Author Topic: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”  (Read 7856 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #105 on: February 08, 2018, 09:33:50 AM »
FWIW the numbers of pastors retiring at age 62 in this context is minimal.  The number retiring at 65 is also minimal.  To receive full Social Security, any pastor in this age bracket cannot retire until within months of age 67.  The seminaries are not pushing this.  Rosters and Statistics are the ones who have the firm numbers on the ages of our pastors.  Will pastors postpone retirement?  Some surely will because they don't want to stop work and age 70 is hardly OLD when you live to mid-80s or beyond.  Some surely will retire because they cannot afford it BUT they probably will shift from full-time to part-time and thus the growing numbers of congregations seeking part-time pastors will have a pool to draw from.  BUT it is foolish to believe that these pastors will just keep on keeping on forever.  Again the stats suggest 5-10 years.  If we wanted to increase the numbers preparing for pastoral ministry now, we would not see the result for 5-8 years.  In the meantime the numbers drop from the seminaries and the numbers of calls not filled for candidates indicates the time is coming soon when it will become more crisis than problem.  I get that some say they have heard these predicted retirements for some time but that does not mean that it is not true.  It may only mean that the actual time when it will happen has been pushed back a bit.  I have already heard from classmates who have purchased retirement homes and are planning to retire within the next 1-2 years.  I don't want to retire but I know many of my class do and will for various reasons.  So this is not theory.  It is happening.

There are a bunch of things happening at the same time.  Less compensationally viable congregations producing more yoked/linked/dual-triple situations; more second career pastors with shorter terms; more folks at the large and super-large level using other kinds of staffing patterns; pastors sticking around longer after age 65; pastors after 65 taking some of the small individual congregations, etc.  I heard that Matt (Harrison) spoke about the LCMS losing a half million congregants in the next 5-10, and then leveling off at some number around 1.3 million.  I agree with the loss of a half million.  What I don't perceive is that there is any reason to think the decline is going to level off.  The decline may accelerate to a point as the golden agers head to their eternal rest, but the replacement scenario after that is sketchy at best.  The question waiting to be called, of course, is the two seminary model as currently arranged.  There's the room - and there's the elephant lumbering in.

Dave Benke

You have probably had better access to numbers and demographics than I have, but if they are anything like what I've played with, that leveling off scenario isn't that sketchy.  It is already there in those numbers.  You've got a "pig in the python" in the 65+ group, many of which are simply what we call cultural Christians, except they attend, because that is what people of the 75 yo generation did.  The pig passes out of the python in the next 5-10 years.  There are only really two assumptions in the leveling off.  1) The rather high retention rate & new member/current member rates of the LCMS remain as per history.  2) The birth rates do not drop substantially.  That second one simply assumes that religious women continue their replacement level (~2.1 kids) while the overall lower rate is caused by secular population.  All of that except for the -10-0 group is already present.  Another way to think about it is the normalization of two things: 1) the lower religiosity of the overall population leveling off at around the 20% level and 2) the finalization of the demographic Christmas tree turning into a demographic May Pole.

Congregation wise you can make a good prediction just by looking at the under 65 in isolation from the 65+.  The percent 65+ is going to be higher than the general population due to those generation attendance habits, but you take them out and look at the congregation left, if it is probably younger than the surrounding culture, it will probably muddle through and stabilize.  If you remove the 65+ and you are still older than the local comparison, or you can't even make the comparison, outside of AZ/FL it probably will hit a crash.  The good news starts to happen as some of those that crash free up members for the others to absorb.  You get into a virtuous cycle of adding people and budget to places without having to spend more on either staff or buildings, instead of the vice cycle we are in now of scrimping on staff and everything else and under-utilizing the staff you have or using them in odd ways just to keep a door open.  In 10 years we should have less congregations but hopefully stronger.  My guess is that the pastoral retirement crisis vanishes with the crash of those congregations.  And that is a hopeful glide path.

As far as the two seminaries, yep.  Let's say the 6000 congregations ends up around 4500.  You only need 110-120 seminarians a year to cover that (and a small growth rate).  So a slight recovery from now, but nowhere near back to even the 200+ in my year.  Of course that is why both have been very busy hoovering out all the money in the synod and spending it on physical libraries.  So when that elephant actually gets addressed they can both say, "well, we just spent millions of dollars on this building.  You don't want to close us now."

