Author Topic: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries  (Read 19656 times)

Chuck

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2014, 12:47:11 AM »
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.


Indeed.
Neither the LCMC nor the NALC have published numbers, so it is hard to know. It is telling, though, that 2 denominations who like to shout about how they are about "making disciples" don't seem to have any way of tracking that.
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

scott8

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2014, 02:10:59 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%

Or for even better fun...

                 ELCA.             LCMS
Ca. 30.          0                   0
Now.          Infinitely more


There you go.

LCMS87

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2014, 02:51:07 AM »
Was anybody going to talk about the interesting questions with which Pr. Likeness began this thread?

All the numbers above got me wondering.  With 8 seminaries and 3,964,474 members, the ELCA has one seminary per 495,559 members.  With 2 seminaries and 2,196,788 members, the LCMS has a seminary for every 1,098,394 members.  (Member statistics from 2012 as reported above for both church bodies.)

Another way of looking at that is if the ELCA's is the ideal ratio of seminaries to members, the LCMS ought to have 4.43 seminaries.  On the other hand, if the LCMS' is the ideal ratio of seminaries to members, the ELCA ought to have only 3.61 seminaries. 

I find this interesting, at least in part, because a five years ago or so there was a bit of conversation in the LCMS about closing one of the seminaries.  Nothing came of it, but that discussion does seem to make the issues Pr. Likeness raises worth considering.  Is 8 the right number of seminaries for the ELCA?  Why or why not?   

Charles_Austin

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 02:58:12 AM »
Re seminaries:
FWIW, and it probably isn't much, I do not think we will be able to maintain all of our current seminaries. But actually "we," that is, the ELCA, are not maintaining them now. The schools are largely on their own when it comes to financial support.
I have believed for a long time that we should have more church-wide support for seminaries, more church-wide input into curriculum required for those in the "ordination track," more spiritual formation for people in that track, and more synodical supervision of seminarians preparing for ordination.
I do not see signs that much is happening in these areas.
Seminary "tradition" and alumni loyalty is strong. Decades before the ELCA merger, there were attempts to link/merge/blend Philadelphia and Gettysburg. Didn't happen.
The merger of Central Seminary (Fremont, Nebraska), Suomi Seminary (Michigan), Chicago Seminary (Maywood) and Augustana Seminary (Rock Island), did happen, creating LSTC, because the strong, "national" LCA made it happen.

Mel Harris

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 04:25:30 AM »

Who makes the decisions on the vitality of these seminaries based on enrollment, finances, etc.????


        As I understand it, the six ELCA seminaries that have not merged with colleges are all separately incorporated, so the board of directors of each of them would make those decisions for their own seminary.  (Some of the members of the board of directors are elected by the ELCA.)
 
       The ELCA Constitution does include ways that the ELCA relates to its seminaries in 8.31. through 8.31.08. (pages 55 - 57 of the linked pdf file).  The ELCA claims the right to veto amendments to the governing documents of the seminaries.

Quote

8.31.02.       Amendments to the governing documents of each separately incorporated
                   seminary and each seminary cluster shall be submitted, upon
                   recommendation of the appropriate unit of the churchwide organization,
                   to the Church Council for approval. Amendments to the governing
                   documents of a college or university of this church that affect the authority
                   or integrity of an unincorporated seminary of this church associated with
                   that college or university shall be submitted, upon recommendation of the
                   appropriate unit of the churchwide organization, to the Church Council for
                   approval.


Dave Likeness

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 09:40:01 AM »
From the information posted so far, it seems
that each ELCA seminary has the major challenge
of supporting itself financially.  Therefore, each
seminary will remain as long as they can raise the
funds to stay in existence.

The fact that the Philadelphia seminary is on a
financial watch list by the group that accredits them,
and resides in a badly declining neighborhood, it
would make sense for them to have some serious
talks with the Gettysburg seminary.

The Midwest currently has 4 seminaries and Chicago
is also on the financial watch list.  Perhaps it will lose
out in the survival of the financially fittest.


GalRevRedux

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2014, 09:54:59 AM »
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.


Indeed.
Neither the LCMC nor the NALC have published numbers, so it is hard to know. It is telling, though, that 2 denominations who like to shout about how they are about "making disciples" don't seem to have any way of tracking that.

Looks like the NALC is showing 130,000 members.
http://thenalc.org/about-us-2/
A pastor of the North American Lutheran Church.

Terry W Culler

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2014, 09:58:57 AM »
Seminary loyalty can be a strong force in the church.  The AFLC is the direct descendant of the Lutheran Free Church.  The LFC actually began its formation as the Friends of Augsburg Seminary in a dispute amongst Norwegian Lutherans.  Led the Georg Sverdrup, the president of Augsburg, people gathered around their pastors who had trained there and a new denomination was formed.

