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PS Portions

A Taste of Seminary Happenings

April 2014

From the President: Celebrating students, innovation and Swedish history
President Philip Krey

We at the seminary pray you are having a blessed and meaningful Holy Week and Easter season.

In this issue of Portions you will meet several remarkable seminarians; get to know David Jordon, the director of our new Co-op initiative, a partnership involving congregations and the seminary; and learn about the first Augustana Institute observance on our campus. The stories in this issue really provide an overview of life on and off campus in our 150th anniversary year.

Bishop Jonas Jonson Augustana Institute lecture salutes pioneer Swedish Ecumenist Nathan Söderblom

The inaugural lecture of the Augustana Institute at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) on March 22 served as both a celebration of the Swedish Lutheran Church tradition in America and a stirring celebration of Swedish Nobel Peace Prize recipient (1930) Nathan Söderblom, regarded as the architect of the twentieth-century ecumenical movement so familiar to contemporary churchgoers.
The lecture, by retired Swedish Bishop Jonas Jonson, was followed by a panel discussion. Read the story, view photos of the event and recordings of the lecture and panel discussion...
The Nolde Seminar: Following the legacy of
O. Frederick Nolde

Prof. John Nunes
"The on-going, snakelike consequences of sin in our society are as painful and pervasive as they are unpopular to talk about," the Rev. Dr. John Nunes, Emil and Elfriede Jochum Chair at Valparaiso University, told a session of this year's Nolde seminar. The Nolde seminar, taught by professors including Dr. Nunes and LTSP President Philip Krey, is sponsored by the Nolde family along with the Nolde Lecture. 
Seminary's 'Green Team' celebrates accomplishments

LTSP Green Team makes a difference

LTSP Senior Seminarian Dustin Wright thinks about Psalm 8 whenever someone asks him why Christians (and others) should care for God's creation. "My favorite part of the Psalm reads, 'O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!'," he says. "It's my favorite because that's where caring for creation really begins; recognizing the beauty and majesty of God's work and our connection to it."

Fieldwork ship visits in the Port of Philadelphia fulfill LTSP seminarians

Seminarians Richter and Kirk with Pr. Bill Rex at SCI

Seminarian Lori Anne Kirk has a storehouse of fieldwork memories from visiting ships for the Seamen's Church Institute (SCI) of Philadelphia and South Jersey this year. Fieldwork is part of a contextual education initiative The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and other seminaries offer to afford students practical experience to complement their classroom learning.

Pr. David Jordon
Pastor David Jordon laying foundation for new Co-op program 

Pastor David Jordon has only been on the seminary staff for a little more than six weeks, but he has already laid considerable groundwork as director of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's (LTSP) brand new initiative, The Master of Divinity - Co-operative Model (Co-op).
      A new initiative supported by a grant from the Thrivent Financial Lutherans foundation, the Co-op Model aims to reduce or eliminate student debt as they study for and enter into ministry. 

Check out this month's Class Notes, with the latest on LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories! 
This month's LTSP Notes includes notes on the new Frederick Houk Borsch Chair in Anglican Studies, expanding ATSI programs, and three professors are awarded tenure.

March 2014

Moving Forward in Faith
LTSP 150 - Moving Forward in Faith

This month's PS Portions celebrates recent exciting events, the legacy The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia carries forward in the century of updated English translations of the Book of Concord, and an alumnus' "retirement" ministry.
      An anniversary is a time to look to the years ahead as well to remember what has already passed. Read further to learn more about LTSP's looking forward as we continue, in our 150th year and beyond. Read more...
The Book of Concord, 2000 edition The Book of Concord:
"a practical resource"

How big a challenge is it today to keep alive in the minds of believers the Book of Concord, the collection of the most important confessional and theological documents of Luther's day, originally published in 1580?
      Recently retired Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of Reformation History the Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, co-editor of the most recent volume, reflects: "I tell people the Book of Concord is about believers caught in the act of confessing their faith, and I tell my students that, outside of their use of the Bible, the Book of Concord will be the most practical book they will use during their seminary training." Read more from a conversation with Dr. Wengert...
Quintin Robertson preaches stirring sermon for African Descent Heritage celebration

The Rev. Dr. Quintin Robertson preached to members of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA) during a celebration of African Descent Heritage called "Breaking the Chain" during Black History Month. 
LTSP's Quiintin Robertson preaching
      During the service of word and praise part of the celebration at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), Dr. Robertson urged his listeners to put their hands in the hand of Jesus in order to "meet the challenge of your greatness." He also spoke of three giants to slay along the journey of their Christian lives. Read about Dr. Robertson's sermon and the ADLA event...
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Conner, Sr.
Preaching with Power preacher advises: Whatever your nightmare, "Refocus on your dream..." 

