The students, faculty, and staff at Lancaster Theological Seminary have navigated the Seminary’s first year of fully online learning and telecommuting since 1825. We face a future that may be different than years past but one which gives us reason to embrace hope.
We are proud of the resilience, flexibility, and grace that our Seminary community has shown in meeting the challenges of a difficult year.
Questions and Answers
In anticipation of the curiosity and conversation that this exciting announcement will generate, we have developed the following questions and answers for the LTS community. If you have further questions, please email your name, contact information and your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does this announcement mean?
Leaders at each institution have met and believe that it is in the best interests of both schools to consider the possibility of combining efforts to provide an ecumenical theological education on multiple campuses. We have developed a formal but non-binding framework for this process of consideration.
Where did this idea of combining institutions originate?
At LTS, we have been exploring potential strategic opportunities over the last three strategic planning processes with our Board of Trustees. In the 2020 strategic plan, we identified long-term financial sustainability as a key goal with the possibility of creating new partnerships that would help us achieve this goal while advancing our Seminary’s mission.
True to the Moravian Church’s history of ecumenism, Moravian Theological Seminary has a long history of preparing individuals for service in many denominations. The shift from being Moravian College to Moravian University allows for expansion of all graduate programs, including the theological program.
Why consider the possibility of combination now?
The timing was right for both Moravian and LTS. A strategic combination of institutions could create an exciting ecumenical partnership able to serve an even wider global faith community. The opportunities that result from combining resources, facilities, faculty expertise and our respective alumni communities have the potential to write a new and powerful story for our two seminaries.
How does the context of a global pandemic affect this situation?
The context of a global pandemic highlights the financial circumstances within all of higher education (and especially theological education) to leverage collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships.
What's the process and timeline?
We expect the process of dialogue and due diligence to last through the summer, at least. An exploratory committee composed of representatives of both schools will address key issues including financials, academics, enrollment, and governance. According to the agreed-upon framework of our discussions, the exploratory committee will present information to the boards of trustees of both institutions within 45 days.
How will this announcement affect students, faculty, and staff?
We are currently in the exploratory stage and have begun formal dialogue. We expect that there will be no impact on any students, faculty or staff at this stage of the discussions. It’s too soon to tell. As the process moves along, we are committed to sharing information when it becomes possible.
Will the name of either institution change if there is a combination?
Our preliminary discussions have included a commitment to retain the LTS name.
Is Lancaster Theological Seminary closing?
No. Lancaster Theological Seminary will continue to offer its accredited programs in its current location. In recent years, the LTS Board of Trustees has explored a number of potential scenarios for strategic partnerships that would leverage different operational models to promote greater financial stability and advance the LTS mission for years to come. This current conversation is simply a continuation of this strategy.
How does this announcement affect the LTS presidential search?
The LTS Board of Trustees suspended the presidential search in February after deciding to move forward with discussions about a potential partnership with Moravian College. After the period of due diligence, the Board will decide whether or not to resume the search.
Vision – Mission – Values
The Seminary’s collective aspiration:
As a Christ-centered community, we empower
individuals, leaders, communities, and churches
to thrive as we engage the emerging needs of God’s world.
The Seminary is guided by the inspiring vision:
Lancaster Theological Seminary is where
God transforms us to transform others and the world.
The Seminary’s mission is:
To educate and nurture leaders to join in
God’s liberating and redemptive work
so that all creation may flourish.
As a Christian seminary:
We value critical theological reflection in scholarship and practice.
We value diversity of perspectives and faith traditions.
We value students for who they are and who they are becoming, not just for what they know.
We value social justice.
We value faithful stewardship of time, talent, and resources.