From the President: Announcing the New Philadelphia Seminary Curriculum

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President Philip Krey

A new flexible, affordable, and relevant curriculum will be offered by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) this coming fall 2013. For two years, the faculty and administration and the Board of Trustees listened to prospective students, alumni/ae, bishops, pastors, and friends who gave us wonderful feedback. The message was clear. The curriculum had to be flexible so that, in the variety of situations that they find themselves, students can fully partake in a curriculum that fits their scheduling needs, one that does not have as many prerequisites for courses, and one that features courses offered at a variety of times, in intensives and online, so that students can take them. This new curriculum meets these demands. The new curriculum is student-focused so that whether one is full-time or part-time, residential or commuting, living at a distance or nearby, it will prepare skilled and resourceful leaders for the church and world and be flexible enough for students to finish with manageable debt.

Our goal in this new curriculum is to provide scholarship aid through our new student sponsorship program led by our new Vice President for Student Development, Don Johnson, so that students will graduate in a timely fashion and be able to afford a seminary education. The number of requirements in the new curriculum has been reduced so that, currently, a student would save $8,000 in tuition costs over the course of their seminary career. The flexible curriculum will make it easier to navigate through the exciting program, and finishing earlier will make it more affordable. We are also preparing models, soon be announced, that will make it possible for students to earn incomes in the very ministries for which they are preparing while getting valuable ministry experience at the same time. Despite scholarship aid, we know that students also need income for living expenses, and we do not want them to borrow for that. For residential and commuting students, the Philadelphia region provides countless laboratories for practical learning. Thus, in the new curriculum, practical, spiritual, and academic learning will be carefully integrated. In addition, in order to keep tuition at an affordable level, we have learned as a school to become ever more efficient to keep educational costs down.

The curriculum will be relevant. The Philadelphia Seminary has always been known for its academic excellence and rigor. We intend to prepare competent graduates as public leaders for the church and the world. We have also listened carefully, and know that the world is always changing and the church needs biblically and theologically well-prepared, organized, self-starting leaders who can do mission and ministry in the context and the environments that God is providing. Church leaders covet our graduates, and in this new curriculum we pledge that the core will be there. Our graduates will be able to lead worship, lead congregations and non-profit institutions, teach youth and adults, and serve the church as never before. Our faculty will stand for nothing less. The seminary needs to remain relevant to a missional and changing context in the name of Jesus Christ. The world will stand for nothing less. The Philadelphia Seminary reinvents itself every 20 years or so to meet God’s coming future. God has done it again through our wonderful faculty, board, and staff. Come and See.

Philip D.W. Krey

Click for a summary the new curriculum.