which the Missouri Synod might be able to assist other confessional traditional Lutherans in other church bodies.   

 
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: SmithL on August 19, 2010, 11:13:40 AM
As ELCA splits, S.D. seminary may benefit

Argus Leader: http://www.argusleader.com/article/20100819/NEWS/8190323/1001 (http://www.argusleader.com/article/20100819/NEWS/8190323/1001)
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on August 28, 2010, 02:09:49 AM
Sprung up on another thread but seems beter here.

But if such pastors are few and far between, then the basic premise that recent graduates of ELCA seminaries are not likely to be theologically orthodox is not disproven.


But that was not the basic premise I rebutted.  The premise to which I objected, and to which I will continue to object is that ELCA congregations can have no reasonable hope (http://www.alpb.org/forum/index.php?topic=3149.msg171011#msg171011) that they will receive confessionally orthodox graduates from their seminaries.  That simply is not so.  I continue to meet recent graduates from ELCA seminaries who are confessionally orthodox, including at last year's CWA, at Retreats of the Society of the Holy Trinity, and (most recently) at this week's conference and convocations in Columbus.

spt+

OK, if you're going to insist on picking nits, what percentage of ELCA Seminary graduates must be confessionally orthodox for a congregation to have a "reasonable" hope that any recent graduate of an ELCA seminary sent to them by their bishop's office for consideration in order for it to be "reasonable"? Is having only 1 out of every 10 "reasonable", or would 4 out of 5 be "reasonable"? If you insist on picking nits about what is "reasonable", then it is only reasonable that you articulate more specifically what you mean by "reasonable".

I said "not likely", which I interpret as meaning that less than half of the graduates of ELCA seminaries can be expected to be "confessionally orthodox".

Some thoughts on this to the point of the thread to follow.

TV
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on August 28, 2010, 02:29:01 AM
Pastor Tibbetts,

As we (I in joint ministries and AALC in conversations) engage ELCA sem garduates, liberal and conservative, there are some stark differences in what comes from conservative LCMS sems, ALTS, (and I presume WELS and AFLC etc.) in a framework sense. The "buzz words and phrases" used by those from ELCA sems are strange and alien phrases .... even those who I consider to be conservative partners in the faith. George's question is not totally out of line.

My experience is with teachers from St. Louis and Ft Wayne sources, and Fort Wayne instructors prior to transferring to the AALC. Afterwards with ALTS, I have also been exposed to some non-LCMS teachings from texts by those  like Forde and Braaten (ex: Principles of Lutheran Theology et al) My contemporary friends have been on campus and distance ed from places like St. Louis in LCMS and Gettysburg in Core.

There really is a cultural rift in my opinion. That is something the new bodies will need to address at some level. Simply going to ELCA (or other denom) sems without a well thought out mentor process to this point, will be very difficult if possible at all. I would think the remaining orthodox professors need to be gathered in some way, even it is only among those retired.

In the AALC for those transferring, we strongly encourage a few classes from ALTS on this point doctrinally and also an American Lutheran History perspective. I would think LCMC and NALC need to consider such things. Some recognition of the war zone from which you come, needs to be admitted, no? ???

FWIW,
TV
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on August 28, 2010, 02:56:17 AM
From Dr Root thread, as more applicable here?

I doubt any CORE student would go through a LCMS seminary program for three years and come out still thinking that the ordination of women is a Biblical or Confessional concept.

BUT --
it's been my experience that most LCMS pastors, faculty, and students would make their point by respectful interaction and not by ridicule, shaming, bullying, or any of the other coercive tactics mentioned above.
When I've been in venues (and I go to a number of them) with LCMS pastors, they don't go out of their way to find out what points of theology as I confess it may be weak, or, in their view, heretical.  I am aware of some of the tactics that traditionalist folks at Luther or Wartburg have had to endure, and I must say I've not seen or experienced anything close to that at St. Louis or Ft. Wayne about any issue, let alone women's ordination. 
Lou

My experience is that when I went to seminary, I believed in women's ordination, having recently come from Luther and the hermeneutic in use there.  What I found was that over an extended period of study in hermeneutics and theology on topics that were not directly related to WO in any way, I discovered that I could not hold to certain teachings consistently while holding to WO.  This realization came as I began to study about the so-called "New Perspective" on Paul and discovered heremeneutical methods that would both authorize WO and call into question the teaching of justification.  It was a watershed for me, and I realized that as much as I prized (note agency and the emphasis upon what I liked) WO, I could no longer hold it.

