Thursday, July 11, 2013

Philip D.W. Krey plans to step down as Lutheran Seminary President at the end of 2014

Accomplishments over 15 years include The Brossman Learning Center construction and expanding seminary’s public presence

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 26, 2013) — The Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, will step down from his post as president of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) at the end of 2014. Krey announced his decision to the seminary’s Board of Trustees during a meeting on campus this week. Founded in 1864, LTSP is one of eight seminaries affiliated nationally with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, its parent denomination headquartered in Chicago. The school has about 350 students and offers the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Arts in Public Leadership, Master of Sacred Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and PhD degrees. Students from some 30 Christian affiliations have studied at LTSP. Most seek training to serve as rostered or professional church leaders, such as pastors, educators, social service agency leaders, or directors of music.

“I told the Board that I wanted to continue my service until after the seminary’s 150th anniversary celebration in October of 2014,” Krey said. “I began serving as president in December 1999, and I really think 15 years as president is long enough. I did the same thing as pastor of Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Baltimore, serving until its 150th anniversary, so I guess you could say I am a creature of habit.” He said he will concentrate on a growing list of academic projects when he returns to the faculty.

“The seminary is a distinctly different place than it was when Krey assumed the presidency,” said the Rev. Dr. John Richter, Board Chair. “He brought terrific energy and vision to his responsibilities. The seminary campus was transformed under his leadership with the construction of the high-tech Brossman Learning Center, the school’s first building dedicated exclusively to classrooms. He spearheaded the seminary’s greater connection to the public square on neighborhood, city, and Commonwealth levels. He oversaw several curriculum and accreditation reviews, led Master Plan initiatives through times of great change and challenge, and with the help of others energized the seminary’s financial support base. It is clear he has been a conscientious and committed steward of theological education in this place.”
Krey, the Ministerium of New York Professor of Early Church History at LTSP, carries an impressive academic portfolio in addition to his skills as an administrator. And he’s known for his passion for urban ministry. He is a member and co-founder of the Society for the Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages and has a special fascination for the history of the interpretation of the Book of Revelation. He has written and translated a medieval Franciscan’s Revelation Commentary, that of Nicholas of Lyra, who lived in the fourteenth century and is the author of several books including Martin Luther’s Spirituality, a translation, (Paulist Press, 2006). He has been vocal about the importance of rebuilding and renovating inner-city parishes and during his years in Philadelphia has served as mentoring or interim pastor for several Philadelphia Lutheran congregations. He is a co-founder of the Inner-City Ministers’ Guild, which meets four times a year for prayer, continuing education, accountability, and recruitment of urban pastors.

Krey joined the LTSP faculty in 1989 as Professor of Church History with tenure. He became dean of the seminary in October 1997. He has served on the Board of East Mount Airy Neighbors since 2002 and is a member of the Union League of Philadelphia.

Philip Krey earned his BA in English and Religion from the University of Massachusetts in 1972. He was awarded his MDiv in 1976 from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. In 1982 he received a Certificate in Organizational and Community Systems from Johns Hopkins University. He earned an MA in Early and Medieval Studies from the Catholic University of America and in 1990 he was awarded a PhD in the History of Christianity from the University of Chicago. He is also a Fulbright Fellow, having studied in that capacity at the University of Munich in 1988.

His spouse of 39 years, René Diemer, is the seminary’s registrar. They live in Philadelphia’s East Mt. Airy on the seminary’s campus. The couple has five adult children.

Letters to the seminary community from the Rev. Dr. John Richter, Chair of the Board of Trustees, and to the board from President Krey follow:

LTSP 150 Celebration
June 26, 2013

Dear Members of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia Community,

At a meeting of the Board of Trustees on June 26, 2013, President Krey submitted a letter indicating that he will step down as this seminary's leader on December 31, 2014. His letter to the Board is included below.

The Board expressed its heartfelt thanks to President Krey for his diligent and dedicated leadership of this seminary for the past 15 years. It is clear he has been a conscientious and committed steward of theological education in this place. There will be opportunities to express our gratitude in the days ahead.

The Board has begun planning for an orderly transition and tending to the many tasks involved in the search for and selection of the seminary's next leader. This process will involve the various stakeholders and constituencies of the seminary. We are committed to clear communication during this transition. Please watch for information on the search process in the coming weeks. We covet your support and invite your prayers.

In the meantime, there continue to be multiple issues the Board and entire seminary community will address. There are several challenges that will require action and decisions in the coming months. Determinations made in the days ahead will shape this school for decades to come.

In the midst of transition, our work continues. The Board and president pledge to work especially closely in the coming months, aware of the work we are called to in the present even as we plan for a new day. Please join with the Board and the president in seeking to faithfully guide our seminary into the future God sets before us.

With gratitude for the promises of God, and your continued partnership in our mission, 

The Rev. John C. Richter
Chair, Board of Trustees
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
LTSP Office of the President
Grace and Peace be to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dear members of the Board of Trustees,

As people admire the cross given to me by my dear faculty colleagues at my installation as president, I regularly share how proud I am to wear this gift in this great city. I will be honored to pass it on to someone who will steward this wonderful school into God's future. Today, I shared with the Board of Trustees that I long planned to step down as president soon after the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the seminary.

I began serving in December 1999, and as I plan to step down on December 31, 2014, fifteen years will be long enough. By God's grace I will entrust the beginning of the next 150 years to someone whom the Board invites to lead this wonderful school with its dedicated faculty and staff, amazing students, and superb boards and trustees. As a creature of habit I did the same at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Baltimore. I was able to serve as pastor until its 150th anniversary, and 28 years later it is still going strong. I have supported the three spectacular pastors who succeeded my ministry, and I pledge that the board and my successor at LTSP will receive my prayers and resolute financial support. 

In the days ahead, I will have plenty to do as I have a growing list of academic projects. I have enjoyed my service here and have valued the board's leadership and commitment. I am grateful to the seminary community for its trust in my stewardship. In the next eighteen months I pledge my focused attention and all my resources to fulfill the 150th anniversary initiative that is part of LTSP's Strategic Plan that holds great promise. It is my prayer that God will send us favorable winds. I thank God for each of you. May God continue to bless this wonderful school.

With thanksgiving in Christ Jesus, 

Philip D. Krey
President and Ministerium of New York Professor of Church History
June 26, 2013


Invictus said...

President Krey's contribution to the seminary will be always remembered. Had the opportunity to spend sometime with him in 2009. God's blessings on him as the plans for his next course of action.

Dr. Samuel George (Principal, Master's College of Theology, India)

Nancy Milleville said...

God bless your decision my friend. I'm sure that God will have more in mind for you! You have blessed the seminary and the future leaders of the Church.