News (Blog) Posts

United Lutheran Seminary Names Theresa Latini As Its First President

April 20, 2017 (Gettysburg and Philadelphia) The United Lutheran Seminary named the Rev. Dr. Theresa F. Latini as the first president to lead the unified Seminary with campuses at Gettysburg and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

President-elect Latini, who will also be Professor of Practical Theology, will officially begin July 1, 2017, which is also the inaugural date of United Lutheran Seminary (ULS), a consolidation of two historic Lutheran Seminaries in Gettysburg and Philadelphia. ULS is the oldest seminary of the 3.8 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), dating to 1826.

Latini comes to the presidency with extensive experience in theological education as an educator and administrator. She has written two books and many articles on topics such as Christian vocation, congregational leadership, and racial reconciliation. She previously served as the George C. Weinman Chair of Pastoral Theology and Ministry at Luther Seminary and continues to advise students in Luther’s Ph.D. program. Currently, Latini is associate dean of diversity and cultural competency and professor of practical theology and pastoral care at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. She has expertise in conflict mediation and has consulted with congregations and judicatories throughout the United States.

Latini will lead the new theological school, whose roots run deep in Lutheran identity in America and broadly across historically ecumenical Christian commitments. “I am honored and humbled to be called to serve as the first president of United Lutheran Seminary. Grounded in the promises of God, this bold and innovative union of two historic Lutheran institutions will enable us to educate and empower public Christian leaders for confessionally rooted, ecumenically connected, and interculturally competent ministry in the twenty-first century. I look forward to co-laboring with students, staff, and faculty at ULS and with colleagues throughout the ELCA as together we join God’s work of healing, justice, and reconciliation.”

An ordained minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Latini’s background includes pastoral positions in Minneapolis, MN and Levittown, PA.  She received both her M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. The PCUSA has been a full communion partner of the ELCA since 1997. Full Communion partners share a commitment to interchange of clergy and an official recognition of agreement in essential doctrines and sacramental understanding.

The Rev. Dr. Elise Brown, who chairs the Seminary Board of Trustees, affirmed that “Dr. Latini brings a broad range of academic experience and expertise in pastoral care, cultural competency, diversity, and conflict resolution.” Brown continued, saying these “areas of expertise will serve United Lutheran Seminary and the wider church in forming leaders for the 21st century in a church that has undergone significant change.  We are thrilled a full communion partner with such deep passion for and understanding of Lutheran reformation theology and history has agreed to serve with us.”

Consulting with the Rev. Charles Miller, the leader of the search team, ELCA “Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton was very affirmative of the ULS presidential search committee’s work and its decision to recommend Dr. Latini.”  During the search process, Miller also observed “After two interviews and some forty questions ranging from ‘what is a seminary?,’ ‘what does it mean to be Lutheran in America today?,’ and ‘how do you work with people who don’t agree with you?,’ Dr. Latini’s responses persuaded our committee that she was ULS leadership-ready! Her answers were thoughtful and theologically astute. Dr. Latini’s gifts and experience equip her exceptionally well to lead ULS in its pivotal and formative launching on July 1, 2017.”

President-elect Latini will begin as the Seminary President July 1, with a planned inauguration for November 2, 2017 in Lancaster, PA. She will live at both Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses with her husband, Tom van Deusen, and daughter Eleanor.

The search for a seminary president was launched last fall following the decisions of Gettysburg Seminary President Michael Cooper-White to retire after 17 years of service, and President David Lose of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, took a call to serve as senior pastor of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN.
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The United Lutheran Seminary, the oldest of the eight seminaries of the 3.8 million member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a consolidation of Gettysburg Seminary and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. One seminary on two campuses, ULS prepares women and men to be outreach oriented public theologians and mission leaders.  It provides programs in continuing studies, advanced theological education, and specialized educational programs for informed lay persons, ordained and other rostered church leaders. More information is available at the Seminary’s web site:  www.UnitedLutheranSeminary.edu  or by email info@ULS.edu or by phone at 717.338.3000.