But how loyal do graduates remain to a changed theology?  We could look at the Philadelphia seminary begun as a conservative alternative to Gettysburg or to Princeton which was a bastion of Calvinist conservatism until the 1920's when its desire for "inclusion" led to the formation of Westminster Seminary.  How long do we stay loyal to an institution when it is no longer to what it taught us?
"No particular Church has ... a right to existence, except as it believes itself the most perfect from of Christianity, the form which of right, should and will be universal."
Charles Porterfield Krauth

Eileen Smith

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2014, 10:01:29 AM »
From the information posted so far, it seems
that each ELCA seminary has the major challenge
of supporting itself financially.  Therefore, each
seminary will remain as long as they can raise the
funds to stay in existence.

The fact that the Philadelphia seminary is on a
financial watch list by the group that accredits them,
and resides in a badly declining neighborhood, it
would make sense for them to have some serious
talks with the Gettysburg seminary.

The Midwest currently has 4 seminaries and Chicago
is also on the financial watch list.  Perhaps it will lose
out in the survival of the financially fittest.

A marriage between Philadelphia and Gettysburg would be interesting - two very different cultures.

Watch list is a problem that seems to call for more immediate action.   Does anyone know if there are programs to encourage young men and women (e.g., early high school years) into ministry?  I know Philadelphia had a program where young students spent a week in the summer, getting a taste of sem.   Not certain if it is still in place.  Perhaps synods/districts should have a resource person to reach out in creative ways to young people. 

Dan Fienen

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2014, 10:32:05 AM »
What is the demand for new pastors in the ELCA?  If young men and women are to be encouraged to spend the time and money (and in most cases encure the student loan debt) to get a graduate degree and train for a profession, some assurance that positions will be available would be good.  A serious issue for any church body's seminary system is whether there is an excess capacity.  More students help keep the seminary alive but if they graduate all dressed up with no where to go, is the church or the students really well served?

Dan
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Matt Hummel

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2014, 12:09:05 PM »
I have known about the LTSP watchlisting for a bit.  But that does not have anything to do with the neighborhood.  To be frank, I drive by my alma mater almost every Sunday on the way to Mass.  The Mt. Airy neighborhood has, in some ways, come up since last I trod the hallowed halls.  It's the city of Philadelphia that is deteriorating.  But that is for another discussion.

Not sure how an LTSP/G merger would work or look.  If one campus closed, you would loose easy access to a type of ministry.  Philly- Urban/Inner City, Gettysburg- Rural/Town & Country.

To be frank, I suspect that this discussion would need to include all the Seminaries.  How many "Urban/Inner Cities" does one Church need?  How many "Rural/Town & Countries?"

I do note that LTSP is publicizing the fact that they just got several hundred thousand $$$ from the PA for a building program.  I am... uncomfortable with that.  Simply because of the golden rule of arts and sciences.  What Caesar has so magnanimously given, he can just as readily take away, and perhaps even more.



Matt Hummel


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Eileen Smith

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #26 on: January 18, 2014, 01:09:06 PM »
What is the demand for new pastors in the ELCA?  If young men and women are to be encouraged to spend the time and money (and in most cases encure the student loan debt) to get a graduate degree and train for a profession, some assurance that positions will be available would be good.  A serious issue for any church body's seminary system is whether there is an excess capacity.  More students help keep the seminary alive but if they graduate all dressed up with no where to go, is the church or the students really well served?

Dan

There are degree programs other than a path to ordination. 

Chuck

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #27 on: January 18, 2014, 01:11:54 PM »
Looks like the NALC is showing 130,000 members.
http://thenalc.org/about-us-2/
"more than" numbers are not very helpful, but I suspect the NALC will begin tracking and publishing numbers similar to the ELCA and LCMS in the near future.

LCMC, however, is another story. Given their polity, I doubt it will ever happen.
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 #28 on: January 18, 2014, 02:41:07 PM »
According to the webpage of these seminaries,
this was their student enrollment in 2010.

Chicago.........290
Philly.............260
Gettysburg.....228
Columbus.......155
Dubuque........153
St. Paul..........Not Available

When you consider that those numbers
represent 1st year, 2nd year, Internships,
and 4th year students, then for example
Dubuque has about 38 students in each
class.  Interesting situations.

scott8

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Re: Questions About 8 ELCA Seminaries
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2014, 02:46:47 PM »
According to the webpage of these seminaries,
this was their student enrollment in 2010.

Chicago.........290
Philly.............260
Gettysburg.....228
Columbus.......155
Dubuque........153
St. Paul..........Not Available

When you consider that those numbers
represent 1st year, 2nd year, Internships,
and 4th year students, then for example
Dubuque has about 38 students in each
class.  Interesting situations.

Luther Seminary's 2012-2013 enrollment for all programs was 764 students.