“Given my diversified upbringing and experience with several different denominations before (and after!) confirmation, I am drawn to an ELCA Lutheran seminary to deepen my theological roots and understandings. Philadelphia struck a chord because of its inter-faith dialogue and liturgical strengths. Beyond stated strengths and focuses, when I visited LTSP it felt like a good fit. I appreciated the academic rigor I saw displayed in the classes I attended at Philadelphia. In the “Reading Paul” seminar and “New Testament” class, every student had brought all of the textbooks to class (not just the one the previous assignment was from). They utilized computer programs showing different translations. Even in a large classroom setting, students were actively engaged and participating in the discussions. Professors expected students to take good notes; handouts were supplementary, not summary. This is the kind of academic culture I thrive in, and that I believe is especially important in spiritual training. I feel very strongly that I should learn, wrestle with and grow in my faith with at the very least the same consideration that a graduate student would tackle Jane Austen or Faulkner.
Finally, I was impressed with LTSP’s community. At chapel (St. Francis of Assisi Day), I saw pets from professors and students alike. At lunch, I sat with a diverse group of students. Each individual’s story referenced a school tailoring its programs to enhance education and experience. A student with his family in New York was doing his teaching congregation with a church there. A first year new to being Lutheran was doing his teaching congregation first to help orient him. It is a community I am privileged to be a part of.”
LTSP is a place where students encounter the foundational texts, traditions, rituals and resources of Christian communities expressed in Lutheran, and wider Protestant ecumenical circles and are nurtured in the academic and spiritual legacy of the church becoming leaders in congregations and their communities. LTSP is a wonderful place to explore the richness of Christian traditions and prepare to live in that river of traditions as a leader, drawing on biblical and liturgical resources to meet the needs of communities in and beyond congregations.
– The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney
Associate Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament
“Because LTSP is a community that said “yes” to you and to your spiritual and ministry journey. LTSP said “yes” to who you are and strives to help you become all that God calls you to become. LTSP said “yes” to you and your family and makes a place where you all can thrive as you learn and grow. LTSP said “yes” to your questions and creates a safe place to figure out what you believe. LTSP said “yes” to your goals in ministry and endeavors to prepare you for the ministry you are called to engage. LTSP said “yes” to the diversity of who you are – full-time, part-time, evening, single, married, partnered, MDiv, MAR, MAPL, STM, or PhD. LTSP said “yes” to your hopes and dreams of what ministry might look like in the future. LTSP said “yes” to you and invites you to say “yes” in return. You journey can begin as soon as you say “yes.””
– The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman
Associate Professor of Homiletics; Director of United Methodist Studies
“LTSP is a warm and vibrant place where you are welcome; your questions are welcome; where your gifts are celebrated and affirmed; where worship, teaching, mission and ministry are all interlinked in the preparation and training of public leaders for a public church. Here you will find the resources to explore your faith with sensitivity and courage; with commitment and openness. Here insensitive alienation and Indifferent accommodation will be interrogated by Informed acceptance. Come and See!”
– The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakirn Sebastian
Dean of the Seminary
“Because we are deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, strong in commitment to Church life, and serious in pursuing cross-denominational and cross-cultural diversity. Personally, this place has been all of these and more for me: a home, as a student, alumni, and member of the faculty. We want to become that home for every one with a call to serve Christ and others, to ministry and mission, for those called to lead in myriad ways. Where else can you be enriched by relationships so varied and with such human touch and Christian quality? Here the possibilities for growth in theological knowledge, faith commitment, and personal maturity are aplenty.”
– The Rev. Dr. Nelson Rivera
Associate Professor, Systematic Theology and Hispanic Ministry; Director, Latino Concentration; Seminary Chaplain
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