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Wartburg Theological Seminary announces appointment of new president

DUBUQUE, IA – April 22, 2015 – In its spring board meeting, the Wartburg Theological Seminary Board of Directors elected its fourteenth president, Rev. Louise N. Johnson. She was joyfully welcomed at a seminary community gathering following chapel today. Rev. Johnson is a graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary and has served at The Lutheran Theological […]

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Louise Johnson embraces historic leadership role

This story was first published in PS Portions in February 2014. Pr. Johnson was named the 14th President of Wartburg Theological Seminary in April 2015. 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 […]

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PS Portions: April 2015

In April’s PS Portions: From the President — “We’re Listening”; Louise Johnson named 14th President of Wartburg Seminary; Social media has inspired an expansive notion of ‘sacred space’; A Confederate soldier’s LTSP journey brought to light by a more recent graduate; Preaching with Power 2015 — Recap (including videos and photos from the events); Dealing with Assumptions about Muslims; May 19 commencement will feature remarks by Middle East peace advocate Dr. Mitri Raheb; Class and LTSP Notes; and more…

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From the President – “We’re Listening”

This past winter, we hosted 18 structured conversations connected to our Strategic Planning that involved approximately 250 people. Each meeting began with a brief overview of my own sense of the changes in our culture that have created both opportunities and challenges for the Church and, by extension, the Church’s seminaries.

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Louise Johnson named 14th President of Wartburg Seminary

The Board of Directors of Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, elected the Rev. Louise N. Johnson, Vice President of Mission Advancement at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), as Wartburg Seminary’s 14th president during their spring 2015 meeting. Johnson was publicly introduced to the Wartburg community following Eucharist in the chapel on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

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Social media has inspired an expansive notion of ‘sacred space’

Today’s social media — Facebook, Tweets and other forms — are filled with information about how all kinds of everyday people are finding God and living out their vocations in daily life. In a recent LTSP convocation, the Rev. Keith Anderson called upon his audience of faculty, students, and staff to take a fresh look at what constitutes the idea of “sacred spaces” in modern life. “Churches need to think of sacred space in a far more expansive way.”

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A Confederate soldier’s LTSP journey brought to light by a more recent graduate

Thanks to the painstaking research of a 2001 graduate of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), the remarkable story of one of LTSP’s earliest students, the Rev. Stephen Albion Repass, has come to light anew. The more recent graduate, the Rev. Nelson Quiñones, now pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, Lehigh County, began to learn the story of Repass while serving as assistant pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Allentown, Quiñones’s first call.

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Preaching with Power 2015

Pastor Barry C. Black’s impactful sermon traces a journey from public housing to the U.S. Senate
This bit of prose will not do justice to the soaring rhetoric and deep substance that the Rev. Dr. Barry C. Black presented as a Preaching with Power gift to inspired sermonic listeners March 17 at Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia’s Germantown section. Black, the 62nd Chaplain to serve the U.S. Senate and a Seventh Day Adventist pastor, chose “Preaching Under Observation” for his sermon topic, clearly offered with seminarians in the audience in mind.

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Dealing with Assumptions about Muslims

Ever since 1979, the Middle East has intruded into American homes on a seemingly nightly basis. In his final days hosting CBS Evening News, steadfast anchorman Walter Cronkite chronicled the 444 days in which 52 Americans were held hostage in Tehran, Iran, and shocked the country as never before. Since the Iranian Revolution, the Middle East has been ubiquitous in news. Every president since Jimmy Carter has tried — and failed — to broker a peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Every Congress since 1979 has voted to send block aid to Israel and a similar amount in kind to Egypt. Having been a student of this region my whole adult life, and having served in the Middle East with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, I am struck by at least three different assumptions that I frequently experience from the good folk in the pews.

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May 19 commencement will feature remarks by Middle East peace advocate Dr. Mitri Raheb

The keynote speaker for this year’s commencement exercises in the seminary’s 151st year will be the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, a powerful advocate for peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The commencement is set for 3:00 pm Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Fifty-three seminarians are scheduled to receive either degrees or certificates at the exercises. Senior Class President Mark David Johnson will offer remarks on behalf of his classmates.

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LTSP Notes: April 2015

In April’s LTSP Notes, LTSP’s Chief of Safety and Security Vincent Ferguson presented appointments on two members of the Safety and Security staff, Michael Reed and Michael Fabian, and recent activities of the Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman.

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Class Notes: April 2015

In April’s Class Notes, North American Association for the Catechumenate’s summer gathering features alumna the Rev. Dr. Jessicah Duckworth; updates from the Rev. Chris Halverson, the Rev. David G. Berg, the Rev. Kurt Lammi, the Rev. J. Francis Watson and Moose Flores; and the passing of the Rev. Conrad W. (Bill) Weiser, the Rev. Albert C. Martin, the Rev. Dr. John T. Braughler, and the Rev. Dr. Harry G. Souders.

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PS Portions – March 2015

From the President – Metanoia Metanoia. It is one of the key terms of Lent. We often translate it as repentance, changing one’s behavior in response to spiritual conversion. But it might also be translated as a turning around, a significant change in one’s attitude and perspective that leads to a different way of doing […]

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From the President – Metanoia

Metanoia. It is one of the key terms of Lent. We often translate it as repentance, changing one’s behavior in response to spiritual conversion. But it might also be translated as a turning around, a significant change in one’s attitude and perspective that leads to a different way of doing things.

