Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Message

LTSP Christmas 2013
And the Word became flesh and lived among us,           
and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son,

full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Dear Friends,
All of us at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia greet you at Christmas with the good news that because the Word became flesh you are also God's child.
A Blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with the assurance of God's love,

President Philip Krey  

Philip Krey 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

PS Portions: A Taste of Seminary Happenings, December 2013

PS Portions

A Taste of Seminary Happenings

December 2013

From President Phil Krey 
Celebrating a Good Year in God's Grace

As the calendar year draws to a close, a new church year begins as we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. At the seminary we have been celebrating a good year in God's grace. 
     On Saturday, December 7, the evening and weekend students had a great covered dish luncheon filled with good cheer. We had a lovely Advent Vespers and reception Sunday, December 8, even though we missed many of our friends because, as a seasonal song suggests, "the weather outside was frightful." On December 20 the whole campus will gather in fun and fellowship around good food. 
     We ask God's blessings upon you in this season of Advent as we await God's grace in the gift of God's son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Read more from President Krey...
Brossman Learning Center conference room dedicated in honor of Dr. Addie J. Butler

Dr. Addie ButlerDr. Addie J. Butler hopes that the dedication in her honor of a conference room at the seminary will inspire students to lead significant lives of service in the church. 
      "When they think of me, I hope they will think of what is possible in their lives as disciples of Jesus," said Butler, described by seminary President Philip D.W. Krey as "a long-time great friend and donor to LTSP." The room, 217, the conference room across the hall from the Kaufmann Enrollment Services offices in The Brossman Learning Center, was dedicated Saturday, December 14 with a celebration in Butler's honor. Learn more about Dr. Butler...
Timothy Wengert's final word: A pep talk from Luther for today's Church

Prof. Timothy WengertPerhaps New Jersey Pastor and LTSP alumnus Kent Klophaus said it best after hearing Professor Timothy Wengert's pre-retirement farewell remarks, a reflection for today's church on Reformer Martin Luther's most popular tract, The Freedom of a Christian. "That was a pep talk for the church's rostered leaders,"Klophaus said, "a chance to regroup and get regrounded."
      Hundreds of alumni and friends constituting an overflow audience crammed the Schaeffer-Ashmead Memorial Chapel and paid tribute to Wengert before and after his remarks with lengthy applause. Read the story, watch the video and see photos from the day...

LTSP Hits the Road!

Pr. Greg Brown and LTSP's Tom HendersonThanks to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America grant initiative "Stewards of Abundance," a visiting team from LTSP, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, traveled to Rochester, New York, for a weekend with prospective students and congregations.
     Twenty nine people, including visit team members, local clergy hosts, inquiring students, attended the Saturday prospective student dinner. On Sunday morning, local pastors coordinated travel for the Philadelphia team to visit six area congregations for "Seminary Sunday."
     Thanks to the generosity of the ELCA and the Lilly Endowment Inc., five more "Seminary Blitz" weekends are being planned in 2014. Learn more about the New York adventure, and coming road trips...

Other December items of interest:

Register early for Rest, Refreshment and Renewal
April 12, 2014
The Thread That Binds
The Thread that Binds: 150 Years of Woman in Ministry is the theme. Registration makes a perfect gift for
the women in your life


LTSP Spring Christian Education Seminars start in January
Spring Seminars in Christian Education

Come test the waters:
Wet Toes Weekend
A Front-page Prayer 
The New York Times front page on December 2 featured a photo of New York City Fire Chaplain and LTSP DMin student Stephen Harding praying over a victim of the Metro-North commuter train derailment. Click for details and a link to the photo on the NY Times website.
A heartwarming letter of gratitude 
from Sister Mindy Welding of Chestnut Hill College highly praised LTSP's hospitality in hosting this year's Interfaith Hospitality Network Empty Bowl Dinner.

LTSP celebrated the season with two weekend events, the Annual Tree Lighting on December 6 and 
the Annual Advent Vespers on December 8. 
Inclement weather couldn't stop either event

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries Receives Lilly Endowment Grant to Improve the Economic Well-Being of Future Ministers

The Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries is pleased to announce that it has received another major grant from the Lilly Endowment. In response to the Cluster’s proposal, The Abundant Life: Seminaries Address the Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers, the Endowment awarded a grant of $750,000, to be utilized over a three-year period. The Cluster, which is an incorporated entity of two Pennsylvania seminaries (Gettysburg and Philadelphia) and a South Carolina school of theology (Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University), has garnered previous Lilly Endowment grants for its successful Project Connect vocations outreach project. Additional grants to the Cluster from the Luce, Teagle and Thrivent Financial foundations bring total receipts from external sources to over $6 million.

