Author Topic: Seminary Education  (Read 3272 times)

Norman Teigen

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Seminary Education
« on: March 09, 2021, 09:56:07 AM »
Seminary education is a vital topic for Lutherans.  see https://www.livinglutheran.org/2017/02/seminary-status-check/
Norman Teigen

Dave Likeness

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2021, 10:07:18 AM »
This article on Seminary Education is 4 years old and already outdated due to
the impact of Covid 19 on seminarians not able to attend classes on campus.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2021, 10:43:23 AM »
COVID-19 did impact seminary education in this past year, but I don't think the article is irrelevant.  The aspect of distance learning may have been enlarged and expanded due to the pandemic, so that is an added dynamic for how the curriculum is developed overall.

The article talks about "adding degrees" beyond the usual M.Div, and that is a pattern seen in the universities and colleges as well.  CTS-FW somewhat recently added a Ph.D in Theological Studies and now has two Ph.D programs.  When I attended three plus decades ago only St. Louis offered such an option. Now pastors with an M.Div have multiple options for graduate studies: Two Ph.Ds, the STM, the D.Min. In those years since I graduated well developed graduate degrees for deaconesses have also been added, which is a great compliment to the overall program. 

I know that the issue of having more than one seminary has been discussed here, and in the article they chronicle the mergers that have occurred in the ELCA system.  Recently CTS-FW received a renewal of its accreditation, so it seems that the accrediting agency sees a future for Ft. Wayne along with another seminary in the same denominational system. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Benke

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2021, 10:54:54 AM »
COVID-19 did impact seminary education in this past year, but I don't think the article is irrelevant.  The aspect of distance learning may have been enlarged and expanded due to the pandemic, so that is an added dynamic for how the curriculum is developed overall.

The article talks about "adding degrees" beyond the usual M.Div, and that is a pattern seen in the universities and colleges as well.  CTS-FW somewhat recently added a Ph.D in Theological Studies and now has two Ph.D programs.  When I attended three plus decades ago only St. Louis offered such an option. Now pastors with an M.Div have multiple options for graduate studies: Two Ph.Ds, the STM, the D.Min. In those years since I graduated well developed graduate degrees for deaconesses have also been added, which is a great compliment to the overall program. 

I know that the issue of having more than one seminary has been discussed here, and in the article they chronicle the mergers that have occurred in the ELCA system.  Recently CTS-FW received a renewal of its accreditation, so it seems that the accrediting agency sees a future for Ft. Wayne along with another seminary in the same denominational system.

When it comes to advanced degrees, the path I pushed as a Bishop was both advanced degrees and certifications - ie continuing education.  More important to many parish pastors are certifications in counseling, in public administration, or areas that have a direct impact on their parish work.  My STM thesis paper, on the academic side, was on a topic so arcane that the professor said it would have been automatically accepted at any graduate school for a doctorate, because just about nothing had been written on the topic. 

The other thing I'll say on advanced degrees within a system is that what I encouraged, and did myself, was to move out of my own system and into a different marketplace of ideas.  I found that healthy.  Not to say there shouldn't be advanced degrees offered within the system. 

Dave Benke

John_Hannah

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2021, 11:24:26 AM »

The other thing I'll say on advanced degrees within a system is that what I encouraged, and did myself, was to move out of my own system and into a different marketplace of ideas.  I found that healthy.  Not to say there shouldn't be advanced degrees offered within the system. 

Dave Benke

I agree heartily. It's easy to become parochial and a near isolationist without exposure beyond the Missouri Synod. Broadening can be accomplished in academic programs, service in a chaplaincy (part time or full time), and by intentional engagement with community churches and their clergy. Most of our members and all of our potential members know nothing about an insiders appreciation and knowledge of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod and actually could care less. It does not suffice to "preach only to the choir."    ;D

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

D. Engebretson

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2021, 11:31:10 AM »
COVID-19 did impact seminary education in this past year, but I don't think the article is irrelevant.  The aspect of distance learning may have been enlarged and expanded due to the pandemic, so that is an added dynamic for how the curriculum is developed overall.

The article talks about "adding degrees" beyond the usual M.Div, and that is a pattern seen in the universities and colleges as well.  CTS-FW somewhat recently added a Ph.D in Theological Studies and now has two Ph.D programs.  When I attended three plus decades ago only St. Louis offered such an option. Now pastors with an M.Div have multiple options for graduate studies: Two Ph.Ds, the STM, the D.Min. In those years since I graduated well developed graduate degrees for deaconesses have also been added, which is a great compliment to the overall program. 

I know that the issue of having more than one seminary has been discussed here, and in the article they chronicle the mergers that have occurred in the ELCA system.  Recently CTS-FW received a renewal of its accreditation, so it seems that the accrediting agency sees a future for Ft. Wayne along with another seminary in the same denominational system.

When it comes to advanced degrees, the path I pushed as a Bishop was both advanced degrees and certifications - ie continuing education.  More important to many parish pastors are certifications in counseling, in public administration, or areas that have a direct impact on their parish work.  My STM thesis paper, on the academic side, was on a topic so arcane that the professor said it would have been automatically accepted at any graduate school for a doctorate, because just about nothing had been written on the topic. 

The other thing I'll say on advanced degrees within a system is that what I encouraged, and did myself, was to move out of my own system and into a different marketplace of ideas.  I found that healthy.  Not to say there shouldn't be advanced degrees offered within the system. 

