Author Topic: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries  (Read 18452 times)

scott8

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #135 on: January 26, 2014, 06:41:12 PM »
One point you missed is that Ft. Wayne runs on half the budget of St. Louis and has no appreciable backlog of maintenance to be done.  CSL is an expensive campus to run and on campus does not have twice the students of CTS.  This is an issue.  Sems are expensive and the sad truth is that they are paid for on the backs of donors and students and not the church at large but CSL has a problem in overhead that is greater than Ft. Wayne.  Also the Fuerbringer Library is out of space while Ft Wayne has an abundance of space both for classes, dorms, library, and support areas.  I am not trying to put them in competition but rather to outline some of the commonalities and some of the differences.

Actually, if the above numbers are accurate, CSL has more than twice the number of students (321*2=642 < 644).

Not to put them in competition...  ;)

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #136 on: January 26, 2014, 08:26:34 PM »
Fr. Peters, all I was pointing out was that despite the failure of CBC, which nearly bankrupt the campus, the school is not in debt. Don't underestimate how important that is.

It is wonderful that both schools are not in debt.

M. Staneck
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St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
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Jim Butler

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #137 on: January 27, 2014, 10:31:38 AM »
But... more than 200 of that 600 are off campus SMP students...  And another 100 are off campus for vicarage... and about 250 are MDiv... so that balance leaves 150 in various other programs... with about 250 actually on campus... with a budget twice Ft. Wayne...  and, by many estimations, a backlog of deferred maintenance

Ft. Wayne also is debt free (example is the new Library which is pay as you go completion)... with far fewer SMP students and about the 250 MDiv (including vicars)...

If both campuses have 250 M.Div. students, can you please explain why last spring Fort Wayne placed 48 students (including alternate route, SMP, and delayed vicars) while St. Louis placed 73 M.Div students (and another 11 alternate route students and another 8 SMP students)? I would think the number would be about equal.
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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #138 on: January 27, 2014, 11:46:46 AM »
According to the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Website:

In 2013, they placed 75 MDiv graduates in the
pastoral ministry.  They also placed 21 SMP men
into pastoral ministry as well as 6 Alternate Route
men.

This adds up to 102 men placed into pastoral ministry.

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #139 on: January 27, 2014, 12:11:41 PM »
Tim notes: In a thread set aside for the ELCA seminaries status, we seem to have devolved into a bit of a partisan conversation betwixt the Concordia's, which although interesting,misses the point, does it not?

The "stand-alone" status of the seminaries with long-traditions of support and loyalty, regardless of the current reality, create an environment of tough choices. The hard business must contend with the deep emotionality, particularly in those who have deeply invested in the present seminaries.

I doubt that any pro-active decisions with an eye to the long term health and well-being of the Church (whether ultimately successful or not) will be made by seminaries or their boards, but rather the unfolding cultural realities will force decisions that will be heralded as forward thinking as the leadership spins them, but will in reality, be the result of having few if any choices left at all.
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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #140 on: January 27, 2014, 12:22:59 PM »
Tim notes: In a thread set aside for the ELCA seminaries status, we seem to have devolved into a bit of a partisan conversation betwixt the Concordia's, which although interesting,misses the point, does it not?

The "stand-alone" status of the seminaries with long-traditions of support and loyalty, regardless of the current reality, create an environment of tough choices. The hard business must contend with the deep emotionality, particularly in those who have deeply invested in the present seminaries.

I doubt that any pro-active decisions with an eye to the long term health and well-being of the Church (whether ultimately successful or not) will be made by seminaries or their boards, but rather the unfolding cultural realities will force decisions that will be heralded as forward thinking as the leadership spins them, but will in reality, be the result of having few if any choices left at all.

That is an absolutely lovely final paragraph.  I've done the "leadership spin" myself many times, so I know that of which you speak! 

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #141 on: January 27, 2014, 12:54:04 PM »
Tim notes: In a thread set aside for the ELCA seminaries status, we seem to have devolved into a bit of a partisan conversation betwixt the Concordia's, which although interesting,misses the point, does it not?