And no, there was never any type of inquisition or questioning to ferret out secret WO supporters but rather the kind, patient and consistent (and fun!) teaching of the faith as it has been handed down.  That's how it should be.

In my distance ed classes with the Ft Wayne Profs, I would agree with their approach as being kind, patient, and consistent, willing to hear without "tactics," and address things not part of the "party line." These "tactics to be endured" are not something I would expect from LCMS sems. They genuinely believe what they teach, and trust that their teaching of it will stand on simple proclamation of the Word. If you start with the Word ha the power, you act like you trust that, and not clever theories.

TV
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Dave Benke on August 28, 2010, 08:08:14 AM
Regarding the admission of women to the M.Div. program at Missouri seminaries - there are women at our seminaries now in Master's and Doctoral programs.  I'm sure some to many of the courses are intertwined with the M.Div. courses, aren't they?  Are the students segregated by gender?  Are the women told they can't listen to parts of the lecture, or forbidden from reading in class?  I wouldn't think so on any account.

I note with paternal pride the latest issue of the Concordia Journal.  It's all about the Creation/First Article, with the featured articles by Chuck Arand.  His initial assignment in this regard came through a synodical resolution for the Missouri CTCR to study creation and environment.  My congregation in Brooklyn submitted that resolution, the only resolution on the topic.  Anyway, the final article is co-authored by Chuck and Beth Hoeltke, whose Ph.D. studies there at the seminary are listed as "Theology of Creation Ethics."  My hunch is she's taken a bunch of systematics courses, maybe even snuck in some exegetics and history.

So, since there are female advanced degree participants at both seminaries, why could not a Master's degree be obtained by the women from these new bodies from our seminaries? 

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: ptmccain on August 28, 2010, 09:22:14 AM
Dave, women can, and do, obtain Masters degrees from both of our seminaries. They are Masters of Arts in Religion. M.Div. degrees are reserved for men preparing for the Office, since the M.Div. degree has requirements that are specific to the pastoral ministry: preaching, doing liturgy, etc. etc. etc.

My good friend and colleague at Concordia Publishing House has her B.A. in theology from Concordia River Forest, Biblical language major, and her M.A.R. from CTS Fort Wayne, Deaconess Pamela Nielsen, wonder-working curriculum editor, etc. And we have a couple other ladies on staff who have their earned M.A.R. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

How many of your district staff members are women with Masters degrees from either of our seminaries?

 ;)
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on August 28, 2010, 11:50:09 AM
Speaking only for Fort Wayne (though I believe that the same is true at Saint Louis), women are fully integrated in almost all courses with men. Much of the M.A. degree program overlaps with the M.Div. As a result, I will have both men and women in my Pent I, Major Prophets and even Pastoral Counseling classes this Fall. This is a very different dynamic than a few years ago but I think a healthy one. Incidently, some of my best students are the women.

To add to Paul's comment, the new Lutheran Witness editor is Adriane Dorr, who received her M.A. from CTSFW last year. This is an amazing young woman with tremendous skills and a sharp theological mind. She is also a strongly confessional Lutheran who understands and supports our Synod's theology.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: ptmccain on August 28, 2010, 01:57:22 PM
I have a hunch that a number of the LCMS folks here who talk a "good game" about women's service in the Church, actually have very little meaningful contact with well educated, theologically trained, M.A. level type women, in the terms of a close, working relationship as peers and colleagues. I find that rather, well, amusing, actually.

Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Timotheus Verinus on August 28, 2010, 02:30:17 PM
Speaking only for Fort Wayne (though I believe that the same is true at Saint Louis), women are fully integrated in almost all courses with men. Much of the M.A. degree program overlaps with the M.Div. As a result, I will have both men and women in my Pent I, Major Prophets and even Pastoral Counseling classes this Fall. This is a very different dynamic than a few years ago but I think a healthy one. Incidently, some of my best students are the women.

To add to Paul's comment, the new Lutheran Witness editor is Adriane Dorr, who received her M.A. from CTSFW last year. This is an amazing young woman with tremendous skills and a sharp theological mind. She is also a strongly confessional Lutheran who understands and supports our Synod's theology.

