Sunday, May 22, 2011

The 147th Commencement - Report from May 20

Individual Graduate Photos and the full Commencement Video will be available for purchase online June 6 - to receive notification when these are available, email Media@Ltsp.edu.
More photos, stories and video clips of the 147th Commencement will be posted on the Commencement 2011 webpages.


The 147th Commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia was held on Friday, May 20 at 3 pm on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Fifty nine students graduated from the seminary's certificate, Masters and advanced degree programs.

Commencement speaker was the Rev. Dr. Stanley Olson, President of Wartburg Seminary and previously executive director for the Vocation and Education Unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown and past chair of LTSP's Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors was honored by the seminary with the Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, in recognition of his long association with the seminary and the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) and the support he and Grace Church have provided for the UTI and its programs and initiatives, in particular the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies.

About the commencement speaker:
The Rev. Dr. Stanley OlsonThe Rev. Dr. Stanley N. Olson is President of Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, one of the eight seminaries, along with LTSP, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Dr. Olson began his service at Wartburg on January 1, 2011. From 2005 to his joining Wartburg Ceminary, Dr. Olson was Executive Director of Vocation and Education in the churchwide offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In this role he provided leadership for the church’s partnerships with its seminaries, colleges and universities, lifelong learning programs, outdoor and campus ministrys, as well as supporting young adult and youth ministries and guiding the ELCA candidacy program.

Dr. Olson served as the Executive Director of the Division for Ministry of the ELCA from 2002 to 2005. He also served as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, senior pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota, and associate pastor of First Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota. In the years between those parish calls, he served as an assistant professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Olson was was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and raised on a farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa. He is a graduate of Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa, and St. Olaf College, an ELCA school in Northfield, Minnesota, and was awarded a Master of Divinity at Luther Seminary in 1972. He holds a doctorate from Yale University, where he wrote a dissertation on the New Testament. He is married to Nancy Olson, an ELCA Associate in Ministry who most recently served as Member Care Coordinator at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. She is an organist, and has served as a parish music director and on the staff of a synodical resource center. The Olsons are the parents of two adult daughters.

About the Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, recipient:
The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel JonesThe Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones is a tenured pastor, having served four congregations during his forty six year pastoral career, including two in Massachusetts and one in Virginia. For the last twenty nine years, he has been Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, Philadelphia, leading the congregation as it has grown theologically, programmatically, and fiscally, especially with respect to staff development, stewardship, missions, and outreach.

During his tenure, Dr. Jones has led Grace in being closely connected to The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Since 1991, Grace has hosted the annual inaugural worship of Preaching With Power. He became a member of the Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors (UTICA) in 1993, and served as UTICA Chair from 2003 until 2010. Dr. Jones has served as an adjunct Professor in Christian Education, and was the inaugural instructor in the Black Church certificate program offered by the UTI, teaching Church Administration.

During Dr. Jones' UTICA chairmanship, the LTSP Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies, named the UTI endowed scholarship fund for the the late Rev. Joseph Q. Jackson, former pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown, staffed two succeeding Directors of the UTI Program, and staffed the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies.
Dr. Jones remains a strong advocate for the mission of LTSP, and was named Chair Emeritus of UTICA. Grace Church thus far has made the largest cumulative financial gift of any local congregation toward funding the Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies. Dr. Wright was Pastor Jones' predecessor, having served Grace Church for 42 years. Grace Church also served as a host for the 25th and 30th Anniversary Celebrations of UTI, in 2005 and 2010 respectively.

