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Blessed Easter from LTSP

April 20, 2014 - 7:51pm
A Taste of Seminary Happenings
EASTER 2014 An Easter Message from President KreyIn an age often filled with fear, all of us at the Philadelphia Seminary wish you the joy of Easter. Jesus, the crucified, is risen and goes before you. May he greet you with the hope of the resurrection and transform all of your fears and anxieties into faith and trust in the God who raised him from the dead for us. Blessed Easter,Philip Krey

PS Portions April: A Taste of Seminary Happenings

April 17, 2014 - 9:47am
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A Taste of Seminary HappeningsApril 2014
From the President: Celebrating students, innovation and Swedish history
We at the seminary pray you are having a blessed and meaningful Holy Week and Easter season. In this issue of Portions you will meet several remarkable seminarians; get to know David Jordon, the director of our new Co-op initiative, a partnership involving congregations and the seminary; and learn about the first Augustana Institute observance on our campus. The stories in this issue really provide an overview of life on and off campus in our 150th anniversary year.Read more...
Augustana Institute lecture salutes pioneer Swedish Ecumenist Nathan Söderblom
The inaugural lecture of the Augustana Institute at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) on March 22 served as both a celebration of the Swedish Lutheran Church tradition in America and a stirring celebration of Swedish Nobel Peace Prize recipient (1930) Nathan Söderblom, regarded as the architect of the twentieth-century ecumenical movement so familiar to contemporary churchgoers.The lecture, by retired Swedish Bishop Jonas Jonson, was followed by a panel discussion. Read the story, view photos of the event and recordings of the lecture and panel discussion...
The Nolde Seminar: Following the legacy of O. Frederick Nolde "The on-going, snakelike consequences of sin in our society are as painful and pervasive as they are unpopular to talk about," the Rev. Dr. John Nunes, Emil and Elfriede Jochum Chair at Valparaiso University, told a session of this year's Nolde seminar. The Nolde seminar, taught by professors including Dr. Nunes and LTSP President Philip Krey, is sponsored by the Nolde family along with the Nolde Lecture. Read more about O. Frederick Nolde and the seminar...
Seminary's 'Green Team' celebrates accomplishments
LTSP Senior Seminarian Dustin Wright thinks about Psalm 8 whenever someone asks him why Christians (and others) should care for God's creation. "My favorite part of the Psalm reads, 'O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!'," he says. "It's my favorite because that's where caring for creation really begins; recognizing the beauty and majesty of God's work and our connection to it."       Learn more about the work the Green Team has been doing to improve the LTSP campus, and care for God's creation ...
Fieldwork ship visits in the Port of Philadelphia fulfill LTSP seminarians
Seminarian Lori Anne Kirk has a storehouse of fieldwork memories from visiting ships for the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) of Philadelphia and South Jersey this year. Fieldwork is part of a contextual education initiative The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and other seminaries offer to afford students practical experience to complement their classroom learning.      Learn how Kirk and fellow seminarian Sharon Richter are experiencing this different and important ministry ...
Pastor David Jordon laying foundation for new Co-op programPastor David Jordon has only been on the seminary staff for a little more than six weeks, but he has already laid considerable groundwork as director of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's (LTSP) brand new initiative, The Master of Divinity - Co-operative Model (Co-op).
      A new initiative supported by a grant from the Thrivent Financial Lutherans foundation, the Co-op Model aims to reduce or eliminate student debt as they study for and enter into ministry.       Read more about the program and watch an interview with Pr. Jordon ...  Check out this month's Class Notes, with the latest on LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories! This month's LTSP Notes includes notes on the new Frederick Houk Borsch Chair in Anglican Studies, expanding ATSI programs, and three professors are awarded tenure.

Commitment to the City: A Religious Conversation between Christians and Muslims - May 7

April 16, 2014 - 9:50pm
Commitment to the City:A Religious Conversation between Christians and MuslimsSponsored by the Lutheran Theological Seminary at PhiladelphiaandThe Community of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed in Philadelphia

Wednesday, 7 May 20147:00 – 9:00 pm

The Brossman CenterThe Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia7301 Germantown Ave.Philadelphia, PA 19119

Speakers:The Rev. Dr. Katie DayThe Charles A. Scheiren Professor, Church and Society, LTSPauthor of Faith on the Avenue: Religion on a City Street
Imam Muhammad Abdul Aleem

Imam of Masjidullahauthor of Concordance to the Holy Quran, 5 volsand Excellence of Worship

Respondents:Imam Salaam MuhsinImam of Philadelphia Masjid

Dr. David D. GraftonAssociate Professor of Islamic Studies andChristian-Muslim Relations, LTSPImam Eric TurnerImam of Masjid Freehaven

Free and Open to the Public

Frederick Houk Borsch Chair of Anglican Studies inaugurated at LTSP

April 15, 2014 - 4:03pm

The Frederick Houk Borsch Chair of Anglican Studies was inaugurated at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in a brief ceremony in the seminary's Schaeffer Ashmead Chapel during Wednesday Eucharist on April 9, 2014. The chair at LTSP was established as the Anglican Studies chair as the result of a generous gift from The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania. Colleagues and graduates of LTSP serving in the Pennsylvania diocese joined the seminary community and members of the LTSP board of trustees for the worship service, where Borsch presided.
The Rt. Rev. Frederick Houk Borsch, PhD, was the first holder of the Episcopal chair, serving since the fall of 2003, and also teaching as Professor of New Testament for much of this time. Borsch was earlier the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles and has a long involvement with theological education. He has been on the faculty of several seminaries in the United States and England, and served as Dean and President of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific and interim Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Author or editor of more than twenty books, he was for some years Dean of the Chapel at Princeton University, where he taught in the Department of Religion and the Program in the History, Archaeology and Religion of the Ancient World.

