- Faculty & Staff
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Learn more here.
A Message from President Krey
This is to inform you of the findings by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and by The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) after their recent visits to LTSP, and how we are responding to secure the future of the seminary. I hope to clarify the issues and create a dialog with all the constituencies of this wonderful institution.
The first thing you need to know is that LTSP has been reaccredited by both MSCHE and ATS. However, there is much work to be done. (ATS is the gatekeeper for our relationship with the U.S. Department of Education.) Both agencies assessed the progress of the past decade at LTSP, and the institution was found to be out of compliance on several Standards, resulting in warnings and notations by both agencies. Both will revisit the seminary, and an outcomes assessment report of our current strategic plan will be forthcoming early next year. I invite you to read the full reports at the ATS and MSCHE websites. You’ll find those links at Ltsp.edu/accreditation.
A MSCHE warning is equivalent to an ATS notation. From the MSCHE’s Public Disclosure Statement: “When the Commission warns an institution, it believes that, although the institution is out of compliance, the institution has the capacity both to make appropriate improvements within a reasonable period and to sustain itself in the long term.” Be assured this is a long way from losing accreditation, but to reiterate, there is much work to be done.
The next important thing of note is that both ATS and MSCHE strongly affirmed LTSP’s degree programs, faculty, strategic plan, and mission and vision statements. The notations revolve primarily around financial resources, as the institution has not been operating under a balanced budget for the past three years due to grant reductions from our synods (10 to 90 percent) and the impact of the downturn of the economy, which forced the seminary to become endowment dependent and more dependent on individual donors and congregational gifts — in other words, we are under-resourced. Know that both Commissions are working with us around the issues of our planning, institutional assessment, and governance so that our new strategic plan will succeed!
The concerns of MSCHE and ATS are being addressed through the goals of this new strategic plan, already in place, which are to: Prepare leaders for the church of the future by implementing a radically rethought curriculum that is flexible and affordable; Accomplish significant growth in annual admissions; Achieve financial sustainability by balancing expenses with revenues in each fiscal year and by projecting growth in future revenues based on reliable data; and Undergird our mission with aggressive funding initiatives for both short-term and long-term growth. Details on the vision for LTSP were the subject of the Spring 2012 PS, found online here. To celebrate the upcoming 150th anniversary of LTSP, we have already launched a 150th anniversary scholarship fundraising and endowment growth initiative, to be accomplished by 2015.
I am confident that — with
your help — we can achieve our goals.
Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, LTSP asks for your prayers and financial support so that it can continue its mission, 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, and redouble the hard work that needs to be done.
Thank you for your dedication to and caring for this wonderful institution. I invite you to contact me with any thoughts, questions, or concerns at pkrey@Ltsp.edu. I give thanks to God as we are “Moving Forward in Faith” to our sesquicentennial.
Philip D.W. Krey
links in this Statement lead to LTSP's Mission and Values page
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world. Our various degree programs combine high academic standards with practical experience (through contextual education) to prepare graduates for both lay and ordained ministries. Although LTSP is a Lutheran seminary, we strive to live out good practices of ecumenism, multiculturalism, and interfaith hospitality in all aspects of campus life. Our faculty is comprised of professors from various faith traditions, and LTSP welcomes students from a range of faith backgrounds such as Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of God in Christ, and United Church of Christ, to name a few.
At LTSP, the assessment of student learning is a process that has enriched and enhanced our pedagogical practices and ongoing discussions on curriculum revision. The process currently consists of maintaining student portfolios and collecting and processing data from course evaluations, contextual education evaluations, and various student assessment forms. Students play a large role in providing feedback throughout their time at LTSP and continue to do so as alumni. Our judicatories also provide us with important information on our students/alumni, which feeds back into our ongoing decision making process.
By the time of graduation, we endeavor to have equipped our First Theological (MDiv, MAR, MAPL) students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate higher education goals. Student assessment outcomes data show that students from our First Theological degree programs have demonstrated excellence in their ability to both articulate clearly and embrace the roles and responsibilities of the professional ministry for which they are preparing. Over a ten-year period (between August 1, 2000 and August 1, 2010), 80% of students admitted into our MDiv program have graduated, and 70% in all programs. Of the 2012 graduating class, 79% of MDiv, MAR, and MAPL students have thus far either found employment in the vocation for which they were preparing or have gone on for further study. All this has happened within the first 4 months after graduating from LTSP! We are confident that the remaining students, who are at various levels of the employment process, will soon find a calling commensurate with their qualifications.