This is pretty good math.  What I don't find is the other pig in the python, which is the number glut in the larger churches.  Over 50, and ever-rising, percent of the worshipers come from 15 and dropping percent of the congregations.  What that means is that even with your drop of 1500 congregations, another chunk of them (another 1500 possibly) will have shrunk to the point of not being able to compensate a pastor. 

A way to deal with this along the highway of life would be/will be if the larger and healthy churches create the energy for taking over work in the areas/neighborhoods where the perishing parishes are located.  That could happen.  But the pastoral leadership dynamics would have to be encouraged toward boldness and creativity, to say the least, and that would have to be a central theme at the seminary training level. 

Of course, that's only in the Missouri Synod spectrum.  This is happening throughout denominational Protestantism. 

I personally do not have to take a wider view of things by supervisory vocation any more.  That was tough work at the regional/diocesan level while I was doing it, and it is going to get way, way tougher.  At the national level it will have to do with institution and central workforce decision-making.  Also tough. 

At the local level, however, where I will be bunkered for the remainder of my time, it's about creating opportunity for leadership development and succession that allows for the local congregation to flourish forward under God's grace.  I have sent out a half dozen into the pastoral ministry from my own congregation who were fostered by us, and then given over to mission/congregational work.  Right now we have just decided to support three more men toward ordination, not all of whom will be sent somewhere else, plus supporting several women toward rostered status who will remain among us.  I know the District has urban congregations and mission at the center of its focus, and that collaboration is a must.  But the numbers story in our local urban parishes is not a good one, and I believe it's the same across the country.  It's a near-mirror of the rural situations.  And of course in the Missouri Synod there are more of the rural congregations than urban. 

Dave Benke

Yeah, there is that other pig in the python, in regards to large vs. small, but let me advance three thoughts.
1) That is something of a reflection of an 80/20 rule that is just a law of nature.  It is often a reflection of the 80/20 rule of where people live.  The 2010 census considered 19.5% of the population rural.  But congregations, even though we are congregational, aren't.  They are and were intended to be parishes.  As you say, the real choice here is do "Congregations Matter" which is a nice fig leaf for large congregations to go their own way after demanding their own way, or do we still maintain some responsibility toward the weaker brothers?  Is there still a sense as a church that we have responsibility to territory (i.e parish)?  And does that sense respect the people in that place?

2)  There is a church of Philadelphia aspect to small churches in many different ways.  One can give the law proclamation as I did above in regard to tithing.  A church that worships 60 has it well within their means not only to survive but thrive.  It is their choice.  But beyond that the people who stick in small churches, and I say this in the most loving way, are often eccentric.  They have never been comfortable in large gathering and never will be.  Many of them have been burned or abused.  The small church is the MASH unit of churches.  While the large church sucks in all the normies, the smaller attracts the 20%.  Christ says he keeps that door open for a reason.  He always had a heart for the ones out of step and largely powerless.

3) I also didn't address that in my math because I think God is doing something wonderful.  Exactly what you say about this not just being an LCMS phenomenon.  The Catholics and the non-denoms have both already normalized their physical infrastructure.  The Catholics because they can just order it.  The non-denoms because they caught a wave in the '80s and have been surfing it ever since.  And being committed congregationalists, they don't wring their hands too much over the churches that close or don't make it.  But in the Magisterial Protestant tradition you have all these corners across the land that have 4 churches on them.  Some have shut, but on many of those corners you have 4 struggling churches.  When Christ tells Philadelphia that he will make those who claim to be Jews but are not, come, bow and learn that I have loved you, I think you've got a promise to faithful churches.  That virtuous cycle I think will include a trickle of former mainliners coming in as the long delayed normalization happens.

Which is basically to say that God delights in bringing down the mighty and exalting the humble who trust in him.

I've been sheperding a small-ish congregation for a full biblical generation.  Roy Oswald, a longtime Alban Institute leader, used the terms family, pastoral, program and corporate.  Under 50, 50-150, 150-350, 350 and up.  There are a lot of subgroupings in that, though.  My use of "shepherding" comes from my usually having a worshiping group of 150 to 90.  When you say that 60 in worship can support a building and a pastor, I have trouble believing that, unless they're all old people with money. 