Dr. Borsch presiding at worship (from left to right) The Rt. Rev. Edward Lee, Assisting Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; Bishop Claire Burkat, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; President Philip D.W. Krey, LTSP; The Rt. Rev. Rodney Michel, Assisting Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, Dean and H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures, LTSP; Dr. Borsch; The Rev. Dr. Katie Day, Charles A. Scheiren Professor of Church and Society, LTSP; The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania(from left to right) The Rt. Rev. Edward Lee, Assisting Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; The Rt. Rev. Rodney Michel, Assisting Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; Dr. Borsch; The Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel, Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

LTSP's 150th Anniversary Highlighted in 2 part series - Part 2 now online

April 9, 2014 - 8:00pm
The Chestnut Hill Local, a weekly newspaper published in Northwest Philadelphia, is highlighting The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's 150th anniversary with a series of articles.

You can read part 2, from the April 2, 2014 edition, on the Local's website here.

You can read part 1, from the March 26, 2014 edition, on the Local's website here.

The seminary's own look back, a website covering the history of LTSP, is coming this spring as a separate multimedia website.

Exploring questions of Life and Faith: Live Thursday 7 pm

April 9, 2014 - 8:00pm

Concerned with the decline in church membership?...
Then join the conversation - Live on campus and Live streamed online - at the inaugural event of the "EXPLORING" series - presented by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.Exploring questions of Life and Faith:
a conversation with a panel of smart people
who don't go to churchFeaturing the Rev. James Hazelwood, Bishop of the ELCA New England SynodThursday, April 10, 2014
• 6:30 pm - walk in registration
• 7:00 pm - program begins
• On campus and Online
  • Live on the LTSP campus or Live-streamed to your computer!
  • Free with registration!
  • Audience participation!
  • Light snacks will be served to the campus audience.
Register online today - click here - or call 215.248.7302

To see the live-streamed event, go to on Thursday, April 10 at 7 pm EDT! Be sure to register for the event, either to attend on campus or online, so you can receive updates and attendee information before the event!

More about Bishop Hazelwood

The Rev. James Hazelwood was elected bishop of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at the synod's assembly in June 2012. Long time pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Charlestown, MA., he told the South Kingstown Independent in a story after his election that he didn't start out to be a religious leader after college - in fact, he was mostly interested in music and basketball. Born in Concord, MA, Bishop Hazelwood is the first native New Englander and the first parish pastor to serve as bishop of the New England Synod since the ELCA was founded in 1987. His wife, the Rev. Lisa Stoen Hazelwood, serves as senior pastor at St. Andrew.

Bishop Hazelwood explained his interest in advancing the church in the 21st century in an entry on his "Bishop on a Bile" blog written after he was elected. The entry started with part of what he told the assembly before voting was held:

"'...I have a great gig going on in Charlestown at St. Andrew. I am not looking for a new call.'” I meant it, I still mean it. St. Andrew has been the best community of faith, the best laboratory for 21st century mission, the most flexible and willing people I have ever experienced. Why would I want to leave it? “'But, if you,'” I said to the assembly, “'want to go on an adventure or experimentation, of trying to figure out where God is pulling us, and seek to ask questions about what it means to do and be church in New England in this time. That’s a different story.'” Those may not be the exact words I said, but that was the essence of what I said.
"I do not know the workings of the Holy Spirit, but here is my more rational understanding of what happened in Spring-field. Our church in New England, and across North America, is experiencing a seismic shift. Whether it’s declining participation in congregational life, shift in where people go for spiritual understanding, economic dislocation or just plain old general angst, you can easily see these are strange and un-understandable times. I think most everyone in the church, and certainly those at the Assembly in Springfield understood this to be the case. That was one line going through the place on June 8, 9 & 10 [the dates of the assembly]."
He also noted in the entry:

"The other line was my personal autobiography of not having grown up in the faith, living and breathing life as an unchurched kid in the post-Wategate era of the 1970’s in Southern California. My story of baptism at a Lutheran Bible camp, and the understanding I have of how those outside the church think. This was another line going through the Mass Mutual Center [where the synod assembly was held]."Somehow these two lines intersected at a particular point in time, and/or the Holy Spirit brought them together. If this event had been held any number of years ago, I’m not so sure the results would be the same. In an earlier era, it’s possible I might have been seen as an entertaining fringe candidate. But, the times and the person were brought together."Now what?"
You can read more of Bishop Hazelwood's thoughts on the Bishop on a Bike website, and follow him on Facebook.

