Tuesday, December 23, 2008

LTSP President's Message for Christmas 2008

Dr. Philip Kreyfrom the Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, December 2008

As the Church year turns from Advent to Christmas, René and I wish you a blessed Christmas and New Year. May the joy that God is with us in Christ, and the knowledge that the world is reconciled to God in Christ, greet you over these days. At The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, we prepare ordained and non-ordained leaders who witness publicly to the Good news of God in Christ. This 145th academic year has been a wonderful year for the seminary, with a great student body and an excellent faculty getting ready for the church of the future. Our student applications for next year are double what they were last year at this time. We are also celebrating an anniversary of the Krauth Memorial Library: 100 years of Scholarship and Service. Schaefer-Ashmead Chapel at William Allen SquareWe experienced a major overhaul of Germantown Avenue, and the seminary contributed with the opening of the magnificent Allen Square in front of the chapel. In early 2009 we will welcome the bishop and staff of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Lutheran Synod onto the campus.

It has also been a challenging year as our endowment took a beating with the nation's economic downturn, but we are so thankful for the outpouring of support that we have received for the Leadership/Annual Fund as we attempt to reach a record goal of $1 million for the Fund, thus allowing us to protect the endowment for the future so that the seminary will stand like the new retaining wall in front of the chapel. Thanks to you, we are well on our way to this goal by June 30, 2009. It has not been easy, but we are baptized for times like this. God is teaching us to trust in God's loving mercy and to trust God's people to be there for the needs of theological education. Thank you for your trust in our stewardship. Merry Christmas.

- Philip D.W. Krey

You can help us reach our $1 million goal for the Leadership Fund. Please give online using your credit card. Thank you!

above, the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel at William Allen Square, the LTSP campus


William Allen Square


the space before construction

You'll find an album of photos of the chapel/William Allen Square construction online.

Photos of the first public event on William Allen Square, the December 5, 2008, Christmas tree lighting, also online.

LTSP Students receive academic awards

Several students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) recently were presented with academic awards by the Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson, acting co-dean. The awards are for academic achievement, and are presented in December of each year. Below is a list of awardees and the award they received; click on each name for more information on the student and award, and a photo.

LTSP is proud of the academic achievements of our outstanding students, who are fine examples of the seminary's mission of preparing ordained and lay ministers of the Word as leaders for the mission of the Church in the world.

Recipients included:

Andrew Goodson - Paul J. Hoh/Elizabeth Reed Award
Kate (Cathryn) Proctor - Paul J. Hoh/Elizabeth Reed Award
Joell McDuffy - Joseph Quinton Jackson Award
Rozella H. Poston - Joseph Quinton Jackson Award
Nancy Beckwith - Traci L. Maul Award

Feeling called to serve as a leader for the mission of the Church in the world? See the seminary Web site - Ltsp.edu - to learn more.

Friday, December 19, 2008

L. Jack Bradt of Easton, PA, earns award of distinction from Lutheran Seminary

Business pioneer honored for ‘outstanding leadership and service to Church and seminary’ during Advent recognition dinner Dec. 7

L. Jack Bradt, a pioneering Easton, PA, business leader for more than 50 years, and also a teacher and dedicated community-minded volunteer, was recently presented with the Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone the Glory) Award for 2008 by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The honor was conferred December 7 at the seminary’s annual Advent recognition dinner. The dinner is an opportunity for the seminary to thank those faithful and generous donors who help carry on the mission of LTSP. Seminary President The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey and Board Chair Dr. Addie Butler took advantage of the occasion to thank those gathered, as well as important supporters including the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation, for their continued support during these challenging times.

Bradt was honored “in gratitude for outstanding leadership and service to the Church and to the mission of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.”

A member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Easton, where the Rev. Susan Ruggles serves as pastor, Bradt served as a Seminary Trustee for more than 10 years and currently serves on the school’s President’s Council. While a Trustee, Bradt was a key leader for the seminary’s capital campaign steering committee and chaired the finance committee.

“Jack Bradt has been a driving force in the capital campaign and steadily challenged the Board of Trustees and the seminary to move toward excellence,” said the Rev. Dr. Philip D. W. Krey, president of LTSP. “He has introduced many friends and associates to our mission and been a wonderful ambassador for the school. He and his wife, Pat, have been extremely generous supporters.”

Born in St. Louis, MO, Jack Bradt served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1946 to 1948, and graduated from Cornell University in 1953 with a degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. He joined Safety Industries in Newhaven, CT, becoming assistant to the president responsible for a program of diversification and expansion. He managed the materials handling division when Safety Industries acquired the Howe Scale Co. of Rutland, VT, first moving his family to Rutland and then to Easton when Howe relocated there in 1956.

When fire destroyed the Easton plant in 1958, the parent industry was not interested in rebuilding. Bradt formed SI Handling Systems to acquire what was left of the company. He was president, chief executive officer and chairman there until 1986 when he relinquished CEO responsibilities to pursue other interests. He continues today as a director. Now part of Paragon Technologies, Inc., SI/Paragon is a world leader in the design, manufacture and installation of horizontal transportation and automated order fulfillment solutions used in factories and distribution facilities.

Bradt has served on the faculty of Lehigh University, teaching Entrepreneurship, Business Policy and Strategic management in the Master of Business Administration program. He at one time was Executive in Residence at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of management, teaching Policy, Strategy and Leadership in the MBA Program. From 1994 to 1998, he was Director of Human Services for Northampton County in Pennsylvania. He has been and is an active officer and director of a number of local, state and national organizations involved in business, education, religion, government and human services.

Bradt’s spouse, Patricia Thornton Bradt, is a 1952 graduate of Cornell. Married that year, the couple has three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Patricia Bradt received her MA and PhD from Lehigh and has served as a principal research scientist at Lehigh’s Center for Environmental Studies. She is currently Professor of Environmental Studies at Muhlenberg College.

in the photo: L. Jack Bradt (center) of Easton, PA, receives the Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone the Glory) Award December 7 from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. With Bradt, from left, are the Rev. Dr. Philip D. W. Krey, seminary president; Bradt’s spouse, Dr. Patricia Bradt; and co-presenters and Trustees Dr. Robert Blanck and Dr. Addie J. Butler.

LTSP offering Feast of the Epiphany service and reception

On Tuesday, January 6, 2009, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will be celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany at 7:00 pm and afterwards hosting a special reception for Mark Mummert, seminary musician at LTSP from 1990 to 2008 and now organist at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas. Three of Mr. Mummert's former students, Jennifer Baker-Trinity, Valerie LeFever Hughes, and John Weit will be providing musical leadership. The Rev. Martin Seltz, music and worship editor for Augsburg Fortress Press, will preside, assisted by Profs. Melinda Quivik and Timothy J. Wengert (preaching). All are welcome to join the seminary community for this special service.

Many of Mr. Mummert's own musical settings will be featured in this worship service along with special choirs. Students, teachers, staff and alumni/ae of LTSP are encouraged to attend along with any and all of their friends. Those who wish to sing in the choir, please e-mail John Weit (jweit@ltsp.edu). The choir will assemble at 6:00 pm in the chapel for rehearsal.

The Epiphany service will be held at the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel at LTSP followed by a reception in The Brossman Learning Center. The seminary is located at 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Ample free parking on campus is available in the Brossman parking lot, located behind the chapel.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tree Lighting on LTSP's Allen Plaza a successful opening for December First Friday

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) hosted its first event on the new William Allen Plaza with a Christmas tree lighting ceremony and carol sing on Friday, December 5. Part of Mt. Airy's December First Friday, the event attracted over 150 area residents who celebrated the season with Christmas carols led by members of the seminary and New Covenant Church choirs and musicians from the Salvation Army under the direction of Major Andrew Murray. Hot apple cider and hot chocolate helped to keep the participants warm against the chilly evening, and toys for distribution by the Salvation Army were collected.

William Allen Plaza, located at the southwest corner of the LTSP campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, is designed as a public space that connects the seminary's 14 acre campus to Mt. Airy's revitalized business district along Germantown Avenue. The plaza will also be the entrance to the new offices of the bishop and staff of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, planned for the lower level of the seminary chapel. The bishop and staff will be moving from Norristown to Philadelphia to temporary quarters on campus in January.

In addition to the choirs and musicians leading carols, remarks from dignitaries including Pa. State Senator LeAnna Washington and Philadelphia City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, who both were instrumental in securing funding for the public space, seminary president Philip D.W. Krey, and SEPA Bishop Claire Burkat were shared. Guests were invited to continue the festivities by visiting other First Friday events along the avenue. The event was supported by a grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation.

A collection of photos of the tree lighting can be viewed in an online album. Click on a photo below to download a copy.

Singing while gathered around the tree

Salvation Army musicians

Choir members leading in song

State Senator LeAnna Washington

City Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller

SEPA Bishop Claire Burkat

LTSP President Philip Krey

Is there a role for churches in advocating for a new economic world order?


A Lutheran Seminary keynoter and author proposed that the Church once more plays the kind of influential, international diplomatic role in human rights that its leaders were known for decades ago

During the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s influential church leaders profoundly shaped the international diplomacy and human rights issues of the day.

Could it happen again? British author Canon John S. Nurser, whose career has chronicled human rights history internationally, thinks it’s possible despite current challenges. Canon Nurser addressed an audience celebrating the life of the late Professor O. Frederick Nolde, who during the above period hob-nobbed with the likes of former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, Eleanor Roosevelt and President John F. Kennedy while taking part in diplomatic talks surrounding Vietnam and the Suez Crisis. Nolde spent two years with others drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. Nolde penned sections on Freedom of Religion in the Declaration, which becomes 60 years old next week. In those days he often introduced himself to world leaders as a professor of Christian education at a Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. The professor, who taught at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) for 40 years prior to his death in 1972, is featured in a chapter of a book authored by Nurser entitled For All Peoples and All Nations (Georgetown University Press, 2005). Nolde directed the seminary’s Graduate School during many of those years and lived in Wyndmoor, PA.

“What the ecumenical Christians of the 1940s called ‘Christendom-thinking’ accepted that in a global era that there no longer ought to be faith-based states, but that world Christianity is called to ask for a specific set of rights in secular states, provided those rights are equally available to all citizens, whatever their faiths,” Nurser said in remarks he titled, “Human Rights Needs the Churches: The Gospel Needs Human Rights.” “Whether that can hold today remains a vital question. Its fundamental assumption is the divine and human imperative of hospitality, of being ‘serious’ that our neighbors, within reasonable limits, should be at ease in their life situation. A Christian who follows St. Paul is above all concerned that a neighbor’s conscience should be so at ease. This is in my opinion a happy companion to the Golden Rule offered by Jesus and indeed by many others.” Nurser’s remarks were part of this year’s observance connected with the O. Frederick Nolde Ecumenical Lectureship and Seminar at the seminary.

Nolde, among other things, founded the World Council of Churches’ Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) and convened a May, 1945 meeting in San Francisco that decided on a commitment to human rights in the Charter of the United Nations.

But what of today? Could churches play a role in helping to establish a new and responsible economic world order with the United Nations and issues of human rights as part of the focus for a just world? “In our own time I suggest churches may be sensing a vocation to become ‘serious’ about the present economic and financial arrangements of the world,” Nurser said.

“These two, as was the case of matters in the 1950s, need to answer gospel questions and be changed. In the area of greed and economic privilege – so much closer to our daily life – we have become vulnerable. In my judgment, moving to a global economic order worthy of the task will be a long and painful struggle. Without the stamina that comes from religious conviction it will fail.”

Nurser said there is no way that global and economic financial life can be governed “without first agreeing on what institutions have to be set up to begin to undertake such regulation, and then establishing them. And how is such authority to be made to relate to political authorities? The United Nations’ human rights bodies have been emasculated from inside by precisely the states that have the most to answer for at that bar. Perhaps the United Nations itself will have to be reformed first. After all, for the first 10 years of its life the UN’s Economic and Social Council (to which the Human Rights Commission was responsible) was at the same level as the Security Council.”

Nurser called for the kind of spirit that can be found in an examination of Nolde’s life work, recognizing that “many voices in the public square, including Christian churches, are calling for a better way to be found to manage global economic and financial life.” He suggested that could lead to churches working together to set up an informed conversation about global markets – one that could lead entrusting an agreed-upon agenda to an appropriate officer and staff empowered to act on their behalf.

Following Nolde’s approach of decades ago, such an office would cultivate familiarity with the range of economic expertise, both practical and academic, he said. Those involved would get to know the relevant players in international conferences personally, as Nolde did, he said.

“Many Non Governmental Offices (NGOs) now do this, and follow where the CCIA led,” he said. “Perhaps the churches no longer have bodies that are sufficiently heavyweight and representative and trans-national in such a field,” he said. “Perhaps – above all – the churches have still to work at the mobilization of public opinion of which they are capable” in order for the original vision to be rekindled with relevance for today.

Nurser concluded by reading a paragraph, a kind of “credo”, framed by Nolde in 1954 for the occasion of the second assembly of the World Council of Churches in Evanston, IL, a credo that Nurser feels holds continuing relevance for today:

“This troubled world, disfigured and distorted as it is, is God’s world. He rules and overrules its tangled history. In praying ‘thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’, we commit ourselves to seek earthly justice, freedom and peace for all men and women. Here as everywhere Christ is our hope – The Fruit of our effort rests in His hands. We can therefore live and work as those who know that God reigns, undaunted by all the arrogant pretensions of evil, ready to face situations that seem hopeless and yet to act in them as men and women whose hope is indestructible.”

Video of Canon Nurser’s lecture, along with responses by LTSP students and alumni, and photos can be found online: www.Ltsp.edu/noldelecture

photo above: LTSP President Philip Krey with Nancy Nolde and Canon John Nurser

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Human Rights Needs the Churches: The Gospel Needs Human Rights


Nolde Lecture explores the role of churches in human rights and the global economic 'meltdown'


Tuesday, December 2, 2008 11:30 am, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Brossman Learning Center

During the current global "economic meltdown," what is the role of today's churches and other faith organizations in establishing an effective global economic order? And how do the United Nations and the issues of human rights connect to the process? Those critical issues were explored by British author Canon John S. Nurser, whose career has focused on human rights issues internationally, with an address for the O. Frederick Nolde Ecumenical Lectureship and Seminar on Human Rights. Nurser's remarks are entitled "Human Rights Needs the Churches: The Gospel Needs Human Rights."

The Nolde Lectureship and Seminar honors the work of the late LTSP professor O. Frederick Nolde. Read more at Ltsp.edu/noldelecture.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Start December First Friday at the Tree Lighting on the LTSP Campus

✶ Caroling with the Salvation Army Philadelphia Citadel Brass Ensemble
✶ Refreshments
✶ Bring unwrapped toys for children ages newborn to 12 years

Start off your December Mt. Airy First Friday and celebrate the first event at the new William Allen Plaza on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia with a Tree Lighting and Carol Sing! Join the community on Friday, December 5 at 6 pm at the plaza, next to the Schaeffer-Ashmead chapel at the southeast corner of the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. There is free parking on campus adjacent to The Brossman Center. Click here for a campus map and directions. The celebration is free and open to the public, and will be held rain, clear or snow!

More information, directions and a downloadable flyer are at Ltsp.edu/firstfriday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lecture to explore the role of churches in human rights and the global economic ‘meltdown’

During the current global “economic meltdown,” what is the role of today’s churches and other faith organizations in establishing an effective global economic order? And how do the United Nations and the issues of human rights connect to the process?

Those critical issues will be explored by British author Canon John S. Nurser, whose career has focused on human rights issues internationally, with an address for the O. Frederick Nolde Ecumenical Lectureship and Seminar on Human Rights. The lecture is at 11:30 am on Tuesday, December 2 in Benbow Hall of The Brossman Center at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), 7301 Germantown Avenue in the city’s Mt. Airy section. Nurser’s remarks are entitled “Human Rights Needs the Churches: The Gospel Needs Human Rights.” Admission is free and open to the public. The Nolde Lectureship and Seminar honors the work of the late LTSP professor O. Frederick Nolde. More information about Canon Nurser, O. Frederick Nolde and the Nolde Lectureship and Seminar, and directions are on the LTSP Web site – www.Ltsp.edu.

photo courtesy Eaden Lilley - Cambridge

Monday, November 10, 2008

Advent Vespers coming December 7

The Choir of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia will lead the annual Advent Vespers on Sunday, December 7, at 7:30 pm at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, near the seminary campus.

All are invited to this service of sung Evening Prayer as we mark this season of anticipation and expectation with the reminder that “God will reign in peace forever” (#256, Evangelical Lutheran Worship). Under the direction of Michael Krentz and John Weit, the choir will sing selections by William Billings, Andre Thomas and Magnificat by Giacomo Puccini (1712-1781, direct ancestor to the celebrated opera composer), and lead hymns and songs from many times and places.

Grace Epiphany Church is located at 224 East Gowen Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. For more information, visit the seminary Web site, www.Ltsp.edu.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Chris Satullo to speak at LTSP on media, the Gospel and public life

Chris Satullo, a columnist and director of civic engagement at The Philadelphia Inquirer, will explore the connections between the media, faith and the public in a lecture entitled “Brood of Vipers: The media, the Gospel and public life” at the Tuesday, November 18 convocation at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The convocation begins at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the seminary campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The convocation is free and open to the public.

Satullo previously was editorial page editor of The Inquirer, serving in that role for seven years. He’s been with the paper 19 years. He is the founder and director of the paper’s Citizen Voices program, an effort to engage readers in deeper political dialogue, and writes a regular column called Center Square.

For more information and directions, visit the seminary Web site: www.Ltsp.edu.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quodlibet 2008 - any question whatever

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Distinguished Presenter: Dr. Erik Heen, Professor of New Testament and Greek

From the Great Plains to the Cross: Professor Erik Heen's Quodlibetal message

Through Scripture, God reveals God's self to us through Christ crucified on the cross for our sins. That reality alone makes it a good thing to read the Bible.

And in keeping in mind the theology of the cross, it is a great challenge for disoriented believers to constantly keep their guard up against that "trickster" the devil, lest we allow the devil to substitute for God "something less than God."

These points and many others were delivered Tuesday, November 4, 2008, by Dr. Erik Heen, professor of New Testament and Greek at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He was the annual "Quodlibet" respondent, dealing with "any question whatever" that had been posed to him the week before by the seminary community. Prof. Heen was introduced by The Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson, Anna Burkhalter Professor, Old Testament and Hebrew at LTSP and acting co-dean.

Highlights?