 

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United Lutheran Seminary Launches Search for CFO

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
On July 1, 2017, two historic Pennsylvania institutions, Gettysburg and Philadelphia Seminaries will join together and form the United Lutheran Seminary (ULS).  The ULS Board of Trustees is expected to elect a new president in late April.  This consolidated “new school” on two campuses seeks a Chief Financial Officer to provide oversight for all fiscal operations and to consolidate the two financial services offices.  ULS will have an annual operating budget of approximately $10.5M (including the Seminary Ridge Museum), and will have total assets exceeding $110M, inclusive of endowment and trust assets of approximately $55M. The incumbent will need to spend considerable time on the two campuses, separated by 140 miles, reporting to the ULS president.  The senior administrator will provide expert financial analysis and strategic guidance to the president, oversee 2-3 staff accountants, work closely with the Treasurer and other Seminary officers; s/he will need to establish systems for capital planning and analysis, fiscal strategic planning and budgeting, financial management and reporting; and will oversee the annual audit processes.  The CFO also serves the Seminary’s auxiliary entities as Treasurer; principally the Seminary Ridge Museum, two Endowment Foundations, and the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries.

The location of this position has not been determined but will require frequent travel to the other campus.

Please send a letter of application, resume, and the contact information of three professional references to Elizabeth Meighan, Director of Human Resources at emeighan@ltsg.edu.

 Full Position Description ULS CFO 3-29-17.

The review of applicants begins on April 20, 2017, and the search remains open until filled.

An Update on The Faces of United Lutheran Seminary

United Lutheran Seminary will begin with a 19-member faculty that embodies the depth, diversity, and breadth of teaching experience of a leading edge theological school.

Even as final offers from the board and acceptance by those offered positions were pending, the professors who will constitute the initial United Lutheran faculty have been working together shaping the new highly integrative curriculum for launch this summer. Following authorization by the new Board of Trustees in January, contract offers were extended and faculty members had a 30-day period in which to respond. Some current LTSP and LTSG faculty members will retire this summer, and Dr. Nelson Rivera has accepted a theology position at the Moravian Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. The Rev. Dr. Jayakiran Sebastian and the Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen will continue in the role of co-deans through the end of the calendar year, and selection of a permanent dean will involve faculty, the board and new president.

Those who will constitute the first faculty of United Lutheran in full- or part-time positions are:

Richard Carlson, Biblical Studies and Director of Contextual Formation
Wayne Croft, Homiletics and Liturgics in African American Studies
Katie Day, Church in Society
Maria Erling, Modern Church History and Global Missions
Vince Evener, Luther and Reformation Studies
John Hoffmeyer, Systematic Theology
Michael Krentz, Dean of the Chapel (Philadelphia Campus)
Kristin Johnston Largen, Systematic Theology
Charles Leonard, Practical Theology and Director of Field Education
Mark Oldenburg, Worship and Dean of the Chapel (Gettysburg Campus)
Jon Pahl, History of Christianity
J. Paul Rajeshekar, Systematic Theology
Quintin Robertson, African American Studies and Director of Urban Theological Institute
Brooks Schramm, Biblical Studies
Jayakiran Sebastian, Mission and Cultures
Storm Swain, Pastoral Care and Theology and Director of Anglican Studies
Mark Vitalis Hoffman, Biblical Studies
Gilson Waldkoenig, Church in Society and Director of Town & Country Church Institute
Karyn Wiseman, Homiletics

Presidents David Lose (Philadelphia) and Michael Cooper-White (Gettysburg) spoke of the faculty appointed to further shape and launch United Lutheran Seminary, which now has received final authorization from the accrediting agencies and Pennsylvania Department of Education. The two presidents, who will conclude service in June, stated: “This will be a premier cadre of scholar-teachers who bring to bear the rich legacies of two outstanding Lutheran institutions of theological education. The ULS faculty will be marked by diversity and depth, passion for their scholarly disciplines combined with a deep commitment to the formation of churchly leaders. In addition to mentoring students, they will be a great resource to the church, both in the sponsoring Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and in expanding ecumenical circles as well.”

Curriculum that is Integrative, Experiential, and Empowering
This faculty has given shape to a new curriculum that goes beyond a tweaking of the predecessor schools. United Lutheran Seminary will offer both degree and certificate study in expanding modes and locations, including residential, online and a variety of different hybrid courses. Degrees authorized by accreditors and the PA Department of Education include: Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Arts in Ministerial Leadership (MAML), Master of Arts (MA) (which will include a specialization in Public Leadership), Master of Sacred Theology (STM), and Doctor of Ministry (DMin). Certificate programs in Church Leadership and Christian Ministry through the Urban Theological Institute will continue as will the Youth Ministry Certification  School and the Certificate in Theological Studies.” The Seminary plans a robust Lifelong Learning program on both campuses. All current students, including PhD program students, will be supported through the completion of their degrees.