My urgent plea to pastors in smaller congregations has been to take realistic bites at moving the worshiping group up the ladder by 5s and 10s, through serious inreach and outreach efforts that involve the whole congregation and include community presence, not community absence and a closed/locked door.   Anyway, the theories about who will survive denominationally  become less pertinent when you're one of those who is charged with spiritual leadership of a specific group of people at a specific time in their life and congregational journey.

Dave Benke

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #106 on: February 08, 2018, 10:17:48 PM »
One Sunday, sometime in the late 1950s, after a year of study and with an "assistant pastor" in charge of the project, we sent about 250 of those members to a site about five miles away to begin a new congregation under the leadership of that assistant pastor. It was in another part of Sioux City where a lot of new homes were being built.

A model I'd like to see us try in the ELCA. 
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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #107 on: February 09, 2018, 04:32:34 PM »

I've been sheperding a small-ish congregation for a full biblical generation.  Roy Oswald, a longtime Alban Institute leader, used the terms family, pastoral, program and corporate.  Under 50, 50-150, 150-350, 350 and up.  There are a lot of subgroupings in that, though.  My use of "shepherding" comes from my usually having a worshiping group of 150 to 90.  When you say that 60 in worship can support a building and a pastor, I have trouble believing that, unless they're all old people with money. 

My urgent plea to pastors in smaller congregations has been to take realistic bites at moving the worshiping group up the ladder by 5s and 10s, through serious inreach and outreach efforts that involve the whole congregation and include community presence, not community absence and a closed/locked door.   Anyway, the theories about who will survive denominationally  become less pertinent when you're one of those who is charged with spiritual leadership of a specific group of people at a specific time in their life and congregational journey.

Dave Benke

I don't say that it would be easy, or that it could happen everywhere, but the math is rather easy.  A congregation worshiping 60 probably has 120 on the rolls.  Those 120 break out into households, the basic support point, at 1 household per 2.5 people, so 48 households.  The median household income in the US is $58,000.  A simple tithe, the basic law requirement, would be 10%*48*58K = $278K.  That would be more than enough for any budget.

Now back it away to reality.  The first part is that the congregation really has to be debt free and own their building.  Even better if they fit the building.  They operate purely in the cash economy.  A second thing is that the pastor of this place is going to be paid roughly at the that median level plus benefits.  The total cost of that pastor is roughly $100k plus or minus a few thousand.  The cost of maintaining the building and basic program materials would be roughly $40K.  Total church budget $140k.  So what that means is that you can back down that flat tithe to 5%.  Now 80/20 rules tend to apply here as well.  You will either need to have: a) a couple of very high earner tithers, b) a couple of folks that give more than a tithe, or c) move that 80/20 to something more like 70/30, or 60/40.  10 households (20% of households) provide 70% of the budget, and the other 38 households provide 30%.  So, you've got 140K*.3/38 = $1,100/household or roughly $20/wk.  That is not hard.  The 140K*.7/10 = $9,800 or roughly $190/wk.  That is the tough part, but possible in many places in America. 

There are three things I would say about this: 1) it is always walking a line.  You have to develop a zen mentality or a great faith that God will provide.  2) You have to be no nonsense with the congregation about this.  That has two effects in that it reminds the congregation that it is their choice.  They can put their money into heavenly accounts, or they can keep it knowing that the thing the moth and rust will get will be this particular building.  It also has an encouragement effect to those that are supporting.  (And don't whine to me about works righteousness.  You will get the reward both now and in the world to come. A warm fuzzy is not the prosperity gospel.)  3) The pastor really has to have what I call an "ownership" mentality and not get grumpy about it.  Ask anyone who runs a small business what happens during the the slow time.  It comes out of the owner.  (The real trouble with this point is that a small business owner doesn't have to answer to even a small board while the pastor answers to the congregation.  Which means that you can't be reactive, but have to act with foresight in financial matters.  Alas, an MBA or even a basic course in financial records and management would be worth more than all the "practical theology" courses rolled together.)

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #108 on: February 09, 2018, 04:59:53 PM »
The median household income in the US is $58,000.