Thank you Chaplain Gard. I was hoping you would respond. Your reply provides some insights that those in the ELCA/LCMC/NALC may not appreciate.

First, the mistaken thought that women are diminished or limited in Confessional bodies, in capability or training. That simply is not true. My wife along with Systematics and OT and Pastoral Care, also took two Homietics and two Liturgy classes. (are those to be for MDiv only?) These have stood her very well in her work in Women's Prison's even where a formal "DS" setting is not present. She was not prohibited in LCMS nor AALC. The young LCMS deaconess (MAR) down the road was known for her brilliant classroom work at St. Louis a few years back. All these talents are appreciated. While I agree with everyone's opinion of Erma's message at the recent Core convocation, I have heard the same, from LCMS trained women appreciated by those they spoke to. My wife's presentation to the AALC convention met our simple criteria... "they laughed in Joy, they cried in repentence, they heard about Jesus," and powerfully so. The confessional Lutheran bodies do not say that women are not as capable, and often on occasion and circumstance more so, than many men at that level. That is not the confessional argument.

The second point running through the thread is whether, if LCMC/NALC women were allowed into MAR etc. classes at FtW and SL, with some sort of passive knowledge that this would be a part of an MDiv program, what is it they would learn there? We already have examples of folks like Sandra who in study at ELCA schools became aware of a different understanding of God's Word, that led her to decline the path she was on. Your example of Dcs Dorr, Paul's examples, and the two I bring above, indicate that they will be influenced to confessional teachings on WO, and not come out with a passion - "to be a pastor." That might be something LCMC/NALC would want to think about.

Of course, my discussions on things like TCT and buzz phrases like "order of creation" in LCMS, are still part of the conversation, but I wouldn't take those to mean that what Chaplain Gard and others might teach at the LCMS sems are ever going to come from the same world view, same theological perspective, as those that have touched LCMC/NALC. They self evidently are not. And despite rumors, the women in training there are not compelled to shut up, listen, and take notes. They engage. As above those professors encourage, in patient spirit, discussing and struggling through those questions. The answers they arrive at mirror the experiences Scott made note of.

The question may not be, "Will LCMS let us?" but "Do you really want to send them there?" because they are going to teach from their hermeneutic. And it is powerfully compelling, and not an obsolete conservatism. The AALC answered, "yes,. we 'really,' want to send our people there," but then we only ordain men as pastors. That's a result we expect.

TV

PS. For Paul - A friendly barb in reply  ;D...
I have a hunch that a number of the LCMS folks here ...  have very little meaningful contact with .. M.A. level type women, in the terms of a close, working relationship ... I find that rather, well, amusing, actually.
And some who work in Synodical agencies and seminaries, do not have close working relationships and shining witness with those women at the congregation, who toil in small church basements, prison cells, hospital rooms, and the homes of simple pew sitters in "Nowhere Wilderness North Dakota." What is seen in both places is the same, none the less, even if the game they talk is only about, the one deaconess at their church. Don't make enemies of your allies.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Dave Benke on August 28, 2010, 03:04:24 PM
Hmmm.  Our women staff outnumber the men at the Atlantic District.  I'll let them know you don't think I have meaningful contact with educated women.  They'll get back to you.  Several of our direct staff have Master's degrees, all have Bachelor's degrees.  Our adjunct female leaders at the Counseling Center we sponsor or our educational consortium have earned doctorates.  The training grounds in religion or education out here would include Hunter College (teachers), St. John's University, Columbia, Fordham, NYU, Yale/Harvard, etc.  A bundle of our men have gotten their earned Th/Ph.D's from Fordham recently - a great theological education.  My certificate doctorate (D.Min) is from New York Theological Seminary. This being the Financial Capitol of the World, there are more MBAs per square inch than the rest of the planet, and women often advise us in the area of finance and investment.

I'm not sure what floats your particular boat, Paul, with the sardonic thing you invariably do.  Speaking for one district, and I would think way more than one, when it comes to eduated women, women in ministry positions in districts, and minority women in leadership roles in parishes and wider church activities you're off in a world of your own invention, not the one in which we live.   Our graduate of the Ft. Wayne Deaconess program will be installed in the Bronx in September.  That's one we should podcast.

The point attempting to be made is that the NALC and other forming bodies could have their seminarians train at our schools, males in M.Div., women in other Master's programs, without violating what already exists.  I'll pose that one to the powers that be in a couple of weeks.