With United Lutheran Seminary’s path-breaking approach to theological education, students will be challenged to integrate, embody and demonstrate the capacities required for ministry.  The curriculum is designed to be integrative, experiential, and empowering, in order to form leaders who can step boldly into the current realities of ministry today, and who will be dynamic leaders for the church’s future.

Theological education is a holistic endeavor that includes not only classroom study, but also a variety of field education settings, connecting  the conceptual with the experiential, the science with the art of ministry. This innovative curriculum is designed to help students acquire and perfect skills they need for ministry. United Lutheran envisions preparing graduates in such a way that they can immediately step into a ministry setting with confidence that they can lead and inspire others. Watch for more detail about the exciting new approach to the ULS learning environment.

Presidential Search & Staff Organization
The fall launch of a presidential search also proceeds on schedule. Chair of the presidential search committee, the Rev. Charles Miller, reports that finalists have been selected from a strong field of candidates and are being interviewed. He remains optimistic that the committee will be able to recommend a candidate for election by the Board of Trustees at its April 20-21 meeting. If all proceeds as hoped, inauguration of the new president is scheduled for November 2nd.

The staff hiring also proceeds apace, with a number of key administrative staff positions now filled by current employees from both schools. Staff has been selected in admissions, advancement, academic and student services, communications and technology and other areas, with more interviews scheduled. An open search is underway for the Director of the Library (combining Krauth and Wentz libraries), who is expected to be named later this spring.

Newly Configured Board Named, Meets January 11th

New Board of Trustees Together
On an icy Wednesday morning, January 11, 2017, trustees representing synods from the Mid-Atlantic (ELCA Region 8) and Northeast (ELCA Region 7) gathered for the first time, fulfilling business for the last six months of the school as Gettysburg Seminary and governing the forward navigation for United Lutheran Seminary. Following a brief orientation for new board members, the governance group adopted a committee structure with four committees and its executive committee. Later in the meeting the board elected its first slate of officers, with the Rev. Dr. Elise Brown to serve as Board Chair, Ms. Cheryl Williams as Vice Chair, the Rev. Cheryl Meinschein as Secretary, and Mr. Paul Wangerin in the role of Treasurer. The Rev. John Richter, who has chaired the LTSP board, was asked by the Transition Team to chair the inaugural meeting of this board because of the need to elect officers.

The first meeting of the newly configured Board of Trustees addressed a full agenda of business ranging from the approval of curricular design to the adoption of parameters for future employees of United Lutheran Seminary. Members of the newly configured board include

The Rev. Peter BOEHRINGER
The Rev. Dr. J. Elise BROWN*
Bishop Claire BURKAT
Bishop James DUNLOP
The Rev. Julie FRASER
Mr. Phil HARRINGTON
Mr. Robert KING
Dr. James LAKSO
The Rev. Lisa LEBER
The Rev. Cheryl MEINSCHEIN #
The Rev. Charles MILLER
Ms. Nancy Dering MOCK
Mr. Chris MONDICS
Dr. Janet MONTELARO
The Rev. Audrey E. MOODY
Ms. Emma PORTER
Mr. Fred RISSER
Dr. Tommie ROBINSON Jr.
Mr. David A. RUSSELL
Mr. Paul WANGERIN +
Ms Cheryl WILLIAMS **

* designates current chair of the board
** vice chairperson
+   treasurer
#   secretary

2017 Historic Board Meetings Mark Milestones

A Tale of Two Board Meetings January 10-11, 2017

Gettysburg Board hands off baton to Trustees Configured for ULS
In historic firsts and lasts, two boards met in Gettysburg Tuesday and Wednesday, January 10th and 11th. One ended its service and handed off responsibilities for the continuing chartered school, soon to be United Lutheran Seminary. firstboardmeeting

Looking back over major decisions, turning points, and “history making” moments, the former board of Directors for Gettysburg Seminary completed its final bylaw changes for the transition and took time to remember highlights of their work in recent Gettysburg Seminary history. The meeting was followed by a worship service of Evening Prayer including a homily by Glenn Ludwig, celebrating the conclusion of their service and a banquet thanking 16 Directors completing their service. As a treasured gift to the Seminary archive and to continuing trustees, the departing board members registered their hopes and recommended wisdom to the new board, captured in bound copies that were distributed during the two days of meetings.

