Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The John H.P. Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies to be bestowed April 5 on Dr. Erik Heen

Dr. Erik Heen
Dr. Erik Heen, Professor of New Testament and Greek at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), will be bestowed The John H.P. Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies in a special chairing ceremony at LTSP on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Dr. Heen will lecture on the subject “The Antikythera Mechanism, the Bible and the Cross.” The Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient mechanical computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–01 from the bottom of the sea near the Greek island of Antikythera. The ceremony and lecture will begin 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 event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Heen earned a BA from Harvard College, 1973; the MDiv from Harvard Divinity School, 1982;  MTh. from Luther Theological Seminary, 1990; MPhil from Columbia University, 1993; and PhD, Columbia University, 1997His dissertation, "Saturnalicius Princeps: The Enthronement of Jesus in Early Christian Discourse" (UMI Microfilm Number 9728216), investigated the motif of Jesus' enthronement in the New Testament as well as the manner in which it critiqued the local imperial cults in the cities of the Ancient Greek East.
Dr. Heen and faculty colleague the Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson reflected on the Bible and public theology in the Summer 2008 issue of the seminary magazine PSavailable online. Dr. Heen's comments on the subject are collected in a series of video clips. He was the distinguished presenter of the 2008 Quodlibit ("Any Question Whatever"), which you can watch online.
The John H.P. Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies was established as a memorial for the late Rev. Dr. John H. P. Reumann, the Ministerium of Pennsylvania Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek at LTSP, who was known for encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible, and whose influence ranged from the seminary classroom to national and international ecumenical and interfaith circles. Dr. Reumann died in 2008.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

LWR head John Nunes to keynote Nolde Lecture

John Nunes
The Rev. Dr. John Nunes, President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief (LWR), will keynote the Nolde Lecture on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP). The Nolde Lecture honors the legacy of the late LTSP professor and graduate school dean O. Frederick Nolde and his international role in addressing human rights issues in the era following World War II. Pr. Nunes will be joined by students who were part of the last Nolde Seminar at LTSP. The lecture will be presented at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue on the seminary's Mt. Airy campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

About Keynote Speaker John Nunes
John Arthur Nunes is the President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief (LWR) — an organization that acts to end poverty and uphold human dignity by empowering the world’s most impoverished communities to bring about the transformation they need in order to live healthy, safe and secure lives. LWR combines 63 years of experience, and an uncompromising pursuit of excellence, faith and prayer, to work with partners in 35 countries to promote sustainable development and increase human flourishing. He was also speaker at LTSP's 2010 commencement.
A prominent Lutheran leader, thinker and speaker, Nunes is known for his compelling voice applying theological insight to matters ranging from global issues to urban affairs. He joined LWR in July 2007 as its fourth president. Prior to that, he has served as a college professor, management consultant, church musician, community organizer and pastor.
Nunes states: “My call to LWR really gives me a prodigious opportunity to serve in the power of the Spirit, since, as Luther reminds us, ‘we should allow no one to suffer harm but show every kindness and love’ (The Large Catechism).”
Nunes holds advanced academic degrees from schools affiliated with the Evangelcal Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). He earned his PhD at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is author of the book Voices from the City, and he writes for John's Blog on the LWR website.
Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Nunes grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the U.S. since 1981. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, Monique, who is the principal of Baltimore Lutheran School, and his son, John, Jr. (16), the youngest of their five children.
Learn more about Lutheran World Relief at Read John's Blog at View his address at LTSP's 2010 Commencement.

Comments from lecturer Canon John S. Nurser about O. Frederick Nolde
Canon John S. Nurser was the keynote lecturer at the 2008 Nolde Lecture.
"One of the most extraordinary personal achievements of American history was rooted at LTSP," Nurser contends. "Professor O. Frederick Nolde, who taught Christian Education there during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, played a crucial role in mobilizing American Protestants to demand a post-World War II 'global order,' and one based on human rights. On behalf of the World Council of Churches, he was instrumental in rallying national delegations at the United Nations to ratify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. He drafted the Declaration's Article 18 on freedom of religion. Our present economic crisis is evidence that we in the Christian churches have the responsibility now, 60 years later, to mobilize support for a responsible economic global order." Nolde was a Wyndmoor, PA, resident during his seminary teaching career. He died in 1972.
"Fred Nolde was by formation a teacher," Nurser notes. "The churches of the world are called to think far more carefully than we do now about the relationship between Christian revelation, the practical world of human experience, and universal human rights. And the fruits of this thinking need to be taught effectively in congregations, in an ecumenical and interfaith context, and in the public square."