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The challenges of restoring Peter Muhlenberg’s 240-year old robe

Once she restored the Masonic apron belonging to George Washington and the Masonic sash owned by Benjamin Franklin. Textile conservator Nancy Love also recently fashioned an African American History Museum exhibit featuring about 40 costumes worn by the 1950s and 1960s rock singing sensations the Supremes.
For the past two years, she has been thinking about and working on the restoration of an estimated 240-year-old preaching robe worn by Peter Muhlenberg, the son of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, often referred to as the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in North America.

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Why Turkey is at a Turning Point, Why American Christians Should Care, and What You Can Do

With ISIS and terrorist killings in the news, it’s important to lift up the stories of the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims around the world.

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Church in the New England Snow

It is no secret that New England has been continuously covered with snow this winter. As snow banks piled up to form mountain ranges and the snow in our yards rising to meet the window ledges — and another snowstorm seeming to appear in every weather forecast — many churches in New England have been called on to get creative with worship services to reach their communities. St. Mark Lutheran Church, Norwich, Connecticut, has also had to adapt ministry as a result of unceasing snow.

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Lenten Reflection: Bringing “church” to the public square in New York City

A young woman emerged from the Union Square subway station and spotted our large sign: “Ashes and Prayer.” Dressed in an expensive looking coat and scarf, walking with purpose and confidence, it seemed like she had it all together. She came over to us and asked, “Really? Can I get ashes right here and now?” I said, “Yes. And we would also like to pray for you.” We exchanged first names. Then I asked what we could lift to God in prayer on her behalf. Her face dramatically changed expression as she bowed her head toward the ground and quietly said, “I’m flying home tomorrow … to bury my younger sister.”

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March 2015 LTSP Notes

The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, Dean of the Seminary; H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures; Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center Dean Sebastian attended an international conference at the Tantur Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Jerusalem on “Tantur and the Future of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue” between January 8th – 11th, 2015, at […]

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March 2015 Class Notes

The Rev. Steven Jensen (MDiv 1973), U.S. Navy Chaplain (Retired) Dr. N. Fred Nelson and new wife Robin are in Hawai’i for their honeymoon. I’m Fred’s daughter Erika ‘s godfather and performed her wedding 20 years ago. First met him at Gettysburg for summer concentrated Greek class in 1969. Tis estin houtos? Sending one of […]

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PS Portions – February 2015

In February’s PS Portions, President David Lose asks, “Have you started praying yet for next year’s LTSP students?” Plus stories on the 2015 El Salvador Travel Seminar, LTSP DMin students talk about their ministry and why they are studying for a DMin, an update in the February 17 dedication of the Bornemann harpsichord, ELCA seminary leaders respond, updates on Preaching with Power and Spring Convocation 2015, plus Class Notes and LTSP notes – and more…

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From the President – Are You Praying?

A quick, but important question: Have you started praying yet for next year’s LTSP students? I ask because this past weekend we had 30 or so folks on campus exploring their sense of call to leadership in the church and to the possibility of enrolling as students at LTSP. And it occurred to me what […]

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El Salvador travel seminar broadens the perspective of seminarians

Second-year seminarian Sharon Richter of Philadelphia says her travel seminar visit to El Salvador in January “helped me face the realities of the oppressed world” while discovering how people facing trials in another land “still come out hopeful because they trust in their faith.” She described the people she met in the Central American country […]

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Two Upstate New York graduate students striving to become ‘better pastors’

Upstate New York Synod Pastors Scott Hannon and Douglas Stewart are studying for DMin advanced-level degrees at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in order to become better, more relevant pastors in their congregational settings. But both serve in considerably different contexts. Hannon, a Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary graduate, has been a pastor for […]

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Dedication of Bornemann Harpsichord February 17

On Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 11:30 am, Dr. Michael Krentz will present a dedicatory concert celebrating the rebuilding of the seminary’s harpsichord. Dr. Krentz is Lecturer and Director of Music Ministries/Seminary Cantor at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Assisting Dr. Krentz will be members of the LTSP community, including students Lisa Helmel Thomas, […]

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ELCA Seminary Leaders respond to open letter call to action

On January 17th, 2015, a large group of African-American presidents and deans in theological education posted “An Open Letter to Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States” on Huffington Post. Leaders of the seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a group responded In the face of such a call, believing they “cannot keep silent. We want to make a public response, both acknowledging the justice of that call and also confessing our failure to live into it as we ought.” Here is the response.

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Lineup announced for 2015 Preaching with Power events

Six distinguished African American preachers from a rich variety of backgrounds will headline this year’s 33rd anniversary edition of Preaching with Power in Philadelphia congregations the week of March 15, 2015. The program will include an African American Sacred Music concert at The Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia’s (LTSP) Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel at 11:15 am Wednesday March 18.

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“Living on the Edge” theme for Spring Convocation April 27 and 28

“Living on the Edge” will be the topic explored when The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) convenes its Spring Convocation on the seminary’s campus Monday and Tuesday, April 27-28, 2015. The convocation begins Monday with registration at 4:00 pm and at 5:00 pm a cookout for registrants, family, and friends. A 7:00 pm closing will feature Scripture, camp songs, prayer, and a reminder of the Tuesday schedule. Informal gatherings will then take place in local establishments or in various rooms on the campus, such as Lull Lounge.

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February 2015 Class Notes

In Class Notes: updates from Nancy M. Stevens and the Rev. JoAnna M. Novak Patterson, plus obituaries of alumni the Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Meyer, BD 1965 and the Rev. George Edwin “Bud” Kenyon, Jr., MDiv 1956.

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February 2015 LTSP Notes

LTSP Faculty leading June 2015 tour to LutherLand LTSP professors the Rev. Dr. Karl Krueger and Dr. Michael Krentz are guiding a trip to Germany June 12 – 21, 2015, sponsored by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s Reformation 500 committee. What better way to prepare for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 than to visit historical sites […]

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