Author Topic: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year  (Read 50382 times)

Dave Benke

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #360 on: December 12, 2021, 07:45:36 PM »
Iím still mystified at how they arrive at 300 mil. That seems like it would be substantially more than CUPís gross operating budget over a decade or more.

Check out the contracts that were signed.  Come to your own conclusion as to whether or not those contracts were beneficial to CUP or to those who ran CUP at the time.

For my part, I deeply mourn the closing of CUP. The opportunities to reach out with the Gospel in Portland were immense and ongoing at the time of its closure.  Many, many people were hearing the Gospel for the first time in an incredibly hostile environment.  With its closure, those opportunities have gone away.

Your statement on the lost opportunities is exactly on target.  Engagement with the Gospel has, for the Church, invariably involved going into terra incognita.  The loss of Concordias on the coasts and in the southern Black Belt by the LCMS are not merely or mostly about money, but about lost opportunity.

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #361 on: December 12, 2021, 07:55:29 PM »
Would it have been better to have closed St. Louis or Chicago and used the money from that sale to keep those costal Concordias open?
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Dave Benke

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #362 on: December 12, 2021, 08:06:48 PM »
Would it have been better to have closed St. Louis or Chicago and used the money from that sale to keep those costal Concordias open?

The concept of closing one of the seminaries has been put on the shelf for at least the last decade.  I don't see that changing. 

I don't know about the financial health of Concordia Chicago, so I'm not sure it needs to close for financial reasons (meaning its closure wouldn't have helped any coastal Concordias) or is in the pink/black.  Concordia Wisconsin is an hour and half away, and Ann Arbor maybe 3 hours (?) away, so there are handy LCMS haciendas in the vicinity.  All of that is above the pay grade of us on this board.

What I can see in all of this is the national body, LCMS Inc, moving at the speed of light away from financial entanglements with its colleges; that will be on the docket for the next national convention, without - as far as I can tell - giving up the national election of trustees to the localized Concordias.  No national bail-outs, and yet necessity of Theological Accreditation for continuation in the system with trustees/regents chosen from around the country to guard the doctrine.

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The Yak

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #363 on: December 12, 2021, 09:27:41 PM »
Would it have been better to have closed St. Louis or Chicago and used the money from that sale to keep those costal Concordias open?

No.  This assumes a great deal about how the Concordias operate that simply doesn't reflect reality.

Though I appreciate the sentiment (even as I left teaching at a coastal Concordia to teach at CUAA).
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Mbecker

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #364 on: December 13, 2021, 11:30:54 PM »
The opportunities to reach out with the Gospel in Portland were immense and ongoing at the time of its closure.  Many, many people were hearing the Gospel for the first time in an incredibly hostile environment.  With its closure, those opportunities have gone away.

Scott,
I couldn't agree more.

The challenges of reaching out with the gospel in that part of the country have always been immense. That is partly why Franz Pieper once told the faithful in the NW: "You must grow your own." My grandfather was among the first "home-grown" LCMS pastors to serve in Oregon. He graduated from SL in 1924. My uncle was among those LCMS Oregonian pastors who were "grown" in the next generation. He graduated from SL in 1954. (Some of his friends were among those removed from the LCMS in the 70s as a result of the "Americanization" that Pieper both encouraged and resisted.) While my grandfather served in the NW throughout his entire adult life (including for a time on CUP's faculty in the 1930s), my uncle served there as well as in the Southern District, another "salt-water district" that has seen its own challenges over the years. (He and Orv Mueller came into that district in the same year. They were close friends.)

A little more than 30 years after my uncle graduated from SL, I graduated from the same place. During the decade that I taught on CUP's faculty, a large number of students in my required theology course had had limited exposure to the Christian gospel, since they came from non-religious, non-Christian homes, or they had given up on the Christian church altogether because of its manifest moral failures (e.g., clergy sex abuse, linkage with colonialism, defense of slavery, enforced patriarchy, etc.) or its intellectual failures (e.g., defending positions that run contrary to basic scientific knowledge). The NW USA has merely been a decade or two ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to the rise of the "nones" and the "dones."

The closure of CUP is a very sad episode in the much larger, more disturbing story of the decline of Christianity in the NW part of the USA. For what it's worth, I see evidence of that same decline here in these parts, too.

So the mission opportunities remain.

Matt Becker

P.S. Recently, I've toyed with the idea of writing a novel along the lines of Mann's Buddenbrooks. It would trace the history of a German immigrant family, whose youngest orphan is sent to Oregon to be raised by relatives who make sure that he is confirmed in the evangelical-catholic (i.e., Lutheran) faith (by the longest-serving LCMS pastor in Oregon history, no less). Later, that orphan's son becomes an LCMS pastor in the 1950s. (His other son nearly dies in the Korean War, while his daughter marries a prominent district attorney in central Oregon.) The patriarch's grandson, who attended the same schools as the grandfather and the uncle, also becomes an LCMS pastor in the late 1980s, and serves at the family's alma mater in the 1990s and early 2000s. It would be a story of decline, of course, but also one with glimmers of hope and moments of grace. But before that novel can be written, I need to finish editing the final three volumes of Edmund Schlink's works, and also complete the second edition of a book on fundamental theology. An excerpt from vol. 2 of ESW will be published in the spring issue of Lutheran Quarterly. That second volume, Schlink's dogmatics, should come out sometime next summer, d.v. The book on fundamental theology will come out, d.v., in the late fall. Remember: the ALPB is all about American Lutheran publicity. Hence the public plugs for some upcoming Lutheran offerings in the American setting.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2021, 11:32:51 PM by Mbecker »

Dave Benke

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #365 on: December 14, 2021, 10:53:31 AM »
The opportunities to reach out with the Gospel in Portland were immense and ongoing at the time of its closure.  Many, many people were hearing the Gospel for the first time in an incredibly hostile environment.  With its closure, those opportunities have gone away.