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Conner, Sr., advised his Preaching with Power congregants March 12 to "refocus on your dream" once they have experienced the kinds of nightmare episodes that confront Christians during their lifetimes.
      Pr. Conner, a member of LTSP's Alumni Board who earned his MDiv and DMin degrees from the seminary, gave his dynamic message at the Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ. The annual March Preaching with Power celebration, at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and in community churches, is sponsored by the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of the seminary. 
Energized by 22 volunteer years at Independence National Historical Park
LTSP alumnus Ed Uthe

LTSP alumnus Edward Uthe has served as an interpreter at Independence National Historical Park since 1992, one year after his retirement as a researcher for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, focusing on aspects of individual, congregational, and synodical giving, stewardship programs, and mission support for the denomination's Commission for Financial Support. All in all, Uthe's career spanned 41 years in the church.
Save the Date!
LTSP 150th Anniversary Banquet:
Thursday, October 16, 2014

Plan to attend the gala LTSP 150th Anniversary Banquet at the Ballroom at the Ben, 834 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. Festivities will begin at 5:30 pm with an optional "Liturgy of Thanksgiving" at Franklin Square, site of the first erected seminary building. The assembly will then process to the Ben for cocktails and dinner at 7:00 pm. Keynote address at the celebration will be by ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Details to come! Save the date - Thursday, October 16 - now!
Check out this month's Class Notesa new feature in PS Portions which will share stories about LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories! And don't miss LTSP Notes with updates from seminary faculty and staff.

February 2014

From President Phil Krey 
So Much to Celebrate

As I read this month's stories, I am reminded again we have so much to celebrate.
     Our Adult Learning program has taken a new approach by being both in classroom and online - offering learners a choice that works best for them. The first offering was a top rated success, and this spring's with retired Professor Richard Stewart offers much the same. 
     We celebrate the Urban Theological Institute in several ways every year, including the coming Preaching with Power. UTI co-founder the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Gladys Willis, a UTI alumna, share their story and remembrances of the UTI.
     The generosity of donors, individuals and congregations, who support the students at LTSP is a constant cause to celebrate, and this month we celebrate a $10,000 gift from St. Luke Lutheran Church in Devon, PA - a gift which will benefit African American Lutheran students.
     That is just a sampling of what we have to celebrate. Read more from President Krey...
Drs. Andrew and Gladys Willis Two dreams come true...
"It's been a dream come true to see the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) at the seminary become such a success," said the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis, co-founder of UTI some 35 years ago with friend and colleague the late Rev. Randolph Jones, a United Methodist pastor. "The idea had a lot of critics, and many thought it would never work."
The formation and success of UTI was just one of many dreams realized by Dr. Willis and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Gladys Willis, as they have shared their many dreams and accomplishments. Read more about their dreams fulfilled ...
The Rev. Dr. David Grafton
The value of Islamic Studies at LTSP


Why does a Lutheran seminary - like The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) - have a program of Islamic Studies?

      "That's a good question," said the Rev. Dr. David Grafton, who joined the LTSP faculty seven years ago to direct such an initiative as well as to head up the seminary's Graduate School. 

Louise Johnson embraces historic leadership role
The Rev. Louise Johnson

Two decades ago, the Rev. Louise N. Johnson could not have imagined herself serving LTSP as Vice President for Mission Advancement, using her writing and analytical skills in a post created last October to implement a new institution-wide assessment process for the seminary.

     In thinking about here new role, and the seminary she serves, she is in the right place at the right time. "We are learning to think differently," she explained. "We have an incredible opportunity to wonder how God is changing us." 

Johns Island: A Photo Essay


Last month's PS Portions shared the story of the annual student service trip to Johns Island, led by LTSP professor Robert Robinson.

