The 147th Academic Year: Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society

LTSP Celebrates start of the 147th Academic Year

LTSP celebrated the start of the 147th academic year with Opening Day worship, convocation and a picnic on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. LTSP President The Rev. Dr. Philip D. Krey preached and presided at worship. Watch his sermon:


Faculty members The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman, who joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Homiletics, and The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, member of the faculty who was awarded the position Associate Professor, Hebrew and Old Testament (with tenure), were installed, along with a number of new seminary staff. (in the photo below: l-r - worship assistant seminarian Rosemarie Doucette, LTSP President Philip Krey, LTSP Dean J. Paul. Rajashekar, Prof. Wiseman and Prof. Gafney. See the slide show below and online gallery for more photos)

The 2010 opening convocation highlights Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society from the perspective of LTSP graduates the Rev. Maritza Dolich and the Rev. Carlton Rodgers, along with LTSP Dean J. Paul Rajashekar and President Philip D. Krey. Both pastors lead congregations in the Philadelphia region. They address the theme through their experiences in their contexts as pastors in a world that continues to change.

Convocation: Theological Education in the Changing Context of World Christianity

The Rev. Dr. Dietrich Werner, coordinator of Ecumenical Theological Education for the World Council of Churches, presented the October 5, 2010 convocation on "Theological Education in the changing context of World Christianity - an unfinished agenda: Global and ecumenical perspectives from the Edinburgh 2010 process and beyond" at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. The lecture was part of the seminary's 2010-2011 academic year series of lectures on the theme Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society. Dr. Werner was also at the seminary to join his colleagues for the annual board of trustees meeting of the Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia (FTESEA) as it marks its 75th anniversary. 

The text of Dr. Werner's lecture is available online on the FTESEA website.


Prof. Kiran Sebastian Presents 2010 Quodlibet Lecture

The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures and Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center at LTSP, was the 2010 distinguished presenter for Quodlibet, where each year a member of the faculty at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is presented with "any question whatsoever" and responds in this tradition-based, rigorous academic exercise. Watch his lively presentation:




Church History: Giving Public Theology Memory - Convocation video

The study of the churches' histories not only grounds our current experience in the traditions and stories of the past but also helps to find new applications for old solutions to issues facing the church today.Participants will hear about how the very latest historical research has an impact on ministry in today's church and world, and they will have opportunity to ask their teachers any question they want. Watch this convocation with LTSP church history faculty presenting on an area of special interest:

  • Prof. Kiran Sebastian: "Three Reasons Why Cyprian Will Change Your Ministry"
  • Prof. Philip Krey: "How Augustine Helps Me Interpret the Bible"
  • Prof. Timothy Wengert: "Philip Melanchthon's Enormous Ecumenical Error and How We Fixed It"
  • Prof. Jon Pahl: "Speaking Truth to (American) Power in Love"
  • Prof. Karl Krueger: "Don't Burn the Books of the Bible!"
  • Prof. David Grafton: "What Say You of Muhammad?"


presented Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Seminary Education: What the Church Expects?

Bishop E. Roy Riley, of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was the presenter at the Tuesday, March 1 convocation at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), speaking on the topic "Seminary Education: What the Church Expects?" Bishop Riley provides pastoral and administrative leadership to the 180 congregations and almost 80,000 baptized members of the ELCA on the territory of New Jersey. He has led the New Jersey Synod as bishop since 1991, and was re-elected to his current 6 year term at the 2007 synod assembly. The March 1 Convocation is the latest on the LTSP Theme for the Academic Year 2010-2011, "Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society."

Download the MP3 audio file
Download the m4v Podcast video file



The 2011 Hein-Fry Lecture: "Hearing the Word: Lutherans Read the Bible with the Ecumenical World"

The annual Hein-Fry Lecture for 2011 on the topic "Hearing the Word: Lutherans Read the Bible with the Ecumenical World," was presented by Dr. Suneel Bhanu, Moderator/Bishop of the largest Lutheran church body in India, The Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church with one-million membership, four thousand congregations and eight hundred and fifty pastors. Dr. Bhanu's spoke on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia.

downloads: | Podcast | mp3 audio |

About Dr. Bhanu This year's lecturer, Dr. Suneel Bhanu, was born and brought up in a Christian family in a Muslim neighbourhood.  The friendship and piety of the Muslim friends and active involvement as a youth in the diverse activities of the local congregation encouraged him to become a full-time minister and led to his seminary studies. His interest in Islam inspired Suneel to do post graduate studies in theology in the area of Christian-Muslim Dialogue, which he pursued in the Philippines.  After the completion of theological studies, his assignment in remote rural villages led Suneel to become sensitive to the caste domination both within and outside the church and the discrimination of outcastes in India.  The plight of the Dalits challenged him to further his theological horizons, which resulted in his doctoral studies where he compared the role of religion in the discrimination and liberation of the Outcastes, taking as examples the Dalits in India and the Burakumin in Japan.  He is one of the editors of the Dalit Bible Commentary and wrote a commentary on Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Having taught for about two decades at Gurukul Lutheran Theological College in Chennai, and became the Head of the Church of the largest Lutheran Church in India: The Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church with one-million membership, four thousand congregations and eight hundred and fifty pastors.

Dr. Bhanu and his wife, Grace, one of the first ordained theologically trained women in the Lutheran Communion, have two sons. She also taught History of Christianity along with him at Gurukul.


About the Hein-Fry Lecture Series The annual Hein-Fry Lecture Series, the premier endowed theological lectureship of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, identifies key theological issues facing the church and offers lectures that stimulate inquiry and discussion of those issues not only at the eight ELCA seminaries but throughout the church.