Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hearing the Word: Lutheran Perspectives on Biblical Interpretation

Hearing the Word: Lutheran Perspectives on Biblical Interpretation is the topic for the 2009 Hein-Fry Lecture, being presented by Esther Menn, Professor of Old Testament and director of Advanced Studies, Esther MennLutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Prof. Menn's lecture is entitled “Like a Tree Planted by Water” (Jer.17:8): Living in the Word. The lecture will be held at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center, on the LTSP campus at 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Hearing the Word: Lutheran Perspectives on Biblical Interpretation was chosen as the 2009 theme in order to engage the crucial conversation facing the ELCA concerning various Lutheran approaches to scripture and what resources and challenges those approaches bring to diverse North American contexts. The hope for these lectures is that they will raise awareness about the various ways the Lutheran church has traditionally interpreted the Bible as well as explore a mixture of contemporary approaches to scriptural interpretation that Lutherans might offer today.

Five scholars affiliated with the ELCA have been invited to offer lectures out of their particular perspectives and scholarship. Each lecturer will travel to three sites where she or he will make a major presentation exploring important and innovative Lutheran perspectives on biblical interpretation and making a case for the promise of one, some, or even all of them. At most of the sites, a local respondent will reflect in a second session on the traveling lecturer’s presentation in light of its relevance to the regional context. A third session will be designed to bring the two speakers into conversation with each other and the audience.
The Hein-Fry lectures for 2009 will take place between February and April 2009. In order to expand the reach of this important conversation, the committee has elected to bring the lectures to seven additional sites beyond the ELCA's eight seminaries traditionally visited. These new sites include four ELCA affiliated colleges and three congregational forums in areas of the country not easily served by the eight seminaries. Thus, the Hein-Fry lectures will be visiting a total of fifteen sites in 2009.

The annual Hein-Fry Lecture Series identifies lively, pressing theological issues facing the church and offers free and open to the public lectures that stimulate intellectual inquiry and discussion of those issues throughout the church.

The goals of the endowed series are to:
  • foster original scholarship,
  • encourage broad dialogue throughout the church on a theological topic, and
  • give seminary faculty, students, clergy, church leaders, and other interested persons access to leading theologians.
  • The Hein Fry Lecture Series grows out of prestigious traditions dating back nearly 40 years in the histories of the ELCA predecessor church bodies.
The Hein Seminary Lectures were held each year at the four seminaries of the American Lutheran Church. The Fry Lectures continue and expand on the series known as Knubel-Miller-Greever Lectures, which were held at various seminaries and other locations in the Lutheran Church in America.

The Hein-Fry Lecture Series is unique in that it addresses all the seminary communities within a major American denomination. This gives the Series great potential for engaging both the current theological leadership and a generation of ministerial candidates in discussion of a focused theological issue.

The series is coordinated by the Vocation and Education unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Lecture topics, speakers, and schedules are set by Hein-Fry Lecture Series Governing Committee.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Third Annual “Rest, Refreshment, and Renewal Day for Women”


“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15b

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 52:7

Third Annual “Rest, Refreshment, and Renewal Day for Women”
Saturday, February 21, 2009, 9:00 – 3:45
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
$40.00 (lunch included) for information/registration

The theme of this year’s Rest, Refreshment and Renewal Day for Women is about your feet, your beautiful feet. God has called each of us to a specific daily vocation through which we bring the Good News. Whether that vocation includes family, neighbors, work, or community, our calling is to travel through our days bringing good news to those we serve and meet. Although this makes our feet beautiful, it also can make them tired, sore, callused, blistered, and in need of a day of rest. Set aside one day to relax! Come and put your feet up, soothe your soles, pamper your toes, and take time to reflect upon your beautiful feet!

Spend your time by participating in “Gatherings” such as prayer yoga, liturgical dance, singing, Bible study, exploration of prayer, relaxation for your feet, spiritual direction, service project and more. Take your own “Holy Time” to refresh and renew your spirit. Walk, rest, read, nap, bring your own craft project, explore the library, reflect upon the art in The Brossman Center, listen to music, bring a book, journal, meditate, have a meaningful conversation. Nurture your spirit! The campus is your sanctuary!

This gift of a day of rest, refreshment and renewal is offered to all women of your congregation and friends you may wish to invite. Give a gift to yourself and take a spiritual day to be renewed in mind, body and spirit. Remember to dress comfortably!

**New this Year! Special gathering offered for “Clergy Sisters”

Learn Online - LTSP Spring for Credit Courses still open

Learn from LTSP faculty anywhere you have an Internet connection!

Online for-credit courses allow students at a distance to learn from LTSP's outstanding faculty from anywhere they can connect to the Internet. Non-matriculated and auditing students can also participate in LTSP online courses, see the appropriate information on the LTSP Web site.