Don't miss these next events in the "Exploring Series":

Tuesday & Wednesday: Celebrating Frederick Borsch Chair, Remembering Robert Blanck

April 6, 2014 - 10:37pm
Please join the seminary community
as we hold two important celebrations:
Memorial Service for Dr. Robert F. Blanck
Tuesday, April 8
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) community will gather on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm for a memorial service to celebrate the life and many contributions of seminary trustee Dr. Robert F. Blanck, Esq. Dr. Blanck died January 16, 2014 at the age of 87. Still a trustee at the time of his death, Dr. Blanck served as chair of the trustee board from 1976 to 2003. He was recognized by the seminary in 2001 with the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity (DD).The Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson, Anna Burkhalter Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at LTSP, will be preaching, and Bishop Claire Burkat, of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will be presiding.The memorial service will be held in the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel on the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Ample parking is available on campus, and all are welcome to join us to remember and celebrate this true friend of the seminary and the greater church.You can read more about Dr. Blanck on the LTSP news blog.Frederick Houk Borsch Chair in Anglican Studies to be Inaugurated Wednesday, April 9
The Frederick Houk Borsch Chair of Anglican Studies will become the name of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's Chair of Anglican Studies at a brief ceremony that will be a part of Wednesday Eucharist on April 9, 2014 at 11:30 am in the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel on the LTSP campus. Prof. Borsch was the first holder of the Chair beginning in the fall of 2003. He served as Professor of New Testament for much of this time. Borsch was earlier the Episcopal Bishop of Los Angeles, and has a long involvement with theological education having been on the faculty of several seminaries in the United States and England, and been dean and president of the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and interim dean of the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Author or editor of more than twenty books, he was for some years Dean of the Chapel at Princeton University, where he taught in the Department of Religion and the Program in the History, Archaeology, and Religion of the Ancient World.
Please join the seminary community in celebrating Prof. Borsch and the Anglican Studies program this coming Wednesday. The chapel is on the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Parking is available on the seminary campus, and all are invited to attend.

LTSP's coming to Hartford! Join us!

March 25, 2014 - 11:47am
LTSP Hits the Road! You are invited to a place near you
for dinner hosted by the Philadelphia Seminary
You are invited - at no cost to you, and no strings attached - to join us for dinner at one of these locations:
  • Saturday, April 5, 5:30 pm - City Steam Brewery Café - Hartford, CT.
This event is for you if you have ever thought about serving
  • as a pastor.
  • one of the church's leaders with youth.
  • as a church musician.
  • by providing leadership for a social service organization, advocacy group, or overseas mission group.
  • or in any number of other charitable or service oriented professions.
This will be an evening to discern where and how God is calling you next; an evening spent with others who are figuring out how to best prepare for the next big adventure God has in store; an evening of good food, stimulating conversation, and the Spirit's presence.
We know you undoubtedly talk with people about call and discernment. It is just those people who will benefit from this Saturday evening dinner. So even if you are not personally discerning a new chapter in your own life, we welcome you to invite others who you know will benefit from such an event and come together to one of the dinners.
In each case, the dinner will be hosted by local pastors. The visit team from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will include three current students, an LTSP professor, and two members of the LTSP staff.  
Here's what you will experience:
  • Hear first-hand from LTSP students what it's like to study at one of the most cutting-edge seminaries in the USA.
  • Find out how intellectually stimulating and down-to-earth the faculty is at LTSP.
  • Learn the ways LTSP is a great place to prepare for ministry and many other ways of serving in church and/or charitable organizations.
  • Find out how to finance a seminary education that won't put you in debt for the rest of your life.
  • Get the scoop on ways you can design a course schedule that works around your personal and family obligations.
This is an event that you don't want to miss!
Please RSVP by the prior Wednesday by emailing Please indicate any dietary restrictions.
We'll see you soon for a great Saturday evening dinner and an evening full of inspiration and information. If you know someone who is in discernment, share this message with them - they're invited too! 

PS Portions - March 2014

March 20, 2014 - 12:42pm

From the Editor: Moving Forward in Faith

This month's PS Portions celebrates recent exciting events, the legacy The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia carries forward in the century of updated English translations of the Book of Concord, and an alumnus' "retirement" ministry.
      An anniversary is a time to look to the years ahead as well to remember what has already passed. Read further to learn more about LTSP's looking forward as we continue, in our 150th year and beyond. Read more... The Book of Concord:
"a practical resource"

How big a challenge is it today to keep alive in the minds of believers the Book of Concord, the collection of the most important confessional and theological documents of Luther's day, originally published in 1580?      Recently retired Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of Reformation History the Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, co-editor of the most recent volume, reflects: "I tell people the Book of Concord is about believers caught in the act of confessing their faith, and I tell my students that, outside of their use of the Bible, the Book of Concord will be the most practical book they will use during their seminary training." Read more from a conversation with Dr. Wengert... Quintin Robertson preaches stirring sermon for African Descent Heritage celebration

The Rev. Dr. Quintin Robertson preached to members of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA) during a celebration of African Descent Heritage called "Breaking the Chain" during Black History Month.       During the service of word and praise part of the celebration at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), Dr. Robertson urged his listeners to put their hands in the hand of Jesus in order to "meet the challenge of your greatness." He also spoke of three giants to slay along the journey of their Christian lives. Read about Dr. Robertson's sermon and the ADLA event... Preaching with Power preacher advises: Whatever your nightmare, "Refocus on your dream..." 