The "stand-alone" status of the seminaries with long-traditions of support and loyalty, regardless of the current reality, create an environment of tough choices. The hard business must contend with the deep emotionality, particularly in those who have deeply invested in the present seminaries.

I doubt that any pro-active decisions with an eye to the long term health and well-being of the Church (whether ultimately successful or not) will be made by seminaries or their boards, but rather the unfolding cultural realities will force decisions that will be heralded as forward thinking as the leadership spins them, but will in reality, be the result of having few if any choices left at all.

Seminary Boards of Regents, Boards of Control, or whatever Board is in charge of the seminary (whether ELCA or LCMS) are tasked with caring for the well being and operation of the seminary.  Their specific mandate is not the long term health and well-being of the Church, except as they need to manage the seminary to serve the Church they are associated with since that church is the major "customer" for the "product" they are producing.  The long term health and well-being of the Church are the concern of other entities.  In fact, it seems to me, that for a seminary Board of Regents to be making plans and decisions for the long term health and well-being of the Church would be for them to act outside of their authority.  The seminary does not run the Church, but serves the Church.  They may well have input into and even representation in the controlling entities of the Church, but that is not their decision alone.

The decision that the Church does not need as many seminaries as it has (whether it be currently 8 or 2) is for the Church, not the seminary decide.  It may be that the seminary board may decide that the seminary as now constituted is not economically viable, or that its graduates are not placed within the Church in sufficient quantities to make it worth graduating them to a mountain of debt and no where to go.  Then some hard choices need to be made.  The seminary board may also look at and suggest ways that it can educate future pastors in a more economical way and explore other ways that it can successfully function as an academic institution.  But the long term health and well-being of the Church is not theirs to decide.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #142 on: January 27, 2014, 12:58:26 PM »
The church trains it's pastors. When "church" was seen as the synod (LCA understanding) each synod sought to have its own seminary. When "church" was a national expression, each nationality had its own seminary - the Nowegians, the Germans, The Swedes, etc. That's the background of our eight-which been even more. The Concordias have a quite different history with St Louis being for those coming through the "system" - pre-Sem classes in the Concordias, and Springfield for those who didn't have that background.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #143 on: January 27, 2014, 01:02:23 PM »
Pastor Fienen, there is a difference between the
LCMS and the ELCA concerning their seminaries.

In the LCMS, the National Church Convention
which meets every 3 years has the power to
close a seminary.

In the ELCA, each seminary has the power to
determine its own destiny. Their National Church
Assembly which meets every 3 years has no power
to close a seminary.

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #144 on: January 27, 2014, 01:08:46 PM »
Pastor Brian S. is correct.  During the 1940's
1950's and 1960's the Springfield Seminary
of the LCMS was mainly for second-career
men who wanted to be pastors.  While the
St. Louis was the destiny of the "system"
students.

Today, both Ft.  Wayne and St. Louis Sems
have a sizeable number of second career
students.

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #145 on: January 27, 2014, 01:24:16 PM »
A relevant current example of seminary closing is Seabury-Western (Episcopal):
In 2009, Seabury made the decision to sell its property to Northwestern University. The transaction, completed in July 2009, allowed Seabury to eliminate its debt, balance its budget, and position itself to realize a new mission.
The new mission is in collaboration with Bexley Hall: http://www.bexleyseabury.edu/history/ It looks as if the Boards of both institutions have made dramatic decisions in order to try to continue, in some form, the missions for which they were founded and endowed.

Their new joint venture includes a link with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, which is itself the product of a merger of Hamma School of Theology and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary: http://www.tlsohio.edu/about-trinity/introduction/history-and-mission

Peace,
Michael
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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #146 on: January 27, 2014, 01:26:57 PM »
There are no doubt differences between the history and even current status of the seminaries vis-a-vis the denomination.  My point was that to expect the seminary board to make decisions for the seminary based on their assessment of the long term health and well-being of the parent church body is at least unrealistic.  In the LCMS, the seminaries are more tightly controlled by the Synod as a whole and the Synod can make decisions for the seminaries that the ELCA cannot for theirs.  In the '30's Synod in convention voted to close the then Springfield Seminary in order to save money.  The decision was reconsidered later in the convention and reversed.