January 11: Dawn Brings New Board of Trustees Together
On an icy Wednesday morning, trustees representing synods from the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast gathered for the first time, fulfilling business for the last six months of the school as Gettysburg Seminary and the forward navigation for United Lutheran Seminary. Following a brief orientation for new board members, the governance group adopted a committee structure with four committees and its executive committee. Later in the meeting the board elected its first slate of officers, with the Rev. Dr. Elise Brown to serve as Board Chair, Ms. Cheryl Williams as Vice Chair, the Rev. Cheryl Meinschein as Secretary, and Mr. Paul Wangerin in the role of Treasurer. The Rev. John Richter, who has chaired the LTSP board, was asked by the Transition Team to chair the inaugural meeting of this board because of the need to elect officers.

The first meeting of the newly configured Board of Trustees addressed a full agenda of business ranging from the approval of curricular design to the adoption of parameters for future employees of United Lutheran Seminary.boardphotoJan11-2017

Presidents Michael Cooper-White and David Lose shared a presidential report and provided up to date summaries of progress against the original timeline set for the launch of the new school. With the continuing charter of the ULS following the Gettysburg Seminary corporate identity, the newly configured board governs Gettysburg Seminary until June 30th and acts upon decisions guiding the ULS now and after July 1st. President Cooper-White remains the institution’s president until June 30th.

The Gettysburg/ULS board reviewed content for the employee handbook, approved pension benefits and faculty development funds and set tuition for the first theological degree at $16,500 (holding to a small increase over the predecessor schools and maintaining commitment to full tuition support for qualifying candidates). The fee structure adopted reduced the number of overall individual fees of the predecessor schools but increased Gettysburg residential rents by 5%, the first increase in six years. Trustees received updates on the masterplan review for both campuses.

And the board also received an update on the presidential search from Charles Miller, chair of the search process. Miller indicated that the search remains on schedule for a spring decision.
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Search Opens for Library Director for United Lutheran Seminary

United Lutheran Seminary (to be launched on July 1st, 2017) is seeking to fill the position of Library Director.  The starting date is negotiable, but beginning no later than July 1st, 2017.

In mid-2017, United Lutheran Seminary will succeed the historic Gettysburg and Philadelphia Lutheran seminaries, retaining campuses in both locations while being served by a unified faculty and administration.  As part of this transition, United Lutheran Seminary seeks an innovative, adaptive and collaborative director of one library system located on two campuses. The successful candidate will engage with faculty, students and other campus partners to shape a dynamic and technologically conversant teaching, learning and research environment.  This candidate will take responsibility for the development, implementation, and assessment of policies, procedures, and programs that support the teaching and learning of our faculty and students.  The director serves as a member of the Seminary’s faculty, and manages and supervises support staff in both locations.  This director also will participate in the creation of, planning for, and implementation of strategic seminary initiatives that advance accessibility to high quality theological resources.

A MLS/MLIS degree or equivalent from an ALA-accredited institution, with additional graduate level study in Bible, Theology, or Religious Studies required; degree preferred. Minimum 3-5 years library experience in an academic (preferably theological) setting, with previous administrative and supervisory experience preferred. Broad and current facility in theological bibliography desired. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are assumed.

Please send a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and the contact information of three professional references to Dean Kristin Largen, chair of the search committee, c/o Julie Ritter, Administrative Assistant, at jritter@ltsg.edu.

The review of applicants begins on January 30th, and the search remains open until filled.  United Lutheran Seminary is an EEO employer.  More about United Lutheran Seminary is on this site, and below you may find the full position description.  More information on the A.R. Wentz Library of Gettysburg Seminary can be found here:  http://www.ltsg.edu/resources-services/library.

More information on the Krauth Memorial Library of Philadelphia Seminary can be found here:  https://ltsp.edu/academics/library.

Position Description for
Director of the United Lutheran Seminary Library

Position:
Director of the United Lutheran Seminary Library, which exists in two       locations.  It comprises the Wentz Library in Gettysburg, PA, and the Krauth Memorial Library in Philadelphia, PA.  The director has oversight of both locations, including staff oversight at both locations.  Both libraries have long been an essential part of academic life and student success at the seminary.  Deeply valued by the campus community, the libraries provide information resources, excellent service, and vision for the future.  The position is based at either campus, but will involve regular travel to the other campus.

Purpose and Function:
The Director of the Library, which exists on two campuses, brings to the

            position professional training and expertise in library information science, plus a thorough knowledge of the distinctive kinds of library resources and services involved in theological education. It is the task of the Director to manage the library’s resources and promote them in the service of the Seminary community, facilitating and enhancing research and pedagogy. The Director is responsible for formulating and administering library policies and services, all of which should foster the most extensive and meaningful use of the library, both by the immediate seminary community and by the broader academic and ecclesiastical communities.  The librarian is a member of the faculty.

