Friday, July 12, 2013

Another Sem Bites the Dust.
ELCA Church Council approves seminary, university merger - News Releases - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Will WELS/ELS be able to sustain
three little colleges within one day's drive?


ELCA Church Council approves seminary, university merger - News Releases - Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

ELCA NEWS SERVICE
July 12, 2013
ELCA Church Council approves seminary, university merger
     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- In a move toward advancing sustainable theological education, the Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved July 11 a merger between Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., and California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, Calif. The Church Council serves as the ELCA board of directors.

     The merger is the result of conversations among university and seminary representatives who agreed that the two schools can best serve the ELCA’s work of theological education by moving toward a merger with the seminary becoming part of the university. [GJ - The seminary is broke but sitting on a goldmine - its land - just like Mequon.]

     “We believe that our integrity is well protected in the agreements that we’ve sent to you,” the Rev. Phyllis B. Anderson, president of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, told the council via teleconference.

     In recent years representatives of the ELCA’s eight seminaries have been working with one another and other partners to organize their educational and administrative work in ways that advance a wide-reaching and sustainable theological education network that meets the leadership needs of a “church in mission.” In this work, the ELCA’s 26 colleges and universities have emerged as important partners.

     A merger of an ELCA seminary and university occurred for the first time in 2011 between Lenoir-Rhyne University, Hickory, N.C., and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.

     In his report to the council, ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson reported on the approval of the first eight members of an ELCA Theological Education Advisory Council. The denomination is committed to addressing in a holistic way issues on theological education, leadership development, candidacy, call and rostered leaders.

     In other business the council:

+ Elected the Rev. Marit Bakken, Black River Falls, Wis., to the council for a term ending in 2015. Bakken is a student at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

+ Recommended that 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly consider the “Book of Faith” initiative as a continuing emphasis and priority in this church. The 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly will gather Aug. 12-17 in Pittsburg. The 2007 assembly established the initiative designed to encourage deeper engagement with the Bible.

+ Received an update on the development of the ELCA churchwide organization strategic plan for 2014 to 2016.

+ Received an update from the Rev. Jeffrey D. Thiemann, president and CEO of Portico Benefits Services -- the ELCA’s healthcare provider. Portico representatives attended 52 of the 65 ELCA synod assemblies this year to assist with transition and rollout of new plans in anticipation of the Healthcare Reform Act.

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God's work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

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