     The group has returned to begin spring semester, and they share some of their experience in this photo essay ...
New! Check out Class Notes, a new feature in PS Portions which will share stories about LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories!

January 2014

From President Phil Krey 
Stories of Perseverance

The stories in this edition of PS Portions are about perseverance in doing good, rooted in a deep faith and trust in God.
     We recall a sermon by Pr. John Hoffmeyer noted that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the habit of preaching on "love of enemy" at least once a year. 
     Pr. Robert B. Robinson describes how for 16 years a student-led trip to rebuild houses and buildings Johns Island, South Carolina, is an experience students and the Gullah of the island do not forget. 
     Pr. Katie Day talks about finding "energy and imagination" to end poverty. We share a story of perseverance in ministry despite debilitating illness. 
     I also note the passing of long time LTSP Trustee Dr. Robert Blanck. His many contributions to this school, the greater church, and the world will be long remembered. Read more from President Krey...
Prof. John Hoffmeyer Preacher John Hoffmeyer recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of love for enemies

The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech are probably the most likely words of Dr. King's to be recalled at his January 15 birthday and the January 20 Day of Service observed in his honor, noted the Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer during his chapel sermon at LTSP on King's birthday.
Read more about Pr. Hoffmeyer's remarks...
Finding "energy and imagination" to end poverty
Prof. Katie Day
LTSP Professor Katie Day reflects on the complex and deepening predicament of poverty 50 years after U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in America.
     Faith-based advocates have felt like lone voices in the wilderness for years, trying to get policy makers to focus on the reality of poverty in the U.S., as well as around the globe. Yet is like, suddenly, everyone from President Obama to the Republican leadership is currently focusing on the increasing economic disparity in our country.
     Professor Day reflects on the challenges we face in persevering to end poverty ...
Students at the saw station
Johns Island: A tradition of January service by seminarians to neighbors in the south

Sixteen years ago, a group of great students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) became concerned about the burning of churches in the south and wanted to help rebuild. Rural Mission, an organization on Johns Island, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, had a ministry of rebuilding and repairing houses for residents of the island, many of them elderly, who could not afford to fix up their own places. The students jumped at the opportunity and began a tradition that continues through today.

     LTSP professor Robert Robinson tells the story of this continuing tradition of service ... 

Pr. Walter Hermanns at Isaiah
Persistent and courageous in ministry despite severe illness

The Rev. Walter Hermanns, a 1987 alumnus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) who served courageously and with grace and dignity as a parish pastor in Racine, Wisconsin, despite a battle with Multiple Sclerosis, died December 12, 2013.

     His is a story of persistence and courage as he brought the Good News of Jesus Christ to many, including those with illness and disability. 

Join us for the first Augustana Institute at LTSP Lectureship featuring  keynote presenter noted ecumenist Bishop Jonas Jonson

Bishop Jonas Jonson
Saturday, March 22
Learn more and register online
Rest, Refreshment and Renewal April 12, 2014
Early registration discount ends January 31
The Thread That Binds
The Thread that Binds: 150 Years of Woman in Ministry is the theme.
Registration makes a perfect gift for the women in your life
Preaching with Power 2014
Preaching with Power: 
A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology 
returns for the 32nd year Sunday, March 9 - Thursday, March 13

Come test the waters: 
Wet Toes Weekend

December 2013

From President Phil Krey 
Celebrating a Good Year in God's Grace

As the calendar year draws to a close, a new church year begins as we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the seminary we have been celebrating a good year in God's grace. 
     On Saturday, December 7, the evening and weekend students had a great covered dish luncheon filled with good cheer. We had a lovely Advent Vespers and reception Sunday, December 8, even though we missed many of our friends because, as a seasonal song suggests, "the weather outside was frightful." On December 20 the whole campus will gather in fun and fellowship around good food. 

     We ask God's blessings upon you in this season of Advent as we await God's grace in the gift of God's son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Read more from President Krey...

