Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Church History: Giving Public Theology Memory - Convocation video

The study of the churches' histories not only grounds our current experience in the traditions and stories of the past but also helps to find new applications for old solutions to issues facing the church today.Participants will hear about how the very latest historical research has an impact on ministry in today's church and world, and they will have opportunity to ask their teachers any question they want. Watch this convocation with LTSP church history faculty presenting on an area of special interest:

Prof. Kiran Sebastian: "Three Reasons Why Cyprian Will Change Your Ministry"

Prof. Philip Krey: "How Augustine Helps Me Interpret the Bible"

Prof. Timothy Wengert: "Philip Melanchthon's Enormous Ecumenical Error and How We Fixed It"

Prof. Jon Pahl: "Speaking Truth to (American) Power in Love"

Prof. Karl Krueger: "Don't Burn the Books of the Bible!"

Prof. David Grafton: "What Say You of Muhammad?"

presented Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bible and Qur'ān - A Comparative Approach: Fall Forum 2010

Christians and Muslims are shaped and guided by their Scriptures. Yet, the Bible and the Qur'an serve distinct roles and functions within each faith tradition. How do Christians and Muslims approach and interpret their texts for faith and life? This Fall Forum will investigate how Lutheran theological views and exegetical principles might compare and contrast with a variety of Muslim perspectives of their own Book of Faith. This was the theme of LTSP's 2010 Fall Forum, with keynotes by The Rev. Dr. David D. Grafton, Associate Professor, Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and Director of Graduate Studies, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

First Keynote: "Bible and Qur'ān as Scripture I - A Theological Comparative Approach Between Lutherans and Orthodox Islam"

Second Keynote: "Bible and Qur'ān as Scripture II - Lutheran Exegetical and Sunni Tafsīr Principles"

More on Fall Forum

Monday, November 1, 2010

Prof. Kiran Sebastian Presents 2010 Quodlibet Lecture

The Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian, H. George Anderson Professor of Mission and Cultures and Director, Multicultural Mission Resource Center at LTSP, was the 2010 distinguished presenter for Quodlibet, where each year a member of the faculty at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is presented with "any question whatsoever" and responds in this tradition-based, rigorous academic exercise. Watch his lively presentation:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

UTI 30th Anniversary Celebration: Highlights

The Urban Theological Institute of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is celebrating its 30th Anniversary, and October 13-15 marked three days of special events including a Celebration of Africa American Sacred Music, including a special address by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, a Worship Celebration with guest preacher the Rev. Dr. Carolyn A. Knight, and a Gala Reception and Banquet with keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. James. A Forbes, Jr. Event proceeds benefit the Jeremiah A. Wright, Sr., Chair in African American Studies.

The Rev. Dr. Carolyn A. Knight preaching:

Keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. James. A Forbes, Jr.:

View photo slide shows, find links to photo galleries, and links to give to the Wright Chair on the UTI 30th Anniversary website.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Convocation: Theological Education in the Changing Context of World Christianity

The Rev. Dr. Dietrich Werner, coordinator of Ecumenical Theological Education for the World Council of Churches, presented the October 5, 2010 convocation on "Theological Education in the changing context of World Christianity - an unfinished agenda: Global and ecumenical perspectives from the Edinburgh 2010 process and beyond" at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. The lecture was part of the seminary's 2010-2011 academic year series of lectures on the theme Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society. Dr. Werner was also at the seminary to join his colleagues for the annual board of trustees meeting of the Foundation for Theological Education in South East Asia (FTESEA) as it marks its 75th anniversary. 

The text of Dr. Werner's lecture is available online on the FTESEA website.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Opening Sermon and Convocation 2010

LTSP began the 2010-2011 academic year, the school's 147th, on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 with opening worship, an opening convocation and a picnic for the seminary community.

LTSP Present the Rev. Dr. Philip D. Krey presided and preached at worship. Here he is giving the sermon:

The opening convocation of the 147th academic year highlights Theological Education in the Changed Context of the Church and Society from the perspective of LTSP graduates the Rev. Maritza Dolich and the Rev. Carlton Rodgers, along with LTSP Dean J. Paul Rajashekar and President Philip D. Krey. Both pastors lead congregations in the Philadelphia region. They address the theme through their experiences in their contexts as pastors in a world that continues to change.

Monday, May 24, 2010

LTSP Commencement 2010 - Doctor of Divinity Recipients

Recipients of the Degree of Doctor of Divinity Degree

Lee Butz

LTSP President Philip Krey and Lee ButzLee Butz has long been committed to the life of the community, with interests in the church, the arts, education, health, social services and civic affairs. He headed Alvin H. Butz, Inc., the oldest and largest construction company of its kind in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, from 1973 to 2007, when he became chairman. Alvin H. Butz, Inc., was selected to the 2010 Inner City 100 by The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and Bloomberg Businessweek. Butz was ranked 43rd in the list of 100 fastest-growing, successful inner-city companies and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America's urban communities.