Dave Benke



Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Daniel L. Gard on August 28, 2010, 03:13:44 PM
TV,

One point of clarification. Adriane is not a Deaconess. She has chosen to serve the Church as a laywoman with theological credentials.

President Benke,

The young woman who you will install is another example of a consecrated servant of the Church with a sharp mind and great talent. May the Lord bless her and all that she does in His Name! Please give her my best.

I will very interested in the answer that you get from "the powers that be".
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: ptmccain on August 28, 2010, 03:20:41 PM
Dave, thanks for the low-down on the folks in your area.

How many of your women staff members are rostered LCMS church workers with Master's in theology degrees from either of our two seminaries? I'm jus asking, don't take it as a challenge, I'm sincerely curious.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Dave Benke on August 28, 2010, 09:26:38 PM
 We have women at our office site with terminal degrees in theology teaching and involved on district committees, as well as women on our various boards and committees with theological training, one of whom has that advanced degree.  And we have had on staff women with advanced degrees in education with a minor in theology.  However, I'm not sure if that passes your litmus test for "close working relationship as peers and colleagues" since your need is for LCMS rostered workers plus our Missouri seminaries as the location of the terminal degrees. 

I don't know what you're driving at with "take it as a challenge."  What happened is that you made a sardonic comment, it's was answered with statements of fact about an enormous range of talented lay people,men and women who labor on my staff and in our district, and your next question now brings in my taking it as a challenge.   


Dave Benke
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Cnehring on August 28, 2010, 09:35:03 PM

ILT has something like a dozen people in an MDiv program that has just completed its first year. 

According to Dr. Bielfeldt, there will be around 30 enrolled this year. I don't know if that is only MDiv or all the courses, but they have continued to add around 10 students each year.

Also, ILT is beginning a MTh. program this fall (I am enrolled in that), so they are starting to think ahead for more advanced degrees
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: passerby on August 28, 2010, 10:08:11 PM

ILT has something like a dozen people in an MDiv program that has just completed its first year. 

According to Dr. Bielfeldt, there will be around 30 enrolled this year. I don't know if that is only MDiv or all the courses, but they have continued to add around 10 students each year.

Also, ILT is beginning a MTh. program this fall (I am enrolled in that), so they are starting to think ahead for more advanced degrees


I'd stilll want to consider Fuller Seminary, a moderate evangelical institution that I think would be open to a Lutheran House of Studies, and North Park Seminary, a Covenant institution that is quite innovative and may also make a provision. Both of these options may be temporary
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Matt Staneck on August 28, 2010, 10:16:35 PM
Dr. B, someone you can tally up would be your own DCE Intern...oh, except that she completed masters level work but is not receiving a masters...scratch off the tally.  But maybe a half a tally since she's synod educated/trained?

M. Staneck
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: ptmccain on August 29, 2010, 07:43:09 AM
I don't know what you're driving at with "take it as a challenge." 

Because you chose to describe my initial inquiry as being "sardonic."

When you refer to your "district office site" I think you might be referring to Concordia Bronxville, where, if I might shamelessly make a plug, there has been established another fine Concordia Publishing House bookstore!!
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 29, 2010, 09:39:26 AM
I'd stilll want to consider Fuller Seminary, a moderate evangelical institution that I think would be open to a Lutheran House of Studies, and North Park Seminary, a Covenant institution that is quite innovative and may also make a provision. Both of these options may be temporary

As an adjunct prof at Fuller, I'd second that, and I think there would be lots of benefit. The problem if geography; Fuller is pretty far removed from the center of Lutheran gravity.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Steven Tibbetts on August 29, 2010, 11:27:10 PM
Pastor Tibbetts,...


Those in the ELCA who have been part of reform/renewal efforts, some groups (such as WordAlone and others affiliated with Lutheran CORE) engaging in ELCA church politics, others (such as the STS) eschewing it, have almost uniformly held that assisting/guiding/mentoring/engaging seminarians is a most vital task.  This attitude is only increased in those who have departed the ELCA for newer churches.

We all could do better.  This sort of thing does not always lend itself well to formal organization; compare/contrast the vision of the ELCA Candidacy process with most of our actual experiences with our Candidacy Committees.  

