by Rick Foss, Interim President
A little more than a year ago, when we imagined a series of themes around "change" for Story magazine, we had no idea the amount of transition we, as a seminary, would experience.
The changes that have come our way recently have not been easy. Last fall, we learned that we had been spending beyond our means over the last few years. In December, President Rick Bliese resigned after a decade at the seminary. More tough realities followed. In an effort to lower our annual operating expenses, we made the difficult decision in March to reduce staff, faculty and programs. It is an incredibly painful thing to say goodbye to talented and faithful friends and colleagues.
As we respond to the challenges we face, I am deeply aware of the range of emotions in our community. These are difficult days. I trust better days will come, as lament and loss give way to healing and hope.
I know positive change is happening around and through us. The faculty, students and graduates of Luther Seminary continue to impact those with whom they minister. They are truly changing lives, as evidenced by the stories on these pages.
And, in the midst of all types of change, we find hope in these steadfast truths:
The world continues to need pastors and other church leaders who can share the gospel.
The mission of Luther Seminary to educate leaders for Christian communities is clear and consistent.
The caliber of our students remains very high.
The capabilities and dedication of our faculty and staff continue to be a gift.
The commitment of our donors is inspiring. In the midst of recent announcements, our donors responded generously with prayers, words of encouragement and strong financial gifts.
God's grace continues to permeate us all as we go about his mission.
Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, counsel and support. May God guide us all through our seasons of change.