We believe God is calling and sending the church of Jesus Christ into apostolic mission in the 21st century world of many cultures and religions. We understand Luther Seminary itself as a Christian community called and sent to provide a sound and relevant theological education for the leadership that the church needs for our present era of mission. To this end, Luther Seminary understands itself as being on a journey. It is a journey filled with hope, opportunity, and energy, as well as challenge, change and risk. As we make this journey, we seek to draw on the best of our Lutheran confessional heritage and the strengths of our educational tradition.
During the past decade, the seminary developed strategic plans in 1989 and 1995 that helped it go through several major transitions, including
• Curricular revision and development of a curricular strategy.
• Reorganization of departments into three divisions.
• Establishing an adequate funding base in the church.
• Re-defining the role of the Boards of Directors and Trustees.
• Re-defining the role of the faculty.
• Defining a focused mission statement.
• Beginning the process of ongoing evaluation
These transitions were not without discomfort, but we believe Luther Seminary at the close of the 20th century is in a healthy and strong position to enter the next century. Yet, it is the nature of being on a journey led by God that one never arrives at a final destination apart from Christ’s return. Instead, it is a journey of faithful exploration, continual adaptation to changing circumstances, and continual adjustments to a shifting context.
Such a journey requires intentional visioning, careful planning, and courageous leadership. These are what this report is all about. The content of this document is summarized in a graphic as listed on page 9. The graphic should be read from left to right; its images correspond to the order found in the remaining sections of this document.
• Beginning with students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders, we envision stewarding these resources through our already adopted Mission Statement and Curriculum Strategy (left hand side of graphic entering the system).
• The energy of these stakeholders, with the power of the Holy Spirit, drives our four educational processes (lower half of the center of the graphic).
• The structures supporting these four processes (upper half of the center of the graphic) provide leadership and support to these four core processes.
• Through these processes and structures, we will accomplish the strategic vision to which we believe God is calling us by the year 2005.
• To fulfill that vision, statements of goals, strategies, and action steps for each of these four educational processes and their support structures make up the bulk of this document.
• Our theological values and commitments build on the “Vision, Assets, and Commitments” statement of previous planning and frame the four educational processes and their support.
• Those core values and commitments are informed by our examination (an environmental scan) of the contemporary situation, research and development done to this point on the contemporary situation, and beginning attempts at evaluating our current curricular strategy’s success at achieving our mission.
• All of this serves the mission of God, especially the unique mission of the church, in and for the world.
• These educational processes have as their distinctive character that they steward the callings and commissions of those who learn as disciples of Jesus Christ.