Dr. Addie Butler Brossman Learning Center conference room dedicated in honor of Dr. Addie J. Butler

Dr. Addie J. Butler hopes that the dedication in her honor of a conference room at the seminary will inspire students to lead significant lives of service in the church. 
      "When they think of me, I hope they will think of what is possible in their lives as disciples of Jesus," said Butler, described by seminary President Philip D.W. Krey as "a long-time great friend and donor to LTSP." The room, 217, the conference room across the hall from the Kaufmann Enrollment Services offices in The Brossman Learning Center, was dedicated Saturday, December 14 with a celebration in Butler's honor. Learn more about Dr. Butler...

Prof. Timothy WengertTimothy Wengert's final word: A pep talk from Luther for today's Church

Perhaps New Jersey Pastor and LTSP alumnus Kent Klophaus said it best after hearing Professor Timothy Wengert's pre-retirement farewell remarks, a reflection for today's church on Reformer Martin Luther's most popular tract, The Freedom of a Christian. "That was a pep talk for the church's rostered leaders,"Klophaus said, "a chance to regroup and get regrounded."

      Hundreds of alumni and friends constituting an overflow audience crammed the Schaeffer-Ashmead Memorial Chapel and paid tribute to Wengert before and after his remarks with lengthy applause. Read the story, watch the video and see photos from the day...

Pr. Greg Brown and LTSP's Tom HendersonLTSP Hits the Road!

Thanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America grant initiative "Stewards of Abundance," a visiting team from LTSP, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, traveled to Rochester, New York, for a weekend with prospective students and congregations.

     Twenty nine people, including visit team members, local clergy hosts, inquiring students, attended the Saturday prospective student dinner. On Sunday morning, local pastors coordinated travel for the Philadelphia team to visit six area congregations for "Seminary Sunday."

     Thanks to the generosity of the ELCA and the Lilly Endowment Inc., five more "Seminary Blitz" weekends are being planned in 2014. Learn more about the New York adventure, and coming road trips...


Other December items of interest:

Register early for Rest, Refreshment and Renewal
April 12, 2014
The Thread That Binds
The Thread that Binds: 150 Years of Woman in Ministry is the theme. Registration makes a perfect gift for
the women in your life


LTSP Spring Christian Education Seminars start in January

Spring Seminars in Christian Education
Come test the waters:
Wet Toes Weekend

A Front-page Prayer 

The New York Times front page on December 2 featured a photo of New York City Fire Chaplain and LTSP DMin student Stephen Harding praying over a victim of the Metro-North commuter train derailment. Click for details and a link to the photo on the NY Times website.
A heartwarming letter of gratitude 
from Sister Mindy Welding of Chestnut Hill College highly praised LTSP's hospitality in hosting this year's Interfaith Hospitality Network Empty Bowl Dinner.
LTSP celebrated the season with two weekend events, the Annual Tree Lighting on December 6 and the Annual Advent Vespers on December 8. Inclement weather couldn't stop either event - see the story and photos...

November 2013

From President Phil Krey 
We have many exciting developments featured in this issue of PS Portions. Take a look...
  • Don't forget to honor our retiring Professor Timothy Wengert as he delivers his farewell lecture on November 19. For those of you too distant to attend, the remarks will be streamed live from our website at
  • Advent Vespers are right around the corner. At a special reception, we will be honoring Drs. Helga and Reinhard Schwartz with our Soli Deo Gloria Award. 
  • Please don't forget to mark your calendar, if you have not already done so, for our gala 150th anniversary celebration on Thursday, October 16, 2014.

 Learn more...

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Lutheran Seminary receives $100,000 grant to underwrite new cooperative education initiative

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation funding aims to make theological education "more sustainable" for students, congregations, and the church, and has awarded a $100,000 grant to LTSP to underwrite a new theological education model entitled the Cooperative Master of Divinity. 


"We are delighted to assist LTSP through this grant," said Richard Kleven, vice president of the Thrivent Foundation. "We trust that this support will strengthen the initiative to those it serves." 