  • Heen traced the Great Plains roots of his upbringing with affection, noting that "real people stand behind" the pietistic perspectives found in the Midwest. Heen added that there is a limit to how much one can generalize from the specificity of one's influential social location experienced during formative years. He cautioned against unduly disparaging Pietism and the tendencies to generalize narrowly, noting that "real people stand behind" Pietistic perspectives.. A theological principle of Pietism, he said, is "that righteousness is granted us by the grace of God through the death of Jesus." He said this understanding should never come at anyone else's expense.
  • Heen noted that the hard-working farmers he had grown up with seldom had much money, were hard-working and had little in the way of formal education, but they were diligent about their faith and the reading of Scripture. The rise of education today has had much to do with the way the Bible is read, and these changes are not always for the better.
  • Sin comes with a capital "S" and a small "s." The small "s" has to do with behaviors such as chemical dependency. The capital "S" form of sin has to do with our unbelief in God, which denies the voice of a believer's conscience, and thus separates us from God - a form of death. This reality needs to be a focus of one's theological concern and is frequently a reality believers do not comprehend because "we are so disoriented."
  • A knowledge of God "is possible only through a theology of revelation," Heen said. "For Paul the cross was the central revelation event. Christ crucified for Paul was the sole basis for theological knowledge, the way God speaks to the world. The cross reaches out in our disorientation to save the world."
  • Heen also spent considerable time discussing the Bible as "inspired" and the subject of Biblical inerrancy. He concluded his perspective by saying "yes" to the notion the Bible is an inspired book and "no" to the notion of Biblical inerrancy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Come and See! LTSP Prospective Student Day November 13

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) trains leaders from more than 30 denominations for a wide range of ministries in the world. Whether you are a person in the pew looking to learn more about your faith, or a person called to be a pastor, youth leader, educator or counselor, we have programs to fit your needs, finances and schedule.

You can learn more at Prospective Student Day, Thursday, November 13th, 6:30 pm -- 8:30 pm. It's an opportunity to meet members of our outstanding faculty and diverse student community. Explore programs including the Master of Divinity degree, with evening and weekend options, and the part time Doctor of Divinity advanced degree where those already serving in ministry can sharpen their skills. Learn about grants, scholarships and loans to finance your education. Located in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, we are readily accessible by train, bus or car.

Register for the Lutheran Theological Seminary Prospective Student Day at Ltsp.edu or call 215-248-7302.

Prof. Erik Heen 2008 Quodlibet Distinguished Presenter

Dr. Erik M. Heen, LTSP Professor of New Testament and Greek, is this year's distinguished presenter for Quodlibet, where each year a member of the faculty at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is presented with "any question whatsoever" and responds in this tradition-based, rigorous academic exercise. The Quodlibet answer session will be held Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center, on the seminary campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The event is free and open to the public.

Following LTSP tradition, students, faculty and others were invited to present any question whatsoever at a session the Tuesday before the November 4 lecture. While recognizing Quodlibet is an academic tradition, any question, on any topic, was accepted, and Prof. Heen will present his responses on November 4.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Come & See! LTSP Prospective Student Day Oct. 25

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia trains leaders from more than 30 denominations for a wide range of ministries in the world. Whether you are a person in the pew looking to learn more about your faith, or a person called to be a pastor, youth leader, educator or counselor, we have programs to fit your needs, finances and schedule.

You can learn more at Prospective Student Day, Saturday, October 25th. It's an opportunity to meet members of our outstanding faculty and diverse student community. Sit in on a class. Explore programs including the Master of Divinity degree, with evening and weekend options, and the part time Doctor of Divinity advanced degree where those already serving in ministry can sharpen their skills . Learn about grants, scholarships and loans to finance your education. Located in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, we are readily accessible by train, bus or car.

Register for the Lutheran Theological Seminary Prospective Student Day at Ltsp.edu or call 215-248-7302.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Voting and the American Religious Marketplace now online

Because the framers of the US Constitution determined the nation would have "no established church," you might think Americans would feel "less connected" to religion in general and to the the importance of religion across the political scene, but the opposite is true. That was part of the first of two messages delivered at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Oct. 7 by Political Science Professor Laura Olson of Clemson University, who teaches American Politics and Religion in Politics at the school.

You can view both informative presentations by Prof. Olson online at Ltsp.edu/olson.

Monday, October 06, 2008

LTSP Alumnus Installed as Bishop in Northeastern PA Synod

The Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser was installed as bishop, the shepherd and spiritual leader of nearly 152,000 Lutherans of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), on Saturday, September 27, 2008. More than 800 clergy and lay persons representing the 291 synod congregations in a 14-county area of northeastern Pennsylvania witnessed the installation in Elm Park United Methodist Church,
Scranton, a site chosen based on its ability to accommodate the number of people expected.

Bishop Zeiser received the Master of Divinity degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 1977, and a Master of Sacred Theology from LTSP in 1989. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree in 2001 in Religious and Theological Studies.

Preaching and presiding at the installation service was ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson, and assisting minister was Priscilla Schlenker Kinney, vice president of the synod and a member of the LTSP board.

More photos and information about Bishop Zeiser’s installation can be found on the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s Web site, http://www.nepsynod.org.



In the photo: The Rev. Dr. Samuel R. Zeiser surrounded by (clockwise from bottom left) the Rev. Robert Driesen, Bishop, Upper Susquehanna Synod; the Rev. Dr. Russell Mitman, Conference Minister, Penn Southeast Conference, UCC; the Rev. Susan W. Hassinger, Bishop, Wyoming Conference, United Methodist Church; the Rev. Harold S. Weiss, Bishop Emeritus, Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod; the Rt. Rev. Paul V. Marshall, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem; the Rev. Margaret Payne, Bishop, New England Synod; the Rev. Claire S. Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod; the Rev. David R. Strobel, Bishop Emeritus, Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod; the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Rev. Marie Jerge, Bishop, Upstate New York Synod. (behind Bishop Hanson is the Rev. Martha Sipe)

LTSP Hosts International Delegation of Scholars and Religious Leaders

On Friday, September 26, 2008, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) hosted an international delegation of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders taking part in a Fulbright Fellowship Interfaith Community Action Program, arranged through the Dialogue Institute of Temple University. The afternoon session began with a welcome and introductions of the Fulbright participants, and LTSP faculty and PhD students by Dr. David D. Grafton, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations at LTSP. LTSP Dean, Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar, Luther D. Reed Professor of Systematic Theology, then provided a presentation on "Pedagogy for Interfaith Relations." Dr. Rajashekar explored the issues related to how a Christian Protestant Denominational seminary trains public leaders of the Church in a religiously pluralistic environment. The presentation was followed by a fruitful dialogue. The Fulbright participants completed their visit with a tour of the LTSP campus.

