Author Topic: Seminary Education  (Read 5056 times)

Richard Johnson

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 10675
  • Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2021, 10:24:11 PM »
Let's stop this. No further comment on the president of United Seminary. Your posts will be removed.
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

pr dtp

  • Guest
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2021, 05:27:46 PM »
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

That's why I am doing my doctorate in Worship - and at a Baptist University.
Funny thing - every class I've taken so far - has been talking about the benefits of liturgical worship rather than "free" worship.
The last class was about the theology of worship - and it was fun teaching them about the Lord's Supper... :-)

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13512
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2021, 05:50:39 PM »
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

That's why I am doing my doctorate in Worship - and at a Baptist University.
Funny thing - every class I've taken so far - has been talking about the benefits of liturgical worship rather than "free" worship.
The last class was about the theology of worship - and it was fun teaching them about the Lord's Supper... :-)

That's great!  The whole thing about our movement - the evangelical and catholic faith - is that it is for and about ecumenical involvement and commitment, and can be in a word productive.  Way to go.

Dave Benke

Jeremy Loesch

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2255
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2021, 10:55:09 AM »
Copied this from the ILT's Facebook page.  Just some interesting figures.  Is SK Saskatchewan?  AB Alberta?  ON Ontario? 

Jeremy

Fall 2020 enrollment figures have been released at the ATS (American Theological Schools) Lutheran seminaries. Here they are by headcount:
*.Concordia Seminary (MO): 596
* Luther Seminary (MN): 502
* United Lutheran Seminary: 381
* Concordia Theological Seminary (IN): 295
* Wartburg Theological Seminary: 236
* Lutheran School of Theology Chicago: 138
* Martin Luther University College (ON): 113
* Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary: 69
* Trinity Lutheran Seminary: 54
* Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: 46
* Lutheran Theological Seminary (SK): 23
*. Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (ONT): 17
*. Concordia Lutheran Seminary (AB): 5
The Institute of Lutheran Theology's fall 2020 headcount was 103, which would put it in 8th place on the list. There are a number of Lutheran Seminaries that are not accredited by ATS, so they are not on the list.  Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is the largest of these with an enrollment of about 125. 
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Jim Butler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2057
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2021, 11:26:33 AM »
Is SK Saskatchewan?  AB Alberta?  ON Ontario? 

Jeremy


Yes. Yes. And Yes.

Fall 2020 enrollment figures have been released at the ATS (American Theological Schools) Lutheran seminaries. Here they are by headcount:
*.Concordia Seminary (MO): 596
* Luther Seminary (MN): 502
* United Lutheran Seminary: 381
* Concordia Theological Seminary (IN): 295
* Wartburg Theological Seminary: 236
* Lutheran School of Theology Chicago: 138
* Martin Luther University College (ON): 113
* Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary: 69
* Trinity Lutheran Seminary: 54
* Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: 46
* Lutheran Theological Seminary (SK): 23
*. Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (ONT): 17
*. Concordia Lutheran Seminary (AB): 5
The Institute of Lutheran Theology's fall 2020 headcount was 103, which would put it in 8th place on the list. There are a number of Lutheran Seminaries that are not accredited by ATS, so they are not on the list.  Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is the largest of these with an enrollment of about 125.

I never realized that LSTC was so small. I always thought it was larger. The same goes for Trinity.

With three seminaries with less than 100 students (and one with only 138), how long before the ELCA begins closing schools as no longer viable?
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

Dan Fienen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13566
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2021, 11:34:44 AM »

I never realized that LSTC was so small. I always thought it was larger. The same goes for Trinity.

With three seminaries with less than 100 students (and one with only 138), how long before the ELCA begins closing schools as no longer viable?
I am not knowledgeable about ELCA seminaries, but are all of its seminaries independent self standing schools? I seem to remember that some of them function as departments, subdivisions, or special interest groups within larger schools. If so, they can likely continue to function within those larger schools even though quite small.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Jeremy Loesch

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2255
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2021, 11:38:21 AM »
Thanks Jim.  I didn't even know there was a Martin Luther University College.  Not that you would know, but is that a college or a seminary or a college with a divinity school?  I suppose if this list of seminary enrollment came from the ATS, then MLUC is a seminary. 

