E-lert

August 2014

The first 60 days

Aug. 1 marked my first two months as president of Luther Seminary. The time has been engaging and has gone quickly. Thank you for making my first 60 days so enjoyable. I have been welcomed by faculty, staff, students, our boards and the larger community.

I have engaged in a rich diversity of conversations and learnings. I am building relationships, listening carefully and identifying our strengths. It is clear that we need to focus on becoming the kind of nimble, innovative teaching and learning institution that will lead to long-term sustainability for the mission of the seminary.

In these early days, I feel like I'm drinking from a fire hose—but it's a welcome challenge. I am hopeful that we will find a sustainable future. This hope lies in the power of God's Holy Spirit to stir in us an openness to new ways of serving the mission. We are blessed with many talented, faithful and wise people associated with Luther Seminary.

Our students are interested in doing God's work in the world. They're committed to this academically rigorous education, and ready for the challenges that may follow as they answer their calls to ministry. They take their education seriously and demonstrate the creativity needed to faithfully bear witness to God's work in the world.

Our faculty members are a committed group of scholars and theologians. I have heard many of them teaching on campus this summer with our D.Min. and Ph.D. students, our distributed learning students in an intensive residency and in the many continuing educational and lifelong learning events hosted on campus. 

Our staff members are also called to their work here. They lead, support and encourage those around them. They have remained steadfast through numerous changes and challenges, because they love and are deeply committed to the church and this place.

Our board members and trustees were here for a mid-summer meeting as they tend to the overall stewardship of the institution. They are a dedicated group who bring deep wisdom and experience as we explore multiple paths to fulfilling our mission to educate leaders.

Our donors, alumni and friends are also essential to our work. You give of yourselves in so many ways. Thank you for partnering with us as we strive to educate leaders for Christian communities. It has been a delight to receive notes from pastors and diaconal ministers across the country, most unknown to me but strong supporters of the seminary. Thank you for your commitment to keep us in your prayers.