The ten Fulbright participants were Dr. Fahrad Abdulrahman Alhououdi - Vice Dean of Academic Research at Iman Muhamed bin Saud Islamic University in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ziad Elias Fahd - Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Behavorial Sciences at Notre Dame University in Lebanon, Mr. Ghassan Abdel Salaam Manasra - Imam of the Quadi Sufi Center in Israel, Mr. Akhtarul Shaukat Ali - head of the Department of Islamic Studies at the Zakir Husain Institute in India, Mr. Mohammad Modasir Ali - Assistan Professor of Comparative Religion at International Islamic University of Islamabad in Pakistan, Fr. Serge Moussa of the Society of Missionaries of Africa in Burkina Faso, Dr. Fatimah Husein - Executive Director of the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies of the Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, Ms. Mehri Niknam - Exectutive Director for the Joseph Interfaith Foundation in England, Fr. Michael Chua Kim Wah - Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Archdiocesan Ministry of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs in Malaysia, and Mr. Khedimeliah Moussa - Manager in Sustainable Development for EHESS-CADIS in France.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

Speaker to focus on religion factors in Presidential election

With the U.S. Presidential election less than two months away, the influence of religion on the national political scene has been a hot button issue. Why is religion more socially and politically significant in the U.S. than in other developed countries? How does religion impact American politics? And to what extent do religious affiliation, practice and belief affect the way citizens view candidates and issues?

Unpacking those and other questions one month before the polls open will be Dr. Laura Olson,Prof. Laura Olson a Clemson University political science professor whose career focus has concentrated on religion and the American political scene. She’ll give two presentations Tuesday, October 7, at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, in a program sponsored by the seminary’s Faith and Life Institute. Both presentations in the seminary’s Brossman Learning Center (Benbow Hall) are free and open to the public.

At 11:30 am Dr. Olson will discuss “The American Religious Marketplace” and will discuss how the social and political significance of religion, while complicated, has its essential roots in the reality that religion in the United States is and always has been profoundly “deregulated by the state.” She’ll delve into the historical reasons for such deregulation and comment on how deregulation plays a central role in the way Americans understand politics – and themselves.

At 7 pm, Dr. Olson will consider “Religion, American Politics and the 2008 Presidential Election.” Dr. Olson notes that many observers cite the significance of religion in political discussions in the United States. In what specific ways does religion influence American politics? How will religious factors impact the outcome of the 2008 run for the Presidency?

Dr. Olson has taught at Clemson since 1996 and directs undergraduate studies at the school. She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and in her thesis focused on the “Political Involvement of Protestant Clergy.” The author of several books, she has a pending volume entitled Generals Without an Army? The Protestant Left in American Politics (Georgetown University Press).

Ample parking is available on campus - we suggest you check ltsp.edu/germantownave for latest directions due to Germantown Avenue construction near campus.

Monday, September 15, 2008

You're Invited! A Day of Remembrance and Celebration Sept. 27

On Saturday, September 27, 2008, LTSP will offer a Day of Remembrance and Celebration, and you're invited! The day is planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Krauth Memorial Library, and to remember and celebrate the life and ministry of The Rev. Dr. William H. Lazareth, BD '53, 1994 Distinguished Alum, who served at LTSP as the Hagan Professor of Systematic Theology and dean of the faculty for nearly twenty years, and later returned to campus as distinguished visiting professor.

Update 10/7/08: Videos of the day are now online: Ltsp.edu/celebrate08

Faith and Life Institute online - Singing with Mind and Spirit: The Hymns of the Church

In this online not-for-credit course, we will study the hymns and songs of the Christian church so that we can sing them with both our mind and our spirit, as Paul counseled in his first letter to the Corinthians. Join musician Mark Mummert in this consideration of song as a part of our faith.

The course will be online from October through November, and registration is now open. Go to the Faith and Life Institute Online page for more information and to register.

Monday, August 18, 2008

LTSP Opens 145th Academic Year September 2

update: videos and photos are now online

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) begins its 145th academic year with Opening Eucharist and Opening Convocation on Tuesday, September 2, 2008. Eucharist will be celebrated at 9:30 am, followed by the convocation at 11:30 am, both in The Brossman Center on the campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia 19119. The public is welcome to attend.

The academic theme for the 145th year is "Scripture and Public Theology," and opening convocation presenter The Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson, Anna Burkhalter Professor, Old Testament and Hebrew at LTSP, will speak on the theme with his lecture "Bible and Civic Virtue."

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is committed to preparing ordained and lay ministers of the Word 
as leaders for the mission of the Church in the world. While a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, LTSP students come from over 30 ecumenical traditions including Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal, Church of God in Christ, Baptist, Mennonite, and Presbyterian. For more information and directions to the LTSP campus, go to our Web site: www.Ltsp.edu.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thinking about God? Audit a Course at LTSP

So you've been walking with God for some time now, and you're thirsting for a deeper knowledge of your Christian faith.

Did you know that one affordable way to grow your knowledge is by auditing courses at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia? Study during the day, evening, even on a Saturday. Classes begin the week of September 2. There are a host of options. Consider these!

"Thinking About God?" is an introductory course on theology with a discussion of how our faith offers a perspective that equips us to consider and deal with contemporary challenges. Or, what about "Wealth, Poverty and the Church?" Want a deeper understanding of the Bible? "Healing and Miracle in New Testament Times" is one option. The seminary also offers a number of courses in Bible, Church History, Theology and Christian Education that may be of interest. This is just a sampling of the options available to you in the Fall of 2008 and beyond. The tuition charge for course auditing is $500 for a one-unit class, $250 for a one-half unit class. If you are 60 or older, the audit fee gets reduced by one-half. Bring a friend so you can carry on conversations before and after class. The seminary enjoys a lively community of regular auditors now. Why not join in?

For more information, or to register for a course, go to Ltsp.edu/audit.

Friday, June 06, 2008

LTSP Emeritus Professor John H.P. Reumann Dies

John H. P. Reumann dies: New Testament Professor was a force in Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogues

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 6, 2008 - updated June 8 with choir and June 9 with memorial information) – The Rev. Dr. John H. P. Reumann, a New Testament professor with an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible, and whose influence ranged from the seminary classroom to national and international ecumenical and interfaith circles, died today of cancer at his Lafayette Hill, PA residence. He was 81.

Reumann, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), enjoyed a 45-year teaching career before retiring in 1996. Beyond that, Reumann had a profound influence on church development from a local to global level. Special areas of interest included Life-of-Jesus research and Christian origins, especially the Apostle Paul, ecumenics and Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues.