Would it be appropriate for the seminary board to decide on its own that the seminary should be closed or merged with another "for the good of the Church" even if it were not in the best interests of the seminary itself?  What about an ELCA seminary board taking an action at the suggestion of the CWA or Church Council that may not be in the best interest of the institution but is suggested to them as in the best interest of the Church?

Somebody should be looking at the long term health of well-being of the Church, but I am just not sure that a seminary board is the best place for plans to be devised and decisions made for the good of the whole church.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #147 on: January 27, 2014, 01:38:06 PM »
A relevant current example of seminary closing is Seabury-Western (Episcopal):
In 2009, Seabury made the decision to sell its property to Northwestern University. The transaction, completed in July 2009, allowed Seabury to eliminate its debt, balance its budget, and position itself to realize a new mission.
The new mission is in collaboration with Bexley Hall: http://www.bexleyseabury.edu/history/ It looks as if the Boards of both institutions have made dramatic decisions in order to try to continue, in some form, the missions for which they were founded and endowed.

Their new joint venture includes a link with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, which is itself the product of a merger of Hamma School of Theology and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary: http://www.tlsohio.edu/about-trinity/introduction/history-and-mission

Peace,
Michael

You're going to see this on the more ecumenical side of the Protestant aisle.  On the more evangelicalist/fundamentalist/confessional side of the Protestant aisle, it's hard for me to imagine those more creative institutional amalgamation approaches.  It's not about need, finally, but more about trust and protection.  And in all these cases, there is the potential for a load of politics. 

Dave Benke

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #148 on: January 27, 2014, 02:56:44 PM »
Their new joint venture includes a link with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, which is itself the product of a merger of Hamma School of Theology and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary:

Tim notes: Recognizing there may be a cynical underlying tone to this observation, but Hamma was on the verge of fiscal collapse at the time of the "merger" (a polite term) with ELTS, which became Trinity. The "spin" was placed that the seminary merger demonstrated unity as a precursor of the ALC-LCA-AELC "new church (sic)" that followed. Internally, the integration of Hamma and ELTS was not all flowery as was the public relations image presented to the church-at-large. Now, having said that, I'm not suggesting it was a bad thing at all, but it doesn't really do justice to any sense of transparency, and thus, complete truthfulness, anymore so than transparency and truthfulness in the political sector.
Pr. Tim Christ, STS

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #149 on: January 27, 2014, 03:55:58 PM »
A relevant current example of seminary closing is Seabury-Western (Episcopal):
In 2009, Seabury made the decision to sell its property to Northwestern University. The transaction, completed in July 2009, allowed Seabury to eliminate its debt, balance its budget, and position itself to realize a new mission.
The new mission is in collaboration with Bexley Hall: http://www.bexleyseabury.edu/history/ It looks as if the Boards of both institutions have made dramatic decisions in order to try to continue, in some form, the missions for which they were founded and endowed.

Their new joint venture includes a link with Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, which is itself the product of a merger of Hamma School of Theology and Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary: http://www.tlsohio.edu/about-trinity/introduction/history-and-mission

Peace,
Michael

You're going to see this on the more ecumenical side of the Protestant aisle.  On the more evangelicalist/fundamentalist/confessional side of the Protestant aisle, it's hard for me to imagine those more creative institutional amalgamation approaches.  It's not about need, finally, but more about trust and protection.  And in all these cases, there is the potential for a load of politics. 

Dave Benke

But the reality is that the evangelical/fundamentalists have been doing this for some time. Schools such as Fuller and Gordon-Conwell were founded as multi-denominational seminaries: evangelical in theology, but open to Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, and, yes, even Lutherans. Even schools that were more denominational in orientation (e.g. Trinity Ev. Divinity School which was Evangelical Free Church) had many students that were not EFC in their M.Div. track and even some professors from other traditions.

I found it interesting that the NALC is setting up two "House of Studies" programs with seminaries of an Evangelical bent. That will be interesting to see how that works and how influenced those pastors will be by the Evangelicals. I wish the LCMS would have opened our M.Div. track to NALC students. I think we could have had a positive influence on that body.
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris