Sunday, December 24, 2006

Wengert comments on Preaching at Christmas

The Rev. Dr. Timothy Wengert, Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor of Church History at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, is one of several clergy quoted in today's Philadelphia Inquirer in an article entitled Getting a lock on holiday flock. Prof. Wengert comments on how, after 17 years as a professor, he is preparing to preach for a New Jersey congregation on Christmas Eve, something he has not done since he was a parish pastor in the Midwest. (The link takes you to the article on the site)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We wish you a blessed Christmas and happy New Year

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia community will be celebrating Christmas break next week, and we wish all a most blessed and merry Christmas.

Our latest @PS eNewsletter tells some of the special events we have coming in the new year, with many more in the plans. Of special note is the Changing Families and the Challenge of Urban Ministry series, which begins Saturday, January 20 exploring the topic Disconnected Young Single Fathers.

God's abundant blessings to you in 2007!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Special Programs for Many Interests

LTSP is planning a variety of not-for-credit special programs in the coming year, for a number of audiences in a variety of areas.

Professionals and others working with families and the issues they face in today's society will find the series Changing Families and the Challenge for Urban Ministry: From Surviving to Thriving of particular interest. From the practicing social worker to pastors in the parish to educators to congregational leaders to concerned individuals, the series addresses Disconnected Young Single Fathers, Vulnerable Young Single Mothers and At-Risk Children of Changing Families in three Saturday sessions starting January 20. See the Web site for expanded descriptions, presenters and workshop selections. Attend one, two or all three as you are able. Information and registration:

Rest, Refreshment and Renewal: A Gift for Women is a Saturday retreat filled with fellowship, learning, sharing and quiet time opportunities designed just for w. Spend February 11 on the LTSP campus in the company of other women who will give themselves the opportunity to enjoy this special gift. Topics, presenters, activities of the day and registration are all on the event Web site:

How popular literature connects - or doesn't connect - with the Word is the focus of the upcoming not-for-credit online course The Gospel in Fiction: Words and the WORD, being presented by Mr. Mark Rigg, Chair of English and lay chaplain at The Hill School, for the months of February and March, 2007. The latest online course from LTSP's Faith and Life Programs initiative, participants will be presented with weekly learning exercises and interaction with course participants and the instructor, all in an online learning environment that allows participants to join the weekly work at times most convenient to , anywhere they can access the World Wide Web. Open to all the people of God who want to learn and explore. More information and registration:

Many more programs and events are coming - be watching for descriptions and more information!

Peace to God's People on Earth

Peace to God's People on Earth, the wish of the season was celebrated in song and fellowship yesterday with the second Songs of the Seasons from Many People and Places sponsored by the Multicultural Mission Resource Center. Choirs from throughout the Philadelphia area, representation Christian traditions from around the world, shared their traditions for celebrating the birth of Christ with each other and the audience. It was truly a special way to prepare for Christmas. We'll post links to a complete story and photos of the day as soon as they're in place.

We hope you will be able to join us for next year's celebration.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seminarians Receive ELCA Fund for Leaders in Mission Scholarships

The ELCA Fund for Leaders in Mission has announced full and partial scholarships to ELCA seminaries for 37 students, including 5 who are students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). LTSP students awarded full scholarships for three academic years are:

+ Ramon Collazo, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
+ Jocelyn Johnson, Kittanning, Pa.
+ Elizabeth Nees, Chicago
+ Alexis Twito, Glendale, Wis.

LTSP student receiving a partial scholarship of $3,000 per year:

+ Teal Anderson, Baltimore, Md.

ELCA Presiding Bishop The Rev. Mark S. Hanson presented the full scholarships at a ceremony in Chicago on November 10.

The complete article from the ELCA News Service can be found online here:

Learn more about The Fund for Leaders in Mission:

Andrena 'set free' tells the faith journey of seminarian Andrena Ingram

Andrena Ingram, a seminarian at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and her story of living with faith and HIV, is featured in an article in this month's The Lutheran. You and read the article and see photos here:

Andrena joins Josselyn Bennett (right), ELCA director for poverty ministries with the Church in Society division of the ELCA to discuss the church's response to HIV and AIDS. The discussion is open now through December 12. Join the discussion here:

You can read other stories about LTSP students on the seminary Web site:

Mark Staples: "Becoming 'new'"