Dr. Jones is also an adjunct professor of the Center for Urban Theological Studies, a division of Geneva College. As has been the case with LTSP/UTI during his present pastorate, while pastor in Virginia Dr. Jones served almost ten years as an instructor in the Evening College of Norfolk State University, and was a member of the Portsmouth School Board. During his Massachusetts's pastorates, he was a certified tenured secondary mathematics teacher in Plymouth County. Within Dr. Jones' denomination, The American Baptist Churches, USA (ABC USA), he is the former National President of the 6100 member Ministers Council, the ABC USA professional organization for ordained church leaders. Locally, he was the first President and principal organizer of two local ministers councils, the American Baptist Churches of the South and the American Baptist Churches of Philadelphia and Vicinity, known as the Philadelphia Baptist Association. He is also a former moderator of the Philadelphia Association, the oldest regional covenanted consortium of churches in the USA. He currently serves as Vice President of the Baptist Pastors and Ministers Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and is the long term Vice President of the Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia.
For over 20 years, Dr. Jones served as Vice Chair of the Baptist-sponsored Annual City Wide Revival. He was the first non-Lutheran Pastor/Clergy to serve on the Board of Directors of the now merged Germantown Lutheran Home, a local retirement complex. He contributed to the following publications:
  • Women to Preach or Not to Preach. "Era", 1991, by Dr. Ella Mitchell; 
  • From Proclamation to Practice. "AIDS and the Stewardship of AID", 1993, by Dr. Clifford A. Jones, Sr. 
  • From One Brother to Another. "The African American Brother in the Context of Creation and Humanity". Vol. I, 1996, by the late Dr. Robert Johnson Smith, II and Reverend William J. Key, all published by Judson Press; 
  • Minister to Minister. 2001, a devotional guide published by the Ministers Council, ABC USA and more recently 
  • Rising From The Rails. 2004, by Larry Tye, published by Henry Holt and Co., LLC. 
  • American Baptist Quarterly. "Jubilee: To Free the Enslaved and Proclaim Liberty to the Captives", Vol. XVIII, March 1991. No.1 
Dr. Jones earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Richmond Virginia's Virginia Union University. His first professional degree, a Master of Divinity, was earned at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, and his Doctorate of Ministry from Howard University Divinity School, Washington, DC. His doctoral thesis was entitled "Educational Ministries in the Black Baptist Churches of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia." Further graduate studies include work matriculated at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut; Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia; and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary). His alma mater, Virginia Union University, conferred upon him the honorary Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, in 2006.

Dr. Jones is married to the former Ms. Geraldine Saunders, MSW (LCSW), and they are the parents of one son, Mr. Bryant Daniel Jones, BA, who is married to the former Ms. Dean Cameron.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The John H.P. Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies: Ceremony and Inaugural Lecture now online

Dr. Erik Heen, Professor of New Testament and Greek at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), was bestowed The John H.P. Reumann Chair in Biblical Studies in a special chairing ceremony at LTSP on Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Dr. Heen presented the inaugural Reumann Chair 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.

Watch the ceremony and lecture:




| Download Podcast Video | Download MP3 Audio |

Monday, May 16, 2011

The 147th Commencement - May 20, 2011

The 147th Commencement of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is scheduled for Friday, May 20 at 3 pm on the seminary campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. Over 50 students are expected to graduate from the seminary's certificate, Masters and advanced degree programs.

Commencement speaker is the Rev. Dr. Stanley Olson, President of Wartburg Seminary and previously executive director for the Vocation and Education Unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown and past chair of LTSP's Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors is being honored by the seminary with the Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, in recognition of his long association with the seminary and the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) and the support he and Grace Church have provided for the UTI and its programs and initiatives, in particular the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies.
Commencement will by followed by a MayFest picnic and celebration on the seminary campus.

About the commencement speaker:
The Rev. Dr. Stanley Olson
The Rev. Dr. Stanley N. Olson is President of Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, one of the eight seminaries, along with LTSP, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Dr. Olson began his service at Wartburg on January 1, 2011. From 2005 to his joining Wartburg Ceminary, Dr. Olson was Executive Director of Vocation and Education in the churchwide offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). In this role he provided leadership for the church’s partnerships with its seminaries, colleges and universities, lifelong learning programs, outdoor and campus ministrys, as well as supporting young adult and youth ministries and guiding the ELCA candidacy program.