Watch the video:

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Butz, a native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, graduated from Lehigh University in 1955 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. His career at Alvin H. Butz., Inc., began in high school, interrupted by service in the U.S. Army from 1955 until 1957. He is a registered professional engineer and holds an Honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Muhlenberg College and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from DeSales University.

His education involvement includes membership on a number of advisory boards including the President's Council of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, the President's Associates at Lehigh University and the Executive Board of the Lehigh Valley Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) Industry Council. He chairs the Education 2010! initiative in Allentown and its surrounding school districts, and served on the Governor's Committee on Early Childhood Education.

Butz and his wife, Dolly, have established The Lee and Dolly Butz Scholarship Fund at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia to help develop the next generation of proactive leaders in the Lehigh Valley develop specialized skills to revitalize urban communities.

The Rev. John Huneke

LTSP President Philip Krey and Dean J. Paul Rajashekar, the Rev. John Huneke, Prof. Katie DayThe Rev. John Huneke has served as pastor at Reformation Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, NY since 1973, the fourth congregation in a long and faithful career that spans more than 50 years. His more than half-century of service to the church serves as an example of faithful stewardship, as well as pastoral leadership, providing a ministry of compassion, presence, and proclamation of God's gift of justification by God's grace through faith.

Watch the video:

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Pr. Huneke was born in Brooklyn, NY, on August 6, 1931. He graduated from Columbia College, Morningside Heights, NY, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1953, and entered The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) later that year. He graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1956. During his time at LTSP, he also studied at Union Theological Seminary in New York between 1953-54. He continued his education at Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge MA, where he was awarded the Master of Theology in 1958.

Pr. Huneke was ordained into the ministry by the United Lutheran Church in America in 1958. Throughout his ministry, he has served four Lutheran congregations in metropolitan New York: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, Trinity Lutheran Church, Middle Village, Queens, St. John's Lutheran Church, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and, since 1973, he has served at Reformation Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY. He was also called upon to serve interim ministries at St. John's (Milton St) and Lutheran Church of the Messiah (Russell St.), both in Brooklyn, while concurrently serving at Reformation.

The Honorable Charles A Schieren, the Mayor of Brooklyn, merchant, entrepreneur and philanthropist, who was affiliated with Reformation Church, gave LTSP the Charles A. Schieren Chair. Pastor Huneke has continued this philanthropic tradition by providing through the ELCA Fund for Leaders in Mission an endowment for financial aid for students at LTSP from the Metropolitan New York Synod.

LTSP Commencement 2010 - John Nunes Address

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John Arthur Nunes is the President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief (LWR). LWR acts to end poverty and uphold human dignity by empowering the world’s most impoverished communities in order for them to live healthy, safe and secure lives. LWR works with partners in 35 countries to promote sustainable development and increase human flourishing.

A prominent Lutheran leader, thinker and speaker, Nunes is known for his compelling voice applying theological insight to matters ranging from global issues to urban affairs. He joined LWR in July 2007 as its fourth president. Prior to that, he has served as a college professor, management consultant, church musician, community organizer and pastor.

Nunes states: “My call to LWR really gives me a prodigious opportunity to serve in the power of the Spirit, since, as Luther reminds us, ‘we should allow no one to suffer harm but show every kindness and love’ (The Large Catechism).”

Nunes holds advanced academic degrees from schools affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (LCMS). He is currently a PhD candidate at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He is author of the book Voices From the City, and he writes for John's Blog on the LWR website.

Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Nunes grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and has lived in the U.S. since 1981. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife, Monique, who is the principal of Baltimore Lutheran School, and his son, John, Jr. (15), the youngest of their five children.

Find more about Lutheran World Relief at Read “John’s Blog” at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Living a Life of Significance - Public Theology Seminar

Dr. Kurt Senske spoke on "Living a Life of Significance" on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 11:30 am in Benbow Hall, The Brossman Center on the LTSP campus. The public theology seminar is sponsored by the Intersections Institute.

Dr. Kurt Senske serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Services of the South (LSS), a multi-faceted, multi-state, social service agency with an annual operating budget of over $100 million and 1000 employees. During his tenure at LSS, he has been responsible for more than tripling the size of the agency and steering the once-troubled agency back to financial stability.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Learning the Bible in the 21st Century: The 2010 Hein-Fry Lecture

Dr. Mary HessDr. Mary Hess, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, presented the 2010 Hein-Fry lecturer on the topic "Hearing the Word: Teaching the Bible in the Parish and Beyond" on Tuesday, March 30 at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Learn more about Dr. Hess and the Hein-Fry Lecture on the LTSP NewsBlog.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

President's Video Message - February 2010

In the February 2010 edition of A Conversation with the President, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia's (LTSP) President the Rev. Dr. Philip Krey is joined by students Rozella Poston (MAR/UTI) and Theresa Reese (MDiv/UTI). Rozella and Theresa talk about the Urban Theological Institute (UTI) and their experiences as students, and about the upcoming Preaching with Power, sponsored by the Institute.