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Conner, Sr., advised his Preaching with Power congregants March 12 to "refocus on your dream" once they have experienced the kinds of nightmare episodes that confront Christians during their lifetimes.      Pr. Conner, a member of LTSP's Alumni Board who earned his MDiv and DMin degrees from the seminary, gave his dynamic message at the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ. The annual March Preaching with Power celebration, at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and in community churches, is sponsored by the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of the seminary.       Read more about Preaching with Power, watch Pr. Conner's sermon, and more ...  Energized by 22 volunteer years at Independence National Historical Park

LTSP alumnus Edward Uthe has served as an interpreter at Independence National Historical Park since 1992, one year after his retirement as a researcher for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, focusing on aspects of individual, congregational, and synodical giving, stewardship programs, and mission support for the denomination's Commission for Financial Support. All in all, Uthe's career spanned 41 years in the church.      Learn more about Pr. Uthe's retirement ministry ...
Save the Date!
LTSP 150th Anniversary Banquet:
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Plan to attend the gala LTSP 150th Anniversary Banquet at the Ballroom at the Ben, 834 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Festivities will begin at 5:30 pm with an optional "Liturgy of Thanksgiving" at Franklin Square, site of the first erected seminary building. The assembly will then process to the Ben for cocktails and dinner at 7:00 pm. Keynote address at the celebration will be by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Details to come! Save the date - Thursday, October 16 - now! Check out this month's Class Notes, a new feature in PS Portions which will share stories about LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories! And don't miss LTSP Notes with updates from seminary faculty and staff.

Join us for a Book Celebration Convocation March 25

March 20, 2014 - 10:10am

You're invited! Join the community of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia to celebrate recently published works by seminary faculty at the Book Celebration convocation on Tuesday, March 27, 2014 at 11:30 am. The convocation will be held in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center, on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The convocation is free and open to the public. The celebration will start by enjoying cake in The Brossman Center student lounge at 11 am.

Faculty authors will share short presentations about their books, along with comments on the writing process. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions about the writing process and about the books being celebrated.

The faculty authors and their recent books are:Visit the seminary website for directions to campus and on site parking.

Uncommon Common Prayer liturgy & lecture this Wednesday, March 19

March 17, 2014 - 9:43pm

UncommonCommon Prayer
How does the liturgical, theological, and devotional use of global Books of Common Prayer build bonds of affection?
 An Aotearoa New Zealand perspective?
A liturgy, lecture, and lunch
Wednesday March 19th, 2014, 11:30 am – 1:30 pmThe Schaeffer Ashmead Chapel and Benbow Hall, 
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia 
and offices of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.

Sponsored by the Philadelphia Theological Institute 
of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, and the 
Anglican Studies program of The Lutheran 
Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP)
Join with PTI and the seminary community for the Eucharist from the New Zealand Book of Common Prayer, followed by lunch and a lecture. Introduction by Mrs. Phoebe Griswold, member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross.
 Preacher and presenter is the Rev. Dr. Eleanor Sanderson from the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia. Celebrant and MC is the Rev. Dr. Storm Swain, Director of the Anglican Studies Program at LTSP. 
Program Host is the Rev. Cn. James L. Shannon, Philadelphia Theological Institute.

Dr. Sanderson, 36, is a UK born citizen and permanent resident of New Zealand. She is the keynote speaker for the 2014 Anglican Women at Prayer conference in Virginia. She was ordained as a Deacon in 2005 and as a Priest in 2006 within the Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia. She has served in the Diocese of Wellington since that time in a number of different roles. Alongside her ordained ministry in the church, she has a strong and active commitment within international community development and as an academic.
A light lunch will be available.  Please make your reservation by emailing Dr. Swain at

Preaching with Power begins Sunday!

March 3, 2014 - 5:20pm
 Celebrating thirty two years in 2014, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's Urban Theological Institute through Preaching with Power has invited outstanding African American preachers to Philadelphia for a week each March to celebrate the finest in African American preaching through the Preaching with Power series.

Preaching with Power is hosted both on the seminary campus and in congregations throughout the community. Host congregations include those of the American Baptist Churches, the United Methodist Church, the Church of God in Christ, the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

All events are free and open to the public. Offering proceeds benefit the Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship support to students who study in the seminary's Urban Theological Institute.

This year's Preaching with Power line up:

Click the name of the preacher/lecturer to view their biography and for venue details.

Sunday, March 9, 2014, 4:00 pm
African American Sacred Music Concert
Reformation Lutheran Church
1215 East Vernon Road, Philadelphia, PA 19150

Monday, March 10, 2014, 7:00 pm
The Rev. Dr. Jerry M. Carter, Jr.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown
41 West Rittenhouse Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 11:15 am
Dr. Cain Hope Felder
Lecture: The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center,
7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19119

Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 7:00 pm
Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson
Harold O. Davis Memorial Church
4500 North 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140

Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 11:15 am
Bishop Audrey Bronson
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel
7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19119

Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 6:30 pm
The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Conner, Sr.
Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ
6401 Ogontz Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19150

Thursday, March 13, 2014, 7:00 pm
The Rev. Dr. Margaret Elaine M. Flake
Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
419 South 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Unable to Attend?
Contributions to the J. Q. Jackson Scholarship Fund can be made at any time. Make checks payable to LTSP — The Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund and send to: The LTSP Foundation, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, or you can give online.

