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Story Magazine

Second Quarter 2008

Arthur Vining Davis Grant Aids Learning Assessment

by Laura Kaslow, Communication Specialist

Goal five of "A Bold and Faithful Witness," the seminary's new strategic plan, states that "Luther Seminary will be a responsive learning organization supported by a culture of assessment and accountability."

In order to accomplish this goal, Luther Seminary applied for and received one of only three $200,000 grants from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to certain educational, cultural, scientific and religious institutions. The grant will be used to help the seminary build a program to assess the institution's learning outcomes.

The grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation will be used to fund work with outside experts in building assessment programs for higher education institutions. Through this partnership, Luther will develop an assessment program to test how well students are prepared to be leaders for Christian communities.

"After an initial research period that I would envision to last about two to three years, I believe we will know much more and be doing this differently based upon what we've learned," says David Lose, academic dean and Marbury E. Anderson Professor of Biblical Preaching. Lose, along with Mary Hinkle Shore, associate dean for first theological degree programs, is leading the assessment development.

Based upon the results of this research, Luther will then develop a plan for ongoing assessment that, says Lose, "commits... to revise and adapt our practices based upon what we learn."

To learn more about Luther's assessment goals, click
here to download a copy of the strategic plan.