Story Magazine - First Quarter, 2005

David Tiede: Churchwide and Community Leader

With students, 2003

David Tiede has a large vision of theological education, larger than any one theological school. It is formed by what he has done at Luther Seminary, but he understands theological education across denominations and the varying contexts in which this education occurs in North America. That broad vision is very important in his leadership at ATS. David was president of ATS from 2002-04, and now chairs our personnel committee and serves on our executive committee until 2006. His work here has given him an opportunity to contribute to the leadership of theological education as a whole.

- Daniel Aleshire, executive director of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS)

David Tiede has been a leading member of In Trust's board of directors since 1999. He knows our purposes, and believes in our mission to enhance the state of governance in North American theological education. I have known David since the late 1980s. I am convinced that his commitment to good governance grows out of his experience at Luther Seminary, especially during the turbulent days of ecclesial reorganization. He understood the precious links between church and seminary grounded in Luther and Northwestern's long histories in their former Lutheran denominations, and could envision a new relationship for a new denomination.

David was able to deepen this wisdom as president of the ATS where he co-authored with our board chair, Robert Cooley, the accrediting standards on theological school governance. David is a leading figure in the movement to elevate governance to greater prominence among seminary leaders as an art and a skill.

- Christa Klein, president of In Trust, Inc.

David is viewed as a president's president. He is universally respected because he is an excellent scholar and teacher, a very skilled administrator, an excellent fundraiser, and a real churchman, and in addition to all ofthat he has wisdom ... All of us in seminary leadership look to him as one of the real leaders in theological education ... David thinks not just about administrative leadership but also intellectual leadership. He takes his own seminary seriously and the Lutheran tradition seriously, but he thinks about higher education and theological education in general, and constantly points us to the big picture.

- Richard Mouw, president, Fuller Seminary, Pasadena, Calif.

David Tiede is a persistent champion of collaborative work and creative, cutting-edge thinking about how the eight seminaries of the ELCA can do more working together than any ofthem could do alone. He also is held in high regard in the wider world of theological education; he is an experienced elder statesman. He recently completed a two-year term as president of the Association of Theological Schools. He is helping other schools through his accumulated wisdom and his leadership role with organizations that think about theological education. He is trusted and respected.

- Phyllis Anderson, president, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary

A group called On Our Watch is made up of presidents of Lutheran institutions in this area. David was one of the early people involved in this group. We get together about three or four times a year to talk about the common issues that we face even though the institutions are very different. We also have collaborated on the Faith in the City initiative, which focuses on how these Lutheran institutions can have an impact on the city.

Our goal was to bring them together and to have an impact bigger than any of us could have individually for people who really needed our help. How can we help the residents of the poorest neighborhoods of Minneapolis? The people who started these Lutheran institutions years ago came out of these neighborhoods. David was our chair and guided it through its initial stages. We are starting some really interesting things such as a charter school and a financial center to give help to the working poor. David has been influential with this group since its infancy.

- Bruce Nicholson, president and CEO, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Luther Seminary board member