On Thursday, 20 January, CLTS welcomed the Board of Regents of our sister seminary in Edmonton. The two boards traditionally meet together every two years. It provides an opportunity to co-ordinate the work and planning of LCC’s two seminaries. Just as importantly, the face-to-face gathering fosters friendship and understanding.
The major topic of discussion was the report of the synodical Task Force on Cost-Effective, Sustainable Seminary Education. The boards welcomed the task force chairman, Rev. Nolan Astley, for a portion of the meeting, and then worked to develop a joint statement that has now been presented to the synod’s Board of Directors.
In their response, the boards emphasised the importance of operational unity–working together–rather than organisational merger. They committed the seminaries to sharing resources to save costs, including faculty exchanges and joint teaching through internet video-conferencing. At the same time, they committed the seminaries to the priority of face-to-face pastoral formation, and asked that the use of distance education be limited. They emphasised the need to have specialists in all five areas of theology. Noting that the president is unable to teach a full load, they concluded that a total of five faculty members would be insufficient to fulfil needs and deliver quality education. They proposed that the synod merge and centralise the seminaries’ development and recruitment activities. Finally they committed the two boards and the two faculties to meeting more frequently together through video-conferencing.
The warm and friendly fellowship was appreciated by all, and included an end-of-day visit to a local winery owned by a Lutheran family.