Dr. Olson served as the Executive Director of the Division for Ministry of the ELCA from 2002 to 2005. He also served as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, senior pastor of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota, and associate pastor of First Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota. In the years between those parish calls, he served as an assistant professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Olson was was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and raised on a farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa. He is a graduate of Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa, and St. Olaf College, an ELCA school in Northfield, Minnesota, and was awarded a Master of Divinity at Luther Seminary in 1972. He holds a doctorate from Yale University, where he wrote a dissertation on the New Testament. He is married to Nancy Olson, an ELCA Associate in Ministry who most recently served as Member Care Coordinator at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. She is an organist, and has served as a parish music director and on the staff of a synodical resource center. The Olsons are the parents of two adult daughters.


About the Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, recipient:
The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones
The Rev. Dr. G. Daniel Jones is a tenured pastor, having served four congregations during his forty six year pastoral career, including two in Massachusetts and one in Virginia. For the last twenty nine years, he has been Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, Philadelphia, leading the congregation as it has grown theologically, programmatically, and fiscally, especially with respect to staff development, stewardship, missions, and outreach.

During his tenure, Dr. Jones has led Grace in being closely connected to The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Since 1991, Grace has hosted the annual inaugural worship of Preaching With Power. He became a member of the Urban Theological Institute Committee of Advisors (UTICA) in 1993, and served as UTICA Chair from 2003 until 2010. Dr. Jones has served as an adjunct Professor in Christian Education, and was the inaugural instructor in the Black Church certificate program offered by the UTI, teaching Church Administration. During Dr. Jones' UTICA chairmanship, the LTSP Board of Trustees approved the establishment of the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies, named the UTI endowed scholarship fund for the the late Rev. Joseph Q. Jackson, former pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Germantown, staffed two succeeding Directors of the UTI Program, and staffed the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Associate Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies.

Dr. Jones remains a strong advocate for the mission of LTSP, and was named Chair Emeritus of UTICA. Grace Church thus far has made the largest cumulative financial gift of any local congregation toward funding the Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies. Dr. Wright was Pastor Jones' predecessor, having served Grace Church for 42 years. Grace Church also served as a host for the 25th and 30th Anniversary Celebrations of UTI, in 2005 and 2010 respectively.

Dr. Jones is also an adjunct professor of the Center for Urban Theological Studies, a division of Geneva College. As has been the case with LTSP/UTI during his present pastorate, while pastor in Virginia Dr. Jones served almost ten years as an instructor in the Evening College of Norfolk State University, and was a member of the Portsmouth School Board. During his Massachusetts's pastorates, he was a certified tenured secondary mathematics teacher in Plymouth County. Within Dr. Jones' denomination, The American Baptist Churches, USA (ABC USA), he is the former National President of the 6100 member Ministers Council, the ABC USA professional organization for ordained church leaders. Locally, he was the first President and principal organizer of two local ministers councils, the American Baptist Churches of the South and the American Baptist Churches of Philadelphia and Vicinity, known as the Philadelphia Baptist Association. He is also a former moderator of the Philadelphia Association, the oldest regional covenanted consortium of churches in the USA. He currently serves as Vice President of the Baptist Pastors and Ministers Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity, and is the long term Vice President of the Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia.

For over 20 years, Dr. Jones served as Vice Chair of the Baptist-sponsored Annual City Wide Revival. He was the first non-Lutheran Pastor/Clergy to serve on the Board of Directors of the now merged Germantown Lutheran Home, a local retirement complex. He contributed to the following publications:
  • Women to Preach or Not to Preach. "Era", 1991, by Dr. Ella Mitchell; 
  • From Proclamation to Practice. "AIDS and the Stewardship of AID", 1993, by Dr. Clifford A. Jones, Sr. 
  • From One Brother to Another. "The African American Brother in the Context of Creation and Humanity". Vol. I, 1996, by the late Dr. Robert Johnson Smith, II and Reverend William J. Key, all published by Judson Press; 
  • Minister to Minister. 2001, a devotional guide published by the Ministers Council, ABC USA and more recently 
  • Rising From The Rails. 2004, by Larry Tye, published by Henry Holt and Co., LLC. 
  • American Baptist Quarterly. "Jubilee: To Free the Enslaved and Proclaim Liberty to the Captives", Vol. XVIII, March 1991. No.1 
Dr. Jones earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Richmond Virginia's Virginia Union University. His first professional degree, a Master of Divinity, was earned at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, and his Doctorate of Ministry from Howard University Divinity School, Washington, DC. His doctoral thesis was entitled "Educational Ministries in the Black Baptist Churches of Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia." Further graduate studies include work matriculated at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut; Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia; and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary). His alma mater, Virginia Union University, conferred upon him the honorary Doctor of Divinity, Honoris Causa, in 2006.

