The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s largest seminary, Luther Seminary in Minnesota, sent shockwaves through the denomination with the recent admittance that they are facing extreme financial difficulties. The president of Luther Seminary abruptly stepped down from his position as a result. Luther Seminary published a report stating, “While we continue to function at a high level, we are facing a difficult combination of challenges, not unlike those faced by many other institutions of higher education. These challenges include deferred maintenance charges related to aging buildings, the costs of delivering a wide variety of educational programs and a nationwide drop in the number of students attending seminaries . . . this transition comes at a time when the financial performance of the seminary has lagged expectations.” (read here)
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Luther Seminary, “announces search for new president after losing nearly $4 million last school year.” The report said, “The president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul has resigned amid rising maintenance costs and declining enrollment . . . Enrollment is down from 822 nearly five years ago to 764 students this year.” Board chairman Jim Lindus said, "We had a lower investment performance than we were expecting, and education costs in general are going up. And we're trying to figure out how do we adjust to that in a church that ... has become smaller." (read here) The article also points out that “Other ELCA seminaries nationwide are also dealing with ‘very challenging times.’"
An ELCA pastor, blogging about the news concerning Luther Seminary said, “the ELCA and many of her associated enterprises - Luther Seminary among them - has taken its eye off the ball. We are told that we are to be missional - but missional about what? A vast cohort of students, faculty, and staff (and therefore pastors, bishops, and synod staff) get more worked up about personal pronouns for God than personal relationships with God. We are taught that to ‘want people to come to church on Sunday morning’ indicates a lack of understanding that God works outside the church. We are taught that the Church, and Word & Sacrament, are nice, you know, but so are justice and advocacy. I spent more time in seminary learning about ‘family systems’ than I did sacramental theology. No, for realz. I was assigned more papers about why we shouldn't evangelize, than about how and why we should.”
This ELCA pastor goes on to say, “certain individuals and departments spend ridiculous amounts of seminary funds on high-end coffee and cookies every day of the week. There are flat-screen TVs in every corner of Northwestern and the OCC. NW and OCC have both recently undergone major asthetic remodels, while the dorms and apartments battle bedbugs and mold year-round.” (read here)
The ELCA is led by self-serving, Bible-denying, and apparently wasteful leaders. Because of their wandering away from the heart of the Gospel, to make disciples, the denomination itself is withering.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
Former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.
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Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. - Ephesians 5:11