I, too, was surprised at the size of some of the ELCA schools.  The one I know best, which is hardly at all, is Trinity in Columbus OH, because I served in that city for five years and it was the closest Lutheran seminary to me.  I'd visit the bookstore a couple times a year, attended a concert there once.  Went to a Capital Univ. football game to see a church member play.  The thing that surprised me the most was that at some point between 2000-2005, the majority of faculty members were non-Lutheran.  I was so naive that I couldn't wrap my mind around that. 

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

Jeremy Loesch

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2255
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2021, 11:43:19 AM »

I never realized that LSTC was so small. I always thought it was larger. The same goes for Trinity.

With three seminaries with less than 100 students (and one with only 138), how long before the ELCA begins closing schools as no longer viable?
I am not knowledgeable about ELCA seminaries, but are all of its seminaries independent self standing schools? I seem to remember that some of them function as departments, subdivisions, or special interest groups within larger schools. If so, they can likely continue to function within those larger schools even though quite small.

I think that is correct, Dan.  I believe Trinity was bought by Capital Univ so they are part of that school which has a fairly stable financial picture.  And I think there was a partnership between the seminary in South Carolina with Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina.  And I think that Pacific Lutheran Seminary was merging/partnering with another Lutheran university in Berkeley.  But I might be mistaken. 

Jeremy
A Lutheran pastor growing into all sorts of things.

peterm

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 886
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2021, 12:13:24 PM »
Is SK Saskatchewan?  AB Alberta?  ON Ontario? 

Jeremy


Yes. Yes. And Yes.

Fall 2020 enrollment figures have been released at the ATS (American Theological Schools) Lutheran seminaries. Here they are by headcount:
*.Concordia Seminary (MO): 596
* Luther Seminary (MN): 502
* United Lutheran Seminary: 381
* Concordia Theological Seminary (IN): 295
* Wartburg Theological Seminary: 236
* Lutheran School of Theology Chicago: 138
* Martin Luther University College (ON): 113
* Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary: 69
* Trinity Lutheran Seminary: 54
* Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary: 46
* Lutheran Theological Seminary (SK): 23
*. Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (ONT): 17
*. Concordia Lutheran Seminary (AB): 5
The Institute of Lutheran Theology's fall 2020 headcount was 103, which would put it in 8th place on the list. There are a number of Lutheran Seminaries that are not accredited by ATS, so they are not on the list.  Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary is the largest of these with an enrollment of about 125.

I never realized that LSTC was so small. I always thought it was larger. The same goes for Trinity.

With three seminaries with less than 100 students (and one with only 138), how long before the ELCA begins closing schools as no longer viable?

Many ELCA seminaries that are smaller have been "reabsorbed" by the Universities from which they Sprang..  Even Luther who though relatively large, has a very small on campus contingent and has entered  back into relationship with Augsburg University to provide some things that the seminary no longer does on its own, like food service, and sharing a campus Pastor etc.
Rev. Peter Morlock- ELCA pastor serving two congregations in WIS

Jim Butler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 2057
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2021, 12:49:02 PM »
Thanks Jim.  I didn't even know there was a Martin Luther University College.  Not that you would know, but is that a college or a seminary or a college with a divinity school?  I suppose if this list of seminary enrollment came from the ATS, then MLUC is a seminary. 