Dave Benke

I agree, and as one whose STM thesis was probably equally 'arcane' and academic, although that was pursued specifically with the desire to teach.  In my other varied avocations I have pursued and received numerous certifications and training opportunities outside the ministry. I think that they have added overall to my ministry, especially my work as an emergency services chaplain.  For most pastors it is these ongoing continuing ed. offerings that will be most advantageous.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Norman Teigen

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2021, 11:45:42 AM »
As a pew sitter I must acknowledge how the times are changing.  Pastor Austin wrote this:  "Pastors prepared for greater service in the world will be teaching members how the gospel enables everyone to reach out and engage in the needs of the world, not just their own spiritual lives. This is a different image than the view that the pastor is primarily the spiritual leader of a congregation.

"New pastors, trained for this kind of outreach, may meet resistance in congregations that see the leaderís role as primarily providing care within the church walls. Those new pastors will need to have the leadership skills to handle opposition.

"But itís vital to the spiritual health of congregations and the whole ELCA, said one participant, that churches focus on missions and ministries that extend beyond the walls of individual congregations.

"Said another respondent: 'I believe we are being called to create ways in which seekers/nones/the lapsed can gain an experience of the living God. I believe we are being called to find new ways to create genuine community.' "

https://www.livinglutheran.org/2017/02/new-kind-pastor/
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 11:47:37 AM by Norman Teigen »
Norman Teigen

Charles Austin

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2021, 12:24:49 PM »
Given the slowness of most church processes, including changes in seminary education, this three-year old article is not quite out of date yet. But we can see whether what was said "back then" remains operative today.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

peterm

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2021, 10:29:29 AM »
One of the the things I've noticed over the past few years (6 or so) is the rapidity of the change taking place in seminary education.  Even as a perspective internship site on the ELCA side, there is rapid change occurring regarding the structure of  the internship and the time line involved.  COVID accelerated some of this movement but even before then seminaries were rapidly changing how the engaged with their students.  Some of them, like Luther, who may have perceived themselves as too big and too important to fail, are more behind the 8 ball than smaller institutions like Wartburg, Southern or United.  We've witnessed these changes at the University level also, and at the congregational level.  Online learning, like Online worship, is here to stay.  It cannot be ignored, so the community and pastoral formation that used to take place in the rectory and other informal spaces on the seminary campus and in the classroom will look different, indeed it already does, moving into the future.  My congregations hosted one "Traditional" intern for a 12 month experience that was much like my own.  Our next will most likely be a hybrid internship, community placement over the whole four years, that includes classwork and regular trips to the seminary for  in person learning
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Dave Likeness

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2021, 10:46:43 AM »
United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg is led by President Guy Erwin.
He is an avowed homosexual who lives with his husband Robert Flynn.
For seminarians to have as their role model President Guy Erwin is
counterproductive.   Homosexual marriage is not affirmed in Scripture.
God instituted marriage between one man and one woman.  United
Lutheran Seminary is a slap in the face to God with its current leader.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2021, 10:56:46 AM »
United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg is led by President Guy Erwin.
He is an avowed homosexual who lives with his husband Robert Flynn.
For seminarians to have as their role model President Guy Erwin is
counterproductive.   Homosexual marriage is not affirmed in Scripture.
God instituted marriage between one man and one woman.  United
Lutheran Seminary is a slap in the face to God with its current leader.

A "he" cannot have a "husband".  Nor can a "she" have a "wife".  To even use such terms (such as "his husband" or "her wife") is to give support to a lie.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2021, 12:07:46 PM by Steven W Bohler »

Charles Austin

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2021, 11:55:19 AM »
We already know what most people in this modest forum think of the president of our Philadelphia/Gettysburg seminary.
And Iím not sure the seminary president is to be considered a ďrole modelď for every student. Personally, Iím glad that the new president of our Philadelphia/Gettysburg seminary is a person who has been a pastor, a bishop, and a scholar.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Dave Likeness

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2021, 12:31:29 PM »
Our current secular culture has defined marriage as  a relationship between
two persons who love each other.  The fact that the U.S.Supreme Court has
made homosexual marriages legal does not make it morally right.  The
various religious denominations in America cannot all agree on this issue.
God's definition of marriage still has priority and defines marriage as
a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman.

Charles Austin

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2021, 04:04:51 PM »
Dave Likeness writes:
God's definition of marriage still has priority and defines marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman.
I comment:
If you mean "God's definition" as something you read in the Bible, we have to note that the "definition" is subject to various interpretations and limitations and settings and times and languages and  etc., etc, etc. "God's definition" is not the same for everyone.
Do you think that those who endorse same-sex marriage believe that the endorsement is outside of a godly or faithful definition of marriage? That's not what advocates say.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2021, 04:39:10 PM »
Our current secular culture has defined marriage as  a relationship between
two persons who love each other.  The fact that the U.S.Supreme Court has
made homosexual marriages legal does not make it morally right.  The
various religious denominations in America cannot all agree on this issue.
God's definition of marriage still has priority and defines marriage as
a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman.


It is a legal covenant between two people who commit to stay together and be faithful to each other for the rest of their lives. It is the commitment, not love, that is the basis of marriage.
"The church Ö 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]