Meet our new students

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Trina MontgomeryFreshly arrived on the LTSP campus, Trina Montgomery comes from Monticello, IL. Trina’s sister, Taryn, graduated with an MDiv from LTSP in 2011 and serves as pastor of Bread of Life Lutheran Church in Minot, ND. “I’m really excited to be with students from so many backgrounds here,” she said. “I wanted to be part of a seminary community featuring many denominations and with a focus on ecumenism and interfaith concerns.” Trina is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah, IA. Prior to entering seminary she lived in Jerusalem, Israel, and Palestine for several years as part of a young adult global mission initiative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She also served on the staff of “Breaking Silence,” an initiative involving former Israeli soldiers in exposing injustice in the occupied territories.

Justin LingenfelterFirst-year seminarian Justin Lingenfelter of New Tripoli, PA, had already attended two of his five classes by the time of orientation — “ Genesis to Esther” with Dr. Robert B. Robinson, Anna Burkhalter Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; and “The Trinity and the Christian Life” with Systematic Theologian Professor Dr. John Hoffmeyer. “I loved the classes,” said Lingenfelter. He is still processing a mission trip to Panama he took this summer as offered by his congregation, New Life Lutheran Church in New Tripoli, where his father, the Rev. Scott Lingenfelter, is pastor. “I think the best part of the trip was relationship-building,” he said. He enjoyed visiting reservations lived in by Panama’s native peoples. The Rev. Scott Lingenfelter is an LTSP alumnus.

Chan Chum HeiNew seminarian Chan Chum Hei, a native of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), takes the bus 90 minutes one way from South Philadelphia whenever he matriculates to the LTSP campus. He is studying for an STM then plans to earn a PhD so that he can return to Myanmar to teach theology at Myanmar Institute of Theology, the largest seminary in Myanmar, with about 1,000 students.  Chan first heard about LTSP while studying at Princeton during 2009-2010. “I heard about the diversity of the students at LTSP and was also impressed by what I heard about the level of scholarship,” Chan said. He is focusing on Biblical Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation during his studies at LTSP. He lives in South Philadelphia with refugee friends. His wife, Sung Tin Par, and young son, Chan Tha Cung, are both back home in Myanmar. He misses them very much.

Seth RumageSeth Rumage, of Davis, IL, is already impressed with the community nature of LTSP. New to the campus, Rumage had met his current neighbors in the Wiedemann Center when he visited the campus last February. “I’ve always wanted to do ministry since attending Lutherdale, a Bible camp,” he said. The only question has been whether I want to focus on some aspect of social ministry or being a youth pastor.” Rumage said Matt O’Rear of the LTSP Admissions Staff, really sold him on LTSP as a place to study to become a rostered leader in the church. He completed his undergraduate study at Luther College, Decorah, IA.

Shada SullivanShada Sullivan of Huntingdon Valley, PA, a mother of two young children, is juggling the responsibilities of being a wife and mother with part-time seminary study. Sullivan, a native of Australia, has lived in the U.S. for 19 years. She is a member of the Swedenborgian New Church in Bryn Athyn, PA, a Christian Church founded in the eighteenth-century by scientist theologian Emanuel Swedenborg. The church, she explained, focuses on various interior meanings found in Scripture. And the church emphasizes that salvation comes from doing good works. She was greatly encouraged to attend seminary by one of her pastors who supports the idea of women in professional ministry. Sullivan is studying for an MDiv and says the seminary appealed to her because of its welcoming ecumenical approach. Before becoming a mother, Sullivan served as a chaplain at Jefferson University Hospital and for Caring Hospice. Her husband is Andy. Her children are Becket and Aurelia.