Strategic Plan: A Bold and Faithful Witness

Part 2: Implementation

2.2 Strategies and Action Steps

Goal 1

Luther Seminary will produce graduates who will lead Christian communities in apostolic mission for the sake of God's world.

Single-minded focus on our primary mission to educate leaders will draw us into new ventures, partnerships, and practices.

Luther Seminary will seek out, develop, educate, and equip persons to be leaders of Christian communities, witnesses to and participants in God's ongoing work to love, bless, and redeem the world. As evangelical public leaders, graduates will persuasively articulate the relevance of the Christian message in light of the distinct challenges and opportunities of today's world. All who study here with commitment and diligence will gain the theological acumen and the necessary ministry and leadership skills to serve as leaders in the various places and contexts to which they are called.

The primary means by which we achieve this goal is through the curriculum developed and employed by the faculty. The three inter-related movements of the curriculum, viewed within the seminary's overarching curricular commitment to foster discipleship to Jesus Christ, work together to educate leaders for Christian communities. The first movement of the curriculum, "learning the story," immerses students in the biblical witness, the history of the church and its doctrine, and the story of Christian practices through the centuries. The second movement, "interpreting and confessing," prepares students to interpret the Christian story in light of both tradition and contemporary context in order to confess it anew. The third movement of the curriculum, "leading in mission," equips students to think theologically in light of their distinct ministry context in order to employ classic and contemporary arts of ministry toward purposeful action for the sake of the gospel. Taken together, these three inter-related curricular movements not only serve as the primary means by which to accomplish our mission but also provide internal criteria by which we assess and evaluate our progress.

In addition to these curricular criteria, we also recognize the need for outcome-based measures. As a part of this strategic planning process, the faculty identified several capacities it desires all graduates possess. These capacities provide us with an initial set of outcome-based criteria by which to assess and adapt our teaching and curricular strategies in light of the actual results we observe in the ministry of our graduates. We therefore publicly articulate the aspiration and commitment that Luther Seminary's graduates who serve in congregations and other Christian communities will strive to:

  • proclaim God's saving work in Jesus Christ persuasively and compellingly;
  • faithfully interpret the Scriptures and equip those they lead to do the same;
  • listen deeply to the context and thoughtfully confess the Christian faith in the public arena;
  • think theologically about life and ministry and equip those they lead to do the same;
  • lead congregations through change with wisdom and courage for the sake of God's mission; and
  • pursue physical, spiritual, and vocational health.

Undergirding these criteria and commitments is the pledge to support faculty and staff in their efforts to achieve our goals. Faculty and staff development; support and celebration of research, scholarship, and service to the church; and promoting our resources and publications for the sake of mission and the wider church are a central part of this pledge.

Long-Term Strategies Toward Goal 1

  1. Develop criteria and assessment processes for the formation of evangelical leaders in apostolic mission for each of the five educational processes (education leading to ordained clergy, education leading to lay professionals, graduate theological education, lifelong learning, and professional development of faculty and staff) (2007-2009)
  2. Develop processes for the continual development of the curriculum in order to form evangelical leaders in apostolic mission in response to ongoing assessment and feedback with local congregations and the systems that serve them (2008-2010 and ongoing).
  3. Develop the lifelong learning and contextual educational programs into ongoing feedback and assessment processes that form learning communities with and among local churches (2008-2009 and ongoing).
  4. Address the nature of discipleship and spiritual formation for the development of evangelical leaders in apostolic mission (2008-2009).

2007-2008 Action Steps for Goal 1

Timeframe Action Step Leaders
November 2007 Form a committee of faculty, administrators, and students who have primary responsibility for leading the seminary in developing a comprehensive system of academic assessment. Academic Dean;Associate Dean
November 2007-April 2008 Build on work from curriculum strategy (1993), as well as reports from strategic planning teams (2007) to articulate explicit learning outcomes for each educational process. Academic Dean; Associate Deans
February-May 2008 Articulate the evidence needed to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes for each educational process. Academic Dean; Associate Deans
February-May 2008 Identify present assessment-related activities related to the agreed-upon learning outcomes for each educational process. Academic Dean; Associate Deans  

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