Students sitting outside Bockman

Story Magazine

Fall 2017

Re-forming Theological Education: Disruption in Service to the Gospel

by President Robin Steinke

President Steinke

Dear Friends,

The story in Acts 16:6-15 describes how God’s Holy Spirit moves in unexpected ways and disrupts the status quo. I have been dwelling with this text for some time now as we listen to ways that congregations, pastors, deacons, young people, our returning students and new students and bishops are seeing the disruptions of the status quo in their own places of ministry.

As we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I am mindful of the ways that theological education and the church are paying attention to the disruptions and finding ways to continue being reformed. We are asking new questions of how God is calling us as a seminary to innovation for a world in such great need of the reforming grace of God. Our question is, “How might we better come alongside to support the innovation and education that leaders need for this reforming work of God?”

We are reimagining what a 21st century theological education and institutional vitality need to look like for the next 500 years. In this issue of Story, we are highlighting the ways in which graduates are using their Master of Arts degrees. We recently redesigned these degrees to ensure they continue to meet the needs of those who are called to a variety of vocations in the world and in the church. Our new M.A. concentrations include one in Leadership and Innovation for Ministry, which Dr. Dwight Zscheile, associate professor of congregational mission and leadership, expands upon in this issue, stating that it shows how Luther Seminary is “bringing cutting-edge thinking from innovation theory to bear upon the church and other Christian organizations.”

This is just one example of the work that is happening in order for Luther Seminary to provide innovative, gospel-centered education that meets the needs of communities today and into the future. I am excited about the groundwork we have done and the ways we are continuing this reforming work to adapt so that we may bear faithful witness to God’s reforming work in the world. Stay tuned for a new chapter of disruptive innovative ideas that we will test so that we might bear faithful witness to God’s love and grace for a world in such need of the transformative power of God’s Holy Spirit.

Peace and joy,

Robin Steinke, President

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