The Urban Theological Institute (UTI) of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, celebrating 30 years, is dedicated to providing theological education to church leaders that is relevant and upbuilding for the African American community, Through programming and courses, the UTI provides opportunities for clergy and laypersons to prepare themselves for service as educated leaders of the church. Preaching with PowerThese include the Master of Divinity (MDiv) with Black Church, Multicultural, and Urban Ministry concentrations, and the Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) with a variety of ministry leadership specializations, along with advanced level degree and certificate programs, and public programming such as Preaching with Power, now in its 28th year, and the UTI Lecture Series.

This year, Preaching with Power runs from Sunday, March 7 through Thursday, March 11, and the week concludes with a Prospective Student Day on Saturday, March 13. The next Public Lecture is Saturday, April 17 on "As the Spirit of the Lord Gives Utterance - Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr. as Revisionist Pentecostal Theologian."

Learn more about the UTI at

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Grappling with health care and unemployment: ‘We can achieve against the greatest odds,’ Fattah says

Eight term congressman addresses audience at
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 22, 2010) U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA2) told a Northwest Philadelphia audience today he believes a comprehensive health care initiative will come to a final vote in the U.S. Congress within six weeks and said that tens of thousands of faith-based leaders have been expressing concern about enacting a health plan that includes all Americans.

The eight-term congressman addressed a large audience of students, faculty and staff members, and community residents and organization leaders in Benbow Hall at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.

Fattah said the failure to enact a comprehensive plan is a drag on the economy and connected to the nations overall economic challenges because industries like automobile manufacturers need to continue to provide health care benefits, while their competitors in other nations like Japan do not have this financial burden. Other nations have been able to work out a solution, Fattah said, while seven of our presidents have not been successful. He suggested that the lack of success leaves the impression that either we do not have the brains to get it done, or we dont have the political will. He said that as I speak the latest version of a proposed comprehensive health plan was being unveiled on the White House Web site prior to a bipartisan conversation on the plan set for Thursday, Feb. 25.

Fattah said there has been a 12 point positive swing in the nations Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since U.S. President Barack Obama took office a year Regional home sales and purchase orders are up, he said. But he added that even though earnings reports are improved, business activity has been increasing and consumer spending is stronger, economic growth is not the same as full employment, and we have been experiencing a massive hemorrhaging of jobs. It will take a significant effort to have job growth. He noted that life is getting better for many of Philadelphias 1,300 manufacturing businesses, but that the jobs market is always lagging at the rear end of the recovery train. He praised the current administrations Stimulus Recovery initiative and said that no economist will say that a recovery is possible without one. Meanwhile, he said, $18 billion in recovery money has been committed to the people of Pennsylvania, one-half of the federal dollars going directly to industry and a significant amount going toward food assistance that now one in four American families use. Significant funds have also helped people pay for health benefits lost due to unemployment.

He said President Obama has been committed to a strategy to spend money to assure that Americans can do work that needs to be done in the nation. Among examples he gave were investments of $320 million for the Philadelphia School District and $190 million to support the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to rebuild its infrastructure via 33 projects. Funds have also been made available through the stimulus package to retrofit public buildings to cut energy costs and to train individuals to know how to weatherize such buildings. There are tens of thousands of projects like this across the country, Fattah said. He said such endeavors are examples of a different level of thinking to solve our problems than what has been used before. And he predicted that looking back on this time in U.S. history will indicate that such intervention was wise. Still, he said, unemployment is at 9.7 percent. Male workers and the construction trades have been the hardest hit in the nation, but we are on a more positive pathway than a year ago.

Speaking to an audience largely consisting of theological students, Fattah said the current administration is trying to strengthen the countrys moral compass so central to every faith in the way we conduct our public affairs. We have a responsibility to be our brothers keeper and not just curse the darkness but to light a candle. He added that during times of adversity each person has the opportunity to be introduced anew to his or her self and by doing so achieve against the greatest odds. We cant assume greatness or a high standard of living. We have to redouble our efforts. He tied future productivity to the nations efforts to successfully educate our youngest citizens. We must produce the engineers to assure that we can get products to the marketplace 30 or 40 years from now. He said the poverty challenging the nations cities is directly tied to the lack of education among some city populations. He appealed to the audience to avoid the passivity so evident among much of the nations electorate and challenged his listeners to be more involved in the political debate surrounding issues like health care.

In response to several questions, Fattah called the decision to intervene in Iraq the worst decision possible and said it had drained the nation of resources that might have been used elsewhere. He praised the plan to have time limits on involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan, and added that there is no military solution possible in the Middle East. It is a matter of deciding when to get parties to the negotiating table and who those parties will be.