Fall 2012 Board Meeting Report

Dear Friends:


President Philip Krey I'm pleased to send this letter detailing actions our Board of Trustees worked on during the Board's fall 2012 meeting. Board members also took part in special campus events November 27 and 28 detailed below.


First, the Trustees heard a report on and reacted favorably to a revised curriculum plan to be introduced in the fall of 2013. We've been listening in a lot of places to concerns that our curriculum be focused on flexibility to meet the schedules and concerns of students, that it be financially affordable, and that it be relevant to the emerging concerns of the church today. The Trustees were excited about the report. We have not been shy about curriculum revision in the past, and we'll tell you more as details firm up.


Our new Dean, the Rev. Dr.  J. Jayakiran Sebastian, was installed at our Eucharist service Wednesday, November 28. The Trustees approved that Dr. Sebastian be awarded the H. George Anderson Chair of Mission and Cultures in a chairing ceremony at the spring meeting of the Board April 23-24, 2013. During our recent meeting Dr. Jon Pahl received the Peter Paul and Elizabeth Hagan Chair of the History of Christianity. His wonderful chairing lecture focused on "Ending the Warfare between Business and Religion - Toward a New Social Gospel." You can read about or view the lecture on the LTSP news blog. The Trustees approved a sabbatical for Dr. Pahl from July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013.


Also installed November 28 as Vice President for Mission Advancement was the Rev. Louise Johnson, who has served for a number of years in the past as our Director of Admissions. Dr. Michael Krentz, who directs the seminary's music program and is cantor for our Chapel Worship, was appointed as Instructor, non-tenure.


On Tuesday evening November 27 the late Professor Andrew J. "Jack" White, who died last May 6, was remembered at a memorial service in the Chapel. Professor Katie Day's moving sermon of remembrance was a special highlight. Members of the Mt. Airy community who recalled and worked with "Jack" took part. More information on this service can be found on the news blog.


The Trustees approved the awarding of an honorary doctorate at the 2013 commencement to alumnus Dr. William Rusch, whose noteworthy past church service has included directing its ecumenical initiatives. The Board acknowledged that the seminary's annual Soli Deo Gloria Award was to be conferred upon Dr. Mia I. Enquist and her late husband Canon Dr. Roy Enquist at Advent Vespers. More news on the conferring of this award can be seen on the news blog.


The Rev. John V. Puotinen, the seminary's Vice President for Philanthropy, was formally appointed as President of the LTSP Foundation.


New and re-elected Board officers installed at the Wednesday Eucharist were: Chair - the Rev. Dr. John C. Richter, Vice-Chair - the Rev. J. Elise Brown, Secretary - the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Krommes, Assistant Secretary - Dr. Addie J. Butler, and Treasurer - Fred Risser.

Four new Board members and one re-elected member were also installed: New members: David J. Hinrichs, the Rev. Charles S. Miller, Fred E. Risser, Bishop Samuel R. Zeiser, and re-elected was the Rev. J. Elise Brown.


Our Student Body Executive Committee members were also installed: They are Lauren Finnila, Amanda Nesvold, Daniel Spigelmyer, Lauren Blatt, Alina Gayeuski, Tim Ness, Rachel Anderson, Elyssa Salinas, and John Eskate.


Other Board highlights: The registrar reported that 73 new students were enrolled in all degree programs. Institution outcomes assessment was discussed. A clean audit was received for the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 from our auditing firm of Tait, Weller. The agenda included considerable discussion of ideas to increase revenue in a tough economic time. A revised strategic plan was accepted. The Board heard early reports on the seminary's 150th anniversary plans. Addresses will be delivered during the 2013 Spring Convocation, Tuesday, April 30 to Wednesday, May 1, 2013, by former Dean James K. Echols and by our newest faculty member, Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, who teaches Liturgy and Worship. Spring Convocation will kick off the seminary's 150th Anniversary celebration. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for upcoming details! The Trustees learned about the catering work of Cricket Catering and Little Jimmies, the latter located in The Brossman Center. Students love the food!


To stay in touch and receive email updates from the seminary, please subscribe to the LTSP News and Media blog and sign up to receive LTSP eNews, and check out the latest edition of PS Portions, the seminary's enewsletter at Ltsp.edu/PSPortions.


Best wishes this Advent season, Christmas, and Epiphany,

Philip Krey   

Philip D.W. Krey

President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia