Father Anonymous at Magdalene’s Egg recently posted about faculty changes at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which will shortly be completing its merger with Lenoir-Rhyne University. In the process of the merger, three faculty members will be leaving, their positions being eliminated.
A little background is in order for any who may not be familiar with these institutions. Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) is one of the eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). It is located in Columbia, South Carolina. It has a history going back to 1830. Founded in 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne University is located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a college of the ELCA. Facing financial pressures, Southern Seminary is merging with and becoming the graduate theological school of Lenoir-Rhyne University.
A comment on Fr. Anonymous’s blog points readers to a letter from the outgoing president and board chair of LTSS. It provides some institutional history and background to both the merger and the decisions to reduce the faculty size. (The letter can be found at http://www.ltss.edu/public/files/docs/Letter_to_LTSS_Constituents_062512.pdf.)
One item from that letter that stood out for me was a statement that, since 2008, support from the ELCA for the programs of LTSS has declined by 30%. I find that amount of reduction in support from the church alarming. In my estimation, among many other pieces of information, that should stand out as the most significant in the letter. read more