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PS Portions

Meet Your Advancement Team

LTSP Advancement StaffADVANCING AND SUPPORTING THE MISSION of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) – which in part 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” – along with informing and cultivating our supporters and constituencies about LTSP’s exciting tuition-free initiative, and soliciting and developing relationships with individuals, alumni, and congregations, are just a few areas of focus of LTSP’s reinvigorated Advancement Team that, according to Dennis Trotter, Senior Vice President for Advancement and President of the LTSP Foundation, is “an extraordinary group of strong and capable individuals who check their egos at the door, manifest true humility, and produce an extremely high quality of work.” Along with Dennis, other members of the team include Vincent Dent, Senior Major Gifts Officer, with over 20 years of fundraising experience in university advancement, healthcare, faith-based/religious organizations and social service nonprofits; Kathie Afflerbach, AIM, MAR ’09, Director of Donor Services, who serves as database administrator, assuring accurate gift processing and management of the constituent records; Yvonne Lembo, MDiv ’13, ELCA Regional Gift Planner (contributing part-time for LTSP as a Major Gifts Officer); Merri Brown, Director of Communications and editor of PS Portions enewsletter; and Karol Mason, Assistant to Senior Vice President for Advancement and Director of Advancement Operations, and also a second year MDiv student who brings over 20 years of progressive nonprofit leadership experience in human services, arts and culture, and higher education organizations.

The reorganization of the Advancement office and identification of target priorities, as well as the hiring of Dennis Trotter, Vince Dent, Yvonne Lembo, and Karol Mason, has spearheaded a dramatic shift in confidence, resources, and collaborative and realistic planning in the office. “The Advancement Team is a wonderful and diverse team of hardworking professionals … a great group of people who not only work well together but also genuinely enjoy one other’s company. Our staff meetings are never dull – full of great thinking, but also tons of laughter,” observed Karol Mason. This will hopefully translate into establishing revitalized and new partnerships with seminary friends, donors, alumni, and congregations, allowing for creative visioning, exploration, opportunities, and support for our students and mission.

As the seminary moves into unchartered waters, soon becoming United Lutheran Seminary with Gettysburg seminary, the respective advancement offices, according to Dennis Trotter, will need to “build a broad enough tent to cover all of us while also engaging intimately with one another and supporting each other. We must manage to create a superordinate goal that gathers us all into a common purpose while also ministering to one another and encouraging one another to our highest and best work.” The two groups are already engaging in coordinated events, increasingly supporting each other in events on both campuses in the months ahead.

The group is also excited to continue to lift up and inform its constituencies about the tuition-free education initiative gaining momentum in both communities. Already there is great support for this critical effort, which is in partnership with the ELCA, our supporting Synods, and many faithful congregations and individuals. Vince Dent hopes “that our donors love our mission and are eager to help sustain the work of the combined seminaries through their impactful giving.”

The office is eager to share this mission and wants to hear your voice. Please feel free to let them know how they can help you support the ground-breaking tuition-free action, as well as other advancement goals, especially moving forward with United Lutheran Seminary. Be in partnership with the Advancement team by contacting Dennis Trotter at or Vince Dent at, by calling 215.248.6316, or simply drop by the seminary for a visit! Also stay tuned for events in your area by signing up for our monthly enewsletter, PS Portions, and confirm your contact information is up to date.

You can help support the Tuition-free Scholarship initiative by making a gift here.


Yvonne Lembo


Kathie Afflerbach


Merri Brown


Vince Dent


Karol Mason


Dennis Trotter

Advancement Staff


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7301 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19119-1974
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Our Mission

"Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia 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."