PROJECT SPONSOR, a new initiative of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), is aimed at minimizing two of the most significant obstacles facing those considering a seminary education. One is the issue of student debt; the other is helping students sustain the confidence that their efforts to prepare for public ministry will truly lead to their helping church members grow in faith.
The years of seminary and candidacy are an exhilarating time of great learning and of growing in kindness, compassion, and caring skills that the church needs in its leaders. At the same time, this is a period of hard work and personal sacrifice for students and their families. The costs of tuition, combined with the cost of even the most austere living arrangements, can be daunting, to say the least. During these years, seminarians need — more than perhaps at any other time in their lives — the support, encouragement, and love of those for whom the vitality of the church and its leaders is so important.
“LTSP is committed to collaborating with every one of its students to minimize the amount of student debt incurred, and to support each student in every way,” according to Don Johnson, Vice President for Student Development. “Now, LTSP is offering all of us the opportunity to serve God and strengthen God’s church by being part of the solution to these major commitments.” Project Sponsor is designed to facilitate opportunities to build a personal relationship with a particular seminary student while providing the opportunity for financial sponsorship.
Here’s how it will work.
The cost of three academic years of seminary can be summarized as follows:
- One year tuition ($16,000) + one year living expenses ($14,000) = $30,000
- Two years tuition ($32,000) + two years living expenses ($28,000) = $60,000
- Three years tuition ($48,000) + three years living expenses ($42,000) = $90,000
We are inviting individuals to consider sponsoring a student by making a donation to LTSP equal to one, two, or three years of a student’s tuition and/or living expenses. In this way, the generosity of sponsors will have a positive impact on the church and the world unlike any other. You can inspire a lifetime of generosity for the student who is sponsored, and indeed for the whole church.
Shortly after the Project Sponsor donation has been received, LTSP staff and faculty members will share with the sponsor the name of the student who has been chosen for sponsorship, and introduce them to each other by providing mutual contact information (address, email, phone numbers). An introductory conference phone call (Skype, if possible) will provide an additional opportunity to get acquainted. Early in the fall semester, we will invite the sponsors to come to the seminary campus for a brief orientation and in-person relationship building with the student they are sponsoring. If it is inconvenient for sponsors to travel to LTSP, we will make every effort for the student to visit sponsors where they live.
We are confident that the sponsor/student relationships will grow and flourish. Indeed, sponsors may very well find that their mentorship will result in a lifetime of friendship and mutual support.
Sponsors may request that their gift remain anonymous, or that their gift not involve the pursuit of a mentoring relationship with a particular student, and we will by all means accommodate such requests.
If you would like more information on this important way of participating in the mission of LTSP, which is to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world, please contact Don Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603.848.9904.