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Coordinates: 40°03′43″N 75°11′30″W / 40.06194°N 75.19167°W / 40.06194; -75.19167

Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Established 1864
Type Seminary
President Rev. Dr. Philip D. W. Krey
Faculty 41
Postgraduates 423
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Campus 14-acre (57,000 m2)
Affiliations Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) is one of eight seminaries associated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), located in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA). It was founded in 1864 but traces its roots further back to the first Lutheran establishment in Philadelphia founded by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg in 1748..[1] The seminary offers degree courses for a Master of Divinity (MDiv), a Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), a MAR Concentration in Public Leadership, a Master of Sacred Theology (STM), a Doctor of Ministry (DMin), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). It has an enrollment of 420, with a full-time equivalent enrollment of 239. It has 20 full-time and 11 part-time faculty members. Students come from a number of traditions in addition to ELCA, including Episcopalian, Baptist, Methodist, Church of God in Christ and Menonite. The President of LTSP is The Rev. Dr. Philip D. W. Krey.[2]



The background of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia dates back to the founding of the Pennsylvania Ministerium in 1748 by Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the first organized Lutheran church body in North America.[1] LTSP was founded in 1864, partly in response to the theology of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, which was perceived as being too committed to American cultural accommodation rather than confessional Lutheran orthodoxy. This was mirrored by the withdrawal of the Pennsylvania Ministerium from the General Synod, and the formation of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America in 1867.[3] The rivalry between the schools has continued to this day, although it is now principally manifested in annual flag football games.

The Graduate School was established in 1913. In 1938 the school became accredited by the American Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The Urban Theological Institute (UTI) was established in the 1980s as an accredited Saturdays and evening program for African-American church leaders. Many church leaders have been graduates of or faculty members of LTSP, including H. George Anderson, former ELCA Presiding Bishop and Frank Griswold, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Lutheran Church theologian Theodore Emanuel Schmauk was President of the Board of Directors from 1908 until 1920 and in charge of the Department of Ethics, Apologetics and Pedagogy from 1911 until 1920. Additionally the presidents of four Lutheran seminaries have been faculty members at LTSP.[4]


LTSP offers as first professional degrees the MDiv (Master of Divinity), and the MAR (Master of Arts in Religion), including a new concentration in Public Leadership, and the second professional degrees the STM (Master of Sacred Theology), DMin (Doctor of Ministry) and PhD (Doctor of Philosophy):[5] The seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada[2] and by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools . In 2006, LTSP awarded 46 degrees to Lutherans and 20 to non Lutherans. In comparison to the other seven seminaries of the ELCA, LTSP graduated the most second professional degree students and by far the most non-Lutheran students.[6].


Muhlenberg monument

The school has a 14-acre (57,000 m2) campus in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. (The site was formerly Mount Airy, the estate of William Allen, a prominent man of colonial-era Pennsylvania; the neighborhood gets its name from Allen's estate.) The oldest building on campus is the Refectory, built in 1792, now used as the dining hall. The Krauth Memorial Library, with 198,000 volumes, includes the Northeast Regional Archives for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It includes material dating back to the 18th century work of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. The library celebrates its 100th anniversary of scholarship and service during the 2008-2009 academic year. The Schaeffer-Ashmead Chapel is the campus worship center. There is also a bronze statue of Muhlenberg dedicated in 1917 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of his arrival in America. This statue was originally commissioned to stand on public land in Fairmount Park. Due to anti-German sentiment during the first World War, the City of Philadelphia sought out a less prominent location for the statue and gladly donated it to the Seminary. An annual tradition at the seminary is for first-year students to decorate the statue early in the fall semester. The Brossman Center opened in the fall of 2005 and contains almost all of the academic spaces on campus as well as meeting rooms, a banquet hall, and offices. The rest of the administrative and faculty offices are in Hagan Hall. Wiedemann Hall contains student housing and the bookstore, while other students and faculty members live in "perimeter housing," single-family homes and homes split into apartments which are spread along the north and east sides of the campus.

See also


  1. ^ a b [1] ELCA history timeline
  2. ^ a b [2] Association of Theological Schools
  3. ^ [3] ELCA Predecesssor Bodies
  4. ^ [4] LTSP website
  5. ^ [5] Learn more about being a student at the LTSP website
  6. ^ [6] 2006 degree statistics from ELCA website

External links



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