Saturday, February 15, 2014

PS Portions: February 2014

PS Portions

A Taste of Seminary Happenings

From President Phil Krey 
So Much to Celebrate
As I read this month's stories, I am reminded again we have so much to celebrate.
     Our Adult Learning program has taken a new approach by being both in classroom and online - offering learners a choice that works best for them. The first offering was a top rated success, and this spring's with retired Professor Richard Stewart offers much the same. 
     We celebrate the Urban Theological Institute in several ways every year, including the coming Preaching with Power. UTI co-founder the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Gladys Willis, a UTI alumna, share their story and remembrances of the UTI.
     The generosity of donors, individuals and congregations, who support the students at LTSP is a constant cause to celebrate, and this month we celebrate a $10,000 gift from St. Luke Lutheran Church in Devon, PA - a gift which will benefit African American Lutheran students.
     That is just a sampling of what we have to celebrate. Read more from President Krey...
Two dreams come true...
Drs. Andrew and Gladys Willis"It's been a dream come true to see the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) at the seminary become such a success," said the Rev. Dr. Andrew Willis, co-founder of UTI some 35 years ago with friend and colleague the late Rev. Randolph Jones, a United Methodist pastor. "The idea had a lot of critics, and many thought it would never work."
     The formation and success of UTI was just one of many dreams realized by Dr. Willis and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Gladys Willis, as they have shared their many dreams and accomplishments. Read more about their dreams fulfilled ...

The value of Islamic Studies at LTSP
The Rev. Dr. David GraftonWhy does a Lutheran seminary - like The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) - have a program of Islamic Studies?
      "That's a good question," said the Rev. Dr. David Grafton, who joined the LTSP faculty seven years ago to direct such an initiative as well as to head up the seminary's Graduate School. 
Louise Johnson embraces historic leadership role

The Rev. Louise JohnsonTwo decades ago, the Rev. Louise N. Johnson could not have imagined herself serving LTSP as Vice President for Mission Advancement, using her writing and analytical skills in a post created last October to implement a new institution-wide assessment process for the seminary.
     In thinking about her new role, and the seminary she serves, she is in the right place at the right time. "We are learning to think differently," she explained. "We have an incredible opportunity to wonder how God is changing us." 
Johns Island: A Photo Essay
Last month's PS Portions shared the story of the annual student service trip to Johns Island, led by LTSP professor Robert Robinson.
     The group has returned to begin spring semester, and they share some of their experience in this photo essay ...
New! Check out Class Notes, a new feature in PS Portions which will share stories about LTSP's alumni and friends. You're an important part of Class Notes - we welcome you to share your own stories!

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Adult Learning Opportunity starting March 8: CONGREGATIONS: Where Old & New Communications Strategies Merge

LTSP Adult Learning - Congregational Communications

CONGREGATIONS: Where Old and New
Communications Strategies Merge

Social and "Old" Media for the 21st Century

with instructor the Rev. Dr. Richard Stewart, Retired LTSP Associate Professor; Interim Pastor, Christ Lutheran Church, Upper Darby
Five consecutive Saturdays, March 8 to April 12,
live on the LTSP campus from 10 am to noon
and flexible* online - the choice is yours!

Newletters, bulletins, bulletin boards, radio, newspapers, email, web sites, blogs, video, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo, RSS Feed, MySpace, etc. Welcome to communicating and connecting in the 21st Century!

On five successive Saturday mornings, we will explore how congregations can connect and communicate with the multiple generations that are being encountered in congregational life.

In some 20 odd years of teaching during the growth of the use of computers, Pr. Stewart has found that the adaptability of people in the pews varies not necessarily according to age but according to interest in – or ability to ignore – methods used by congregations to communicate. This course is valuable to all leaders in congregational life who are responsible to communicate, those who must “Speak” on multiple levels in order to reach all of the Children of God.

Before his retirement, Pr. Stewart was Associate Professor of Communications and Parish Administration at LTSP. His doctoral dissertation, "A History of the Use of Technology in Education at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia," was a study of the use of technology in the theological education setting. You can join Dr. Stewart in one of two ways:
  • Live on the LTSP Campus over five consecutive Saturdays, March 8 to April 12, 2014, from 10 am to noon. Join Dr. Stewart live in the classroom to learn and share with class colleagues.
  • Online for five weeks beginning March 3. View course videos, participate in discussions forums with class colleagues, and other activities.
  • *Flexible means you can attend in whatever way works best for you. You can choose each week - in the classroom, online, a combination of both - for a single registration!
At the end of the successfully completed series, each participant will receive a certificate of completion or one CEU if requested.

Videos will also be available separately for congregations that wish to use them for their own study programs.

The cost for the course is $200 for individuals enrolling for flexible classroom or online study - a single registration covers both. The cost for congregational groups of two or more will be $275 per group.

Register online here.