Mark Staples, Director of Faith and Life Programs at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), has been telling readers of The Lutheran about his year-long sabbatical. The final installment, about how a year away yields five insights on changing roles in retirement, is in this month's magazine and online:

Since Mark has returned to campus, he has been working on a number of exciting programs and resources. You can find them online by starting here:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Hark, the Glad Sound" - The Annual Advent Vespers

Please join the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia choir and community this Friday, December 1, 2006, (Reading, PA) and Sunday, December 3, 2006, (Philadelphia, PA) in a service of evening prayer and carols of Advent. Both services begin at 7:30 pm and are open to the public. More information and locations are on the seminary Web site:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

ELCA Candidate for Ordination Living with Faith and HIV

God's call comes in many ways, and this story from the ELCA News Service tells the journey thus far of Andrena Ingram, an LTSP student who found hope and faith through the church, and has answered God's call to ordained ministry. It is a pleasure to know Andrena through the LTSP community. She is a quietly forceful, faithful witness to all that God gives us, and it is somehow appropriate on Thanksgiving to pass along this story as another example of the ways God works through us, and another reason to give thanks to God for his gifts to us as individuals, as a community, and as the people of God. You can read Andrena's story here:

In addition to LTSP President Philip Krey, also in the story is Andrena's pastor and mentor, the Rev. Heidi Neumark, a member of the LTSP class of 1982 and a past recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus/a Award.

You can read other stories of LTSP students' faith journeys on the seminary Web site:

If you are feeling Called to Serve, tell us your story and learn more about how we can help you answer God's Call to Serve:

On this Thanksgiving Day, may God bless you abundantly as you continue on your journey. - John

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Break, We Give Thanks

The seminary has begun Thanksgiving break, with many students joining the trip back to join family, and others remaining on campus to give thanks with their colleagues and friends. I suspect there will be some studying going on, and staff will continue their work until Thanksgiving, when LTSP closes until next Monday. And we give special thanks to those staff members who will continue to serve through the holiday, keeping the campus safe and functioning every day.

The Annual Report issue of the seminary's magazine, PS, has just been put in the mail, and it gives another opportunity to thank those who support our mission and ministry, and celebrate the abundant support we receive from our donors - friends and supporters all. The magazine also celebrates our students, the future leaders of the church, telling the journeys of a number of members of our junior (first year) class. We'll be posting a copy online after Thanksgiving.

Above all, we give thanks to God, thanks for blessing us abundantly, blessing us with family, friends and colleagues, blessing us with such a place as LTSP, where we see so much good that God gives us and such opportunities to share God's greatness with all His creation. Blessing us with such events as yesterday's TEY (Theological Education with Youth) Affirmation of Baptism Festival, where some amazing young people came to campus to celebrate their baptism, to learn more about their place in God's creation and their responsibility, and ability, to use their God-given gifts to care for what we are given. We are abundantly blessed.

And finally, we wish to share one of our blessings with you, by inviting you to join the seminary choir for the annual Advent Vespers. There are two opportunities to join us in this special service of waiting - in Reading PA on Friday, December 1, and in Mt. Airy (near campus) on Sunday, December 3. More information is on our Web site,

Happy Thanksgiving and God's abundant blessings to you from all of us at LTSP!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Welcome "Philly Visit" Guests

Welcome to our guests who over the next several days are visiting LTSP for the fall Philly visit. This is a chance for prospective students, and often family members, to experience living on campus, attending classes and getting to know the Mt. Airy neighborhood and Philadelphia. I had the chance as the spouse of a potential (and now current) student to experience parts of the Philly visit (I was on the seminary staff but we had not moved to the neighborhood so being able to stay overnight instead of commuting was a real attraction), and it was interesting to see campus life from a different perspective.

Welcome Philly visit guests, I hope you'll find LTSP to be a welcoming, challenging and exciting place, and the Mt. Airy neighborhood to be a unique mix of the city and a main-street USA type of community. Both the seminary and the area are great places to be. - John

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rick Summy returning to parish ministry, Louise Johnson named Acting Director of Admissions

The Rev. Rick Summy, Director of Admissions at LTSP for almost 12 years, has accepted a call from Atonement Lutheran Church in Wyomissing, PA, near Reading. His last day at the seminary was yesterday. Rick has been an outstanding colleague and champion of this fine institution and its mission. He has worked to show those called to serve the opportunities to learn that are at the core of LTSP. We will miss his personality, and his passion for the Gospel (and Penn State and the Yankees), though in a message to the community he noted that he will - we hope sooner rather than later - return as a student in our graduate program.