An overarching component of The Abundant Life endeavor will be research to determine the overall impact on Lutheran ministers of beginning their careers with a heavy load of debt accrued during undergraduate and theological studies. While previous studies have determined that a new minister can realistically support loan payments on educational debt in the realm of $30,000, many graduate from seminary with two or three times that amount. Through survey instruments and personal interviews with all graduates of the past five years, as well as members of congregations they serve, the Cluster’s leaders will learn the full extent of the impact caused by high levels of educational debt.

Five experimental initiatives envisioned at the three schools will help reduce costs of theological education. All three schools will strengthen courses in stewardship and expand financial coaching so that every student has access to personal counseling in managing money, minimizing expenses, and becoming stronger leaders in congregational stewardship. Each school will use a portion of the grant to revise and streamline the educational process; for many students, the time required to complete a Master of Divinity may be shortened by a semester or more, thereby reducing the overall cost of preparing to serve as an ordained minister. The schools will also develop new grant-supported fundraising efforts to build their scholarship pools and offer greater financial aid to students with need. Philadelphia will pioneer a Flexible, Affordable, Relevant (FAR) curricular approach; at Gettysburg, many students will shorten their time in seminary through a competencies-based approach in which they can meet requirements on the basis of prior educational or vocational credentials; Southern Seminary will pilot test an “articulation” agreement with Lenoir-Rhyne University through which some students may substantially shorten their total years spent in undergraduate and theological education.

Each school will have a site director for its distinctive endeavors and to work collegially in the Cluster-wide research project. Overall direction of The Abundant Life project will be by the Rev. Dr. Philip D.W. Krey, current Executive Director of the Eastern Cluster and president at Philadelphia. Speaking of the excitement at all three campuses upon receiving notification of the Lilly Endowment award, Krey said, “We are again thrilled that the Lilly Endowment recognizes the excellence in which the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries collaborates in imaginative ways to improve theological education for leaders of congregations. We are so proud of all who worked so tirelessly together at the three schools for this successful proposal and are even more thankful for the confidence that the Lilly Endowment has afforded us. We are already hard at work to make this grant another banner Eastern Cluster program.”

About the Eastern Cluster

The Cluster is an incorporated entity of two Pennsylvania seminaries (Gettysburg and Philadelphia) and a South Carolina school of theology (Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University). Through the Cluster, the three schools field common programs, coordinate academic offerings (including a Doctor of Ministry degree, preparation for Diaconal Ministers, and a common library system) and share faculty and administrative resources. In the course of its 15-year history,y it has garnered previous Lilly Endowment grants for its successful Project Connect vocations outreach project. Additional grants to the Cluster from the Luce, Teagle and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans foundations bring total receipts from external sources to over $6 million.

About the Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family — J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli — through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. The Endowment exists to support the causes of religion, education and community development. Lilly Endowment’s religion grantmaking is designed to deepen and enrich the religious lives of American Christians. It does this largely through initiatives to enhance and sustain the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes.  More information can be found at

Monday, December 16, 2013

PS Portions December coming soon!

The latest PS Portions is coming, with reports on recent seminary events, honoring past Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Addie Butler, and. more.

You'll find it here and in your email. Look for it this week!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Christ is Coming Soon! The Annual Advent Vespers Dec 8

Advent Vespers 2013 - Christ is coming soon!

The annual Advent Vespers will be held Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm. The service is free and open to the public.

The Service of Evening Prayer will feature beautiful candle light and music for choir and assembly from across the globe and from many centuries. The choir will sing “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” written by a leading North American Lutheran, Paul Manz, and first published in 1954. This beautiful motet provides the theme for this year’s vespers, “Christ Is Coming Soon!”

Other pieces for choir and assembly include an anonymous 9th century Latin hymn; Advent music from Korea, 16th century Germany, 18th and 20th century England, and 20th century North America; several Spirituals; and a setting of the Magnificat by Joseph Barnby (1838 – 1896).

Advent Vespers is led by the seminary choir under the direction of Dr. Michael Krentz, LTSP Director of Music Ministries and Seminary Cantor.

Join us for Advent Vespers at Grace Epiphany Episcopal Church, 224 East Gowen Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119, a short walk from the seminary. Parking is available on the seminary campus - see this page for links to directions to the seminary and campus parking information. Follow this link (opens a new browser window) for a Google map with Grace Epiphany's location highlighted. Limited street parking is also available in the neighborhood near the church.

Download a poster (pdf) and share this event with others.