Scott,
I couldn't agree more.

The challenges of reaching out with the gospel in that part of the country have always been immense. That is partly why Franz Pieper once told the faithful in the NW: "You must grow your own." My grandfather was among the first "home-grown" LCMS pastors to serve in Oregon. He graduated from SL in 1924. My uncle was among those LCMS Oregonian pastors who were "grown" in the next generation. He graduated from SL in 1954. (Some of his friends were among those removed from the LCMS in the 70s as a result of the "Americanization" that Pieper both encouraged and resisted.) While my grandfather served in the NW throughout his entire adult life (including for a time on CUP's faculty in the 1930s), my uncle served there as well as in the Southern District, another "salt-water district" that has seen its own challenges over the years. (He and Orv Mueller came into that district in the same year. They were close friends.)

A little more than 30 years after my uncle graduated from SL, I graduated from the same place. During the decade that I taught on CUP's faculty, a large number of students in my required theology course had had limited exposure to the Christian gospel, since they came from non-religious, non-Christian homes, or they had given up on the Christian church altogether because of its manifest moral failures (e.g., clergy sex abuse, linkage with colonialism, defense of slavery, enforced patriarchy, etc.) or its intellectual failures (e.g., defending positions that run contrary to basic scientific knowledge). The NW USA has merely been a decade or two ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to the rise of the "nones" and the "dones."

The closure of CUP is a very sad episode in the much larger, more disturbing story of the decline of Christianity in the NW part of the USA. For what it's worth, I see evidence of that same decline here in these parts, too.

So the mission opportunities remain.

Matt Becker

P.S. Recently, I've toyed with the idea of writing a novel along the lines of Mann's Buddenbrooks. It would trace the history of a German immigrant family, whose youngest orphan is sent to Oregon to be raised by relatives who make sure that he is confirmed in the evangelical-catholic (i.e., Lutheran) faith (by the longest-serving LCMS pastor in Oregon history, no less). Later, that orphan's son becomes an LCMS pastor in the 1950s. (His other son nearly dies in the Korean War, while his daughter marries a prominent district attorney in central Oregon.) The patriarch's grandson, who attended the same schools as the grandfather and the uncle, also becomes an LCMS pastor in the late 1980s, and serves at the family's alma mater in the 1990s and early 2000s. It would be a story of decline, of course, but also one with glimmers of hope and moments of grace. But before that novel can be written, I need to finish editing the final three volumes of Edmund Schlink's works, and also complete the second edition of a book on fundamental theology. An excerpt from vol. 2 of ESW will be published in the spring issue of Lutheran Quarterly. That second volume, Schlink's dogmatics, should come out sometime next summer, d.v. The book on fundamental theology will come out, d.v., in the late fall. Remember: the ALPB is all about American Lutheran publicity. Hence the public plugs for some upcoming Lutheran offerings in the American setting.

Thanks for the entire post, Matt - my family tree also goes back to those many generations in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States.  One of the founding congregations was in, of all places, Ohio, and that's where my grandfather was confirmed.

As to the last paragraph, PUBLICITY 'R US at ALPB, so we're happy especially to join in the promotion of Lutheran theology and its fundamentals for then (Schlink) and now!

Dave Benke

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #366 on: December 14, 2021, 11:18:15 AM »
I once thought it was the "Evangelical Lutheran Church of Missouri, Ohio and Other States" or ELCMOOS, pronounced "Elk-Moose".
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.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #367 on: December 14, 2021, 12:32:00 PM »
The challenges of reaching out with the gospel in that part of the country have always been immense.


I was born in Seattle (as was my mother) and raised in Portland. We always heard that Oregon was the least churched state at about 29% churched and Washington was second with about 31% churched.


One of our problems is that Lutherans grew out of a state church mindset. We aren't really geared towards reaching out to the unchurched folks - going to where they are and learning to speak their language. (We did much better with pagans overseas than with the pagans at home.)


The girl-friend I had in high school was not churched. Our valedictorian and a three-year letterman was not churched. These, like many, many others were good, decent folks who just didn't see any need for the church. (They weren't immoral addicts destroying their lives without Christ.) I'm still not sure that we know how to reach such people with the gospel.


Even when I toured around Oregon with an LBI Gospel Team, and with a folk singing group out of Concordia, Portland, we only performed in Lutheran congregations. Our audiences were all churched people.


In contrast to the very struggling and mostly non-existent Luther League in my home congregation; the Young Life Club at our high school was the largest in the state with over 200 youth attending every week - while we had a dynamic leader. When he left for a time, the club dwindled. After seminary, I can see that there was much lacking in their theology. (Nothing about sacraments,) but they had a way of reaching the youth, even unchurched youth, at that time. (Although I couldn't get my girlfriend to go. Since marriage and children, she has become quite active in a Baptist church, and regrets not getting involved with a church during her high school days.) Baptists have an advantage of never being a State Church. Their membership always came from converting heathens (or folks from the state churches).
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Re: Concordia Portland is closing at the end of the academic year
« Reply #368 on: March 08, 2022, 08:35:43 AM »
https://www.opb.org/article/2022/03/07/university-of-oregon-portland-campus-concordia-university-ballmer-institute/

The link is to an interesting article that describes the lis pendens that Hotchalk has attached to the property. The article also mentions that the LCMS has right of re-entry to to property which has not been formally erased before LCEF made its agreement with UO for the Ballmer institute. I realize that there are always hoops for a property sale, and I am hopeful that the the Portland campus remain a place of higher education.
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