About the Nolde Lectureship and Seminar
The Nolde lectureship and seminar encourages students, clergy, and lay leaders to learn about human rights issues through regularly offered courses and events at LTSP, noting that human rights "is an imperative of the Christian Gospel with a particular concern for human rights issues related to the work of the United Nations." Among the goals of the program is to "raise consciousness in seminaries and congregations of the need for effective programs of religious education, both inside and outside of Christianity, on behalf of human rights, particularly the rights of freedom of conscience, information and religious liberty." The program sponsors a special seminar every other year, and a lectureship in the alternate year. Associates in the initiative include the Lutheran Office for World Affairs, the Office of Governmental Affairs of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the United Nations Office of the World Council of Churches, and the Office for International Affairs of the National Council of Churches of Christ of the USA. The program is funded through a generous gift by the Nolde family.

A publication quality photo of John Nunes can be found online:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hein-Fry Lecture "Hearing the Word: Lutherans Read the Bible with the Ecumenical World" - update with video

Dr. Suneel Bhanu
(updated 3/28/11 with recordings of the lecture)
The annual Hein-Fry Lecture for 2011 on the topic "Hearing the Word: Lutherans Read the Bible with the Ecumenical World," was presented by Dr. Suneel Bhanu, Moderator/Bishop of the largest Lutheran church body in India, The Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church with one-million membership, four thousand congregations and eight hundred and fifty pastors. Dr. Bhanu's spoke on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia.

(downloads: Podcast | mp3 audio )

About Dr. Bhanu
This year's lecturer, Dr. Suneel Bhanu, was born and brought up in a Christian family in a Muslim neighbourhood.  The friendship and piety of the Muslim friends and active involvement as a youth in the diverse activities of the local congregation encouraged him to become a full-time minister and led to his seminary studies. His interest in Islam inspired Suneel to do post graduate studies in theology in the area of Christian-Muslim Dialogue, which he pursued in the Philippines.  After the completion of theological studies, his assignment in remote rural villages led Suneel to become sensitive to the caste domination both within and outside the church and the discrimination of outcastes in India.  The plight of the Dalits challenged him to further his theological horizons, which resulted in his doctoral studies where he compared the role of religion in the discrimination and liberation of the Outcastes, taking as examples the Dalits in India and the Burakumin in Japan.  He is one of the editors of the Dalit Bible Commentary and wrote a commentary on Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. Having taught for about two decades at Gurukul Lutheran Theological College in Chennai, and became the Head of the Church of the largest Lutheran Church in India: The Andhra Evangelical Lutheran Church with one-million membership, four thousand congregations and eight hundred and fifty pastors.
Dr. Bhanu and his wife, Grace, one of the first ordained theologically trained women in the Lutheran Communion, have two sons. She also taught History of Christianity along with him at Gurukul.

About the Hein-Fry Lecture Series
The annual Hein-Fry Lecture Series, the premier endowed theological lectureship of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, identifies key theological issues facing the church and offers lectures that stimulate inquiry and discussion of those issues not only at the eight ELCA seminaries but throughout the church.

A publication-quality photo of Dr. Bhanu is available online:

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Convocation Video - Seminary Education: What the Church Expects?

Bishop Roy Riley
Bishop E. Roy Riley, of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was the presenter at the Tuesday, March 1 convocation at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), speaking on the topic "Seminary Education: What the Church Expects?"

Bishop Riley provides pastoral and administrative leadership to the 180 congregations and almost 80,000 baptized members of the ELCA on the territory of New Jersey. He has led the New Jersey Synod as bishop since 1991, and was re-elected to his current 6 year term at the 2007 synod assembly.

The March 1 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."