Annual Tree Lighting Dec 6 on William Allen Plaza

Start Mt. Airy December First Friday at the Tree Lighting at William Allen Plaza

Friday, December 6, 2013, 6 pm
William Allen Plaza on the LTSP Campus
7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt Airy, Philadelphia

  • Caroling
  • Refreshments
  • Christmas Ensemble from the Salvation Army, Philadelphia Citadel
  • Bring unwrapped toys for children ages newborn to 12 years
Start off your holiday season on William Allen Plaza on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) with a Tree Lighting and Carol Sing! Join the community on Friday, December 6 at 6 pm at the plaza, next to the Schaeffer-Ashmead chapel at the southwest corner of the LTSP campus, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Mt. Airy, Philadelphia. There is free parking on campus adjacent to The Brossman Center. The celebration is free and open to the public, and will be held rain, clear or snow!

New, unwrapped toys appropriate for children ages newborn to 12 will be collected for the Salvation Army's Stockings for Kids program, see the list of suggested items below. Toys can also be dropped off at The Brossman Center.

Sponsored by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Suggested Holiday Items
  • Age 0-1 (Boy or Girl) Teether, Rattles, Bibs, Baby Wipes, Lotions, Shampoo, Brushes, Soft Toys, Stuffed Animals, Bath Toys, Socks, Hats, T-Shirts, Sleepers
  • Age 2-3 (Boy or Girl) Dolls, Beanie Babies, Boats, Cars, Books, Little People, Lego Set, Bath Toys, Socks, Mittens, Caps, T-Shirts, Educational Aid Toys
  • Age 4-7 (Girl) Ink Pads, Stamps, Crayons, Clay, Lego Sets, Jump Ropes, Jacks, Stickers, Hats, Gloves, Beanie Babies, Doll Clothes, Scrunchies, Barrettes
  • Age 4-7 (Boy) Fun Pad, DVDs, Crayons, Coloring Books, Hand-Held Games, Puzzles, Lego Sets, Action Figures, Baseball Cards
  • Age 8-10 (Girl) School Supplies, DVDs, Puzzles, Books, Scarves, Hats, Gloves, Jewelry, Stuffed Animals, Barbie Dolls, Clothes, Paint Set, Markers, Colored Pencils, Legos
  • Age 8-10 (Boy) School Supplies, Hand-Held Electronic Games, Hats, Gloves, Airplane Kits, Action Figures, Puzzles, Dominoes, Nerf Footballs, Legos
  • Age 11+ (Girl) DVDs, CDs, Radios, Books, Card Games, Fast Food Certificates, School Supplies, Calculators, Brushes, Combs, Soap, Lotions, MP3 Players
  • Age 11+ (Boy) DVDs, CDs, Electronic Games, Calculators, Books, Card Games, Fast Food Certificates, School Supplies, Baseball Caps and Gloves, MP3 Players

Counting Our Blessings

Dear Friends:

President Philip Krey
If you are like me, you have many blessings for which to thank God this day - maybe more than you can count. This is a wonderful time to give thanks for all God has done for us at LTSP.

I'm giving thanks for all the faithful years of service by Professors Timothy Wengert and Robin Mattison, whose distinguished years of service are coming to a close in 2013. I'm thankful for the wonderful relationships we have with our supporting synods of Region 7 and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, especially the candidacy committees through Pastor Peggy Wuertele. I'm giving thanks for our dedicated alumni who serve all around the region, the nation, and the world. I'm thankful for our friends and donors who support us in prayer and financial support, and our boards, faculty, and staff who all help to prepare amazing students to be public leaders for the church and the world.

I thank God as we at the seminary are having a good and blessed year, and we thank you for being part of it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Philip Krey   
Philip Krey
President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

P.S. We invite you to join us to celebrate and give thanks for our community at the Annual Tree Lighting on William Allen Plaza, Friday, December 6 at 6 pm. Come for caroling, fellowship, and the lighting ceremony, and bring a toy - or several - for a child in need. More information is at

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

LTSP's Ministry and Mission: Considerations this #Giving Tuesday

This #Giving Tuesday, please consider a gift to help lighten the debt burden of seminary education for our students.

Consider the thoughts of this year's Soli Deo Gloria Award recipients, seminary donors Helga and Reinhard Schwartz:

"Our parents stressed four priorities, and these were very important in our lives: Education, a Christian faith, caring for the sick, and hard work. We feel a donation to the Lutheran Seminary [at] Philadelphia is most appropriate ... We are happy to be able to do this, thanks to the gifts which were bestowed upon us by the Grace of God."

Pr. Tricia Neale (image from Consider how seminary graduates apply their education to carry out ministry in the world. Graduates like the Rev. Tricia Neale (MDiv 2007), whose ministry The Philadelphia Inquirer recognized with a front page story in its Thanksgiving edition - read it here.

Consider how LTSP seminarians and seminary graduates touch your life and the lives of those around you. Consider how you can help by making a gift on #Giving Tuesday. Share this, along with your story, with your friends by clicking on the sharing icons at the top of this email, and the Share this Message link below. Be sure to share your story, too, at

Thank you, and blessings in this Advent season.