How income varies among U.S. religious groups

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/10/11/how-income-varies-among-u-s-religious-groups/

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #109 on: February 09, 2018, 05:15:42 PM »
A bit of a summary:
So Jews have the largest percentage (44%) making over $100,000.
They are followed at that income by Hindus (36%), then Episcopalians (35%), then atheists and agnostics (30 and 29%).
UCCs, ELCA, Methodists, Presbyterian, Unitarians, and LCMS follow that, with percentages from 29% to 20% of households making over $100,000.
In the ELCA, it’s 26%, the LCMS 22%.
Catholics have 19%.
Bottom of the list? Baptists, Adventists, Buddhists, Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Pew research people attribute the increased income to education levels of the members of the denominations.


Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Now in Minneapolis. One must always ponder both the value and the dangers of poking the bear. Aroused and stimulated, the bear usually shows its true self. Or it might leap to an extreme version of itself. You never know with bears.

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #110 on: February 09, 2018, 05:42:21 PM »
A bit of a summary:
So Jews have the largest percentage (44%) making over $100,000.
They are followed at that income by Hindus (36%), then Episcopalians (35%), then atheists and agnostics (30 and 29%).
UCCs, ELCA, Methodists, Presbyterian, Unitarians, and LCMS follow that, with percentages from 29% to 20% of households making over $100,000.
In the ELCA, it’s 26%, the LCMS 22%.
Catholics have 19%.
Bottom of the list? Baptists, Adventists, Buddhists, Assemblies of God, Church of God in Christ, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The Pew research people attribute the increased income to education levels of the members of the denominations.

This is very interesting in light of the article written by Mark Granquist in a recent issue of Lutheran Forum.  (I can't find the issue right now.)  One of the themes was the class consciousness of Lutherans as they sought in the post WWII era to join the Mainline.  In other words, we wanted to be more like the Episcopalians at 35%.

On the other hand, look at those who are below us:  Catholics, Baptists, Assemblies of God, Church of God.  I'll bet all of them are either growing, or declining at a far slower rate than we and the Episcopalians are.  Could our decline have anything to do with an implicit disdain for working and middle class Americans? 
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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #111 on: February 09, 2018, 09:56:10 PM »
Mark,

One of the things we realized years ago was that if our people are up to their eyeballs in debt, they can’t actually support the church. Our “stewardship” program was actually Financial Peace University. Very occasionally a bit wonky, but overall right on. It made a difference. Several other area congregations have taken a quite similar approach. Help our people understand that God meant it when He said: “Owe no man anything except the ongoing debt to love one another” and with Dave’s solid and easy to understand steps, you’re on your way to a congregation where the giving IS possible. And a joy!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 10:15:23 PM by Weedon »

Harry Edmon

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #112 on: February 10, 2018, 10:29:04 AM »
Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis just published the following news item:

New financial aid policy begins in 2018-19 academic year

100 percent tuition covered for residential pastoral, diaconal students

Zero. That is the amount students pursuing pastoral and diaconal ministry certification at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis will pay for tuition beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Seminary’s new financial aid policy — made possible by the incredible generosity and support of Seminary donors — guarantees financial aid at least equal to the cost of tuition for all Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Residential Alternate Route (RAR) and Deaconess Studies students effective this fall.

The application deadline for the upcoming academic year is Feb. 28 and the financial aid deadline is April 1.

“Some of our future pastors and deaconesses don’t receive enough financial aid to cover their tuition bill in full,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “This new policy will cover that shortfall, relieving that burden and, I pray, opening the door to more students down the road who can put the worry of how to pay for their Seminary education behind them.”

The Seminary’s Board of Regents approved the new policy in September and Meyer first introduced the new policy at a convocation held on campus Oct. 25.

Students receive financial assistance from many sources, including scholarships, the Adopt-a-Student Program, and specific support from home congregations and districts. Under the new policy, if an M.Div. or RAR student still has a tuition shortfall after factoring in that outside aid, the Seminary will completely cover the shortfall with a Residential Program Grant. Previously, these students were guaranteed a grant for 25 percent of the charged tuition before other sources of financial aid were factored into their tuition bill.

“While we celebrate and give thanks to our donors for their generous support, which has been given as a result of the Generations Campaign and makes this new policy possible, it’s important to remember that removing our students’ out-of-pocket tuition expenses can only continue and get even better with the ongoing support of our partners and donors,” Meyer said. “We need to be in partnership in this.”

