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.”