More News November 2012

< Bugenhagen's Jonah | PS Portions |

| Additional Stories | Upcoming Events | Chapel Schedule |


Seminarians awarded Fund for Leaders Scholarships

Brett Betkoski and Elyssa Salinas, students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), were honored in early October with full scholarships, awarded starting with the current academic year. The awards, from the Fund for Leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), are part of the ELCA’s commitment to support seminarians preparing for ministry.

Betkoski and Salinas were among 16 first-year seminarians from the eight seminaries of the ELCA, including LTSP, honored at a banquet October 5 attended by ELCA synod bishops, synod vice presidents, seminary presidents, leaders of the ELCA’s churchwide ministries, donors, and supporters of the Fund for Leaders.

“You bring the light of Jesus. You bring the presence of the spirit. You bring the life of the way of the cross with you, and through you, God is already renewing this church,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson. In his address to the recipients, Hanson thanked ELCA seminaries and the 65 synods of the ELCA for their role in developing new leaders.

“Tonight we say thanks be to God for all the people you've brought with you,” Hanson said. "It's the responsibility of everyone in this room, particularly bishops, vice presidents of synods and seminary faculty to prepare a church to be ready to receive you,” he said, adding, “We’ve got to be ready for the church to receive your gifts, your wisdom, your curiosity, your love for Jesus, your desire to work for justice and peace.”

The ceremony also included a special presentation from the Rev. Roger Haug and the Rev. Paige Whitney, Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca, Minn. Whitney was a Fund for Leaders scholarship recipient in 2007. She and Haug presented a $250,000 gift to create the Grace Lutheran Church Seminary Scholarship Fund in honor of the congregation's 75th anniversary this year. The scholarship gift will be part of the ELCA Southeastern Minnesota Synod Fund for Leaders endowment.

Now in its 12th year, the Fund for Leaders is an ELCA initiative to build an endowed scholarship resource to provide tuition assistance for qualified candidates studying at ELCA seminaries. When fully endowed, the fund's goal is to provide full-tuition assistance for every ELCA seminary student committed to a future in parish ministry.

“This is a diverse and exciting group, representative of their colleagues who are also entering seminary,” said Michael Nevergall, who serves as director for ELCA Fund for Leaders. “I am very excited about where we are headed.”

Information about the ELCA Fund for Leaders is available at


Join us for 2012 Cookin’ with Who? 

Cookin' with Who?

Community “chefs” will present their favorite recipes for tasting, and include:

representing the community: Councilwoman Cindy Bass; representing The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia:
Dean J. Jayakiran Sebastian, Prof. Jon Pahl, Prof. Katie Day; representing East Mt. Airy Neighbors:
EMAN President Kent Reichert, Phil “from Mt. Airy” Allen, Executive Director of Mt. Airy USA Anuj Gupta; representing Neighborhood Interfaith Movement: NIM Executive Director Jane Maloney, NIM Early Childhood Specialist Lissette Rivera, Returning Platinum Spatula winner Rabbi George Stern

Vote for your favorite recipe/chef! ★ Silent and live auctions!

Winning chef will be awarded the coveted “Mt. Airy Platinum Spatula”!

WHEN? Thursday, November 8, 2012 ★ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm 

WHERE? The Brossman Center at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
7301 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19119

WHAT? to benefit these Mt. Airy community non-profit institutions:

East Mount Airy Neighbors (EMAN)
The LutheranTheological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), 
Neighborhood Interfaith Movement (NIM)


More details, profiles of the chefs, chef videos from the 2011 event and more at


Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Chair to be awarded to Dr. Jon Pahl

Dr. Jon PahlDr. Jon Pahl, Professor of History of Christianity and Director of MA Programs at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), is being awarded the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Chair at a special chairing ceremony on Tuesday, November 27, 2012. The ceremony is scheduled for 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center, on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. At the event, Dr. Pahl will present his inaugural lecture as Hagan Professor, which he has titled “Ending the Warfare between Business and Religion – Toward a New Social Gospel.” The ceremony and lecture are free and open to the public.

The Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Chair is one of nine chaired professorships at LTSP that have been established to honor distinguished faculty, regardless of discipline. To be eligible to occupy one of these chairs, a teacher should have competed at least five years as full professor at the seminary. The Hagan Chair was established in 1952 to honor and remember seminary President Paul J. Hoh, who died on January 20, 1952. At the time of his death, his written wish was “I prefer that there be no memorial service and that there be no tablet, bronze or other material placed anywhere in my memory.” This explicit wish was respected by the Board of Directors, which at its meeting held on April 22, 1952, passed a resolution “humbly thanking God who gave him to us and to our Church.”

