Wednesday, February 09, 2011

"Integrating Theology on the Ground" topic of Tuesday, February 15 Convocation

Faculty members of the Integrative area at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) will be presenting on the topic "Integrating Theology on the Ground" at the next Convocation, scheduled for Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The convocation is free and open to the public.

Faculty members presenting on the topic are The Rev. Dr. Wayne Croft, Sr., Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr. Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies; The Rev. Dr. Katie Day, The Charles A. Scheiren Professor, Church and Society and Director, Metropolitan/Urban Concentration; Dr. Michael Krentz, AIM, Director of Music Ministries and Seminary Cantor; The Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard, Associate Professor, Practical Theology and Director, Contextual Education; The Rev. Dr. Richard Stewart, Associate Professor, Communications, Parish Administration; The Rev. Dr. Storm Swain, Assistant Professor, Pastoral Care and Theology and Director of Anglican Studies; and The Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman, Assistant Professor of Homiletics.

The February 15 Convocation is the latest on the LTSP Theme for the Academic Year 2010-2011, "Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society." Future convocations include:

Mar. 1: Seminary Education: What the Church Expects? – Bishop Roy Riley, New Jersey Synod

Mar. 13-17: Preaching With Power Week, UTI Convocation 3/15

Mar. 22: Hein-Fry Lectures—a speaker from abroad

Mar. 29: Nolde Lecture (to be announced)

Apr. 5: Prof. Norma Cook-Everist, St. John’s Visiting Professor

Apr. 19: Faculty Panel—Insights from the convocation series

May 3-4: Spring Alumni Convocation 2011 - One God, Many Christs: How Jesus is Incarnated in America, Keynote Richard Wrightman Fox,Professor of History at the University of Southern California (USC) 5/3-5/4; 5/3 Earth Day—Green Team (Plaza)

May 10: Social Ministry Convocation

Convocations and programs are open to the public, and with the exception of Alumni Convocation are free of charge.

During the past few decades theological education has been undergoing change. The change is more perceptible with regard to the gender, age, and racial/ethnic composition of faculty, staff and students. Patterns of seminary attendance, academic schedule and the structure of the curricula are undergoing change. With the advent of computers, Internet and modern technology, new and creative modes of delivery of education have been developed. Students have exhibited diverse motivations and vocational aspirations. Degrees have multiplied, theological disciplines have become specialized and sources of financial support have shifted. The cost of theological education, dwindling support from denominations, debt load of students, pressure to reduce duration requirements, have all raised serious questions about the quality and sustainability of seminary education over the long haul.

These changes to some extent reflect societal changes that have impacted the church. The social location of the church and the long-stand privileges the culture had extended to Christian churches have now diminished. The religious landscape of our society has undergone change. The face of Christianity too has changed due to immigration and migration of people. Mainline denominations have experienced significant decline in membership. Denominations and denominational identity have weakened. In short the ecology of theological education has changed and will experience further changes. Much has changed and more changes are on the way!

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