Jeremy

It used to be Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

Here is their website: https://luther.wlu.ca
« Last Edit: March 17, 2021, 08:17:04 AM by jebutler »
The significance of the passage of time, right? The significance of the passage of time. So when you think about it, there is great significance to the passage of time. -- VP Kamala Harris

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5334
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2021, 08:48:53 AM »
In the game of life, we should never blame the umpires or referees when we have losses.
Instead, we should look in the mirror and see where we need to improve ourselves and
make the necessary adjustments.

peter_speckhard

  • ALPB Administrator
  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 19808
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2021, 09:03:54 AM »
The policy against anonymous posting is also a policy against sniping pointless thread drift into sniping. So I've removed the posts that did not relate to the topic.

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4337
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2021, 09:27:04 AM »
The policy against anonymous posting is also a policy against sniping pointless thread drift into sniping. So I've removed the posts that did not relate to the topic.

Thank you.  And I apologize for contributing to that thread drift.

Keith Falk

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1651
    • View Profile
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2021, 11:30:50 AM »
Thanks Jim.  I didn't even know there was a Martin Luther University College.  Not that you would know, but is that a college or a seminary or a college with a divinity school?  I suppose if this list of seminary enrollment came from the ATS, then MLUC is a seminary. 

I, too, was surprised at the size of some of the ELCA schools.  The one I know best, which is hardly at all, is Trinity in Columbus OH, because I served in that city for five years and it was the closest Lutheran seminary to me.  I'd visit the bookstore a couple times a year, attended a concert there once.  Went to a Capital Univ. football game to see a church member play.  The thing that surprised me the most was that at some point between 2000-2005, the majority of faculty members were non-Lutheran.  I was so naive that I couldn't wrap my mind around that. 

Jeremy


I was at Trinity from 2002-2006. I am going off of memory, which probably isn't wise, but I think the majority were Lutheran.  Of those I remember:
NT - Lutheran - Taylor and Powell; Croy - I forget... maybe Methodist?
OT - Lutheran - Hutton and Nakamura; Shields - Presbyterian (I think)
Worship - Lutheran - W Huffman, then Keljo for a bit, then Schroeder some
Preaching - Lutheran - Langknecht
Theology - Lutheran - Luck, Root, T Huffman, C Peterson
Education - Lutheran - Hughes; can't remember the other main prof, she was Presbyterian, I think


I know there were other professors, some full-time, part-time, adjuncts, etc... but for a list by memory, I think most full-time faculty were Lutheran.
Rev. Keith Falk, STS

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13512
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Seminary Education
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2021, 12:13:09 PM »
Wrapping my head around the difficult downward path for the Concordias, the remaining schools all have full religion departments with mandatory courses for all students, plus tracks for church workers either in preparation or completion. 

It seems as though the direction being taken by the Synod's Board of Directors is to control what they desire to control, which is the theology, and back as far away as possible from operations and finance, without giving up their rights to the property in case of dissolution.  I'm not sure I would want to serve on a Concordia Board under those strictures, or certainly serve as an officer/leader.  Which is neither here nor there, because I am supremely confident that I will not be asked to serve at any national level in our denomination.  Peace out.

However, what would be in the interest of the denomination might be to put some thought into the location of programs at the Concordias, and see whether it makes sense to pare them down.  The Deaconess program is a bit of a head-scratcher in that it's offered at both seminaries as well as at one college.  Why would three midwestern locations at two different kinds of institutions be optimum resource use?  As the graduates in the Lutheran teacher category drop, and as director of Christian education programs have morphed, the types of auxiliary office training and locations for that training should, maybe, come up for strategic conversation. 

Then as the nursing programs have jumped way up the ladder, a question is whether those programs and the necessary certifications can and should include strong religious offerings, or maybe that's already been done. 

On the personal side, my mom received her teacher's education at Valpo back in the day, and later on her RN at the Milwaukee (Lutheran) School of Nursing, and taught at several Lutheran schools in Wisconsin as well as doing much of her nursing at Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee.  There was in fact then a nationwide vocational training and certification system for teachers and nurses that was specifically Lutheran. 

I'm sure this has all been part of the ongoing national conversation at some level already in the Missouri Synod, if for no other reason than the closure of the three Concordias to date.

Dave Benke