Thursday, August 11, 2011

tidbits from the LIFT document that might be interesting to seminarians

So, here are a few quotes from the LIFT document the ELCA will be voting on at churchwide assembly:

“Seminaries need to prepare to graduate at 4,000 candidates for ordained ministry in the next ten years.”

They should focus on teaching in a way that leads to:
“A Lutheran theological witness that is more audible in the North American marketplace of religious ideas.
A church with significantly more multicultural rostered leaders and broad cross-cultural capacity.
A church with a significantly younger average age on the ordained roster.
A church which relies less and less on seminarian student debt to support theological education.”

One of the ways to make seminary go quicker is to have colleges and seminaries work together. This "could include B.Th. and articulation agreements that shorten time to M.Div. and MA”

Another way to shorten seminary/make it cost less/ etc is to:
“Recognition of alternate credentials for ministry and Fewer moves for seminary students with longer mentoring in contexts."

In order to make sure first-call pastors aren't overburdened with debt lift recommends:
“That the ELCA as a church commit to giving 1 percent (approximately $18M) of its unrestricted congregational giving as mission support directly to theological education. That the ELCA Church Council appoint a blue-ribbon panel to propose the most strategic, connective and direct manner in which to receive and allocate these monies. Such a commitment aligns with the critical role of faithful and effective evangelical missional lay and rostered leadership in this church’s future.”


Kate said...

Wow! That's a pretty serious commitment to theological education. And I see no mention (at least in these quotes) of bivocationality or dual ministry. I'll have to go read the whole document and see what else it lifts up! (sorry, pun intended)

Kate said...

Here's a defense of theological education I came across on Duke Div's blog. I thought it was an interesting "from the ground" perspective.

Noah said...

Mostly pretty good stuff....
but... was Jesus message marketable in the religious context of the Roman Empire?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Kate said...

I read the document with a slightly different nuance. It talks about being audible in a clamoring marketplace of NA religious ideas- not necessarily becoming "more marketable" by today's standards. Sometimes the easiest voice to hear is the counter-cultural one, the one turning over the tables. I hear in LIFT again and again that the way we become more audible is through word and sacrament, sharing Jesus' message of grace. Not a very marketable message I guess....

Or am I being too generous to the task force?

Kate said...

Does anyone know more about the recommendation to freeze all new social statements? Is that going to go through?

Christopher said...

So Kate, what I hear you saying, is that the ELCA’s statement is advocating that we follow the example of Jesus and Lady Wisdom, wandering the market place and dropping knowledge on all those who will listen—as opposed to trying to “be marketable,” or alternatively silent.

Christopher said...

As for the resolution freeze, I haven't heard.

Noah said...

Kate, you reading is the best possible reading. Stick to it. I will remain skeptical - but hopeful that your reading is correct.