Luther Seminary is a learning community rooted in the unconditional promise of God’s love for all people. In Christ, all are neighbors one to another. In a dynamic of mutual welcome, we seek to learn from one another’s particularities, including but not limited to differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic circumstance, dis/ability, political perspective, ecclesial tradition, and theological commitments. Intentional learning happens as we engage in critical discourse that challenges previously held assumptions. Faculty, staff, students, and board members commit to engaging deeply in Christ-centered relationships across differences through honest, courageous, and respectful dialogue. We acknowledge that this is possible only by the grace of God. We pray that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be a community of reconciliation, and one that educates Christian public leaders who can be conduits of God’s healing and mercy in the world.
In an increasingly polarized society, the learning community at Luther Seminary is both counter-cultural and counter-intuitive. It is not simply the sum of many different identities, co-existing with little connection. Neither is it an echo chamber where we force others to agree with our perspectives or be rejected. Instead, is a wide-open space where each of us is welcomed and loved in our uniqueness. Our unity is found not in political or social faction, but in Christ. Baptized in the one Body of Christ, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free (Galatians 3:28), we are freed to engage one another with openness, vulnerability, and generosity.
This kind of community is made possible only by God’s grace; despite our best efforts, we cannot will it into existence on our own. We recognize that we are divided from one another by the sin and suffering that exist in the world, in ourselves, in our neighbors, and in the structures of society. Yet, baptized into Christ Jesus, we are made into new creations and are entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-18). As individuals and as a community, we commit to the hard work of reconciliation, seeking healing and forgiveness from Christ and from one another when we fail to live into the unity to which we are called.
We pledge to bear one another’s burdens, share in one another’s joys, and walk the extra mile for one another’s sake (Gal. 6:2; 1 Cor. 12:26). We commit to robust, passionate, and respectful dialogue with one another--both those with whom we agree and those with whom we disagree. We know that as Christian public leaders we will be sent into the world to minister to people whose backgrounds and perspectives differ from our own. Our hope and prayer is that if we at Luther Seminary can learn to welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us (Rom. 15:7), we will be equipped to form welcoming, Christ-centered communities wherever we are called to serve.