From the Rector's Desk -- February 2019

From the Rector - February 2019

From the Rector - February 2019

     This week marks the beginning of the spring semester. Students were dispersed in January doing various things including intensive classes. It was great to have TEEM students on campus in January. During the last week of January PLTS hosted a Word and Service Summit with a variety of stakeholders from ELCA Regions 1 and 2 to discuss the formation and leadership of deacons. The Word and Service roster will be a major focus of the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. About forty leaders gathered at PLTS to discuss the importance of deacons for the ministry and mission of this church.

      Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Dr. Carol Jacobson, Dean Alicia Vargas, Pastor Sara Schultz, and Laura Krueger [a current PLTS diaconal student] and I all participated in the Summit and were inspired by the imagination, passion and gifts of these leaders. We see the development and support of those called to this ministry as pivotal to the renewal of the church. They will serve in various ways as leaders who connect the church to the larger community and the larger community to the church. During the Summit the faculty, the Dean and I had generative conversations with some key leaders about developing a Masters degree and a Certificate for those discerning a call to Word and Service.

     Yesterday Dr. Moe-Lobeda, Dean Vargas and I spent some time discussing how the new MDiv curriculum could serve as the foundation of an MA for Word and Service. The MDiv curriculum is designed to form leaders equipped to engage the world in transformational ministry. In this respect it is also a good fit for those called to Word and Service and for anyone motivated to live out their baptismal vocation in the world. In the next few weeks we will draw up a plan for this Masters and Certificate program and invite the input of our Deacon partners who already are involved in this work. We will then have conversations with Candidacy Committees in Regions 1 and 2 about supporting and developing leaders for the Word and Service roster.

     While PLTS is committed to forming pastors capable of leading congregations in transformational ministry in this complex and rapidly change world, we also believe that the seminary is responsible for providing theological education and spiritual formation for all people. The seminary will continue to work with a variety of partners to discern how we and the leaders we are forming can be involved in the healing and liberating activity of the Spirit in the world and the church. We appreciate very much your partnership in mission of PLTS.

 In gratitude,

Ray Pickett