Dr. Jones is married to the former Ms. Geraldine Saunders, MSW (LCSW), and they are the parents of one son, Mr. Bryant Daniel Jones, BA, who is married to the former Ms. Dean Cameron.

The Rev. Bruce H. Davidson, MDiv ’74: 2011 Alumnus/a Award for Distinguished Service

ThThe Rev. Bruce Davidsone Rev. Bruce H. Davidson, class of 1974, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Davidson, a resident of Stockton, New Jersey, is being recognized for his commitment to parish ministry as well as his visionary leadership for 10 years as director of the Lutheran Office for Governmental Ministry (LOGM/NJ), where he served as an advocate to public officials and congregations on behalf of the poor, homeless and disenfranchised before retiring this year. Prior to his appointment to LOGM/NJ, he served as pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Wildwood, New Jersey (1974-1981); pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Teaneck, NJ (1981-1992); as director of the Lutheran HIV/AIDS Ministry of NJ ( July 1992-June 1996) and as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Summit, NJ, in an intentional three-year- interim call as full-time senior pastor and head of staff.

Recipient of many honors and awards over the years, Davidson received two appointments from former New Jersey Gov. John Corzine: the Housing Transition Team and the New Jersey Inter-Agency Team on Preventing and Reducing Homelessness. He is a founding member of the New Jersey Advocacy Network to End Homelessness, the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey and the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.

Davidson credits the clarity of biblical and theological teaching at LTSP in aiding him to communicate clearly to others, including sometimes unchurched politicians, the essential importance of justice through serving others. “I learned in the process of responding to my call to serve as a pastor that God has first loved and forgiven me unconditionally, and that truth has given me the freedom to be part of a plan to encourage us to love one another. If God can use me in service this way, then God can use anybody.” He recalls seminary professors like Ted Tappert and Robert Hughes teaching him about what it means to be a faithful believer.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

May Fest at the Seminary! Friday, May 20


Celebrate Commencement and the end of the semesterMay Fest at the Seminary!
Friday, May 20 – 6:30 - 9 pm

on the LTSP campus

• Food and Refreshment! picnic fare

Foot long hot dogs, Grilled hamburgers with all the fixings, Grilled chicken breast smothered in a hickory smoked sauce, BBQ veggie burgers, Emmett’s famous potato salad, Pasta salad, Fresh garden salad with two dressings, Greek salad, Cous Cous salad, Seasonal sliced fresh fruit, Assorted Cookies, Bottled water and assorted sodas

• Beer! available to those 21

• Music! by the Groove Daemons

click a category to order online - be sure to see notes below

General Admission: $18

Beer ticket (for those 21 and over, ID required): $5

Advance tickets for Graduating Seniors: free 
LTSP Students, Faculty, Staff, Family members: $10 
Beer ticket (for those 21 and over, ID required): $5

LTSP advance tickets through the website require entering
your LTSP email username and password before you can complete the form

 tickets day of event will be available on site: $18, beer $5

Notes:
  • Tickets can also be purchased from Alice Popovic in the Enrollment Services, 10 am to 12:30 pm and 1:30 pm to 4 pm Monday - Friday
  • Checks payable to LTSP or exact amount (I do not have change) 
  • Tickets ordered online -- print out and bring confirmation sheet in order to pick up tickets
  • Graduating Seniors can pick up tickets the same day they pick up gowns (date to be announced)
  • Tickets can be picked up in Enrollment Services until Monday, May 16 -- after this date, tickets will need to be purchased on Commencement Day (May 20) on campus at ticket booth