Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger (r), acting president of Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Catharines confers with Rev. Dr. Manfred Zeuch, president of Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton during recent meetings in Winnipeg.
WINNIPEG – Two recent meetings centred around Lutheran Church–Canada’s higher education institutions and programs.
President Robert Bugbee convened a meeting of the higher education Advisory Council Wednesday, December 9. The council includes the presidents of LCC’s seminaries and university college: Rev. Dr. Thomas Winger (CLTS, St. Catharines); Rev. Dr. Manfred Zeuch (CLS, Edmonton) and Rev. Dr. Gerald Krispin (CUCA, Edmonton). Rev. Nolan Astley, chairman of the Task Force on Cost Efficient Seminary Education, attended part of the meeting by conference call.
The first part of the agenda asked each of the participants to provide a report on their institution’s current activity and challenges. Following this, Rev. Astley joined the meeting to present the latest information from the task force and follow-up on its recommendations presented to the seminaries in June which included an Advisory Council meeting before year-end.
During the afternoon session, members of the council discussed admissions policies, harmonization of seminary schedules, curriculum, fund-raising and development work, and communication with the church-at-large.
Thursday, December 10 saw a special meeting of LCC’s Council of Presidents, the seminary presidents and Rev. Dr. William Mundt (professor at CLTS, St. Catharines) and Rev. Dr. Glenn Schaeffer (adjunct professor at CLS, Edmonton) who currently administer the Pastors with Alternate Training (PAT) program in their area. The goal of the meeting was to clarify the national framework for the course of study. The PAT program was established by the 2002 synodical convention to allow the church to prepare pastors to serve specific congregations which have special needs. These may include language, culture or geographic isolation.
After hearing how the PAT program is currently delivered and the various needs throughout LCC for pastors to serve unique congregations, the presidents decided to place responsibility for the program with synod’s executive assistant to the president for Mission and Social Ministry Services, Rev. Dr. Leonardo Neitzel. The change will take place July 1. Pastor Neitzel’s doctorate is in missiology, a subject he also taught at the seminary in Brazil.
“These were very constructive and encouraging meetings,” said President Bugbee. “The Lord is placing before us tremendous opportunities and challenges and at the same time He is providing wise and creative counsel to address them.”