The grant is part of the foundation's Lutheran Grant Program, designed to assist Lutheran organizations and those they serve in achieving economic security and sustainability. In 2012, the program distributed more than $2 million in grants. Learn more about the initiative and its impact on the church, today and in the future...
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis
The Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis Celebrated

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis, LTSP trustee and co-founder of the seminary's 33-year old Urban Theological Institute (UTI), celebrated his elevation to the office of Auxiliary Bishop with the Commonwealth Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in a festive banquet with family and friends on September 27, 2013. Joining Dr. Willis at the festivities was an impressive roster of distinguished COGIC-LTSP comrades. Learn more about the celebration...
The Rev. Martha Kriebel
First woman to receive an LTSP degree, Martha Kriebel remains a vigorous pastor at 78 and grateful for her seminary years

In 1965,the Rev. Martha Bean Kriebel became the first woman to earn a degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) - a Master of Sacred Theology. She had been ordained a United Church of Christ (UCC) pastor in 1959 and at the time was serving a Schwenkfelder congregation in Palm, Montgomery County, thanks to an agreement involving the UCC Synod and special vote of the congregation in the farming locale. Read Pr. Kriebel's story...

October 2013

From President Phil Krey 
A Life Worth Celebrating... and more  

This month the seminary celebrated the life of friend and colleague Lois La Croix, who lost a lengthy battle with cancer in September. Lois was my executive assistant for many of the more than 20 years she served the seminary, and worked with former President Robert Hughes in the same capacity. The seminary held a service of Celebration and Resurrection October 16 with Dr. Hughes preaching. Lois is continuing to serve the seminary through the Staff Assistance Fund she helped establish. We also introduce you to the Philanthropy Team and their work, celebrate the Urban Theological Institute and the UTI's connections in Philadelphia, and celebrate the legacy of LTSP's O. Fred Nolde. Read more...

Connecting: LTSP's Office for Philanthropy
The LTSP Office for Philanthropy team  
LTSP's Office for Philanthropy is not only an important connection to the seminary's graduates and donors - it has a larger role in connecting to current and future students, congregations and the church and community. Learn more about what the Office for Philanthropy does and meet the Philanthropy team...
Stewards of Abundance: Bringing the seminary to the region
Pastors at LTSP planning events in their areas  

Thanks to a grant from the ELCA, funded by the Lilly Endowment, LTSP will be reaching out to make the case for theological education, assist in the discernment of prospective students, and raise awareness in congregations of the increasing need to offer scholarship assistance to seminary students. Learn more about Stewards of Abundance and see some of the parish pastors who came to LTSP to plan programs in their areas.

The Rev. Dr. DeForest 'Buster' Soaries challenges the Black Church
Dr. Buster Soaries Preaching

The Rev. Dr. DeForest "Buster" Soaries, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey, was the lecturer and preacher at the annual lecture and Worship Celebration marking the 33rd anniversary of the founding of the seminary's Urban Theological Institute (UTI). His lecture and sermon both addressed the need for a new black church response to the crisis of reckless personal spending habits he recognized early in his call to First Baptist. Read about the 'Lecture and Sermon, view event pictures and videos from the day.

Nolde 2013 Lecture: The 'heyday' of Protestant Ecumenicals and O. Frederick Nolde
Dr. David Little  

Professor and long time peace activist Dr. David Little brought a special message to the audience of the third Nolde Lecture on October 1: a review of the history of the 1940s, 1950s and1960s when the Protestant Evangelical church, including LTSP Professor O. Frederick Nolde, was engaged in movements for world peace and human rights. Dr. Little was joined by student participants in the Nolde Seminar, who reflected on their experiences. Learn more about the lecture and view video and photos from the day.

Professor Erik Heen on the nature of sin in misuse of the Bible
Prof. Erik Heen  

"I think it really is pretty easy to misuse the Bible." So begins a point that LTSP's John H. P. Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies, Dr. Erik Heen, made during a wider interview with Professor Heen that will be part of the 150th anniversary website. In this excerpt, Dr. Heen,  a leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith initiative, discusses how we, who he reminds the reader, are "not 80 per cent sinful, not 75 per cent sinful or two per cent sinful. We are 100 per cent sinful..." engage with the Bible. Read the interview here...

LTSP alumna Ruth Miller recalls her 20+ year journey to an MAR
Ruth Miller  

She took her first course in Old Testament with Professor Robert Bornemann in 1977 “because my pastor told me to come to seminary,” and that course started Ruth Miller (MAR 2008) on a decades long path that saw her serving the church in a number of ways - and eventually leading to commencement!  Read about her story of study and service here...