“He could have been content to stick strictly with scholarly pursuits, but that wasn’t Jack Reumann,” said the Rev. Dr. LeRoy Aden, retired professor of Pastoral Theology at the seminary and a friend. “He had many gifts and a rare breadth of knowledge about the Bible and theology, but more than that he was an excellent citizen of the church. He loved it and served it tirelessly on the local, synodical and national levels.” Reumann was a linchpin for more than 30 years in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogues, which culminated in his role helping to shape the Joint Declaration on Justification adopted in Augsburg, Germany in 1999. A facile writer, Reumann did much writing in connection with the declaration, and his knowledge of both English and German did a lot to ease and advance the discussions.

Of that declaration milestone Reumann wrote in the seminary’s PS Magazine early in 2000 that there is “now an agreed statement on what was long divisive but is central to all church life, our relation with God in the good news: ‘we confess together that sinners are justified by faith in the saving action of God in Christ’.” In the piece he agreed with a Wall Street Journal story of the time acknowledging that the declaration focuses on “the central tenet of Christian teaching – that sinners can be saved” in contrast to what the newspaper referred to as the “trendy irrelevancies” of “some churches.”

He was a Guggenheim Fellow, 1965-66, part of the Lutheran-Jewish Conversation in the USA (1969-78), served on the Studies Committee for Lutheran World Ministries (USA National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation) from 1965 to 1987 and was influential in the forming of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) by serving on the Commission for a New Lutheran Church (CNLC) from 1982 to 1986. He served twice on the Board of Trustees for Muhlenberg College, the school from which he graduated summa cum laude in 1947. Reumann chaired a Task Force for the Study of Ministry in the ELCA, 1988-1993, and he participated 11 times as a voting member to church wide assemblies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and its predecessor body the Lutheran Church in America.

“The Rev. John H. P. Reumann was truly a ‘teacher of the church’,” said the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the ELCA. “Some church bodies identify an office of ‘teacher of the Church’ within their polity. The ELCA does not have such a defined office, but if that were the case, certainly Dr. Reumann would have occupied it. He provided significant theological leadership in deliberations of the Lutheran Church in America and later the ELCA. The recommendations of the Study of Ministry that he chaired were submitted to the 1993 church wide assembly and largely affirmed.” Hanson noted that Reumann had been the sole surviving member of the original participants in the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue, which began in 1965, and that Reumann had served on the Revision Committee for the New American Bible for the U.S. Roman Catholic Church from 1978 to 1987.

“John Reumann was respected in many circles because of his careful and competent work as a theologian,” said the Rev. James R. Crumley, Jr., of Leesville, SC, who served during the 1980s as presiding bishop of the LCA. “I have been grateful for the way in which he without hesitation used his talents for the LCA by helping us to find appropriate and fitting solutions to perplexing questions. A good example was the debate about our adopting use of the title bishop to replace the title of president. The terminology had been debated widely and we needed to close the matter. A request to Jack Reumann resulted in a clear and helpful paper on the history, biblical accuracy and practical questions connected with the proposed change. Jack’s clear and complete grasp of the issue was convincing and influenced a strong church-wide assembly vote that adopted the new terminology. Subsequent developments over the years since have proved the wisdom of the action.” Crumley thus became the “first” and “last” leader with the title of presiding bishop of the LCA before the merger to form the ELCA in 1988.

“Jack Reumann had the incredible knack, better than anyone I ever saw, of listening to the comments of others and then putting out a crisp, concise motion or recommendation for action that would have people saying, ‘Yes, that’s what we are trying to say’,” said the Rev. Dr. Edgar R. Trexler of Hendersonville, NC, who, as former editor of The Lutheran magazine, saw Reumann in action dozens of times in ecumenical, church-wide and Lutheran World Federation circles. “He was so careful in his use of language and its nuances in getting dead on to the heart of the matter. In the process leading to the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America he was absolutely at the top of his game as a theologian and professor. He played a major role in helping the new church to shape itself. When I served as editor of the magazine I would sometimes go to him and ask him to help me think through what I had observed, to see if he could add to my perspective. He was always gracious, patient and helpful to me.”

As a scholarly professor with Phi Beta Kappa credentials, awarded 1976, Reumann was widely regarded for his intellect and scholarship. His lecture style in the classroom was expressive, measured, careful and precise. “He was always self-assured, but never aloof,” recalled the Rev. Ellen Anderson, director of alumni/ae and church relations for the seminary’s Office of Development. “You were never afraid to ask him a question of any kind in the classroom, and you never felt he was talking down to you. He was extraordinarily patient and went out of his way to make sure that your questions were answered fully in a way you could understand.” She said Reumann would often come to class bearing many scholarly books, which he would leave open for reference, but not usually need to refer to.

“He was so detailed and organized in the classroom,” recalls the Rev. Peter Bredlau, Muhlenberg College’s chaplain and one of the last students Reumann taught before his retirement in 1996. “He was intense. He taught me to pay attention to details in studying the Bible and not to skim passages. He was a real force in the classroom. When he lectured you felt like you had to buckle up and hang on to what he was saying. Yet he was a truly generous spirit. He would never use his intellect to embarrass you.”

While admired for his depth of knowledge, Reumann had a teaching approach that could sometimes be frustrating to students. Several alums recalled how he could overwhelm a class with footnotes and bibliography recommendations so extensive they could not be read. One student told that in Reumann’s early teaching years he taught a class on the Book of Romans “and was so detailed in his teaching we only got through five chapters of Romans in the course.” But if he was demanding of his students he could also be demanding of himself. Reumann was a hard worker. “He was pretty compulsive in his working style,” one observant alum remembers. “He was known for frequently working until 4 o’clock in the morning.”

A seminarian from Reumann’s early years as a professor recalled his experience in knowing Reumann as the advisor to the Interseminary Seminar program, which drew together seminarians from several schools to read and review papers they prepared. “Jack was not a party animal,” the former student said. “So after the seminar was over, rather than taking us out for a beer to express his appreciation for our efforts, he bought us an ice cream sundae. Jack loved ice cream.”

“Jack had an encyclopedic mind,” Aden recalls. “When he spoke at my retirement dinner I was astonished at how much he knew about my field of psychology and pastoral care. It was amazing to hear him describe my field and my work through his eyes.”

“Dr. Reumann was a model in every respect for many of us who have followed him at the seminary and in the Church,” said Philip D. W. Krey, president of LTSP. “He mentored us graciously with faith and patience and retired well. In retirement he continued to work on his scholarly and ecumenical projects and remained unflagging in his support and as an advisor. We will miss a giant in the faith.”