PS Portions: February 2014

February 15, 2014 - 12:04pm

A Taste of Seminary Happenings
From President Phil Krey So Much to CelebrateAs I read this month's stories, I am reminded again we have so much to celebrate.     Our Adult Learning program has taken a new approach by being both in classroom and online - offering learners a choice that works best for them. The first offering was a top rated success, and this spring's with retired Professor Richard Stewart offers much the same.      We celebrate the Urban Theological Institute in several ways every year, including the coming Preaching with Power. UTI co-founder the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Gladys Willis, a UTI alumna, share their story and remembrances of the UTI.     The generosity of donors, individuals and congregations, who support the students at LTSP is a constant cause to celebrate, and this month we celebrate a $10,000 gift from St. Luke Lutheran Church in Devon, PA - a gift which will benefit African American Lutheran students.     That is just a sampling of what we have to celebrate. Read more from President Krey... Two dreams come true..."It's been a dream come true to see the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) at the seminary become such a success," said the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis, co-founder of UTI some 35 years ago with friend and colleague the late Rev. Randolph Jones, a United Methodist pastor. "The idea had a lot of critics, and many thought it would never work."     The formation and success of UTI was just one of many dreams realized by Dr. Willis and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Gladys Willis, as they have shared their many dreams and accomplishments. Read more about their dreams fulfilled ...
The value of Islamic Studies at LTSPWhy does a Lutheran seminary - like The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) - have a program of Islamic Studies?      "That's a good question," said the Rev. Dr. David Grafton, who joined the LTSP faculty seven years ago to direct such an initiative as well as to head up the seminary's Graduate School.       Learn how Dr. Grafton sees the importance of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations in preparing seminarians for leadership in a religiously diverse culture ... Louise Johnson embraces historic leadership role
Two decades ago, the Rev. Louise N. Johnson could not have imagined herself serving LTSP as Vice President for Mission Advancement, using her writing and analytical skills in a post created last October to implement a new institution-wide assessment process for the seminary.     In thinking about her new role, and the seminary she serves, she is in the right place at the right time. "We are learning to think differently," she explained. "We have an incredible opportunity to wonder how God is changing us."      Learn how Pr. Johnson is bringing her knowledge and experience to a new position key in guiding the seminary into the changing world and a changing church ... Johns Island: A Photo EssayLast month's PS Portions shared the story of the annual student service trip to Johns Island, led by LTSP professor Robert Robinson.     The group has returned to begin spring semester, and they share some of their experience in this photo essay ... New! Check out Class Notes, a new feature in PS Portions which will share stories about LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories!

Adult Learning Opportunity starting March 8: CONGREGATIONS: Where Old & New Communications Strategies Merge

February 8, 2014 - 1:58pm
CONGREGATIONS: Where Old and New
Communications Strategies Merge

Social and "Old" Media for the 21st Century
with instructor the Rev. Dr. Richard Stewart, Retired LTSP Associate Professor; Interim Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Upper DarbyFive consecutive Saturdays, March 8 to April 12,
live on the LTSP campus from 10 am to noon
and flexible* online - the choice is yours!

Newletters, bulletins, bulletin boards, radio, newspapers, email, web sites, blogs, video, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, RSS Feed, MySpace, etc. Welcome to communicating and connecting in the 21st Century!

On five successive Saturday mornings, we will explore how congregations can connect and communicate with the multiple generations that are being encountered in congregational life.

In some 20 odd years of teaching during the growth of the use of computers, Pr. Stewart has found that the adaptability of people in the pews varies not necessarily according to age but according to interest in – or ability to ignore – methods used by congregations to communicate. This course is valuable to all leaders in congregational life who are responsible to communicate, those who must “Speak” on multiple levels in order to reach all of the Children of God.

Before his retirement, Pr. Stewart was Associate Professor of Communications and Parish Administration at LTSP. His doctoral dissertation, "A History of the Use of Technology in Education at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia," was a study of the use of technology in the theological education setting. You can join Dr. Stewart in one of two ways:
  • Live on the LTSP Campus over five consecutive Saturdays, March 8 to April 12, 2014, from 10 am to noon. Join Dr. Stewart live in the classroom to learn and share with class colleagues.
  • Online for five weeks beginning March 3. View course videos, participate in discussions forums with class colleagues, and other activities.
  • *Flexible means you can attend in whatever way works best for you. You can choose each week - in the classroom, online, a combination of both - for a single registration!
At the end of the successfully completed series, each participant will receive a certificate of completion or one CEU if requested.

Videos will also be available separately for congregations that wish to use them for their own study programs.