Download the MP3 audio file

Download the m4v Podcast video file

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Preaching with Power Starts Sunday

Preaching with Power: A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology returns to Philadelphia for the 29th year from Sunday, March 6 through Thursday, March 10. Preaching with Power is a program of the Urban Theological Institute (UTI)  of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), and features five sermons and one lecture by six distinguished African American preachers and theologians, along with an Ash Wednesday service with preaching by seminary professor the Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard.

Local churches in the Philadelphia community host the evening worship services, plus the lecture and music celebration held on the LTSP campus in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. All are welcome! Come and be inspired! The worship offering proceeds go to The Rev. Dr. Joseph Q. Jackson Endowed Scholarship Fund, which benefits UTI students.

Dates and preachers/programs for 2011 are:

Sunday – March 6, 2011, 6:00 pm, The Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis preaching at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2800 West Cheltenham Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19150

Monday – March 7, 2011, 7:30 pm, The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. preaching at Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, 25 West Johnson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Tuesday morning – March 8, 2011, 11:30 am, Dr. Anthea D. Butler lecturing at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19119

Tuesday evening – March 8, 2011, 7:30 pm, Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Mt. Pisgah AME Church, 428 North 41st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Wednesday morning – March 9, 2011, 11:30 am, Ash Wednesday: Word and Sacrament service, Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel, LTSP Campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119

Wednesday evening – March 9, 2011, 6:30 pm (note earlier time), The Rev. Dr. Loran E. Mann preaching at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ, 6401 Ogontz Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19126

Thursday – March 10, 2011, 7:30 pm, The Rev. Dr. Kevin Dudley preaching at Reformation Lutheran Church, 1215 East Vernon Road, Philadelphia, PA 19150

The week concludes with a Prospective Student Day on Saturday, March 12 starting at 8:30 am on the LTSP campus. Is God calling you? Come and See what is available for you at LTSP!

For more information on Preaching with Power, including venue directions and preacher profiles, go to, and to register for Prospective Student Day, go to

About the UTI: The Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, celebrating 30 years, is dedicated to providing theological education to church leaders that is relevant and upbuilding for the African American community. The UTI sponsors Preaching with Power, a series of public lectures and several certificate programs for lay church leasers, as well as academic programs to prepare MDiv, MAR and DMin credentialed leaders for the black church. UTI Director The Rev. Dr.  Quintin Robertson can be reached at or call 215-248-7324.

About LTSP: One of eight seminaries certified by the 4.6-million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), LTSP has prepared well over 4,000 church leaders during its history. The school has been located on its Mt. Airy campus in Philadelphia since 1888 and has embraced seminarians from some 30 Christian traditions. Its 30-year-old Urban Theological Institute has prepared scores of African American leaders for church service in the Greater Philadelphia area.

Announcement: Faculty Position in Liturgy and Worship

(note that review of applications begins April 15, 2011)
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) is seeking a full-time faculty person in the area of Liturgy and Worship.

LTSP is one of the eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with 18 faculty members and approximately 450 students. See the seminary’s website at for more information. The Seminary’s Mission Statement reads:  “Centered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia seeks to educate and form public leaders who are committed to developing and nurturing individual believers and communities of faith for engagement in the world.”

LTSP’s mission and programs are ecumenical, multicultural, global and publicly oriented. The seminary offers the following degrees: MDiv, MAR, MA in Public Leadership, STM, DMin and PhD, and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

The professor in this position is expected to teach required and elective courses in Liturgy and Worship in first-professional and graduate levels and participate in the Seminary’s Chapel program. In addition, the faculty member will act as an advisor to students assigned by the Dean. All faculty members are expected to contribute to administrative needs and community life on campus, as well as to the wider church, civic life and professional guilds. Rank is negotiable according to experience and qualifications.

Qualifications: Applicants must have an earned doctorate (ThD or PhD) in Liturgy/Worship or a related field in Christian Ministry.  Additional teaching competence in any other practical disciplines is encouraged.  Must be an ordained pastor of the ELCA or whose denomination is in full communion with the ELCA.  Women and persons of color are encouraged to apply.  For a detailed job description visit Review of applications will begin April 15, 2011.  Send applications or nominations to

Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar, Dean of the Seminary
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119