Author Topic: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries  (Read 18736 times)

Dave Likeness

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Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« on: January 17, 2014, 04:38:18 PM »
In the January 2014 Forum Letter, Pastor Richard
Johnson has an article about theological education.
It raises some questions that perhaps a wider
audience could answer or even Editor Johnson.

Two of the ELCA Seminaries have merged with
church related-universities: Southern with Lenoir-
Rhyne and Pacific with California Lutheran University.

Two of the ELCA Seminaries are on the ATS Financial
Watch List (Association of Theological Schools):
Philadelphia and Chicago

This leaves us with the remaining four:
Luther Seminary at St. Paul, MN
Trinity Seminary at Columbus, Ohio
Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg, PA
Wartburg Seminary at Dubuque, Iowa

Evidently, Luther Sem resolved a recent
financial crisis. Who makes the decisions on
the vitality of these seminaries based on
enrollment, finances, etc.????

Does the ELCA as a church body have a
master plan for these seminaries to survive?

Are any of these seminaries too small to last
another ten years?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 04:39:56 PM by Dave Likeness »

LutherMan

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 06:55:09 PM »
I really don't understand how a rapidly shrinking church body like the ELCA can support so many sems...

Chuck

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 08:39:14 PM »
Same way a shrinking LCMS supports two.
BTW, in 2012 the LCMS lost 1.6% of membership and the ELCA 2.3%. So how do you define "rapidly"?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 08:44:41 PM by Chuck »
Chuck Ruthroff

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. —George Bernard Shaw

Dave Likeness

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 08:58:20 PM »
The ELCA had  5,113,418 members in 2000
They had only  4,181,219 members in 2010


The LCMS had 2,521,062 members in 2000
They had only 2,270,921 members in 2010

Bottom Line:  In 10 years ELCA lost about 1 million
And in the same period LCMS lost 250,000

Chuck

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 09:24:10 PM »
So what? Shall we compare to 1973-1977 in the LCMS?
How about:

            ELCA              LCMS
1969    5,278,774     2,786,102
2009    4,543,037     2,312,111
           -13.94%          -17.01%


We've both had our purges.

Chuck Ruthroff

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. —George Bernard Shaw

Dave Likeness

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 09:39:45 PM »
I know it, you know it, and the American
people know it........There was no ELCA
in 1969.

Chuck

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 10:00:54 PM »
I know it, you know it, and the American
people know it........There was no ELCA
in 1969.
Don't be so dense.
Chuck Ruthroff

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. —George Bernard Shaw

Dan Fienen

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 10:48:13 PM »
Statistics don't even begin to tell the whole story for either church body.  There are many, many factors involved in church growth and decline.  Some of them involve the faithfulness of pastors, people and church body leaders.  Some of them have to do with the ethnic roots of the church body.  (In order to be faithful must we repudiate our heritage and pretend that our roots are something else?)  Some of them have to do with the demographics of the areas and people our churches serve.  And other factors.

We all would like to have bragging rights, but statistics proves little.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles_Austin

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 11:13:59 PM »
Statistics do prove that being what some call "confessional" or "conservative" is no guarantee that your denomination will not decline in membership.


Dan Fienen

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 11:36:05 PM »
Statistics do prove that being what some call "confessional" or "conservative" is no guarantee that your denomination will not decline in membership.
Similarly, statistcs show that being progressive in theology and social justice advocacy is no guarantee that your church body won't decline in membership.

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 11:48:58 PM »
Statistics do prove that being what some call "confessional" or "conservative" is no guarantee that your denomination will not decline in membership.
Similarly, statistcs show that being progressive in theology and social justice advocacy is no guarantee that your church body won't decline in membership.


But some conservatives like to blame our progressive/liberal positions for our decline. Statistics don't indicate causality.


Frankly, if the numbers in 2013 of ELCA + LCMC + NALC is greater than the ELCA in 2008, I'd be very happy. We are to grow the kingdom of God, not our denominations.
"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]

Richard Johnson

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 11:49:25 PM »
Was anybody going to talk about the interesting questions with which Pr. Likeness began this thread?
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 11:50:42 PM »
Was anybody going to talk about the interesting questions with which Pr. Likeness began this thread?


I think that the answer is, "No." To both questions: yours and Pr. Likeness's.
"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]

scott8

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2014, 12:04:44 AM »
So what? Shall we compare to 1973-1977 in the LCMS?
How about:

            ELCA              LCMS
1969    5,278,774     2,786,102
2009    4,543,037     2,312,111
           -13.94%          -17.01%


We've both had our purges.

Your 1969 numbers for the ELCA do not reflect your own spreadsheet.

According to the spreadsheet you linked a while back, here are the accurate numbers for 1969-2009:


              ELCA           LCMS
1969    5,695,272      2,786,102
2009    4,543,037      2,312,111

           -20.3%          -17.0%

This is simply an adjustment based upon the actual numbers in your own linked spreadsheet; I think that your spreadsheet also includes the number of LCMS members who left the LCMS during the Seminex days and joined the predecessor church bodies of the ELCA in the 1970s, so the relative decline would also include that siphoning off of members from one to the other.

If we bring the numbers up through 2012 based on the same spreadsheet:

              ELCA           LCMS
2012     3,964,474     2,196,788

          -30.4%           -21.2%   from 1969 numbers

The difference is that the ELCA is declining 43.4% (9.2/21.2) faster than the LCMS since 1969.

Of course, none of the numbers are good.

Chuck

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2014, 12:26:44 AM »
You're correct. I picked up 1959 instead of 1969.


Just for kicks:


             ELCA               LCMS             US Populaion
1925     1,124,892        628,695        115,829,000
2012     3,964,474        2,196,788      312,780,968
              252.43%       249.42%         170.04%
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 01:59:40 AM by Chuck »
Chuck Ruthroff

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it. —George Bernard Shaw