The cost for the course is $200 for individuals enrolling for flexible classroom or online study - a single registration covers both. The cost for congregational groups of two or more will be $275 per group.
    Register online here.For more information, contact Kathleen A. Afflerbach, Coordinator, 215.248.6324 or

    Presented in partnership with Adult Lutherans Organized for Action (ALOA).
    What attendees have said about their adult learning experience at LTSP:
    • "Please grow this type of learning opportunity!"
    • "We all need to know more as we grow in faith."
    • "It's great to be able to review the class online if you cannot attend. It also acts as a great review."
    • "It was good to know that if I couldn't attend the class I coulod do the work [online]. Several people took advantage of online because of scheduling conflicts."
    More learning opportunities are available - check out the options on our Take a Course at LTSP page.

    LTSP Hit Hard by Ice Storm

    February 7, 2014 - 2:27pm
    Dear Friends,

    As was the case for many in the Northeast, the seminary campus was hit hard yesterday in the ice storm. We opened two hours late but had to close the school after Chapel and lunch at the request of security because it was too dangerous. 
    Trees, branches, power lines, and other utility lines were coming down at such a rapid rate it was alarming. Some branches and trees fell onto or scraped against buildings, taking down lights, gutters, and trim. At least four major trees fell or were uprooted and scores of large and smaller branches were strewn all over the campus taking utility lines down with them. 
    Our maintenance and security teams have done another heroic job in keeping us safe during a series of storms. There was hardly a sidewalk that was passable yesterday morning. Now all are cleared.

    Thank God there have been no injuries or power outages even though many of our staff and faculty who live off campus do not have power. 
    Hurricanes have not done as much damage. It is a little overwhelming to see how much clean up and repair need to be done. Please keep us and all in the Northeast who are without power in this cold weather in your prayers.

    In Christ Jesus,

    President Philip Krey

    PS Portions January 2014: A Taste of Seminary Happenings

    February 7, 2014 - 2:20pm
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    A Taste of Seminary HappeningsJanuary 2014 From President Phil Krey 
    Stories of Perseverance
    The stories in this edition of PS Portions are about perseverance in doing good, rooted in a deep faith and trust in God.     We recall a sermon by Pr. John Hoffmeyer noted that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the habit of preaching on "love of enemy" at least once a year.      Pr. Robert B. Robinson describes how for 16 years a student-led trip to rebuild houses and buildings Johns Island, South Carolina, is an experience students and the Gullah of the island do not forget.      Pr. Katie Day talks about finding "energy and imagination" to end poverty. We share a story of perseverance in ministry despite debilitating illness.      I also note the passing of long time LTSP Trustee Dr. Robert Blanck. His many contributions to this school, the greater church, and the world will be long remembered. Read more from President Krey...
    Preacher John Hoffmeyer recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of love for enemies
    The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech are probably the most likely words of Dr. King's to be recalled at his January 15 birthday and the January 20 Day of Service observed in his honor, noted the Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer during his chapel sermon at LTSP on King's birthday. Read more about Pr. Hoffmeyer's remarks...
    Finding "energy and imagination" to end poverty
    LTSP Professor Katie Day reflects on the complex and deepening predicament of poverty 50 years after U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in America.                Faith-based advocates have felt like lone voices in the wilderness for years, trying to get policy makers to focus on the reality of poverty in the U.S., as well as around the globe. Yet is like, suddenly, everyone from President Obama to the Republican leadership is currently focusing on the increasing economic disparity in our country.
         Professor Day reflects on the challenges we face in persevering to end poverty ...
    Johns Island: A tradition of January service by seminarians to neighbors in the south
    Sixteen years ago, a group of great students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) became concerned about the burning of churches in the south and wanted to help rebuild. Rural Mission, an organization on Johns Island, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, had a ministry of rebuilding and repairing houses for residents of the island, many of them elderly, who could not afford to fix up their own places. The students jumped at the opportunity and began a tradition that continues through today.
         LTSP professor Robert Robinson tells the story of this continuing tradition of service ... 
    Persistent and courageous in ministry despite severe illness
    The Rev. Walter Hermanns, a 1987 alumnus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) who served courageously and with grace and dignity as a parish pastor in Racine, Wisconsin, despite a battle with Multiple Sclerosis, died December 12, 2013.     His is a story of persistence and courage as he brought the Good News of Jesus Christ to many, including those with illness and disability.      Read more about his story of ministry, including a reflection he shared about what God does when one is having a "worst day" ...  Join us for the first Augustana Institute at LTSP Lectureship featuring  keynote presenter noted ecumenist Bishop Jonas Jonson

    Saturday, March 22Learn more and register online Rest, Refreshment and Renewal April 12, 2014
    Early registration discount ends January 31 The Thread that Binds: 150 Years of Woman in Ministry is the theme.
    Registration makes a perfect gift for the women in your life Preaching with Power: A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology returns for the 32nd year Sunday, March 9 - Thursday, March 13

    Click to learn more about this year's outstanding preachers, teachers and African American Sacred Music Concert
    Come test the waters: 

    February 7-9, 2014
    click to learn more and register

    Discerning a Call, or know someone who is? Learn about Wet Toes weekend!