Why online learning? Online courses give the learner greater control - courses are designed to allow engagement of the material and interaction with the instructor and other students while accommodating learners' weekly schedules. And with online learning there's no commute, no travel expense. You need a computer and an Internet connection (broadband preferred), and of course the interest in engaging in theological learning.

Course Offerings for Spring 2008 - spring semester begins February 2 - register today!

First Professional

Dr. Philip Krey

HCH301 Creeds and Councils (Online), 1.00 unit, Dr. Philip Krey, President; Ministerium of New York Professor Early Church History

An examination of the early creeds and selected councils through the 15th century, with a focus on their claims upon our present faith and their relevance to the parish ministry. Free elective.

registration materials and more information

Advanced Level (Graduate School)

Dr. Karl Krueger

HCH662G Dreams and Defenses: Religion in the Northeast USA, 1.00 unit, Dr. Karl Krueger, Director of the Krauth Memorial Library; Associate Professor, History of Christianity

The course explores the development of the American churchscape north of the Potomac and east of the Mississippi rivers in the twentieth-century. It examines the migration experience to the United States, immigrant spirituality, and the development/transformation of the ethnic parish in Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Communities. Although the course is text-based, a major objective is the study of immigrant spirituality. By reading significant texts, I hope you will begin to 'experience' religion as it was lived by 'people in the pew,' worshippers who have been traditionally overlooked in presentations of American religious history.

BNT660G - The Letter to the Romans and the New Perspective on Paul online has been canceled for this semester.

registration materials and more information

Come with us to the Land of the Pharoahs. . .

A group of LTSP students, led by Professor David Grafton, is spending the last weeks of January in Egypt. Dr. Grafton is an Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, and the Director for Graduate Studies of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Prior to his appointment at LTSP, Dr. Grafton served as the Coordinator of Graduate Studies at the Evangelical (Presbyterian) Theological Seminary in Cairo, Director of the Center for Middle East Christianity at the ETSC, and adjunct lecturer in Islamic studies at the Dar Comboni Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Cairo, Egypt.

Follow the group on their journey and read their reflections in the trip's online blog.

from Prof. Grafton's first entry:
Egypt is the land of the Pharoahs and the Pyramids. It is the land of refuge for Abraham, Jeremiah, Joseph, and Jesus. It is the land of Moses and the Exodus. It is the land of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse and Library of Alexandria. The land of Mark - the first Patriarch of the See of Alexandria and the Coptic Orthodox Church. It is the land of Origen, Clement, and Athanasius. It is the land of Philo and Elephantine Island. And the land of the Septuagint, the Nag Hammadi texts and Codex Sinaitcus.

It is the land of the first monastery of the world - St. Antony - as well as the oldest university in the world - Al-Azhar, the center of Sunni Islam. It is the resting place of Sayyida Zeinab, the granddaughter of Muhammad, and the site of the relic of Imam Ali, his son-in-law. The land of the Jewish Philosopher Maimonides and warrior Saladin. And the land of Muhammad Ali, the first modern ruler of Egypt, and the final interrment of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi - the last Shah of Iran. It is the land of Africa and Asia. It is the land of the Nile.

We would like to invite you to come with us as we journey through this land, encounter its history and come face to face with its people. We hope to chronicle our trip with journal entries by students of the Egypt Globalization Seminar. Our journey will lead us to the Great Pyramids of Giza, but more importantly our journey will lead us to its people: Christian and Muslim; agnostic and Pietist. We are interested in learning about their identities and their faiths.

Be sure to return frequently to the blog at to follow the journey, see photos from the trip, and read the latest reflections.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Feb. 3 Convocation to feature Theological Education with Youth

2009 Theological Education with Youth (TEY) Convocation

Join in theological conversation with scholars and alumni of TEY’s Crossroads and Summer Theological Academy
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
11:30 am, Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

This convocation is for…
  • those interested in learning more about the programs of TEY.
  • those interested in joining in conversation with the alumni of TEY programs and the seminary community as they gather to reflect and discern on their experiences and the future of the Church.
  • anyone - the event is free and open to the public.
At the convocation…
  • TEY Alumni will present on their experiences and share their reflections on the mission of the Church…
  • followed by an overview of the TEY program and…
  • a panel discussion with TEY Alumni, new and old.
This opportunity is open to all in the community: pastors, youth leaders, seminarians, faculty, staff, laity in local congregations. Any questions, please contact TEY Director Chandler Carriker at or 717-338-3038. Learn more about TEY at their Web site:

Monday, January 05, 2009

LTSP student receives preaching award

Rebecca Richie of Weatherly, PA, earns preaching distinction award from Lutheran Seminary

Rebecca Renee Richie of Weatherly, PA, has earned the Atonement Lutheran Church of Asbury Park, New Jersey, Preaching Award from The Lutheran theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The honor goes to a senior seminarian who exhibits “exceptional potential” in the field of preaching, along with a strong potential for ministry. You can read more about seminarian Rebecca Richie and the award on the LTSP Web.

Other recent LTSP award recipients include:

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

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.

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