Before his health declined dramatically, Reumann had turned in to his publisher at Yale University Press his voluminous commentary on Philippians, a focal point of his biblical scholarship. In the first draft he wrote more than 2,000 pages in the commentary, including footnotes, and was told by the publisher he’d have to cut it dramatically. His final edition ran some 800 pages. In addition to authoring the Philippians commentary, Reumann wrote 15 books including Jesus in the Church’s Gospels (Fortress Press, 1968) and edited or contributed to dozens of books and articles. He served as associate editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, 1961-69, and as its editor in 1970. The Lutheran Archives Center at Philadelphia recently received a $5,000 grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission/Bureau for Historic Preservation to “employ a project archivist to arrange, describe and create finding aids for the personal papers of John H. P. Reumann, a Pennsylvania theologian and scholar of international renown.”

Aden said Reumann cared passionately about congregational life, and he could be intensely loyal. “Once, many years ago, I left a congregation we were both a part of because I was unhappy about the pastor’s approach to working with youth,” Aden said. “Jack said that he agreed with me, but he said he was going to hang in there and keep working on improving the congregation’s vision.” Aden and others say Reumann’s passion for congregational life was forged in large measure by his father’s influence. Reumann was born in 1927, two years before his father, W. Paul, began 33 years of service to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lansdale, PA, today the largest ELCA congregation east of the Mississippi with about 6,000 baptized members. The elder Reumann did much to establish the dynamism of that congregation. The younger Reumann and his wife, the former Martha Weber Brobst, have served as long-time members of Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, once located on the seminary campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue, now in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill.

Reumann was an enthusiastic world traveler, an interest nurtured by his parents who took him on extensive international trips as a young boy. He continued to travel widely as a young man to Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Reumann maintained lasting friendships from these travels throughout his lifetime. Academic life and scholarly pursuits took him and his family for a year at a time to study and teach in Cambridge and Oxford, England, Goettingen, Germany, Bangalore, India and Jerusalem, Israel. He along with Martha maintained a particular interest in welcoming and supporting international students at the Seminary throughout his time there. Closer to home, Reumann loved baseball, following the Phillies through decades of wins and losses with a lifelong passion for the game and in-depth knowledge of its history and statistics.

In retirement the Reumanns were pivotal leaders in an annual week-long continuing education experience for mature adults called Lutherhostel on the seminary campus. Lutherhostel themes were usually recommended by John Reumann after considerable discussion by the advisory committee. Last year’s focus on the ministry of Albert Schweitzer explored an interest of his in depth and featured a remarkable Reumann summary of the week at the end. Martha Reumann served as host and registrar for the program until recently.

The Reumanns were married in 1958. They have been widely regarded as gracious hosts, opening their home, located until recently in Northwest Philadelphia, for special occasions in the life of the church on all levels.

Born April 21, 1927 in Easton, PA, Reumann spent his formative years in Lansdale. Seminary Registrar Emeritus the Rev. John Kaufmann recalls meeting Reumann for the first time in Lansdale when Reumann was home from college and Kaufmann was supply preaching for his father, who was ill. “Jack said he wanted to come to seminary after college,” Kaufmann said. “I remember thinking he seemed like a good prospect. I was wrong. He was a great prospect.” He was so well regarded by the faculty that he was made an instructor at LTSP immediately after graduating from the seminary. During his early years as an instructor he also served as a mission pastor in Villas, NJ, and Feasterville, PA. He was ordained in 1950, the year of his seminary graduation. He earned his Master of Sacred Theology degree from the seminary in 1951, a Masters in the Classics from the University of Pennsylvania (1950) and his Ph.D. (classics and Semitic studies) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1957.

In addition to his widow, Reumann is survived by the couple’s three adult daughters, Rebecca Jane Reumann-Moore of Philadelphia, Amy Elizabeth of Wauwatosa, WI, and Miriam Reumann Sadler of Wrentham, MA, and four grandchildren.

The funeral service is set for 2 pm Thursday, June 12 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1000 West Main Street, Lansdale, PA.

updated June 8: Invitation to singers: LTSP alumni and friends are invited to join the choir for Dr. Reumann's service. Please contact seminary musician Mark Mummert via email - MarkM1853@aol.com - for further information. The choir will assemble at 1 pm Thusday at Trinity Lansdale.

The family has requested that memorial donations in Prof. Reumann's name be made to:
Faculty Chair in Bible, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, www.Ltsp.edu/give, or Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, 8300 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia (Chestnut Hill), PA 19118.

a publication-quality photo of Dr. Reumann is available on the seminary Web site:
http://www.ltsp.edu/pix/johnreumann/Reumann-portrait04.jpg

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Construction starts on Gateway Plaza

Construction has begun on the Gateway Plaza portion of the Chapel Renovation project on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). Site preparation work will expose the basement space of the building, which will be renovated to become the offices of the bishop and staff of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and prepare the site for the street-level plaza, designed to connect with the Mt. Airy business direct south of the LTSP campus. The work will also provide full handicapped accessibility to the building, space for quiet prayer and a baptistry, and air conditioning for the building.

Groundbreaking for the project was in April, with project completion planned for November 2008. See the story and photos from the groundbreaking . A gallery of photos of the construction, to be updated as the project progresses, is also available.

Lutherhostel to explore Penn's influence

Lutherhostel program to explore
William Penn’s legacy for today

PHILADELPHIA, PA (May 19, 2008) – “William Penn’s Holy Experiment: Religious Freedom Then and Now” is the theme for the ninth annual Lutherhostel program June 16-20 at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP).

The annual program is a residential or commuter learning experience for older adults (aged 50 or more, non-Lutherans welcome!) co-sponsored by the seminary and the Association of Lutheran Older Adults, based in Baltimore, MD. Participants come from around the country. The program is made possible through a generous grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

“Quaker statesman William Penn cast a long and historic shadow over the development of colonial Philadelphia in the late 17th century, and he espoused formative ideas about liberty of conscience and religious freedom that he put into practice as an English colonizer,” says Mark Staples, Lutherhostel project manager and director of the seminary’s life-long learning initiative called The Faith and Life Institute. “We’re going to take a look at his life and times, his approach to partnering with colonists of differing religious persuasions and the Native tribes of his day. And we’ll consider lessons from his legacy that offer a perspective for today. What are our current religious freedom challenges? How might his approaches guide us as we consider the local to global challenges before us now?”

