Author Topic: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes  (Read 1685 times)

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5081
    • View Profile
Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« on: June 22, 2018, 04:49:23 PM »
Saint Paul's Luther Seminary will be selling land and buildings and offering free tuition to incoming students.

A neighborhood paper has what looks like a good story, though it's heaving on the sales and light on the tuition plan: https://www.parkbugle.org/luther-seminary-to-sell-15-acres-of-buildings-land/

The former Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary is to be sold, along with the adjacent dormitory Stub Hall.What I don't quite understand is the proposal to ' find an “outside partner” that would renovate Bockman Hall, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and create space that the seminary can use for short-term student housing.' The short-term student housing would presumably be for students in the "distributed learning program."

The article does say, "Students will still need to pay for room and board, transportation and books, but the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts students will get full tuition."

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

JMiller1

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 11:46:29 AM »
Free tuition, yes that ought to attract just the right kind of candidate. ::)

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 11913
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 12:23:05 PM »
Both CTSFW and CSL are offering free tuition for ministerial and deaconess students.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Steven Tibbetts

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10214
  • Big tents are for circuses.
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 12:38:30 PM »
United [sic?] Seminary has had free tuition for those in ELCA candidacy since it began operating, and Mt. Airy had been doing so for a year or two before the merger with Gettysburg.

spt+
The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Pastor Zip's Blog

James_Gale

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4017
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2018, 12:55:42 PM »
Saint Paul's Luther Seminary will be selling land and buildings and offering free tuition to incoming students.

A neighborhood paper has what looks like a good story, though it's heaving on the sales and light on the tuition plan: https://www.parkbugle.org/luther-seminary-to-sell-15-acres-of-buildings-land/

The former Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary is to be sold, along with the adjacent dormitory Stub Hall.What I don't quite understand is the proposal to ' find an “outside partner” that would renovate Bockman Hall, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and create space that the seminary can use for short-term student housing.' The short-term student housing would presumably be for students in the "distributed learning program."

The article does say, "Students will still need to pay for room and board, transportation and books, but the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts students will get full tuition."

Peace,
Michael


Father Michael --


This looks to me like a way to finance a residence hall.  Rather than retain ownership and renovate the building itself, the seminary will sell the property as part of a larger deal under which the buyer will agree to renovate the building and to operate it as a residence hall open to seminary students.  (The agreement certainly would include provisions that would under defined circumstances relieve the buyer of any obligation to use the building to house seminarians.)


My very loose understanding is that this kind of deal can be attractive to an investor while simultaneously taking pressure off a school's balance sheet. 

Michael Slusser

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5081
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 01:26:55 PM »
What I don't quite understand is the proposal to ' find an “outside partner” that would renovate Bockman Hall, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and create space that the seminary can use for short-term student housing.' The short-term student housing would presumably be for students in the "distributed learning program."


Father Michael --

This looks to me like a way to finance a residence hall.  Rather than retain ownership and renovate the building itself, the seminary will sell the property as part of a larger deal under which the buyer will agree to renovate the building and to operate it as a residence hall open to seminary students.  (The agreement certainly would include provisions that would under defined circumstances relieve the buyer of any obligation to use the building to house seminarians.)

My very loose understanding is that this kind of deal can be attractive to an investor while simultaneously taking pressure off a school's balance sheet.

Given the physical location of Bockman Hall, its architectural style (very high ceilings and wide corridors, with spacious classrooms and limited plumbing), I just have a problem imagining the renovation. The investor would certainly need to be one who had no other plans for the project than to serve the Seminary.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

James_Gale

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4017
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 01:44:54 PM »
What I don't quite understand is the proposal to ' find an “outside partner” that would renovate Bockman Hall, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and create space that the seminary can use for short-term student housing.' The short-term student housing would presumably be for students in the "distributed learning program."


Father Michael --

This looks to me like a way to finance a residence hall.  Rather than retain ownership and renovate the building itself, the seminary will sell the property as part of a larger deal under which the buyer will agree to renovate the building and to operate it as a residence hall open to seminary students.  (The agreement certainly would include provisions that would under defined circumstances relieve the buyer of any obligation to use the building to house seminarians.)

My very loose understanding is that this kind of deal can be attractive to an investor while simultaneously taking pressure off a school's balance sheet.

Given the physical location of Bockman Hall, its architectural style (very high ceilings and wide corridors, with spacious classrooms and limited plumbing), I just have a problem imagining the renovation. The investor would certainly need to be one who had no other plans for the project than to serve the Seminary.

Peace,
Michael


The seminary's plan seems to be to condition sale on the investor's willingness to renovate the building for use by seminary students.  I have no idea whether any investor will be willing to accept such conditions.  And I share your skepticism regarding the plan's feasibility, given the characteristics of the building.