For more information, contact Kathleen A. Afflerbach, Coordinator, 215.248.6324 or

Presented in partnership with Adult Lutherans Organized for Action (ALOA).

What attendees have said about their adult learning experience at LTSP:

  • "Please grow this type of learning opportunity!"
  • "We all need to know more as we grow in faith."
  • "It's great to be able to review the class online if you cannot attend. It also acts as a great review."
  • "It was good to know that if I couldn't attend the class I coulod do the work [online]. Several people took advantage of online because of scheduling conflicts."

More learning opportunities are available - check out the options on our Take a Course at LTSP page.

Friday, February 07, 2014

LTSP Hit Hard by Ice Storm

ice storm 1 Dear Friends,

As was the case for many in the Northeast, the seminary campus was hit hard yesterday in the ice storm. We opened two hours late but had to close the school after Chapel and lunch at the request of security because it was too dangerous. 

Trees, branches, power lines, and other utility lines were coming down at such a rapid rate it was alarming. Some branches and trees fell onto or scraped against buildings, taking down lights, gutters, and trim. At least four major trees fell or were uprooted and scores of large and smaller branches were strewn all over the campus taking utility lines down with them. 

ice storm 3Our maintenance and security teams have done another heroic job in keeping us safe during a series of storms. There was hardly a sidewalk that was passable yesterday morning. Now all are cleared.

Thank God there have been no injuries or power outages even though many of our staff and faculty who live off campus do not have power. 

Hurricanes have not done as much damage. It is a little overwhelming to see how much clean up and repair need to be done. Please keep us and all in the Northeast who are without power in this cold weather in your prayers.

In Christ Jesus,

President Philip Krey

ice storm 2
ice storm 4

PS Portions January 2014: A Taste of Seminary Happenings

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PS Portions

A Taste of Seminary Happenings

January 2014

From President Phil Krey 
Stories of Perseverance

The stories in this edition of PS Portions are about perseverance in doing good, rooted in a deep faith and trust in God.
     We recall a sermon by Pr. John Hoffmeyer noted that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in the habit of preaching on "love of enemy" at least once a year. 
     Pr. Robert B. Robinson describes how for 16 years a student-led trip to rebuild houses and buildings Johns Island, South Carolina, is an experience students and the Gullah of the island do not forget. 
     Pr. Katie Day talks about finding "energy and imagination" to end poverty. We share a story of perseverance in ministry despite debilitating illness. 
     I also note the passing of long time LTSP Trustee Dr. Robert Blanck. His many contributions to this school, the greater church, and the world will be long remembered. Read more from President Krey...

Preacher John Hoffmeyer recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of love for enemies

Prof. John Hoffmeyer
The words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech are probably the most likely words of Dr. King's to be recalled at his January 15 birthday and the January 20 Day of Service observed in his honor, noted the Rev. Dr. John Hoffmeyer during his chapel sermon at LTSP on King's birthday. Read more about Pr. Hoffmeyer's remarks...

Finding "energy and imagination" to end poverty

Prof. Katie Day LTSP Professor Katie Day reflects on the complex and deepening predicament of poverty 50 years after U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in America.           
     Faith-based advocates have felt like lone voices in the wilderness for years, trying to get policy makers to focus on the reality of poverty in the U.S., as well as around the globe. Yet is like, suddenly, everyone from President Obama to the Republican leadership is currently focusing on the increasing economic disparity in our country.
     Professor Day reflects on the challenges we face in persevering to end poverty ...

Johns Island: A tradition of January service by seminarians to neighbors in the south

Students at the saw stationSixteen years ago, a group of great students at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) became concerned about the burning of churches in the south and wanted to help rebuild. Rural Mission, an organization on Johns Island, just outside of Charleston, South Carolina, had a ministry of rebuilding and repairing houses for residents of the island, many of them elderly, who could not afford to fix up their own places. The students jumped at the opportunity and began a tradition that continues through today.

Persistent and courageous in ministry despite severe illness

Pr. Walter Hermanns at IsaiahThe Rev. Walter Hermanns, a 1987 alumnus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) who served courageously and with grace and dignity as a parish pastor in Racine, Wisconsin, despite a battle with Multiple Sclerosis, died December 12, 2013.
     His is a story of persistence and courage as he brought the Good News of Jesus Christ to many, including those with illness and disability. 
Join us for the first Augustana Institute at LTSP Lectureship featuring  keynote presenter noted ecumenist Bishop Jonas Jonson

Bishop Jonas Jonson

Saturday, March 22
Learn more and register online
Rest, Refreshment and Renewal April 12, 2014
Early registration discount ends January 31
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
Preaching with Power 2014
Preaching with Power: 
A Forum on Black Preaching and Theology 
returns for the 32nd year Sunday, March 9 - Thursday, March 13


Come test the waters: 

Wet Toes Weekend