All Seminary-based financial aid, including the grant established under the new policy, are grants and not loans, and therefore do not need to be paid back. The amount each student receives will vary based on his or her tuition shortfall. Other expenses incurred, including housing, insurance, books and other necessities, are the responsibility of the student.

The new policy requires M.Div. and RAR students to sign a “Partnership Covenant” with the Seminary, agreeing to the policy and committing to maintain satisfactory academic performance, apply for scholarships, disclose all sources of financial aid and communicate regularly with Adopt-A-Student donors.

Deaconess Studies students also will receive a grant that will completely meet their tuition bill after other types of aid are factored into their tuition costs. To maintain their eligibility for this financial aid, deaconess students also must agree to maintain satisfactory academic progress and are encouraged to apply for scholarships and correspond with donors.

“Concordia Seminary students are receiving record amounts of financial aid,” said Financial Aid Director Laura Hemmer. “We are committed to continuing to assist students in keeping financial concerns at a minimum and supporting them as they continue their Seminary studies and pursue ministry in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #113 on: February 10, 2018, 10:49:09 AM »
Concordia Seminary in Saint Louis just published the following news item:

New financial aid policy begins in 2018-19 academic year

100 percent tuition covered for residential pastoral, diaconal students

Zero. That is the amount students pursuing pastoral and diaconal ministry certification at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis will pay for tuition beginning in the 2018-19 academic year.

The Seminary’s new financial aid policy — made possible by the incredible generosity and support of Seminary donors — guarantees financial aid at least equal to the cost of tuition for all Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Residential Alternate Route (RAR) and Deaconess Studies students effective this fall.

The application deadline for the upcoming academic year is Feb. 28 and the financial aid deadline is April 1.

“Some of our future pastors and deaconesses don’t receive enough financial aid to cover their tuition bill in full,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “This new policy will cover that shortfall, relieving that burden and, I pray, opening the door to more students down the road who can put the worry of how to pay for their Seminary education behind them.”

The Seminary’s Board of Regents approved the new policy in September and Meyer first introduced the new policy at a convocation held on campus Oct. 25.

Students receive financial assistance from many sources, including scholarships, the Adopt-a-Student Program, and specific support from home congregations and districts. Under the new policy, if an M.Div. or RAR student still has a tuition shortfall after factoring in that outside aid, the Seminary will completely cover the shortfall with a Residential Program Grant. Previously, these students were guaranteed a grant for 25 percent of the charged tuition before other sources of financial aid were factored into their tuition bill.

“While we celebrate and give thanks to our donors for their generous support, which has been given as a result of the Generations Campaign and makes this new policy possible, it’s important to remember that removing our students’ out-of-pocket tuition expenses can only continue and get even better with the ongoing support of our partners and donors,” Meyer said. “We need to be in partnership in this.”

All Seminary-based financial aid, including the grant established under the new policy, are grants and not loans, and therefore do not need to be paid back. The amount each student receives will vary based on his or her tuition shortfall. Other expenses incurred, including housing, insurance, books and other necessities, are the responsibility of the student.

The new policy requires M.Div. and RAR students to sign a “Partnership Covenant” with the Seminary, agreeing to the policy and committing to maintain satisfactory academic performance, apply for scholarships, disclose all sources of financial aid and communicate regularly with Adopt-A-Student donors.

Deaconess Studies students also will receive a grant that will completely meet their tuition bill after other types of aid are factored into their tuition costs. To maintain their eligibility for this financial aid, deaconess students also must agree to maintain satisfactory academic progress and are encouraged to apply for scholarships and correspond with donors.

“Concordia Seminary students are receiving record amounts of financial aid,” said Financial Aid Director Laura Hemmer. “We are committed to continuing to assist students in keeping financial concerns at a minimum and supporting them as they continue their Seminary studies and pursue ministry in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


This is great news!  I hope that Ft. Wayne is able to find a similar way to do the same. 

The new policy requires M.Div. and RAR students to sign a “Partnership Covenant” with the Seminary, agreeing to the policy and committing to maintain satisfactory academic performance, apply for scholarships, disclose all sources of financial aid and communicate regularly with Adopt-A-Student donors.