Responsibilities & Duties:

  1. Administration
  • Provide strategic vision, direction and leadership for the continued development and advancement of the library as a center for academic excellence on both campuses
  • Establish policies and procedures in conjunction with the Library Committee and Eastern Cluster Librarians [the current Gettysburg, Philadelphia and Southern Seminary Libraries]
  • Define objectives for library services that can guide planning and budgeting
  • Monitor and evaluate trends and developments relevant to academic libraries, particularly in the areas of scholarly communication training, instruction, outreach, assessment, information literacy and digital collections. Integrate current and evolving technologies of publication into collection development plan.
  • Chair the Library Faculty Committee
  • Foster cooperative relationships with other libraries and engages in formal relationships to share resources
  • Manage the library building and all related projects including space planning, building maintenance, and disability access requirements

2. Human Resources

  • Define responsibilities and create/update position descriptions for library personnel and conduct annual reviews for all library employees
  • Foster staff development and continuing education opportunities for library personnel
  • Communicate goals, priorities and issues to staff and works to enhance internal communication

3. Fiscal Management

  • Prepare an annual budget in consultation with the Cluster Administrator (Business Officer) and the Chief Financial Officer of the seminary.
  • Consult with development staff to identify priorities for library fundraising and strategize on approaches for their realization.
  • Administer the Library budget; track expenditures. Oversee management of print and electronic collections and participate in materials selection.  Support collection development policy in collaboration with the faculty as appropriate to the educational mission of the Seminary

4. Resource Management

  • Evaluate print/electronic resources in terms of the institution’s and cluster’s programs and services, coordinating access (by purchase, licensing, loan, and other linkages) to desired resources, within the policies and practices of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries Library
  • Develop, apply and report performance metrics
  • Formulate and administer policy on the acquisition, retention, remote location, or disposal of materials
  • Administer Seminary archives and special collections; oversee Region 7 & 8 archives

5. Seminary, Cluster and Judicatory Relationships

  • Serve as the official representative to the Eastern Cluster Lutheran Seminaries Library and to assist the other Cluster librarian in various leadership capacities to achieve the Cluster mission and goals.
  • Serve in other faculty responsibilities such as committees, advising, etc., as negotiated with the Dean
  • Serve as the official representative to relevant library and other organizations such as SEPTLA and ATLA
  • Collaborate and coordinate with the care of the Regional Archives

6. Patron Service

  • Provide professional and personal assistance to library patrons
  • Offer orientation programs, guides, on-line resources, class presentations, and individual instruction
  • Actively engage faculty and students around resources of the library in pedagogy and research
  • Develop and administer evaluations of resources and services
  • Ensure access to services, instruction and the physical space by a variety of seminary constituencies

7. Professional Development

  • Maintain a high level of professional engagement by keeping current with professional literature, and participating in local and national professional associations, publishing and/or presenting

8. Long-Range Planning

  • Collaborate with faculty, students and colleagues in the library to create a vision for library services linked to the Seminary’s strategic plan and responsive to changes in the technological and information environment
  • Involve the staff through meetings to determine and coordinate the library’s goals and objectives with those of the seminary and the Eastern Cluster

 

Qualifications & Skills:

It is expected that the person appointed will have the following education, experience and abilities:

  • Master’s degree in library or information science from an ALA accredited institution; additional advanced degrees desirable
  • Graduate level study in Bible, Theology or Religious Studies required; degree preferred
  • Five years of leadership and supervisory experience, with preference given to experience in an academic setting
  • Demonstrated record of leadership in a context of rapid organizational and technological change
  • Strong background in and understanding of library processes, practices, and standards in an academic library setting
  • Background and experience in fundraising and donor relations desirable
  • Proven ability to work collegially and effectively with students, faculty, staff, alumni and volunteers
  • Demonstrated ability to promote the library with many different audiences
  • Disciplined adherence to best archival principles and practices.
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in the innovative integration of emerging electronic resources with traditional library materials
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills

Accountability:

  • The Library Director reports to the Dean.
  • There shall be an annual review of the Director by the President concerning administrative matters. The standard faculty review process shall govern the review of the Director with respect to his or her educational role. The primary teaching role shall be the orientation and information literacy instruction provided for all academic programs of the seminary.
  • Reports in writing semiannually to the Board of Trustees, to the Eastern Cluster as determined, and informally to the Faculty; and annually at the end of the fiscal year to the president.
  • The Dean shall exercise responsibility for the librarian’s professional development.
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