Luther House of Study to Strengthen Lutheran Leadership in the Region

Luther House of Study to Strengthen Lutheran Leadership in the Region

October 13, 2006

North American Baptist Seminary and Augustana College are collaborating on a program addressing a shortage of leadership in Lutheran congregations.

Augustana and North American Baptist Seminary, along with the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and Lutherans Outdoors, have formed the Luther House of Study (LHOS), a program offering theological education to those interested and involved in ministry. In particular, LHOS hopes to reverse a decline in the number of pastors serving South Dakota and the ELCA.

Contributing to the shortage is a shrinking pool of seminary graduates, a tripling of seminary debt in the last decade, and the impending retirement of almost half the clergy roster in the next 10 years.

LHOS is designed to address these issues in three ways. First, the process of acquiring a seminary degree will be streamlined for laypersons who wish to become pastors but who are hindered by financial and geographical restraints.

Second, cooperating with Lutheran Outdoors, LHOS will support a clergy renewal center offering programs for the revitalization and retention of current pastors.

Third, the undergraduate program at Augustana will be enhanced with additional courses pertaining to Lutheran heritage, and further supporting pre-seminarians and future lay leaders.

Augustana and North American Baptist Seminary are beginning conversations with the South Dakota Synod ELCA and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., exploring ways of assisting students pursuing seminary degrees, in particular those facing financial and geographical challenges.

The goal of LHOS is to cultivate, revitalize, and renew leadership in Lutheran congregations throughout the region. For more information contact Chris Croghan, Director of the Luther House of Study, at 274-5488 or chris.croghan@augie.edu.

To visit the website for the Luther House of Study between North American Baptist Seminary and North American Baptist Seminary, please click on the Visit the Site link below or go to www.lutherhouseofstudy.org.

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