Author Topic: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?  (Read 18493 times)

prsauer

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #180 on: April 06, 2013, 04:13:19 PM »
I can speak only for Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. Here the spiritual formation of future pastors and deaconesses is not only taken seriously but integrated into every aspect of the community. So, at least for CTSFW, we "actually do that".

That is encouraging to hear. Would you be able to offer some specifics on what that looks like?

If anyone out there could do the same for Concordia - St. Louis (or even at any of Concordia Colleges) that would be helpful as well.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #181 on: April 10, 2013, 11:04:36 PM »
Residential seminaries will remain viable . However,
there will be fewer of them.  The financial burden
placed on the students will reduce the number of
seminarians.   The lack of denominational funding
will hurt Lutheran seminaries.  If  residential sems
are not a priority for the LCMS and ELCA, then it
will force closures in the future.

Bottom line:  The next 10 years will force these
financial  issues to the forefront. 

Jay Michael

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #182 on: April 11, 2013, 12:58:52 AM »
Residential seminaries will remain viable . However,
there will be fewer of them.  The financial burden
placed on the students will reduce the number of
seminarians.   The lack of denominational funding
will hurt Lutheran seminaries.  If  residential sems
are not a priority for the LCMS and ELCA, then it
will force closures in the future.

Bottom line:  The next 10 years will force these
financial  issues to the forefront.
The Concordia Seminary Magazine – Winter 2013 is devoted to this subject.

In addition the Grant Funds Study of Seminary Debt thread details how a grant has funded a study related to this topic at Concordia Theological Seminary - Fort Wayne

George Erdner

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #183 on: April 15, 2013, 11:03:35 AM »
Maybe it would be a good thing, and certainly germane to this discussion, if one of the major Lutheran denominations were to decide to study the issue of education and pastoral formation by assembling a group or commission to study the matter for consideration the next time the denomination has a national meeting.

Charles_Austin

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #184 on: April 15, 2013, 11:19:38 AM »
Someone point Mr. Erdner to these paragraphs over on that other thread. But I think he has already read them, since he made a comment over there.  ??? :(
    Acknowledging a climate of new institutional mergers and collaborations between seminaries and universities, new technologies and degree program designs, economic challenges facing students and educational providers, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) authorized the formation of an advisory council to address in a holistic way issues on theological education, leadership development, candidacy, call and rostered leaders.
      The council’s action opens a path for renewal of the ELCA’s theological education networks, including a revitalization of work across this church in identifying and preparing women and men “to be formed as servant leaders” now and into the future.
     According to the Rev. Jonathan P. Strandjord, director for seminaries at ELCA churchwide ministries, it is critical that this renewal happens in the next few years as the ELCA enters a period of a “retirement tsunami.” About “40 percent of the roster will retire in the next 10 years,” he told the council.
      “Our work in identifying and preparing new rostered leaders over the next several years is crucial and will have a major impact for many to come,” said Strandjord. Another “thing that really matters, at least as much, is whether we can step up the biblical fluency of our lay leaders in these next years.”

George Erdner

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #185 on: April 15, 2013, 03:35:27 PM »
As it turns out, the ELCA is taking the steps I described above.

From the ELCA website:

ELCA council authorizes advisory council on theological education

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Acknowledging a climate of new institutional mergers and collaborations between seminaries and universities, new technologies and degree program designs, economic challenges facing students and educational providers, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) authorized the formation of an advisory council to address in a holistic way issues on theological education, leadership development, candidacy, call and rostered leaders.
      The council’s action opens a path for renewal of the ELCA’s theological education networks, including a revitalization of work across this church in identifying and preparing women and men “to be formed as servant leaders” now and into the future.


The article continues at the link.

On one hand, it is good to see that a major church body is taking action to study the problem. On the other hand, the major church body taking the action has a less than outstanding track record of coming up with good results when they study a problem.

In particular, this paragraph is scary:

Speaking to the council about theological education in his report as ELCA presiding bishop, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson asked, “How are we preparing leaders that reflect the face of the church we are committed to become? That takes intentionality, especially when it comes to diversity.”

The study group hasn't even been formed yet, and already the head honcho of the ELCA is hinting at more quotas.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 03:38:11 PM by George Erdner »

David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #186 on: April 15, 2013, 03:44:05 PM »
In particular, this paragraph is scary:

Speaking to the council about theological education in his report as ELCA presiding bishop, the Rev. Mark S. Hanson asked, “How are we preparing leaders that reflect the face of the church we are committed to become? That takes intentionality, especially when it comes to diversity.”

The study group hasn't even been formed yet, and already the head honcho of the ELCA is hinting at more quotas.

Under Bishop Chilstrom (who began serving before the term modifier "Presiding" was added to the title), Mission90 in 1989 or so proposed a ten-year goal of the ELCA becoming a church with ten percent of its membership being "persons of color and/or whose primary language was other than English." I don't think, coming up on this denomination's quarter-century mark, that it has approached that goal. Perhaps the ELCA could intentionally add some additional personal modifiers to the goal and so broaden its net sufficiently to capture ten percent of the members remaining in the ELCA.

An alternate route would be for the ELCA to place itself in the hands of one of its partner churches in Africa and to trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance in that part of the Church to rekindle and refocus life in this denomination. That would meet any conceivable goals of diversity, while demonstrating humility and trust in God's providential care.

Checkmark!
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:20:30 AM by David M. Frye, OblSB »
David M. Frye, OblSB

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George Erdner

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #187 on: April 15, 2013, 04:33:38 PM »
An alternate route would be for the ELCA to place itself in the hands of one of its partner churches in Africa and to trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance in that part of the Church to rekindle and refocus life in this denomination. That would meet the any conceivable goals of diversity, while demonstrating humility and trust in God's providential care.

