We continue with the 106 proposed resolutions from the eight floor committees, as found in “Today’s Business.” These are the resolutions proposed by Floor Committee 5, Seminary and University Education:
5. SEMINARY AND UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
5-01: To Recruit and Retain Full-Time Church Workers
Yes. Sounds good.
5-02: To Celebrate and Support “For the Sake of the Church”
An endowment to assist Lutheran students at our Concordias. Fine.
5-03: To Address Lay Deacons
Here’s the problem: It doesn’t “sunset” some districts’ “licensed lay deacon” programs, which should have been done when we adopted the SMP program. The “lay deacon” programs for “exceptional” Word and Sacrament ministry should be done away with, not retained.
5-04: To Increase Impact of Vicarage Program
It would be good if more vicars could be sent to theologically sound but financially strapped congregations, instead of to wealthy but wacky church-growth congregations. This resolution sounds like it could help make that happen, in which case I would be for it.
5-05: To Support Pastoral Formation
Study how to certify pastors and hold them accountable? I’m a little cautious on this one, given how it could be used to screen out and punish “confessionals.”
5-06: To Revise Bylaw 184.108.40.206.2 re Election Process for College and University Presidents
This would give more power to the board of regents, with less participation and control at the synodical level. I don’t think this is a good idea. It could lead to a diminishing of the religious character of our schools.
5-07: To Revise Bylaw 220.127.116.11 re College/University President Responsibilities
I don’t think the responsibilities of the president of a Concordia should be changed. He should remain the spiritual head of the institution, and he should be a male. I am against this resolution.
5-08: To Revise Bylaw 18.104.22.168 Colloquy Committee for Commissioned Ministry
I don’t see how this would change things much. It would just simplify the bylaws, it seems. So unless someone can show me otherwise, I don’t have a problem with it.
5-09: To Revise Bylaw 22.214.171.124.2 re Board of Regents Qualifications
I would not limit the BOR members by specific qualifications as much as this resolution would. I would rather have someone with a strong theological commitment than one with financial or legal expertise but weak theology. Theology is not mentioned in these qualifications.
5-10: To Clarify Bylaw 126.96.36.199.2 re Promotion of Faculty
I think it’s good that we publish the notice of intent to promote university faculty members. This gives the church opportunity to participate and respond. So I oppose this resolution.
5-11: To Clarify Bylaw 188.8.131.52.2 (e) re Promotion of Faculty
Same as above. Publishing the notice of intent to promote seminary faculty–this again gives the church opportunity to provide input. So I oppose this resolution.
5-12: To Revise Bylaw 184.108.40.206.3 (b) re Faculty Appointments
This resolution would delete the expectation that our faculty members would “ordinarily be rostered members of Synod.” But I think we need to have more of our faculty members be rostered church workers. So I am against this resolution.
5-13: To Respectfully Decline Overtures
One declined overture from the Convention Workbook that intrigues me is Ov. 5-16, “To Provide to Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Students the Same Pre-Ordination Core Curriculum as Residential Seminary Students” (CW, p. 194). I think this would result in these students being more “apt to teach,” and it would disincentivize the “quick and easy” route to become pastors.
Next: Committee 6, Human Care.