Reconciling in Christ

LTSP adopts non-discrimination stance on sexual orientation
and gender identity


The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) has adopted a new vision and value statement that includes a stance of non-discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The action, adopted during the spring 2010 meeting of the seminary’s Board of Trustees, makes the seminary a “Reconciling in Christ” institution, the second seminary of the eight in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to adopt such a stance.

“The idea to make such a public declaration has been around for a long time,” explains Jason Glombicki, a seminarian who chaired a Reconciling in Christ study and dialogue committee leading to the Trustees vote. “Thanks to a generous grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, we were able to fund an extensive dialogue to consider the decision,” Glombicki says. The dialogue began in the spring of 2009 with a series of on campus convocations entitled “Orienting Our Sexual Conversations.” The convocations involved faculty, staff, and both full and part-time students. The first convocation, led by Dr. Erik Heen, LTSP professor of New Testament and Greek, considered “Biblical Resources for a Conversation about Homosexuality.” A second presentation on “Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: A Scientific and Historical Approach” was led by Dr. Donald Dyson, a professor from Widener University’s Department of Human Sexuality. The final presentation on “Becoming Reconciled in Christ” was conducted by Len Weiser, co-chair of the Board of Directors for Lutherans Concerned North America, a Christian ministry affirming God’s love for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Following the convocations, Glombicki says that a memorial was brought before the student body requesting the faculty to “do all things necessary” to deem LTSP a Reconciling in Christ institution. The memorial passed unanimously in a student vote and went to the faculty in the spring of 2009. In December 2009, the faculty discussed the issues and implications of the memorial and decided to recommend including the stance on sexual orientation and gender identity into LTSP’s vision and value statement. This decision followed the summer 2009 vote in church-wide assembly of the ELCA to allow for the ordination of individuals in publicly accountable lifelong monogamous same-gender relationships.

After the faculty vote, the decision on new vision and value language came before committees and the Board of Trustees, leading to Trustee approval in April 2010. Lutherans Concerned then recognized the seminary as a Reconciling in Christ institution and presented a certificate to the school during a reception recognizing the decision.  

Certificate Presentation with (L-R) Jason Glombicki, LTSP student, LTSP President Philip D. W. Krey, The Rev. Jay Wiesner representing Lutherans Concerned.


Certificate Presentation with (L-R) Jason Glombicki, LTSP student, LTSP President Philip D. W. Krey, The Rev. Jay Wiesner representing Lutherans Concerned.