Checkmark!


If they're really going to put themselves in God's providential care, why not just trust Him to call whoever He chooses to call, and let Him worry about whether or not He has called the right demographic mix?

Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #188 on: April 15, 2013, 09:49:33 PM »

Under Bishop Chilstrom (who began serving before the term modifier "Presiding" was added to the title), Mission90 in 1989 or so proposed a ten-year goal of the ELCA becoming a church with ten percent of its membership being "persons of color and/or whose primary language was other than English."

That goal is actually from the Continuing Resolutions portion of the ELCA Constitution:

Quote from: ELCA Constitution, Chapter 5
5.01.A87.
It shall be a goal of this church that within 10 years of its establishment its membership shall include at least 10 percent people of color and/or primary language other than English.

5.01.B87.
With regard to the minimum goal that 10 percent of the membership of synod assemblies, councils, committees, boards, and/or other organizational units be persons of color and/or persons whose primary language is other than English, it is understood that initially there may be exceptions to the attainment of this goal based on the makeup of the membership within a particular synod. By the time of its second assembly, each synod shall establish a plan to attain this goal within 10 years.


These were adopted at the Constituting Convention of 1987!

Pax, Steven+
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George Erdner

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #189 on: April 15, 2013, 09:52:27 PM »
These were adopted at the Constituting Convention of 1987!

Pax, Steven+


Wrong is wrong, no matter when it is done. The passage of time doesn't automatically turn bad decisions into good ones.

David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #190 on: April 16, 2013, 11:21:59 AM »
It's been tried! See "Disciples, Twelve (12)."

An alternate route would be for the ELCA to place itself in the hands of one of its partner churches in Africa and to trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance in that part of the Church to rekindle and refocus life in this denomination. That would meet the any conceivable goals of diversity, while demonstrating humility and trust in God's providential care.

Checkmark!


If they're really going to put themselves in God's providential care, why not just trust Him to call whoever He chooses to call, and let Him worry about whether or not He has called the right demographic mix?
David M. Frye, OblSB

+ Ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus.
+ That God may be glorified in all things.

George Erdner

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #191 on: April 16, 2013, 05:49:54 PM »
It's been tried! See "Disciples, Twelve (12)."

An alternate route would be for the ELCA to place itself in the hands of one of its partner churches in Africa and to trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance in that part of the Church to rekindle and refocus life in this denomination. That would meet the any conceivable goals of diversity, while demonstrating humility and trust in God's providential care.

Checkmark!


If they're really going to put themselves in God's providential care, why not just trust Him to call whoever He chooses to call, and let Him worry about whether or not He has called the right demographic mix?


I was hoping for a more recent example.


Steven Tibbetts

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #192 on: April 16, 2013, 11:07:00 PM »
These were adopted at the Constituting Convention of 1987!


Wrong is wrong, no matter when it is done. The passage of time doesn't automatically turn bad decisions into good ones.

Five years ago on another thread ;) I recalled Presiding Bishop Hanson speaking about these goals during the Q&A session of the 2006 Hein-Fry Lectures at LSTC.  He noted that in the prior year (2005) the ELCA had, for the first time, made measurable progress in the goal to reach 10% POCOLOTEs by 1997.

But he could not resist immediately quipping something along the lines of, "Of course, that's because the white folks are leaving faster."

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David M. Frye, OblSB

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #193 on: April 17, 2013, 07:31:13 AM »
My family's history on my mother's side is bound to the Church of the Brethren. While that community has gone the route of seminary education in recent decades, when I was a child, the practice was for the local congregation (probably the men, I would guess) to gather and to pray and to select one of their own to serve as the pastor of the congregation. There was no system of formal certification or education, and yet, this method seemed to raise up diligent, humble, faithful and exemplary men (or at least it did no worse than any other system).

This is a fifty-year-old example, but that is a bit more recent than one from almost two millennia ago!

It's been tried! See "Disciples, Twelve (12)."

An alternate route would be for the ELCA to place itself in the hands of one of its partner churches in Africa and to trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance in that part of the Church to rekindle and refocus life in this denomination. That would meet the any conceivable goals of diversity, while demonstrating humility and trust in God's providential care.

Checkmark!


If they're really going to put themselves in God's providential care, why not just trust Him to call whoever He chooses to call, and let Him worry about whether or not He has called the right demographic mix?


I was hoping for a more recent example.
David M. Frye, OblSB

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+ That God may be glorified in all things.

George Erdner

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Re: Are Residential Seminaries Viable Today?
« Reply #194 on: April 17, 2013, 11:38:09 AM »
My family's history on my mother's side is bound to the Church of the Brethren. While that community has gone the route of seminary education in recent decades, when I was a child, the practice was for the local congregation (probably the men, I would guess) to gather and to pray and to select one of their own to serve as the pastor of the congregation. There was no system of formal certification or education, and yet, this method seemed to raise up diligent, humble, faithful and exemplary men (or at least it did no worse than any other system).

This is a fifty-year-old example, but that is a bit more recent than one from almost two millennia ago!

It's been tried! See "Disciples, Twelve (12)."

An alternate route would be for the ELCA to place itself in the hands of one of its partner churches in Africa and to trust in the Holy Spirit's guidance in that part of the Church to rekindle and refocus life in this denomination. That would meet the any conceivable goals of diversity, while demonstrating humility and trust in God's providential care.

Checkmark!


If they're really going to put themselves in God's providential care, why not just trust Him to call whoever He chooses to call, and let Him worry about whether or not He has called the right demographic mix?


I was hoping for a more recent example.


I wasn't referring to how they were trained. I was referring to how they were selected to be in the training program. I was referring to the ELCA's quota system. The operative phrase was "right demographic mix"