LTSP Presidential Search - Position Announcement

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is seeking a president. The position description is posted below, and can also be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat pdf document. Nominations and applications (including letter of interest and CV) may be sent electronically to The Search Committee will review applications beginning on February 15. Nominations and applications will be received until the position is filled.

Position Description for President of LTSP
January 15, 2014


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.


The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) is one of eight seminaries affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; we are a diverse learning community with students from over 28 denominations. Located on 14 tree-lined acres in the northwest corner of Philadelphia, we are committed to providing theological education for people from diverse backgrounds in order to prepare them for a variety of public ministries. The campus includes the Brossman Learning Center, the Krauth Memorial Library, the Hagan administrative Center, the Wiedemann Center for student housing, and a number of perimeter properties for faculty, student, and sometimes staff housing. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Office of the ELCA is located in the Wiedemann Center, as well as the offices of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania located in The Brossman Center beginning in 2014.

LTSP is proud of the Lutheran confessional tradition that inspired its founding in 1864 by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, the oldest Lutheran synod in America. While strongly rooted in the confessional Lutheran tradition of its origin, LTSP has established a record of distinguished ecumenical service to a variety of other traditions that form the pluralistic texture of the northeastern United States. Such service includes the establishment of the Urban Theological Institute in 1979, intended particularly for students from African American churches and worship traditions, with a focus on ministry in the urban context. Students from more than 40 denominational backgrounds have studied here. Today, as well as preparing candidates for rostered ministry in the ELCA, the seminary enjoys United Methodist certification, prepares students for ordination from a number of Episcopal Dioceses, and trains those from a variety of churches in Philadelphia and its surrounds. LTSP offers Black Church, Latino, multicultural, and urban concentrations in recognition of its context and today’s evolving ministry needs. LTSP became a Reconciling in Christ Seminary in 2011, a move long reflective of its values. The LTSP community seeks to live out the values of: community and hospitality, diversity, inclusivity, civility, participation, academic rigor, community health, and cooperation.

The seminary offers three first-level masters degrees, the Master of Divinity (MDiv), the Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), and the Master of Arts in Public Leadership (MAPL). In each degree there are a variety of concentrations available. The seminary also offers three advanced-level degrees: the Master of Sacred Theology (STM), the Doctor of Ministry (DMin), and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees. We also offer a variety of Certificate Programs, including those of the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) in Church Leadership and Church Ministry. A wide range of class schedules is designed to fit the needs of both full-time and part-time students. Our diverse student body numbers over 300, comprising approximately 60% full-time students and 40% part-time students. LTSP currently has 18 faculty, 10 of whom are Lutheran; 3 of the faculty are African American, 4 are women, and 5 are originally from overseas. The majority of the faculty has congregational and global experience. LTSP’s faculty and community are supported by our skilled, dedicated staff.

LTSP seeks to respond to the current opportunities and challenges of the changing face of theological education, the church, and the economy. Like LTSP, most denominations have experienced a decrease in seminary enrollments nationwide, a decrease in capital from endowments, and a decreasing number of full-time positions for those in ordained ministry. In response, we have developed a relevant, more affordable, and flexible curriculum, and have recently received a grant to initiate a new co-operative seminary-parish model of theological education. To provide additional capital, the Board of Trustees has recently approved the sale of perimeter buildings that are not core to the mission of the school. Fundraising efforts for our 150th Anniversary are moving steadily toward our goal. Additionally, our current strategic plan established the following goals:

  • Undergird our mission with aggressive funding initiatives for both short-term and long-term growth.
  • Increase entering student body to 120 new students for our sesquicentennial celebration in 2015.
  • Achieve financial sustainability by balancing expenses with revenues in each fiscal year and by projecting growth in future revenues based on reliable data.
  • Prepare leaders for the church of the future by implementing a new curriculum that is flexible, affordable, and relevant.

LTSP seeks a person of vision and strong vocational identity who has the character, skills, and vision to lead LTSP through the next phase of its life, as its next President. Critical to the future of LTSP is a president who will guide and lead this seminary to realize its mission to prepare public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world, and facilitate the institution’s achievement of its strategic goals.

Term: This is a contract position, ending on December 31, 2016, with the possibility of renewal or extension if mutually agreeable.


The successful candidate will:

  • Be a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or an exceptional candidate from a church in full communion with the ELCA.
  • Possess an academic doctorate in an appropriate discipline, or demonstrate significant comparable experience.
  • Have a solid understanding and appreciation of the ELCA, and its full communion partner relationships.
  • Possess a thorough understanding of theological education, formation, and scholarship.
  • Have demonstrated operational, financial, and strategic experience gained from prior executive leadership roles .
  • Have development and advancement experience and expertise.
  • Have significant experience with strategic planning and collaboration with other academic institutions.


The candidate will be:

  • A public leader, centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • A person with the ability to provide visionary, spiritual, and compassionate leadership for LTSP.
  • A person with the ability to articulate the LTSP mission effectively and inspire others to support the work of the school.
  • A person committed to the multicultural, urban, ecumenical, global, and inclusive dimensions of theological education; these values are integral to the seminary's mission.
  • A person with demonstrated experience in building an institutional culture of collaboration, mutual respect, accountability, and decision-making among administration, faculty, students, staff, trustees, and other stakeholders.
  • A person with the ability to model and engage in direct, candid, and open communication, thus supporting and sustaining organizational transparency.
  • A person who leads by example with competence, character, courage, and commitment.
  • A person with the ability to foster an inclusive, ecumenical, and multi-cultural environment.


The President shall be the executive director of the Seminary.

It shall be the duty of the President to administer the policies established by the Board, exercise general supervision over the academic, fiscal, public relations, and other affairs of the Seminary, preside (or delegate such) at all meetings of the Faculty, secure the enforcement of such policies as the Board or the Faculty may adopt for the governance of the Seminary, have primary accountability for the internal management of the institution, and represent the Seminary in its relations with institutions of higher learning and with other interests beneficial to the life and growth of the Seminary. Further, the President shall take initiative with the Board and its Committees in matters deemed by him/her to be important to the life of the Seminary.

Jointly with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, the President shall bear the responsibility to see that long range plans are developed and continuously reviewed and, when necessary, revised and presented to the Board for adoption. A portion of these duties may be delegated by the President to appropriate academic or administrative officers. The President shall not be required to teach but may do so when, in the judgment of the Faculty and the President, it is in the best interest of the Seminary so to do.

Hence, the President will:

  • Empower faculty and staff to fulfill the authority and responsibilities of their respective positions, and work collaboratively with others.
  • Clarify, prioritize, and implement the strategic objectives, in order to proactively respond to the changing landscape of theological education.
  • Ensure that the assets of LTSP, human, financial, and physical, are effectively employed toward the Seminary’s mission of forming public leaders for the Church, including establishing clear means to assess and measure progress in meeting the Seminary’s objectives.
  • Ensure that LTSP has the human and financial resources to reasonably ensure its future success in executing its mission, including establishing and maintaining tangible measures that will provide reliable indicators of the status of the Seminary’s resources.

Now to the one who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-22

Nominations and applications (including letter of interest and CV) may be sent electronically to The Search Committee will review applications beginning on February 15. Nominations and applications will be received until the position is filled.

positiondescription-ltsp-president-jan15-2014.pdf113.97 KB