The Rev. Louise Johnson, who has been working with Rick as Associate Director, has been appointed Acting Director of Admissions, and she and the Admissions staff are looking forward to assisting those who are feeling called by God to explore a seminary education. Learn more about Admissions at; contact Pr. Johnson
at, phone 215-248-6321.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Services for LTSP Graduate The Rev. Dr. Franklin D. Fry set

The Rev. Dr. Franklin Drews Fry, a member of the LTSP class of 1952, died on All Saints Sunday at the age of 78. Dr. Fry has been a long time friend and supporter of his seminary, most recently providing the leadership in an initiative that raised over $300,000 to dedicate the Martin and Vera Heinecken Room in The Brossman Learning Center in honor of Professor Martin Heinecken, who taught and inspired Dr. Fry and other seminarians during his tenure on the LTSP faculty.

Dr. Fry, who was retired after serving many years as pastor of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Summit, NJ, was instrumental in the congregation’s establishing the St. Johns Visiting Professor at LTSP, which has brought many distinguished professors to spend a semester on the LTSP campus, most recently Dr. Larry Rasmussen in spring of 2006.

Dr. Fry was a fourth generation pastor. He followed his father, Franklin Clark Fry, into the ministry by way of study at LTSP, and took a great interest in serving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its predecessor churches including the Lutheran Church in America. Franklin Clark Fry was president of the United Lutheran Church and its successor body, the Lutheran Church in America. Jacob Fry, Franklin D. Fry’s great grandfather, served the seminary as a professor of Old Testament at the turn of the twentieth century. Pr Fry’s widow, the Rev. Sharon Roth Fry, is a 2003 graduate of LTSP, and serves at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Denville, NJ.

Several services for Dr. Fry are scheduled in December:
- Friday, December 8, 7:00 PM, at St. John, Summit, NJ, with reception following (
- Saturday, December 9, 11:00 AM, at Augustus Lutheran (Trappe), Collegeville, PA
- Sunday, December 10, 10:30 AM, Prince of Peace, Denville (Rockaway), NJ (

[updated to correct reference in services paragraph]

Monday, November 06, 2006

November at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is starting with a number of special events. Tuesday: Quodlibet with Prof. Fred Borsch, a free event open to the public. This coming weekend: Men in Mission and The Philadelphia Visit - registration is still open to both events. Learn more from our eNewsletter @PS online:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

At a special convocation this morning, Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, professor of Theology and Ethics at United Theological College, Bangalore, India, presented a lecture on "Having and Sharing: Ecclesiological Perspectives on Consumerism and Exclusion." The audio of the lecture, with an introduction by Dean J. Paul Rajashekar, has been posted on the LTSP Web site in MP3 format:

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The seminary campus is back to life and buzzing with activity! Yesterday marked the start of a new academic year, opening with community Eucharist that allowed students, faculty and staff to join to hear the Word and celebrate with communion. Seminary president Philip Krey preached the opening sermon. The community continued to with fellowship following worship and a picnic, forced indoors by the weather, that still gave a chance to greet returning colleagues and become acquainted with new once. Dr. Stephen Ray closed the day with an evening lecture, "Contending for the Faith: The African-American Theological Tradition and the Ghosts of Modernity," that challenged us and educated us. And sowe begin a new year and continue in our work for the church in the world. We'll be posting photos, stories and the audio of Dr. Ray's lecture later this week (juggling multiple projects while getting classes going has been a challenge for our small staff this year!) - check out our Web site

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is coming to life, new students have been participating in Prolog, and returning students are moving back to campus, preparing to return to study. Faculty are returning, too, preparing for the fall semester and the challenges that await. Opening of the fall semester is next Tuesday, September 5. More on opening ceremonies soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The 143rd academic year begins at LTSP this coming Monday with student orientation that includes an intensive 2 week program called Prolog. We'll be adding images and stories about the incoming Class of 2010 and more during the coming weeks. Check the seminary Web site or keep up with the seminary's activities and programs - sign up for our eNewsletter @PS -

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Greetings from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia! I'm the Director of Communications and Manager of the Media Center, and invite you to contact us with questions about the seminary, seminary life and living in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. You can visit us online any time at - John Kahler