JMiller1

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 10:23:14 AM »
United [sic?] Seminary has had free tuition for those in ELCA candidacy since it began operating, and Mt. Airy had been doing so for a year or two before the merger with Gettysburg.

spt+
I was employed while I went to seminary. I paid my bills and my tuition. If tuition is a problem for many, perhaps it is that their lives have been relatively free from achievement and therefore they are unable to earn the money necessary to pay their bills. Do we really want to inflict these folks on congregations?   

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 11913
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 10:27:17 AM »
For most educational institutions, seminaries included, tuition rates have grown much faster than wages.  It’s much harder these days to earn enough while going to school full time to pay tuition and other expenses.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Pr. Terry Culler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2150
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 10:33:42 AM »
For most educational institutions, seminaries included, tuition rates have grown much faster than wages.  It’s much harder these days to earn enough while going to school full time to pay tuition and other expenses.

I am assisting in my granddaughter's search for a college and I'm flabbergasted by the increase in tuition cost since my youngest daughter graduated in 2004.  Last week we visited the school where my daughter studied and found the tuition twice what it was 14 years ago despite the fact that we are encouraging people who probably ought not to attend college to do so and the growing number of schools that make it darn near impossible to graduate in 4 years.  Another broken system in America.
Goodnewsforabadworld.wordpress.com

Keith Falk

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 03:43:57 PM »
United [sic?] Seminary has had free tuition for those in ELCA candidacy since it began operating, and Mt. Airy had been doing so for a year or two before the merger with Gettysburg.

spt+
I was employed while I went to seminary. I paid my bills and my tuition. If tuition is a problem for many, perhaps it is that their lives have been relatively free from achievement and therefore they are unable to earn the money necessary to pay their bills. Do we really want to inflict these folks on congregations?


Clearly spoken by one who has not attended college or seminary the last 15 years.  It isn't "perhaps...that their lives have been relatively free from achievement".  Doing a basic internet search on tuition for undergraduate degree and graduate degrees will show the issue. 

On the church side of things, chances are pretty good that your congregation and/or district/synod gives significantly less to its local seminary now than 15 years ago, too.  If they aren't being supported by the church, then tuition and other prices go up.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

FrPeters

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2347
  • An Obedient Rebel
    • View Profile
    • Grace Lutheran Church Website
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 03:45:46 PM »
With student loans to finance it, the cost of college can increase as quickly and as high as the schools desire.  At the same time, the degrees earned there continue to be worth less in the marketplace.  When I went to college (and seminary) it was possible to earn more than enough over the summer to cover nearly all of the costs (with scholarships) but I do not think it possible today for most students to do that (unless their state schools have low tuition and the student lives at home during college).  In addition, the way FAFSA works, it does not matter how much a student has on hand to cover the cost of college or how many scholarships he or she mght qualify for, all that money is reduced from need so that it often seems like that student is being punished for having money or having parents who earn a fair wage (two parents earning).  In the end, schools will soon run out of students as the numbers of 18 year olds shrinks and will learn how to saddle older folks with student debt -- including those who might have escaped it on their first go around.  Right down the road from me is Vanderbilt and it literally costs per year what my 2400 square foot all brick house cost new in 1992.
Fr Larry Peters
Grace LCMS, Clarksville, TN
http://www.pastoralmeanderings.blogspot.com/

JMiller1

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 08:57:54 AM »
United [sic?] Seminary has had free tuition for those in ELCA candidacy since it began operating, and Mt. Airy had been doing so for a year or two before the merger with Gettysburg.

spt+
I was employed while I went to seminary. I paid my bills and my tuition. If tuition is a problem for many, perhaps it is that their lives have been relatively free from achievement and therefore they are unable to earn the money necessary to pay their bills. Do we really want to inflict these folks on congregations?


Clearly spoken by one who has not attended college or seminary the last 15 years.  It isn't "perhaps...that their lives have been relatively free from achievement".  Doing a basic internet search on tuition for undergraduate degree and graduate degrees will show the issue. 

On the church side of things, chances are pretty good that your congregation and/or district/synod gives significantly less to its local seminary now than 15 years ago, too.  If they aren't being supported by the church, then tuition and other prices go up.

My youngest graduated last year from the same BIG10 school I attended, so I am well aware of the ridiculous price of an education, thank you very much. At the same time, I don't like the all-too-socialist idea that stuff should be "free." But then, I was not a Bernie Sanders supporter and I didn't honeymoon in Moscow.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12523
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2018, 09:58:07 AM »
There is free public education at the university level in Sweden and Norway, and Oslo and Stockholm are not Moscow.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Interesting things on the new administration and religion in the 1/24 newspapers. Douthat column, e.g. Posted link here, but it was deleted.

JMiller1

  • ALPB Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Re: Luther Seminary undertaking major changes
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2018, 10:12:24 AM »
And how is that working for them?

from an article last year....

A WIN/Gallup International poll conducted in 2014 revealed that nearly eight out of 10 Swedes are either "not religious" or "convinced atheists," making the country one of the least religious nations in the Western world. "It's a little bit surprising because we have a lot of members," Gunnar Sjöberg, head of communication for the Swedish Church, told The Local.

Maybe they really shouldn't be that surprised.