EDMONTON – The Boards of Regents of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS) in St. Catharines, Ontario, and Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) in Edmonton met jointly February 2-3, 2016 at CLS’ campus in Edmonton.
Significant time was devoted each day to board development (urged by the Association of Theological Schools) with In Trust consultant Dr. Rebekah Basinger. The focus of these governance development steps was on how the board structure and action must align with synodical goals for theological education. Each board is to provide policy and governance direction so that its seminary will flourish in fulfilling its mission and purpose. Dr. Basinger affirmed many strengths from each of the boards, including the relational interactions, communication, and trust between and among the boards. She was especially affirming of the common commitment of each board to fulfilling its confessional mission.
At the meeting, each board also held separate sessions to deal with specific business items related to its seminary. Both boards also met together to share information and updates, reports, and items of business.
Both boards reaffirmed their commitment to the broad understandings of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and its direction from the Church. Both boards also expressed concerns over Concordia University of Edmonton’s recent decision to remove “Christian” from its mission statement. Both seminary boards affirmed their absolute resolve to remain faithfully committed to LCC and her mission.
Both boards also committed the MOU committee (comprised of the presidents and Board of Regents chairmen from both seminaries, along with LCC Vice President Rudy Pastucha) to reinforce the spirit of cooperation with the LCC restructuring process through a restructuring committee of the CCMS, especially since there are questions on the survey dealing with the timeline and level of urgency in dealing with seminary configurations. The seminaries are increasing a focus on the exploration of extended models to carry forward high quality, affordable theological education into the future for LCC.
Highlights of both boards include:
- a celebration of financial strengths at both seminaries (at CLTS from two recent bequests from previously unknown sources, and at CLS through continued strong support from faithful congregations and members across the church);
- strong enrollment numbers (CLTS has 11 pastoral and 4 MTS students; CLS has 11 pastoral and 4 open studies students with seven new applications for 2016-17 in hand). These increases speak strongly for the two seminaries, especially in light of the fact that, since 2005, the trend for ATS schools has been an average declinein enrollment by 24%; thus, LCC’s two seminaries are in a healthy counter-cultural trend;
- Healthy student populations;
- Coordinated faculty searches (OT and Systematics) over the next two years.
CLTS Board Chair Rev. Robert Krestick and CLTS Pres. Dr. Tom Winger remained an extra day in Edmonton as presenters for the CLS Timothy Lecture, covering “12 Axioms of Ministry from the Model of Marriage” (Krestick) and a walk through Ephesians (highlights from Dr. Winger’s recently published CPH commentary on Ephesians).
The spirit of the meetings was strong, affirming, positive, and collegial. Both boards recognize that there are many things for which we can give thanks.