Story Magazine

Third Quarter, 2006

Notes From the Mission Field: The Luther Community Affirms Next Step in Strategic Plan Process

by Richard Bliese, President and Associate Professor of Mission

The writing was on the wall: Board members, faculty, students and staff met around the lunch table to discuss challenges and opportunities for Luther Seminary. Each table then wrote or drew their findings on paper around the dining room.

The strategic planning process is alive and well! Two task forces have been working all summer to put together a draft of a possible process for strategic planning. I've been encouraged by the level of energy and commitment that has gone into the planning thus far. For strategic planning to work, it must first take strong involvement and support from the whole Luther community. The faculty met in retreat in September to discuss the strategic planning process. Here is a brief update from that meeting.

1. The mission statement was "exegeted" in detail. Each word and phrase from Luther Seminary's Mission Statement was unpacked for meaning and impact.

2. A second discussion involved both feedback from last year's "listening process" and a presentation about three Cs that inform the president's vision for the future. Those Cs name Luther Seminary as being
a. a Community of Hope,
b. a Catalyst for Change, Renewal and mission and, 3. Committed to being fully and intentionally Evangelical.

3. The third session took up the draft of the Strategic Planning Process for review and feedback. The retreat ended with a strong affirmation of the next steps of the process.

Next, the present draft for the strategic planning process went to the Board for discussion Oct. 21, and was unanimously approved.

Ken Inskeep, director of research and evaluation of the ELCA, presented a paper to our community Oct. 20. A community lunch and discussion of his paper followed. It was wonderful to see board members, faculty, students and staff putting their heads together to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Luther Seminary.

As we move forward with this process, your prayers, involvement and wisdom are appreciated.