Keynoters for the week include Quaker presenter Nancy V. Webster, curator/historian for the national Friends Historical Association; Dr. Jon Pahl, professor of the History of Religion in North America at LTSP; Dr. A. Gregg Roeber, professor of Early Modern History and Religious Studies at Penn State University; “Living History” Performer William C. Kashatus, who appears regularly for the National Park Service; and the Rev. Bruce Davidson, director of the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry in New Jersey. LTSP Professor Katie Day will show her pictorial research on the faith communities along Philadelphia’s historic Germantown Avenue, including commentary on several historic or “mother” churches from several traditions. The week will include a bus tour of historic Pennsbury, Penn’s distinctive residence for a time when he lived in Philadelphia. Also appearing will be Susan Plaisted, a Pennsylvania Humanities Council presenter who will explore “Dining with William Penn” during a Wednesday afternoon session.

The cost for participating in the program is $430 (residents) and $330 (commuters). The registration fee covers 13 meals, refreshments and the bus tour of Pennsbury. Register on line at www.Ltsp.edu/Lutherhostel08. Detailed information about the program is available there. For additional assistance, contact Staples at 215/248-7352 or email him at Mstaples@Ltsp.edu. The program begins with checking in Monday morning June 16 for a 1:30 p.m. program opening. The program concludes with lunch Friday noon.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Recent Additions to LTSP Online Videos

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) has added several video recordings to the LTSP Web site. These include:

- 2008 Spring Convocation, Learning as Congregational Mission, with keynote presentations Grounded Theologically: Learning Leads to Mission and Mission Leads to Learning by Dr. Norma Cook Everist and The Teaching Ministry of a Missional Congregation by Dr. Richard Osmer, along with the panel discussion Christian Education: Looking into the Future with Dr. Norma Cook Everist, Dr. Richard Osmar, The Rev. Dr. Margaret Krych, and The Rev. Jessicah Duckworth ’03.
- From Tough Texts: An Interfaith Dialog Series for Christian, Jewish & Muslim Leaders: Gender and Sexuality with presenters The Rev. Wil Gafney, PhD, Laura Levitt, PhD, and Constance Carter, PhD; and War and Peace with presenters Paul Mojzes, PhD, Rabbi Leonard Gordon, and Khalil Malik, MD.

Selected programs are also available for download or online listening as MP3 audio files.

See the Web site, www.Ltsp.edu/news/news-media.html, for these and other LTSP online media.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Helping Hands Week to benefit LTSP students

From May 12-18, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will benefit from Helping Hands Week at Mt. Airy’s Trolley Car Diner & Deli, 7619 Germantown Avenue.

The Trolley Car Diner will donate 10% of the revenue of all customers who present a special coupon with their bill – Monday - Friday 7 am to 9 pm, Saturday and Sunday 3 - 9 pm – and Trolley Car Diner owner Ken Weinstein is personally donating an additional 10% as a special thank you. The donation will add to the seminary’s Leadership Fund, which benefits the seminary’s students through scholarship funds, as well as supporting the seminary’s mission to raise leaders for the church in the world.

You can print out the special coupon - which much be presented at the diner – from the LTSP Web site: www.Ltsp.edu/helpinghands. For directions or more information about Trolley Car Diner & Deli, call 215-753-1500 or go to www.trolleycardiner.com.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Annual Easter Vespers, Monday, 4/28

The annual Easter Vespers, led by the choir of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and coinciding with LTSP's Spring Convocation, will be held Monday, April 28, 2008 starting at 6 pm in the Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel. The public is invited to attend the service. The chapel is located on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia.

For directions to campus, see the seminary Web site - www.Ltsp.edu/germantownave.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

LTSP Gateway Plaza Groundbreaking

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) was joined by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and members and leasers of the Northwest Philadelphia community to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Gateway Plaza, located on the southern end of the campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. The project also includes renovations to the seminary's Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel to include new office space for SEPA, an upper plaza area and handicapped access. You can read more details here.

Photos from the groundbreaking event (click the image to view high-resolution version)

Architect's Rendering of the Gateway Plaza on the LTSP CampusArchitect's Rendering of the Gateway Plaza on the LTSP Campus

Groundbreaking ProcessionalGroundbreaking Processional

The Rev. Dr. Dirk Lange leading prayerThe Rev. Dr. Dirk Lange leading prayer

Blessing the GroundBlessing the Ground

Breaking the Ground - group 1The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP); Councilwoman Donna Reed Miller, 8th Council District, Philadelphia; Patricia Robinson, Vice President, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod; Dr. Addie Butler, Chair, Board of Trustees, LTSP; The Rev. Cynthia Krommes, Board of Trustees, LTSP

Breaking the Ground - group 2Larry Rutt, Butz Companies (General Contractor); Cristoph Schmidt, LTSP Student Body President; Ken Weinstein, NW Phila Business Community; Laura Morris Siena, Executive Director, West Mt. Airy Neighbors; Dan Muroff, President, East Mt. Airy Neighbors; George Yu, George Yu Associates (Architect)

Gathered on the Chapel LawnGathered on the Chapel Lawn, future location of the Gateway Plaza

The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. KreyThe Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, LTSP

The Rev. Claire Schenot BurkatThe Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Bishop, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

Donna Reed MillerCouncilwoman Donna Reed Miller, 8th Council District, Philadelphia

Patricia RobinsonPatricia Robinson, Vice President, Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

Dr. Addie ButlerDr. Addie Butler, Chair, Board of Trustees, LTSP

George YuGeorge Yu, George Yu Associates (Architect)

Dan MuroffDan Muroff, President, East Mt. Airy Neighbors

Laura Morris SienaLaura Morris Siena, Executive Director, West Mt. Airy Neighbors

Ken WeinsteinKen Weinstein, NW Phila. Business Community

Cristoph SchmidtCristoph Schmidt, LTSP Student Body President

Reed Miller, Krey, BurkatCouncilwoman Donna Reed Miller, The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat

Reed Miller, Krey, Burkat, RobinsonCouncilwoman Donna Reed Miller, The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, The Rev. Claire Schenot Burkat, Patricia Robinson

Morning Ceremony
Morning CeremonySurrounded by community members of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, (l to r) Pa. Representative Cherelle Parker; The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia; and Pa. Representative Dwight Evans break ground for the new Gateway Plaza to be constructed on the seminary campus. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod will be moving onto the seminary campus as part of the project.

Cherelle Parker, Philip D.W. Krey, Dwight EvansRepresentative Cherelle Parker; The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia; and Pa. Representative Dwight Evans