|Dr. Michael Krentz, AIM|
Dr. Michael Krentz, AIM, has been appointed Director of the TEEM program at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) by seminary president the Rev. Dr. Philip Krey. In making the announcement, Dr. Krey noted, "We thank [previous director] Dr. Richard Stewart for his faithful leadership and stewardship of the program, a role which has come to an end with his retirement. Dr. Krentz will work with the Faculty, Dean Sebastian, and Pastor Peggy Wuertele, coordinator of Region 7 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), to coordinate the TEEM curriculum with the competencies required by the ELCA for the program." The appointment was made in consultation with seminary dean the Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian.
TEEM, or Theological Education for Emerging Ministries, is a special program of the ELCA for those who prepare for ordained ministry without receiving the traditional MDiv degree. The ELCA defines TEEM as "a process by which the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America approves for the roster of ordained ministers those persons 'who by reason of age and prior experience' (ELCA Constitution 7.31.14) are qualified to participate in an alternative program of preparation for ordination. It is for exceptional persons who are identified for ministry in a specific context and complete theological education (non-MDiv degree) and candidacy requirements."
The TEEM program is uniquely suited to a person identified to provide leadership in an emerging ministry in specific communities such as African American, Black, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, Arab Middle Eastern, deaf, and remote rural and inner city communities. The normal ELCA candidacy process is followed regarding Entrance, Endorsement, and Approval decisions once a person is recommended by an Initial Assessment Panel.
In addition to Dr. Krentz's appointment as director, Dean Sebastian appointed Dr. Erik Heen as chair of the TEEM Competencies Assessment and Theological Review Panel. Dr. Krey explained that the panel, in consultation with the ELCA Regional Coordinator, will meet with candidates seeking entrance onto the ELCA clergy roster to assess their theological backgrounds and to recommend any additional theological preparation that may be required. The panel will work with all TEEM candidates and their synods to shape their academic programs. In addition to Dr. Krentz and Dr. Heen, the panel includes LTSP faculty members the Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Wengert, the Rev. Dr. Robert Robinson, seminary chaplain the Rev. Dr. Nelson Rivera, and, when required, the Rev. Dr. David Grafton, the Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard, and Dean Sebastian.