Newsletter. Preparing Laborers for the Harvest. Our Mission and Vision

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1 Newsletter Volume 1, Issue 1 April 2015 Preparing Laborers for the Harvest What began as a dream has now become a reality. Through the efforts of many and the financial support of even more, the North American Lutheran Seminary is now forming confessional, faithful pastors for the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Students are being prepared for ministry at both the Seminary Center at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and the House of Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. In October 2014, Dr. Amy C. Schifrin was inaugurated as the first President of the North American Lutheran Seminary at Zion Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the same time Dr. David Yeago was installed as Professor of Systematic Theology for both the NALS and Trinity School for Ministry. The Rev. Dr. Mary Havens serves as the Director of Lutheran Studies at Gordon- Conwell Theological Seminary for the NALS. The Rev. Dr. Nathan Yoder also teaches at the House of Studies at GCTS. Our Mission and Vision In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we are forming pastors and church leaders for the North American Lutheran Church who will faithfully preach, teach, and live God s eternal truth, through Word and Sacrament, proclaiming Christ s cross and resurrection, making disciples who will renew and grow the church in Christ s name.

2 V olum e 1, I ssu e 1 Page 2 Dear Friends in Christ, From the President He is Risen is the cry of those who come to the empty tomb. He is Risen, indeed! We celebrate the Festival of the Resurrection this month and the next 50 days, 7 Sundays of unbridled joy. We give thanks for what God has done for us in raising Jesus from the dead. We give thanks for the word spoken by the Risen Christ to Mary Magdalene, Go, tell my brothers. We give thanks for the faithful witness told by the apostles. We give thanks for all who, through the many centuries, have passed the account of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord unto us. Alleluia! Christ is Risen, indeed! As a seminary of the church we are forming and preparing pastoral candidates for a vocation of proclamation. As St. Paul writes, Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. (I Corinthians 15:12-14) At the center of the Christian faith is the belief that the One who was crucified on Friday has conquered death and now lives and rules for all eternity. St. Paul, along with the other writers of the New Testament, wrote such words down so that they would be spoken aloud in the gathered assembly. They wrote the words down with the power of God still in them, and it is our calling as the church to proclaim these words of Holy Scripture so that their power may again be released in this generation. In these holy words lies the power of God to heal, to forgive, and to set free. Through these words God gives us hope: hope that death will not be the last word, but life eternal. The North American Lutheran Seminary is seeking candidates with such a passion to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen from the dead. Do you recognize someone in your congregation whom God might be calling to such pastoral ministry? Someone whose life is already being shaped by God s mercy and goodness in such a way, that through the disciplines of prayer, study, and service, God would call them to preach his word week after week in his holy assembly? Encourage them to explore the vocation of pastoral ministry. Have them visit our Seminary Center in Ambridge or our House of Studies in Charlotte. Put them in touch with our NALS Faculty and/or Registrar so that we, too, may engage them in this important conversation of discernment. The generations to come need faithful pastors who will preach in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2) so that all people will come to know the saving love of the Risen Christ. For He rises from the dead and that we might sing as in an eternal spring. He rises from the dead and we find hope where once we only knew loss. He rises from the dead and we are so filled with his love that we cannot stop ourselves from sharing it. May Christ s resurrection power fill you as you walk in his eternal love. Dr. Amy C. Schifrin, President, North American Lutheran Seminary