I think the above is a good policy.  Not only does it remind the student that this is not some kind of easy free ride where they can just coast, but they need to be working hard in their preparation - and actively seeking other funding sources to offset the grant.  I hope it works.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Mark Brown

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #114 on: February 10, 2018, 11:32:56 AM »
Mark,

One of the things we realized years ago was that if our people are up to their eyeballs in debt, they can’t actually support the church. Our “stewardship” program was actually Financial Peace University. Very occasionally a bit wonky, but overall right on. It made a difference. Several other area congregations have taken a quite similar approach. Help our people understand that God meant it when He said: “Owe no man anything except the ongoing debt to love one another” and with Dave’s solid and easy to understand steps, you’re on your way to a congregation where the giving IS possible. And a joy!

That is one piece of the Evangelical world that I pass along any chance I get.  I never get enough interested at one time to do a class, but I've recommended it and walked people through the steps quite a bit.  There is quite a niche with 20 somethings for just that.  It is like somewhere we just stopped teaching or passing along practical financial wisdom.  If you owe people too much, your options are quite limited.  (Now if only our federal government could be put on the Dave Ramsey plan.)

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #115 on: February 10, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »
FPU is a fine tool but it doesn’t address that young people didn’t just get into terrible debt through the traditional understanding of “making bad choices”, but through attending higher ed, including seminary. I’m happy to see that CSL at least has a several year (funded) plan in place to take care of tuition for students but I’d really like to see synod do more to make such financial assistance permanent and even to help those who rode into the system needing to take on debt simply to do what everyone else before them has done.

When it comes to millennial (educational) debt there is a lot of misunderstandings as to how this could have happened (i.e., “When I was in school I worked at Mike’s chicken shack and paid for school myself, why should we help you?”). Mike’s chicken shack is long gone, as is the ability for a low wage job being able to cover costs of education. Again Ramsey is great, but simply touting his financial wisdom doesn’t get to the problem itself.

M. Staneck
Matt Staneck, Pastor
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Queens, NY

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #116 on: February 10, 2018, 12:33:29 PM »
Our congregation offers schaolarships of abour $1000 (sometimes more depending on how many apply) to anyone from Indiana who goes to either seminary. Some years nobody at all applies. We've called the seminaries about this. They say they publicize it. One year there were something like 15 eligible seminarians and no applicants. I think that is because it is just paperwork for the seminarian. They have to disclose that they get it, which reduces the amount they get elsewhere. So they look at the available scholarships online and see nothing in it for them but opportunities to fill out forms and write and thank you notes. 

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #117 on: February 10, 2018, 03:48:33 PM »
Our congregation offers schaolarships of abour $1000 (sometimes more depending on how many apply) to anyone from Indiana who goes to either seminary. Some years nobody at all applies. We've called the seminaries about this. They say they publicize it. One year there were something like 15 eligible seminarians and no applicants. I think that is because it is just paperwork for the seminarian. They have to disclose that they get it, which reduces the amount they get elsewhere. So they look at the available scholarships online and see nothing in it for them but opportunities to fill out forms and write and thank you notes.

Please change "Indiana" to "New York" and send that info this way.  Thanks,

Dave Benke

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #118 on: February 10, 2018, 05:52:15 PM »
Our congregation has $4,800 in its budget for anyone from the congregation who is attending one of the seminaries.  If no one is attending we send the funds to Fort Wayne for their general scholarship fund.
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

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Re: LSTC Now “Accredited – On Probation”
« Reply #119 on: February 10, 2018, 06:31:47 PM »
Our congregation offers schaolarships of abour $1000 (sometimes more depending on how many apply) to anyone from Indiana who goes to either seminary. Some years nobody at all applies. We've called the seminaries about this. They say they publicize it. One year there were something like 15 eligible seminarians and no applicants. I think that is because it is just paperwork for the seminarian. They have to disclose that they get it, which reduces the amount they get elsewhere. So they look at the available scholarships online and see nothing in it for them but opportunities to fill out forms and write and thank you notes.

Rework it so that $1000 goes to the seminaries, for them to to reduce costs for Indianarians?

Of course, reduced costs could lead to reduced grants, and the whole thing goes round and round, but still...