In my case, a key part of what has made me the Lutheran pastor and theologian I am today is that 5-10 copies of The Bride of Christ, Lutheran Forum, and Forum Letter showed up next to our mailboxes at PLTS every time they were published and I picked them up.

About a decade ago I attended  a conference put on by Touchstone and, lo and behold, a couple of despairing-of-the-ELCA Gettysburg seminarians had shown up.  We'd never met before, but the commonality of reading Touchstone and attending one of its conferences enabled a tentative introduction that led to a heart-to-heart chat.  How influential that half-hour was I don't know, but I am pleased to point to a couple of younger ELCA pastors who have been a blessing to their parishes and the STS.

Clearly such haphazard an approach isn't very efficient or all that effective in reforming our Lutheran churches.  Other pastors associated with the STS or Lutheran CORE can tell of much more intentional encouragement and mentoring, especially if they are near a seminary or supervise interns.  Some of these connections are the result of formal efforts by groups, and sometimes include some pretty hands-on mentoring and guidance.  

On the other hand, we can point to those who lose heart along the way, or never discover the available companionship, or get shipped out, or never enter in the first place.  Again, orthodox Lutherans must do much, much better.  But remember the Lord does not abandon his church, even in the darkest or driest of times.

Thanks for you efforts, Clyde.  Know that you are not alone.

Pax, Steven+
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: pr dtp on August 30, 2010, 01:26:29 AM
I'd stilll want to consider Fuller Seminary, a moderate evangelical institution that I think would be open to a Lutheran House of Studies, and North Park Seminary, a Covenant institution that is quite innovative and may also make a provision. Both of these options may be temporary

As an adjunct prof at Fuller, I'd second that, and I think there would be lots of benefit. The problem if geography; Fuller is pretty far removed from the center of Lutheran gravity.


I would think the center of Lutheran Gravity is now Kenya/Ethiopia - so all US sems are pretty far
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Scott6 on August 30, 2010, 08:17:17 AM
I would think the center of Lutheran Gravity is now Kenya/Ethiopia - so all US sems are pretty far

Say Tanzania/Ethiopia, and you're probably closer.  The Lutheran church in Kenya is still pretty small -- lots more Anglicans, Roman Catholics and independent churches.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: pr dtp on August 30, 2010, 03:55:30 PM
I would think the center of Lutheran Gravity is now Kenya/Ethiopia - so all US sems are pretty far

Say Tanzania/Ethiopia, and you're probably closer.  The Lutheran church in Kenya is still pretty small -- lots more Anglicans, Roman Catholics and independent churches.

Scott - yeah - thanks for the correction - I was reading something about the Global Anglicans prior to posting this. What they have seen happen in both countries is also amazing.  One statistic I was reading put the growth of the church in Africa from 8 million to close to 400 million since the 90's.  Even if that was a century of work, rather than 2 decades - it would be amazing.

In both cases, Anglican and Lutheran - the centers of the movement is no longer Europe and North America.  It will be interesting to see how the church's culture is transformed over this time.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Dave Benke on August 31, 2010, 08:34:16 AM
Say Madagascar, too.  Indonesia?

Dave Benke
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: pr dtp on August 31, 2010, 01:31:22 PM
Say Madagascar, too.  Indonesia?

Dave Benke

Madagascar?  Interesting - say more!

Indonesia's a hot bed - missionaries in my old denomination have been close to becoming martyrs many times.  And the churches they have planted have been some of those set on fire..
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Richard Johnson on August 31, 2010, 06:00:54 PM
Say Madagascar, too.  Indonesia?

Dave Benke

Madagascar?  Interesting - say more!

Madagascar was a major mission field for the old Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church (later ELC). About 8% of the population is Lutheran, some 1.5 million. It ranks tenth in the world in terms of numbers of Lutherans. I have a parishioner who grew up on the mission field there.
Title: Re: Seminary Education for New Lutheran Church Bodies
Post by: Jay on August 31, 2010, 07:09:03 PM
Say Madagascar, too.  Indonesia?

Dave Benke

Madagascar?  Interesting - say more!

Madagascar was a major mission field for the old Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church (later ELC). About 8% of the population is Lutheran, some 1.5 million. It ranks tenth in the world in terms of numbers of Lutherans. I have a parishioner who grew up on the mission field there.

I just finished reading Carl Braaten's memoirs, and he wrote at length about his childhood in Madagascar and the Lutheran church founded by missionaries such as his parents.