    January 24, 2014 - 1:48pm
      Friday-Sunday FEBRUARY 7-9, 2014

    on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP)  

    You often talk with people about call and discernment. It is just those people who will benefit from Wet Toes Weekend. Or perhaps you are sensing a call and in discernment yourself.
    Wet Toes Weekend is an excellent opportunity for them - or you - to get acquainted with what it's like to be part of LTSP community.
    Participants will stay overnight in one of the comfortable LTSP guest rooms in Wiedemann Hall, right in the middle of campus.
    More importantly, participants, as our guests, will get to know many current students at LTSP; some will be participating in the retreat as facilitators for discussion groups that will take place throughout the weekend.
    Guests will meet several members of the esteemed and world-renowned LTSP faculty. Three will be making presentations at the retreat in an atmosphere similar to a seminary classroom experience:
    • The Rev. Dr. Storm Swain, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Theology and Director of Anglican Studies
    • The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament
    • Dr. Jon Pahl, Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Professor in the History of Christianity and Director, MAPL Programs
    Everyone in the seminary community will be eager to meet the weekend's guests. That includes the Rev. Dr. Phil Krey, president of LTSP, who, together with his wife, René Diemer (LTSP Registrar), will be rolling out the red carpet at their home on campus to host a lunch on Saturday.
    The participants will comprise the most important partof the LTSP community for this weekend
    Wet Toes Weekend is designed for individuals who are discerning the next exciting chapter of life to which God is calling them. We will reflect together, pray together, worship together, sing together, and laugh together.
    It's going to be a great weekend;perhaps the best weekend of the participants' lives.
    Please share this invitation with
    those who might benefit.
      Questions? Call 215.248.7302More information and online registration is online hereDownload a flyer (pdf) to share with those in discernment

    Robert F. Blanck dies: Seminary trustee's deep faith led to a lifetime of church service

    January 23, 2014 - 1:30pm
    A lifelong church leader and a career attorney, Dr. Blanck once served as treasurer of his church denomination and in 2010 celebrated 40 years of service as a trustee for The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, most of them as chair Attorney Dr. Robert F. Blanck of Skippack Township, PA, liked to tell the story about how at the age of five he first set foot on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and "fell in love with the place." His father had taken the family on a Sunday afternoon drive and paused outside the campus along Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy. Together they walked up the steps to the tree-covered school. His fondness for the seminary only deepened. Blanck, an attorney and devoted church leader on national, regional, and local levels, died January 16, 2014 at Pottstown Memorial Hospital. He would have been 88 on January 19. Before moving to Skippack Township, Blanck was a long time resident of the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, near the seminary’s Mt. Airy campus.

    Blanck was still a trustee at the time of his death, and served as board chair from 1976 to 2003. Before his stroke shortly before Christmas 2013, Blanck still drove most work days to catch the train in Chestnut Hill to his center city Philadelphia law office. His specializations included estates, real estate, tax law, and working with non-profit organizations. He was a part of the Law Offices of Schubert, Gallagher, Tyler and Mulcahey. He was generous in counseling others and became close with many of his clients, who often sought and trusted his advice. Blanck professed to having had many mentors himself, who paved the way for his development as a churchman and devoted volunteer on the national, regional (synodical), seminary, and congregational levels. The mentors included his father, Oscar, a church leader in West Lawn, PA; his pastor during his youth, the Rev. Ernest A. Weber; Dr. Robert Goeser and Dr. Robert Marshall, members of the Muhlenberg College faculty. At Muhlenberg, Blanck was active in the Muhlenberg Christian Association as well as a member of the national history and philosophy fraternities. He had always been an enthusiastic and engaged student, beginning at Wilson High School, where he played the bassoon in the Allstate bands and orchestras before becoming a student conductor in Senior year. In addition, he was a member of the debating team for three years and edited the sports section of their high school newspaper.

    Blanck graduated from Muhlenberg in 1949 after a tour in the Air Force, where, during World War II (from March '44-May '46), he both served as a sergeant radar mechanic and briefly volunteered to direct a chapel choir at a base in Shreveport, LA. During conversations with Goeser, Blanck recalled, "I came this close to going off to seminary." But he eventually fell back on a pledge he made to himself in seventh grade "to pursue the practice of law." He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1952.

    The decision to practice law did not limit Blanck in any way from also pursuing the Gospel and deepening his faith in his life. In addition to 40-plus years of service as seminary trustee (1970 until his death), Blanck served the church in a myriad other ways, including treasurer for the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), a predecessor body to the current Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, from 1982 to 1987. Other church roles included membership on the management committee for the Office for Administration and Finance of the LCA, service on the LCA Executive Council, executive board of the Eastern Pennsylvania and later the Southeastern Pennsylvania synods of the church, and numerous congregational leadership posts, particularly at Trinity Lutheran Church, Germantown in Philadelphia, where he served as president (1966-1993), sang in the choir, and taught Sunday School. One of his adult education students there was the late, noted LTSP faculty member the Rev. Dr. William Lazareth. He served as a lector where he currently worshiped at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansdale.

    Dr. Blanck and his late wife Barbara Blanck faced many professional and personal challenges over many decades, including caring for his wife of 62 years, Barbara, when she began suffering from dementia in 2009. Through it all, Blanck maintained that the gift of faith sustained him completely. "It is not something I think about," he said. "It is a part of me. I don't turn it on and off. My faith guides every decision and step I take and influences my choices and the way I try to live my life." Barbara died in September 2011.

