Monday, February 23, 2009

Intersections Institute Receives Grant from Thrivent - Updated

Efforts by the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries to create a leadership development program for Church and faith-based social ministry organizations received a major lift thanks to a $215,000 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation.

The new Intersections Institute (II) creates a partnership among the three eastern cluster seminaries in Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Columbia, SC, with social ministry organizations and schools of business to develop post baccalaureate certificate and Masters programs to develop leaders who can navigate the changing environment.

“We are delighted to assist the Intersections Institute through this grant," said Karen Coonen, executive director of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. “We trust that this support will enable the organization to jump start this venture education ministry with current and future social ministry organizational leadership.”

The grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation will support the initial start up implementation of the new program for the three seminaries in the cluster, which includes The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. The Rev. Dr. Richard Carlson, Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies, and Director of Graduate Study at Gettysburg Seminary, has led a foundation-laying phase funded by grants from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and DIAKON social ministry organization. A search is underway for a permanent director who will coordinate work among the seminaries, colleges, and businesses schools that will deliver various components leading toward a degree or certificate.

We “need leaders who understand and demonstrate core competencies in both management and theology at the intersection of church and world,” said Gettysburg Seminary president Michael Cooper-White. Carlson added that “there is no lack of talented and passionate individuals willing to serve the Church’s social ministry in leadership positions. There is, however, a notable lack of educational opportunities to prepare such individuals for the complexities of social ministry leadership.”

The grant is part of the foundation’s Lutheran Grant Program. This program is designed to help Lutheran institutions and organizations take advantage of unique growth and service opportunities. It also supports the interests and needs of the Lutheran community. In 2007, the program distributed approximately $5 million through 100 separate grants.

Update: The Intersections Institute Director position has been posted. The position will be housed at Gettysburg seminary. You'll find the posting here:

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