For nearly 200 years, Lutheran seminaries in the United States have been educating pastors, missionaries and other church workers for service in congregations, social service agencies and other countries.
Thousands of future church leaders have received training—through a curriculum developed over centuries—in Scripture, church doctrine, history, pastoral care and other skills needed for ministry.
The ELCA’s eight seminaries have honored histories dating back to 1826, when the oldest Lutheran seminary in this country was founded in Gettysburg, Pa. Degree programs are being altered and curriculum revised.
Today those seminaries face problems—some might call the situation a crisis—due to high costs, declining enrollment and changes in the type of education needed for pastors in the 21st century. All are looking at ways to help the seminaries and students bear the high cost of graduate school education.
On October 31, 1517, Luther, a Catholic monk, posted his 95 Theses as a challenge to the doctrine and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, hoping to reform the practices he felt were inconsistent with scripture.
When the conflict escalated to a distinct separation with the Roman Catholic Church, those who accepted Luther's reforms became "Lutherans." Based on Luther's own writings, Lutherans still uphold Luther's theological teachings such as (scripture as the primary authority for faith and life), justification by the grace of God alone, and salvation through faith in Christ alone.
Luther's many theological ideas have since been collected into the Book of Concord, which is still an authority in Lutheran doctrine and practice.
Because of its initial grounding in the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran worship, more than many other Protestant traditions, has many elements similar to the Catholic style of worship.
You can serve them directly by purchasing an item today.The five core Social Ministry Organizations of Lutheran Charities offer specialized and customized support, encouragement and love to vulnerable people without regard to religion, race, disability, age, gender or sexual orientation, all made possible through the generous giving of those who love God and their neighbors.Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend had threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a break-up. study on teen dating abuse conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, February 2005.) Dating violence is a pattern of controlling behaviors that one partner uses to get power over the other, and it includes: Any kind of physical violence or threat of physical violence to get control; Emotional or mental abuse, such as playing mind games, making you feel crazy, or constantly putting you down or criticizing you; Sexual abuse, including making you do anything you don’t want to,; Refusing to have safe sex or making you feel badly about yourself sexually; Does your boyfriend/girlfriend: Have a history of bad relationships or past violence? Try to control you by being bossy, not taking your opinion seriously or making all of the decisions about who you see, what you wear, what you do, etc.?In response, ELCA schools have begun a massive effort to reorient almost everything about themselves to fit seminary education to the needs of today’s church. Michael Cooper-White, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, said seminary education today takes “a new approach to formation and leadership development. We are all looking for ways to better prepare people for the amazingly complex and challenging context of today’s ministry,” he said.These efforts are occurring amid declining enrollment.