WELCOME TO THE
EASTERN CLUSTER
OF
LUTHERAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARIES

INTRODUCTION AND WELCOME

The Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America prepares the Church’s servant-leaders to minister in a 21st century world. Three seminaries combine rigorous academics with experiential and contextual learning in lively worshipping communities to equip capable and committed women and men for the public ministries of the church.


ABOUT THE CLUSTER

The Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries (ECLS) is comprised of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG), the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) located in Columbia, South Carolina. Each of these seminaries enjoys historic roots reaching well back into the nineteenth century. These seminaries have lived through three major Lutheran church body mergers-in 1918, 1962, and finally in 1988 with the formation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Throughout the changes, all three have remained committed to providing excellent theological education for thousands of leaders who have served in the Church and community throughout our national and international mission efforts.

In 1994, the clustering of the ELCA's eight seminaries was formalized as a church-wide strategy aimed at extending the effectiveness of the seminary "system" in addressing eleven "Imperatives" for theological education. These align with the mission of the ELCA and its vision for theological education:

Mission of the ELCA:
To proclaim God's saving Gospel of salvation, to carry out the Great Commission, and to serve in response to God's love to meet human needs. It is pledged to worship God, nurture its members in the Word of God and manifest the unity given to the people of God.

ELCA Vision for Theological Education in the 21st Century (adopted 1995):
To attract, prepare, and support a wide variety of leaders, grounded in Scripture and the Lutheran confessional tradition and equipped for the Church's mission in a rapidly changing environment, made possible through the redeployment of resources in an interdependent network of theological education providers.

The Cluster has become an effective and functioning entity that develops and implements programs that positively impact the constituencies of all three seminaries. The success to date is demonstrated through administrative collaboration, numerous joint programs planned and implemented, a structured governing body, careful cultivation of constituency involvement and support, and the development of a strategic planning process based on the Cluster's Mission Statement:

Centered in the Word of God made flesh in Jesus Christ, the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America exists to support the fullness of the theological endeavor: as faith seeking understanding; understanding seeking expression; and expression fulfilling mission. The Cluster, being an interdependent body formed to meet the challenging needs of clergy and lay leaders and all the baptized for their ministry in daily life, provides theological leadership by offering degree and non-degree programs.

The Cluster is committed to the best stewardship of the talents, resources, and the rich theological heritage entrusted to its leadership, by offering the particular gifts to the Church and relying upon the wisdom and power given to the Church by the Holy Spirit to guide the endeavors.


MEMBER SCHOOLS

The Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries was incorporated July 1, 1999. The Eastern Cluster is comprised of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. The cluster was formed to create a network of partners in order to share theological education to equip persons for ministry and mission in the Eastern United States. The cluster is an open-ended network, building on existing relationships and competencies, to help organize pilot projects being done. The cluster uses it's collective bargaining ability to relate to other networks, manage pilot projects, and make decisions about relationships.

Each school is accessable electronically at the following URLs.

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG)

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP)

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS)


EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Faith that grows in understanding seeks expression in service to church and community. Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Southern Seminaries send forth faithful men and women ready and able to fulfill the mission of telling the Good News of God in Jesus Christ.

Centered in the Word of God made flesh in Jesus Christ, the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America exists to support the integrity and the fullness of the theological endeavor: as faith seeking understanding; understanding seeking expression; and expression fulfilling mission.

We are an interdependent body formed to meet the challenging needs of rostered leaders and all the baptized for their ministry in daily life, by providing theological leadership and offering programs to augment the curricula of the member seminaries.


DISTANCE LEARNING LIBRARY SERVICES

Welcome to the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries website for distance learners. This service provides library and information support for the distance learning community of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries: Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Southern Seminaries.

Distance Education Library Services
Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries
Krauth Memorial Library
7301 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19119-1794

Cluster Library Coordinator: Dr. B. Bohleke
Phone:1-800-658-8437
Fax:1-717-334-3469
E-Mail: bbohleke@ltsg.edu

 
LINKS TO RELATED SITES

The Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries incorporates three of the eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). A complete list of resources available and links to related organizations can be found at : www.elca.org. Lutherans understand themselves as a movement within the Church Catholic rather than a separate denomination. Therefore, ecumenical as well as inter/intra church perspectives and partnerships are considered essential. A list of the full-communion partnerships of the ELCA can be found at: http://www.elca.org/ea/links/index.html.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America is structured with nine regions and sixty-five synods. The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia is located within Region 7; the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg is located within Region 8 ; and, the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC is located within Region 9.

Each of the three seminaries are in partnership with other ecumenical seminaries due to membership in theses consortiums:

LTSG

LTSP

LTSS

 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Board of Directors of the Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries shall consist of eighteen Directors, which shall include the president and the board chairperson of each seminary and four additional Directors from each seminary elected by the board of each seminary from among its membership. The dean of each seminary and a member of the staff of the ELCA Division for Ministry, selected by the Division, shall serve as consultants to the Board of Directors, with voice by without vote. One of the Directors elected by each seminary shall be a synodical bishop who is a member of the seminary board.