    His favorite seminary memories, which he had shared in an interview in June 2010, included the surprise party given him in 2003 when he stepped down as board chair, and his involvement in festivities honoring various presidents, including the retirement observance in Ocean City, NJ, for the Rev. Dr. Robert Hughes, which he played a major role in planning but at the last minute couldn't attend due to illness. "These gatherings always bring together those who love the place," he said. "And I enjoy those times very much."

    As seminary board chair, Blanck served under several presidents and saw many changes to the seminary's curriculum and campus. Those changes included re-accreditations, the upgrading of the Hagan Administration Building, including the addition of an Amphitheater in the 1970s, and, more recently, construction in 1998 of the Wiedemann Center, a new dormitory suitable for the housing of seminarian families, and the planning and later construction of The Brossman Learning Center (2005), the seminary's first structure dedicated to student classrooms. The latter construction changed the climate of the campus, he said.

    A challenge of note during his board tenure, he said, was to communicate the strong Lutheran identity of the seminary, even as it embraced other traditions in its learning community - Episcopalians, United Methodists, and the wide variety of traditions connected with the seminary's 34-year-old Urban Theological Institute, which serves to educate African American church leaders in the region. In his view, "this ecumenical community spirit has taught and is teaching us much of what it means to be Christian in today's world," he said. "In taking this approach, LTSP has not in any way compromised its Lutheran identity." Blanck also called a highlight the school's efforts to keep up with technology advances through its construction, teaching, and improvements to its 100-plus year-old Krauth Memorial Library. Blanck always gave the seminary's faculty and staff huge credit for its capacity to endure through tough times like the recent recession.

    Dr. Blanck dons a Reading Phillies cap, presented at an LTSP banquet honoring his many years of service Regarding the state of the present and future church, Blanck remained steadfastly optimistic despite the splintering of the church's polity over issues such as those involving human sexuality. "In general I think people today are less bound to the institutions of the church than they once were," he said. "And they are less accepting of authority, so splintering is more of a possibility. In my opinion, a lot of our differences are not so much based on scripture as they are political. We must be willing to keep sorting these matters out and also be willing to understand that we can take a less dogmatic stance in certain areas and move closer not only to Lutheran unity but also to Christian unity." Through such willingness "we have the chance in essence to become stronger in Christ."

    In his spare time, Blanck loved watching sports, particularly baseball, basketball, football, golf, and lacrosse. He was a lifelong fan of the  Philadelphia Phillies and its Reading Phillies farm club (their "number one fan," he often liked to say). He enjoyed attending games in Reading,
    the closer choice to his Montgomery County home. For relaxation, he also spent most weekends and many weeks off in summer with his family in Ocean City, NJ, where his wife's parents have owned a house since 1954. There, he played board games, constructed puzzles, and went for walks on the beach and boardwalk. When he was not devoting his time to his grandchildren, Robert was an avid traveler and was constantly looking for new trips to take around the world. Finally, he loved classical music and often attended concerts by the Philadelphia Orchestra. As family friend Debbie McNutt quickly came to understand, in the few years that she helped look after his house, "Bob liked to have fun. He had a ready smile and was appreciative of what life had to offer and of those around him."

    Blanck was awarded the honorary degree of LLD (Doctor of Laws) by Muhlenberg College in 1976, and recognized by LTSP in 2001 with the honorary degree of DD (Doctor of Divinity).

    Blanck is survived by a daughter, Meredith S. Marando-Blanck, and her husband, Stephen, of Audubon, PA; his grandson, Robert L. Blanck, of King of Prussia, PA; two granddaughters, Amanda C. and Stephanie M. Marando-Blanck, of Audubon, and a great-grandson, Robert F. Blanck, of King of Prussia.

    The funeral service will be held Friday, January 24, 2014 at 10:00 am at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1000 W. Main Street, Lansdale, PA 19466. Reception immediately following the service. There are no visitation hours. Memorial contributions are requested to the Dr. Robert Blanck Fund, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, or The Jimmy V. Fund, 106 Towerview Court, Cary, NC 27513. Condolences can be sent to Meredith Marando-Blanck, 804 Mill Grove Drive, Norristown, PA, 19403.
    this post was updated

    LTSP Presidential Search - Position Announcement

    January 16, 2014 - 8:02pm

    The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is seeking a president. The position description is posted on the seminary’s website here: Nominations and applications (including letter of interest and CV) may be sent electronically to The Search Committee will review applications beginning on February 15. Nominations and applications will be received until the position is filled.

    A Message FROM LTSP and LTSG

    January 10, 2014 - 1:57pm
    To the LTSP community:Given our deep, shared commitment to the ongoing vital mission of the church, the officers of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG) and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) met on Friday, December 20, and have agreed to explore heightened collaboration between our two institutions.We recognize the significant challenges facing theological education today, and see in them opportunities for rich partnerships grounded in the history and traditions of our two institutions. We want to serve the church by providing innovative leaders who will carry us into a bold future; we want to see our two institutions thrive far into the future.The officers came to consensus that there are multiple options for a possible shared future which will be considered through a series of meetings in the very near future. These discussions will be expanded to include the full boards, faculties, and administrations of both seminaries.Blessings, J. Elise BrownChair, LTSP Board of Trustees James LaksoChair, LTSG Board of Directors