The video of A Celebration of Resurrection for Lois La Croix can be seen here.

Dr. Timothy Wengert's Final Public Lecture 
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 
"The Final Word: Martin Luther's Freedom of a Christian for Today's Church"
Gifted to Grow

LTSP Vice President for Mission Advancement the Rev. Louise Johnson was one of the keynoter's at the Rocky Mountain Synod "Gifted to Grow" event. Learn more...

Save the Date

Save the date! Thursday, October 16, 2014! Celebrate the 150th anniversary of LTSP!

September 2013

From President Phil Krey 
150th Anniversary Scholarship Initiative  

I've just come from bringing greetings to our new students as we open our 150th academic year. I am always excited to hear from students of their commitment to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by undertaking seminary training. Hearing their inspired expressions reminds me of one of my key objectives as my 15-year presidency here at LTSP winds down. That objective is to put on a firm foundation a new $10 million 150th Anniversary Scholarship initiative. The fulfillment of this anniversary initiative will make it possible for our deserving students to enter their careers in ministry debt-free! Won't you join many others who have decided to support the next generation of leaders for the church by making a commitment to this campaign? 


Welcoming convocation features greetings, information for new LTSP seminarians
President Philip D.W. Krey welcomed new students to LTSP Tuesday, August 27, commending the students and entire seminary community in his audience for "taking up the challenge" to be leaders in today's church, including taking them on a brief Civil War journey. 

      The seminary has about 350 students as part of all its programs. LTSP's student body includes individuals from Myanmar, Liberia, Ghana and South Korea. About 66 seminarians began their studies this calendar year. The President urged the student body to think beyond the immediate campus community to the regional community and beyond, and how to contribute to it. "Benefit from the diversity in our midst as a way of preparing yourself for public service." Read more about the Civil War journey and meet some of our new students!

Celebrating the Urban Theological Institute with the Rev. Dr. DeForest 'Buster' Soaries


The 33rd anniversary of the founding of the seminary's Urban Theological Institute (UTI) will be celebrated Tuesday, September 24 with the annual Lecture and Worship Celebration including a lecture and preaching by the Rev. Dr. DeForest "Buster" Soaries.

Soaries is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, New Jersey. He formerly served as New Jersey's Secretary of State, and his work was featured in the acclaimed CNN documentary entitled "Almighty Debt." His lecture will be held at 11:15 am on Tuesday, September 24, in The Brossman Center on LTSP's campus. At 7:00 pm that evening he will preach at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Read more about Dr. Soaries and the Celebration


Marva Rice becomes first recipient of Dr. George Thompson PhD Scholarship

Marva Rice, who earned her Master of Arts in Religion from LTSP in 2007 and her Master of Sacred Theology in 2012, is the first recipient of the just-established Rev. Dr. George Thompson Scholarship for African American PhD students.

     Marva, an alumna of the Urban Theological Institute (UTI), for which Dr. Thompson taught for many years, was on hand August 23 as Dr. Thompson wrote his first installment check of $3,750 on a $7,500 gift to establish the scholarship. He will write a second check in the spring. 

     A "kickoff" ceremony during Preaching with Power week in March, with Dr. Thompson present, will celebrate the establishment of the new scholarship. See the website more details!


Latest Faculty Publications

The Nolde Lecture Tuesday October 1

Breaking News! New ELCA Presiding Bishop-elect Elizabeth Eaton to keynote 150th anniversary celebration dinner

Back-to-School 2013

From President Phil Krey 
Saying Thanks and Reviving Adult Learning  

By now I am sure that many or most of you have heard I will be stepping down as President after the 150th anniversary celebration of the seminary in October of 2014. So many of you have written or otherwise contacted me to express your appreciation for my nearly 15 years of service. Thank you!


We are reviving our continuing education and adult learning initiative (known a few years ago as the Faith and Life Institute) as Adult Learning, coordinated by Kathie Afflerbach. We want everyone to know he/she is welcome to take courses to fulfill his/her aspirations for continuing education and adult learning at the seminary. Learn more about our many opportunities for adult learning...


The Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer: Looking forward to Teaching the Seminary's New Curriculum
Ten years ago, the Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer had key responsibilities for overseeing the development of the then "new" curriculum. More recently he and the Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton, associate professor, Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations (also director of Graduate Studies), have co-chaired the latest curriculum edition that begins this fall semester. What excites him about teaching it? 
"We always want to remember that our purpose is to form students who will be challenged to communicate the Gospel in word and deed to those whose lives they touch," he said. "We have discovered new ways to teach based on our learning and assessments over the past 10 years, and we think this discovery gives our faculty renewed energy and passion." 


Project Sponsor Scholar and Program Update
A new initiative designed to help donors build a relationship with a seminarian while also providing the opportunity for financial support to that student is already attracting sponsors eager to support LTSP enrollees. Read about one of our new Project Sponsor Scholars here


Fund for Leadership Scholar Excited to Embark on her Seminary Studies at LTSP
"This is so exciting! I can't wait to begin my time at LTSP!" Jessica Morton said. "I felt the call to ministry midway through my junior year of college. I am so eager to begin the MAPL (Master of Arts in Public Leadership) Program at LTSP as I feel there is so much more to learn about the church and its people."


July 2013

From President Phil Krey 
Krey reflects on a presidency and shares a visionary perspective for the future  
LTSP President Philip Krey

The Rev. Dr. Philip D. Krey has announced his decision to step down as president of LTSP at the end of 2014, once the seminary has concluded its 150th anniversary celebration that October. "Fifteen years is long enough," he said. "It's time for someone else to lead us forward after next year." Looking back, Krey said he is proudest of the seminary's alumni he has been privileged to see in action. Read the article and watch an extended video about his vison and leadership.

The 149th Commencement of LTSP
The 149th Commencement  
Eighty-five degrees and certificates were awarded at the commencement ceremony of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The commencement address was presented by the Rev. Carol Howard Merritt, award-winning author of Tribal Church (Alban 2007) and Reframing Hope (Alban 2010). Click here for the story, photos and videos.


Asian Theological Summer Institute at LTSP
Dr. Kwok Pui Lan  
Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, a member of the faculty at Episcopal Divinity School (Cambridge, MA) has been a faculty mentor at the Asian Theological Summer Institute at LTSP, a program generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation under program director the Rev. Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar, LTSP's Luther D. Reed Professor, Systematic Theology. For seven years, ATSI has brought well over 100 Asian/Asian American students focused on theological education at the PhD and ThD level to the LTSP campus for a week of mentoring and collegial work. The Institute functions as a doctoral seminar to test doctoral proposals/projects in the company of guest professors and scholars serving as mentors. Read Dr. Kwok's reflection on the ATSI experience... 


Celebrating 150 years 
The Lutheran Bookstore, 9th Street, Philadelphia  
The Rev. Louise N. Johnson, Vice President for Mission Advancement, shares 150 years of history
with a focus on "Our Founding: Battlefield and the Renewal of the Church." She discusses the ecumenical, racial, gender, and economic diversity LTSP has embraced since its founding. 

Other July Portions:

Easter 2013                    

An Easter message from President Philip Krey
President Philip Krey

For the women, it took a long time for morning to come. The night is long when - in the dead of night - fear, death, and loss weigh down our hopes and dreams. After a long night, the women found the news that the rock had been rolled away from the tomb, and God had broken into all our nights with the morning greeting, "Jesus is Risen." Our nights and mornings need never be the same, as our hopes and dreams are greeted night and day with the newness of the Easter greeting, "Christ is Risen." At the Philadelphia Seminary, all of us wish you a blessed Easter season filled with hope and the presence of God in the risen Christ.


Philip D. Krey

March 2013                    

A message from President Philip Krey

Announcing the New Philadelphia Seminary Curriculum
President Philip Krey

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 will be flexible enough for students to finish with manageable debt.


Click to view a summary of the new curriculum.