3 V olum e 1, I ssu e 1 Page 3 January Intensives Feature Dr. Jim Nestingen Every January, Trinity School for Ministry offers two intensive weeks of classes. This year, Dr. Jim Nestingen taught courses during both weeks. During the first week, CH680 The Theology and Writings of Martin Luther was offered. In this course, lectures focused on thematic readings, discussion and evaluation of selected Luther writings. During the second week, CH670 The Modern Church was offered. The history of the church from the Reformation until current times was the topic of this course. Students from all over the U.S. and Canada were represented in the classroom. There were both Lutheran students and Trinity School for Ministry students in the class. Additionally, a Doctor of Ministry student was also registered for one course. These intensive courses allow NALC candidates to take Lutheran courses necessary for the Candidacy process without relocating. The NALS also offers a select number of online courses so that distant students can complete these required courses. Intensive courses are also offered at TSM in June. Dr. Amy Schifrin and Bishop John Bradosky will be teaching a course on Discipleship the week of June 15-19, And Dr. Schifrin is also teaching a course on Lutheran Liturgy the week of June 1-5. More information about these courses can be found at intensives. We are excited that the January 2016 term will feature both Dr. Jim Nestingen and Dr. Frank Senn.

4 V olum e 1, I ssu e 1 Page 4 Degree Programs: Something for Everyone The NALS offers several different degree options. Students can earn degrees either from the Seminary Center at Trinity School for Ministry or at the House of Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. More information about the specific programs can be found at the NALS Website. Students who are in the Candidacy Process with the NALC Candidacy committee most often seek to complete the Master of Divinity program. An M. Div. specifically forms students as pastors. This program is three years in length and has a residential requirement. While students can complete some of the courses online, they must attend classes on campus for at least one year. Candidates who have completed an M. Div at a non-lutheran seminary are able to complete a Diploma in Lutheran Studies in order to meet the requirements of the Candidacy Committee. This degree includes ten Lutheran specific courses. The courses include practical ministry courses in Homiletics and Liturgy, Theology and Lutheran Church History. These courses are offered online as well as Intensives. concentration in Christian History and Theology or Christian Mission and Ministry. These degrees can be completed entirely online. Finally, a third type of program is offered in conjunction with Trinity School of Ministry. The Certificate of Lutheran Studies is a non-credit program for lay leaders. CLS courses are intended to enhance the faith and knowledge of the NALC laity in order to strengthen the mission of local congregations. The certificate consists of six courses which are offered online. These are non-credit courses which are taught on a trimester system. The next session begins in June of More information is available on the website. If you re interested in learning more about any of these programs, you can for more information. For students who are interested in expanding their knowledge but not desiring to pursue ordination, we offer several different Master of Arts in Religion degrees. Students can pursue degrees with a

5 V olum e 1, I ssu e 1 Page 5 Are you a member of Thrivent Financial who s eligible to direct Choice Dollars? Choice Dollars charitable grant funds can make a world of difference to our seminary as we work together to prepare pastors. By directing Choice Dollars, eligible Thrivent members recommend where they feel Thrivent should distribute a portion of its charitable grant funds. Directing Choice Dollars is easy. Simply go to Thrivent.com/ thriventchoice to learn more and find program terms and conditions. Or call and say Thrivent Choice after the prompt. Thrivent Choice Dollars: A new way to support the NALS NALS Updates: The Lutheran Studies Department at Gordon-Conwell hosted the The Michael C.D. McDaniel Center for Theology Reformation Conference: Ecclesia Plantanda Lecture Series on October 30, Lectures were presented by The Rev. Dr. Joel Lehenbauer and the Rev. Dr. James Nestingen. Dr. David Yeago, President Amy Schifrin and Dr. Jim Nestingen participated in the NALC Pastor s Conference in Orlando, Florida, February 10-11, Dr. Yeago gave two lectures on the theme of the Conference, Jesus and the Bible: Authority in the Church. Dr. Schifrin together with the Rev. Dr. David Wendel taught on worship and the Rev. Dr. Nestingen did an overview of lectionary texts. Hans Tolpingrud, current student, and Dr. Amy Schifrin visited Westmont College in California on March 12, Dr. Schifrin preached during chapel on the topic of the Lord s Prayer. Dr. Amy Schifrin traveled to Canada where she gave several lectures at the Canadian Rockies Theological Summit, April 14-17, An article by Dr. Amy Schifrin was published in the Spring 2015 edition of Lutheran Forum. The article was entitled, Learning to Pray. The NALS 311 Eleventh St Ambridge, PA

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