Current budgets cause concern for seminary task force

WINNIPEG – “We’re at the point where recommendations are becoming clearer,” reported Rev. Nolan Astley to Lutheran Church–Canada’s Board of Directors. Rev. Astley is chairman of the Task Force on Cost-Efficient and Sustainable Seminary Education. His report summarized the most recent meetings of the task force in April and June.

Members of the seminary task force (back l-r) Rev. Arron Gust; Second Vice-president Robert Krestick; Howard Famme. (front) Rev. Nolan Astley (chair); Rev. Colin Liske (secreatry). Absent: Todd Sands

In its interim report, the task force presented the Board of Directors with two recommendations. Since the financial state of both seminaries is of concern to the task force, it recommended LCC’s Board of Directors ask the seminaries’ Boards of Regents to produce and adopt realistic budgets that avoid any further deficits and to clear from their books any accumulated debt before June 2011.

Other the past years, Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Edmonton has balanced its budgets from reserve funds, which are now depleted. In St. Catharines, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary has an accumulated debt of more than $738,000 upon which it is only paying interest. Rev. Astley explained that “any new proposals for seminary education in Canada need to begin with a clean financial slate.”

While retiring an operating debt is not easy, the task force believes the Lord will move His people to provide the funds.

The task force also recommended that Synod review Chapter 6 of the LCC Handbook which deals with colleges and seminaries. It believes there needs to be clarification of the relationship between the LCC’s Board of Directors and the institutions’ Boards of Regents.

Pastor Astley concluded his report by stating that “our seminaries remain integral to the mission of the Synod and the task force looks forward to tabling proposals that will enhance this work and lead to the development of a renewed vision for confessional Lutheran seminary education in Canada.”

The task force met in Winnipeg August 31–September 1 with the goal of presenting proposals to the Board of Directors at its November meeting.

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: September 17, 2010
Posted In: Education News,

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