At the same meeting, the Hagan Professorship was established through the donation of an endowment by Dr. Peter Paul Hagan and his wife Elizabeth B. Hagan, who stated that “it be regarded as a memorial to Dr. Hoh and to his tremendous contribution toward the task of preparing better people for a better ministry for a better Church.”Dr. Hagan was a Philadelphia carpet manufacturer and member of St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Melrose Park. As a prominent and active Lutheran layperson, he served as vice-president of the seminary board, as a trustee of Tabor Home for Children in Doylestown, as treasurer of the Parish and Church School Board, and as a member of the Board of Pensions of the United Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor body to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, of which LTSP is one of eight seminaries. He was president of the Philadelphia Lutheran Inner Mission Society, and vice president of the Lutheran Laymen’s Movement for Stewardship. His gift to the Ministerium of Pennsylvania was Camp Hagan for girls at Shawnee-on-the-Delaware. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Muhlenberg College in 1945.

As part of his ongoing connections with our seminary, he inspected all buildings on the campus and led the campaign for a massive renovation in 1948, which cost (at that time) $200,000, one-fifth of which was contributed by Peter and Elizabeth Hagan. In honor of this generous act, the Gowen Mansion was renamed Hagan Hall. Dr. Hagan's death in 1959 was deeply mourned by a large host of family and well-wishers, including the seminary.

Dr. Jon Pahl joined the LTSP faculty after serving on the faculty of Valparaiso University. He  teaches classes at LTSP in American Religious History, Lutherans in America, Religion and Violence, Religion and Film, and many others, and has also served as Visiting Professor of Religion at Temple University, in Philadelphia, and as Visiting Professor of Religion at Princeton University. Dr. Pahl has published dozens of articles, essays, columns, and reviews; has appeared on media outlets from the BBC to ABC; and is author or editor of six books, most recently Shopping Malls and Other Sacred Spaces:  Putting God in Place (Wipf and Stock), and Empire of Sacrifice: The Religious Origins of American Violence (NYU). He has also appeared, along with his son, Justin, in the feature documentary film Malls R Us.

He has enjoyed speaking with congregations and audiences from Ankara, Turkey to Anaheim, California.  He has lectured at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Princeton and Purdue, and many others venues from Singapore to Kampala to Jakarata to Sydney. As Director of MA Programs, Dr. Pahl oversees the academic work of students interested in a Master of Arts degree.  He has been instrumental in developing a new specialization in "public leadership," bridging theological education with secular professions, especially social work or business. 

You can read more about Dr. Pahl online at



Thursday, November 8, 6:30 - 8:30 pm: Cookin’ with Who? Fundraising Event

Come and See!Thursday, November 15, 6:30 to 8:00 pm: Prospective Student Day! Come and See what is available for you at LTSP! Prospective Student Day events are open to anyone interested in lay theological education opportunities, certificate, Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, Master of Sacred Theology, or Doctor of Philosophy. Whether you are a lay leader in your congregation who is interested in learning more about the bible, the church's traditions and leadership, or you feel called to serve the church and the world as a public minister of the gospel or as professor at a seminary, we offer education opportunities for you. Please join us for refreshments; conversation with students, faculty and staff; and information about education opportunities, financial aid and admission processes. Register online.

Tuesday, November 27, 11:30 am: Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Chair ceremony: Dr. Jon Pahl

The Annual Advent VespersSunday, December 2, 7:00 pm: Advent Vespers. The annual Advent Vespers service is free and open to the public. The service, lead by the choir of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) under the leadership of LTSP Director of Music Ministries and Seminary Cantor, is on the theme Come and Save Us, found in the Healy Willan settings of the O Antiphons, which the choir will be singing.

Join us for Advent Vespers at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church, 224 East Gowen Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, a short walk from the seminary. Parking is available on the seminary campus — go to for more information and directions to the seminary and campus parking information. Limited street parking is also available in the neighborhood near the church.

Save the Date! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013, 9:00 am-3:45 pm: “Women at the Wheel — the Wellness Wheel for Women” Join us for the 7th annual Rest, Refreshment, and Renewal Day for Women. Register before December 31 to receive a 10% individual discount. Group discount: $250 for a table of 8 (good until registration deadline). Registration opens November 12 at


2012-13 Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel Weekly Schedule

All are always welcome to join the LTSP community at chapel services. The schedule varies during breaks and holidays.


12 Noon
Worship with Preaching


6:00 pm
Evening Worship


11:30 am
Holy Communion


12 Noon
Worship with Preaching


12 Noon