Gettysburg and Philly Students Lean Into Unity in 51st Luther Bowl

(October 17, 2016) This year marks the 51st annual Luther Bowl flag football tournament and will be played on the Gettysburg campus October 29th. This year also happens to be the last year that Lutheran Theological Seminaries at Gettysburg and Philadelphia will remain two separate institutions. LTSG and LTSP have had a long-standing rivalry in the Luther Bowl tournament, each year competing in a special game between the two schools with hopes of winning the “Common Cup” and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

In light of the venture to become one United Lutheran Seminary, the football teams of LTSP and LTSG have decided to play in separate brackets of the Luther Bowl tournament and retire the Common Cup this year. Instead, the team from LTSP will travel to Gettysburg the night before the tournament to play in a “mixed team” football game and enjoy fellowship around a campfire on Gettysburg’s campus. On the day of Luther Bowl, both teams will support each other as they compete in separate brackets of the tournament. The teams are also working to craft a liturgy for the retirement of the Common Cup that day.

Students expressed hope that retiring the Common Cup and the flag football rivalry between LTSG and LTSP will be yet another display of unity and fellowship between the two institutions as they come to together as one.  “We are very excited to keep tradition alive while looking towards our united future with LTSG” said team captains Bridget Gautier and Seth Rumage.  “We look forward to growing together in fellowship and supporting each other both on and off the field.  This is one of the many ways both LTSP and LTSG are saying and demonstrating that we are in this together.”

Luther Bowl is a beloved tradition at both of our schools, said Laura Dunklin, one of the organizers for the Gettysburg event. “As we approached the tournament this year, we wanted to both respect the history of the rivalry and focus on building relationships for the future. The decisions we made for the tournament this year honor both of those goals. I’m proud of how our teams are supporting one another and the ways in which this fellowship reflects our new identity as we come together to form United Lutheran Seminary.”

All students from both schools said they hope that alumni from both schools will come out and show their support on Saturday, October 29that Gettysburg.

Gettysburg and Philadelphia Seminaries Offer Tuition-Free Education

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NST16-02
News  For Immediate Release

(February 11, 2016) The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG) today announced a dramatic increase in the amount of financial aid each school is giving students, including making full-tuition scholarships available to all new full-time, ELCA rostered leader candidates studying in residence. “In partnership with the ELCA, our supporting Synods, and many faithful congregations and individuals, we decided the time is right to make seminary education far more affordable for our students,” declared Presidents Michael Cooper-White (LTSG) and David Lose (LTSP). In addition to this generous offer for new students, the schools also expect to increase scholarships for all current full-time enrollees.

Moreover, the two schools have also committed to supporting all other students from any denomination enrolled at least half time in a first theological degree program by matching dollar-for-dollar all support made to students from sponsoring congregations and church bodies up to the amount of full tuition. “Our goal,” the presidents said, “is to make it possible for any student to receive a superior education tuition free.” This significant increase in financial aid comes as the first major initiative of the new school of theology and leadership formation the two schools plan to start. “By making more robust financial aid a central commitment of the new school,” the presidents continued, “we can build a new budget with that level of aid as the fixed commitment.”

“What is the total cost of attendance for graduates from West Point or the Naval Academy?” the presidents asked, and then answered, “Nothing. Because the graduates of those schools will pay back their education through at least five years of service to their country. Our students,” they continued, “will also repay the gift of their education through a lifetime of service to the church.” The goal, the presidents explained, is to create a more cooperative approach to theological education. “Students don’t simply pay for or earn their degrees,” they said, “they receive them as a gift of the church they will be serving. And congregations don’t merely sponsor ‘their’ student but are investing in the future leadership of the whole church.”

While this decision stems from the creative work to fashion a new school, each seminary will begin awarding these full-tuition and other scholarships immediately to students entering in the fall of 2016 as well as increasing aid to those eligible who are already studying at the school. “We’re not leaving anyone out,” the presidents said.

The presidents stressed that current and on-going gifts from congregations and individuals, as well as the support of synods and the ELCA, make this dramatic increase in aid possible. “We cannot do this alone,” they stated. “Our responsibility is to come up with an educational structure and budget that is efficient and responsible, and we are grateful for the support of so many faithful and generous people to make the dream of a fully-supported seminary education a reality.”

For more information on the new financial aid policy or to apply to one of the schools, please contact Nate Preisinger (LTSP) or Lauren Muratore (LTSG). To make a gift to either school to support candidates studying for ministry, please contact Dennis Trotter (LTSP) or Glenn Ludwig (LTSG), or visit the seminary websites (www.Ltsp.edu and www.Ltsg.edu).

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