Alumnus Ben Krey and his parishioners strive to sustain a congregation's 'relevant' ministry to the unemployed and asylum refugees
Pr. Ben Krey  
Ben Krey, a first-call pastor at Prince of Peace, Philadelphia, and recent LTSP graduate, is a welcoming individual. "No matter who walks into the church I am happy to speak with him or her. I would rather be out on the streets of the neighborhood greeting people and telling them we are there for them than looking at email in my office."
Pastor Arnold F. Keller, Jr. 1924-2013
Pr. Arnold Keller  
The Rev. Dr. Arnold F. Keller, Jr., pastor emeritus of the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, DC, and a leader of many initiatives for justice in the nation's capitol during a long career as a pastor there, died February 16. He was 88.
A 'glimpse' of the seminary's 150-year legacy
Dr. Karl Krueger  
From time-to-time we'll offer readers snapshots of the web-based history timeline now under development. LTSP Professor of the History of Christianity and Krauth Memorial Library Director Karl Krueger offered insights in a February 2013 "history "tour" for the timeline.

Upcoming events for Spring 2013.

January 2013

Moving Forward in the Name of Christ
A message from President Philip Krey 


Grace and mercy to you, dear friends. Even as the season of Epiphany renews us to commit ourselves to the mission of God's good news in Christ, so also at the Philadelphia Seminary we are rededicating ourselves to the mission of the school.
Dr. Jon Pahl receives the Hagan Chair in the History of Christianity

Pahl delivered remarks entitled "Ending the Warfare Between Business and Religion: Toward a New Social Gospel." Pahl began by tracing the legacy of Peter P. and Elizabeth Hagan, "a heritage I am honored and privileged to carry ... a heritage that is very much alive and well, and being renewed ... today." Read the complete story for more of Dr. Pahl's insights.
The Rev. Theodore N. Swanson's preaching highlighted the Christ the King service at LTSP

The Christ the King worship celebration of Holy Communion at the seminary on November 28, 2012, featured the installation of new board members and officers, new student body officers, new seminary vice-president for mission advancement the Rev. Louise Johnson, and the seminary's new dean, the Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian.
More of what's been happening at LTSP:
  • Donald G. Johnson appointed Vice President for Student Development 
  • Professor Katie Day's tribute to "Jack'" White highlights memorial service for late, retired faculty member
  • Soli Deo Gloria Award conferred upon Dr. Mia I.  Enquist and her late husband Canon Dr. Roy Enquist
  • The Philadelphia Seminary's production of Godspell a hit

Thanksgiving 2012

With Gratitude
A message from President Philip Krey 
"As someone whose life work in academia has focused on history, I began to think that the best histories - like the one that has blessed LTSP - sow seeds for a dynamic present and future, and I paused to give thanks for the journey we have taken so far - and the future we are moving toward."  


New Liturgy Professor Cláudio Carvalhaes
The São Paulo, Brazil native says, "Worship is the way we honor God with all our hearts, minds and bodies."
For Carvalhaes, worship is the central discipline for connecting people not only within congregational life but also to humanity well beyond the walls of the church


Grover and Irma Wright Scholarship Fund 
Enjoys Growth and a Significant New Gift
Irma S. Wright continues to devote her energies 
to the scholarship fund in support of African American Lutheran students who seek to 
become rostered professional leaders in the church. Recent fund growth is thanks in part 
to a generous gift from the Rev. P. Richard and Nancy Grove of Philadelphia.


Five Miracles and a DMin later, Namibian Leader Magdalena Ya-Shalongo is Ready to Go Home 
Magdalena Ya-Shalongo, the first woman to be ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Namibia, and now about to receive her DMin from LTSP, understands what miracles are all about. "I should have died on five occasions by now," Magdalena explained. "The only reason I am still alive is because I believe God has a powerful mission in mind for my ministry." 



More News

November 2012

"There are many plans and changes on the horizon as we 'move forward in faith' to be a seminary for the twenty-first century." 


The sermon preached by our new Dean, the Rev. 
Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, at Schaeffer-Ashmead 
Chapel on September 5, 2012, reminds us that the Gospel continues to be a surprise...


On behalf of President Krey and John Puotinen, 
Vice President for Philanthropy, LTSP is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Louise N. Johnson as Vice President for Mission Advancement effective October 1, 2012.


Larry House, Senior Philanthropic Advisor, LTSP 
Circumstances in our lives change and we need to think about those changes. When my wife Karen and I developed our first estate plan, our children were younger and we wanted to make sure their future was secure. We needed to...

LTSP Alumnus The Rev. Dr. Martin Lohrmann
Publishes Doctoral Work