Proposed Resolutions: Committee 5, Seminary and University Education (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

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:


5-01: 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 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 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 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 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 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 (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 (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.


Proposed Resolutions: Committee 5, Seminary and University Education (by Pr. Charles Henrickson) — 19 Comments

  1. Re: 5-09. In 2007 a resolution was passed that gave the BOR’s the power to appoint members. The rationale was that this would get people with expertise in finance, law, etc. on the BOR. I’m guessing that if you look at the results of this, a large percentage of the members of the BOR’s so appointed have deep pockets, their respective expertise notwithstanding. One potential problem with this is that such people with such deep pockets could influence the teaching because of their financial influence.

    I’m not sure what this Resolution says, but I’d be very very careful. It smells a bit dangerous to me.

    Johannes (shallow pockets)

  2. I have yet to see any comment on one particularly good “late” overture: 1.5-38;
    “To Recognize Licensed Deacons ad Called and Ordained Pastors” submitted by the Rocky Mountain District BOD. Here is a valiant attempt to bring all our workers back under the confessional umbrella, as it were. I think deserves favorable consideration.

  3. Are our synod universities required to teach creationism as truth in biology classes? If not, we need a resolution to require it.

  4. Pastor Hendrickson,
    Do any of these pertain or could pertain to what is brought into the Concordia Universities, as far as, who decides outside speakers or “special event speakers”? Will any of these directly, indirectly or effect this subject in the future? Such as more freedom apart from Synod to engage, anyone outside or who may be questionable?

  5. @David C Busby #4

    This was done in a previous convention–don’t remember which ’04 or ’07 and maybe even before that. It has not kept some profs in some of our synodical colleges from teaching evolution as fact.

  6. @David C Busby #4

    @Rev. Roger D. Sterle #6

    It may have been at the last three conventions. The faculties ignore such resolutions, and nobody is interested in enforcing them. They are in the “motherhood, flag, and apple pie” category. There’s no “teeth” in these resolutions, so they are simply a “striving after wind.”


  7. Johannes,
    Ye of much wisdom,

    If they keep ignoring it, why do they keep passing stuff, to allow them to ignore even more?

  8. @Michael #8
    It is suppose to be the President of the institution and if he does not do it than the board of regents should enforce it. If that fails then the President of Synod should remove the man from his position–I think he can do such. It is the President of Synod’s responsibility to oversee all doctrine and practice in the LCMS. Course, we have seen how far that responsibility is used in the last several SP’s.

  9. @Dutch #9

    Because it looks good on paper–states that we stand for something even if we don’t enforce our actions. For instance, in the last President’s newsletter in Reporter the SP quoted the Synodical practice of close communion. Not enforced!! Period!!! Not even at our synodical schools. My son refused to go to communion at one of our schools because his Mormon and Catholic roommates were allowed to commune. And yes I did write to the President of that school.

  10. Rev. Sterle #11,
    Thanks so much. I stood down for the Sacrament twice in my whole life (2009 both), similar to your son’s reasons. Whew, that makes me know so much better! Not “feel” but know.

    Rev. Sterle, do these or do they not, give freedom, rational, or creedance to allow what has already been welcomed or not? Or even any wiggle room to continue to engage the likes of L.S., R.B., D.K., or as of last weekend in Portland, W.P.Y. Do these or do they not?

    Dependant minds, really do need to know.

  11. I noticed our President said he supports close communion. Thought that was odd since it is mostly his supporters that have open communion.

  12. @Michael #13

    In 2001, PK said he was a six-day creationist, too. And a few other things, like “confessional”. I’m sure he reject syncretism and unionism, too. Or is it now “non-participation?” Whatever….

    Not sure that it is mostly his supporters that have open communion, though. Unprovable assumption.


  13. @Dutch #12

    I think that some of these resolutions need to receive great attention, not only in their reading but also in whether or not they should be passed. I can totally agree with Charles assessment of each. I will be taking the old computer with me along with printed copies of Charles’ points. I will also share them with the lay delegate from our circuit. The more we study these resolutions the better able we are to make Scriptural decisions about their passages.

    I don’t think that the challenges already present in our schools will change one way or the other based upon any of these resolutions. The best that can be done is pass the good ones and reject the bad ones.

  14. Thank you Rev. Sterle, that makes me feel better & thanks for being patient with me & my questions.

  15. re: Res. 5-08

    Unfortunately, this resolution does not differentiate the colloquy of DCEs from colloquy of teachers as commissioned ministers. Someone can become a DCE through the colloquy process without having the same academic or theological training as one would get through a Concordia.

    Additionally, it centralizes the process and takes it away from the institutions that exist to train our teachers and DCEs, namely, the Concordias.

    I urge an no vote on this resolution because it’s a bad fix.

    The CUEnet needs to be gone and the Concordias need to educate these candidates. They all have online classes too.

    We need a resolution in 2013 or 14 to change the colloquy process. This does not do it for the better.

  16. Upshot–just like several resolutions from other floor committees, there is a general trend here (with notable exceptions, of course). Moving involvement with and control of our higher education system *away* from “Joe Schmoe in the pew” and the Church which gathers at the Altar in front of his pew. Don’t require publication of intent to grant tenure, involve *fewer* synodically-elected people in the choosing of new university presidents, and secularize the qualifications for regents.

  17. What happened to Res 5-16 To Reaffirm Six Day Creation? It appears this was not acted upon and why not? All reference to creation within all other resolutions are meaningless as we don’t believe Gen 1 (to me a denial of our Triune God).

    LCMS is now following Satan’s greatest deception (evolution) and now no longer one of the only Christian church bodies to follow our Triune God’s truth (Creation and Redemption). Luther believed that Creation and Justification were inseperable. I believe Luther would ask us to remove Lutheran from our name. I can no longer tell anyone that I belong to a Lutheran synod. I do need help here understanding this inaction.

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