Concordia University Texas

Started by Birkholz, November 09, 2022, 03:37:26 PM

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Dave Benke

Quote from: D. Engebretson on April 19, 2023, 03:45:50 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on April 19, 2023, 12:54:51 PM
Just how many church worker students does CUT have? What is the percentage? I suspect that it is less than 3-5%.

It has been a long time since the Concordias were primarily producers of pastors and teachers.

Peace, JOHN

It seems hard to find statistics in this area, but I did notice that in 2014 CSP reported only 9% of their students as being enrolled in church work programs, compared to 21% just 10 years prior in 2004.  I suspect this is somewhat typical for many of the Concordias, and may be lower now 7 years later.  CUW boasts (at least as of 2021) the largest number church work candidates at 224, and the largest pre-seminary program at 61 candidates.  Combined that would represent only about 9% of its undergraduate students overall. 

Many of our Concordias, for years, have been developing non-church work programs in all kinds of diverse fields to offset this decline and in order to remain viable as an institution.  A few years ago I taught on online upper level theology course at CSP and out of the original 20 students I had, not one was a church-work student.  And some where not even churched, or possibly even Christian. 

None of our Concordias can keep up with the demand for church workers.  I'm sure there are a number of reasons for this, including the burden of cost and low pay upon graduation, but I think there are other cultural issues at play, as well.  The world has changed.  For example, we know, statistically speaking, that the number of processed Christians has dropped over the years and the number of unaffiliated and those identifying as "none" has risen.  The pool from which we might draw is not nearly as deep or wide.  This impacts all of our Concordias.

"Processed" Christians grabbed me, Don.  It seems connected to the process of indoctrination.  Those thoroughly indoctrinated are completely processed. And at the same time must be ready at all times to recite how the doctrine has gone into them.  Like cheese or meat, those processed have the seal of approval.  The heterodox, the partly processed, are of course less trustworthy, but at the same time more in need of further processing.

Either that or you meant to type "professed." 

As to substance, you list some of the pertinent factors; however with our two "businesses" in the LCMS being churches and schools, and with school-age populations shrinking even as church populations are aging out, I'm not sure the supply and demand may just level off at very much lower levels all around.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Michael Slusser

Some of the Concordias have also been expanding. Saint Paul more that doubled in size between 2007 and 2018. The percentage of church vocation majors is lower, but what are the actual numbers?

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

D. Engebretson

Quote from: Dave Benke on April 19, 2023, 05:07:44 PM
Quote from: D. Engebretson on April 19, 2023, 03:45:50 PM
Quote from: John_Hannah on April 19, 2023, 12:54:51 PM
Just how many church worker students does CUT have? What is the percentage? I suspect that it is less than 3-5%.

It has been a long time since the Concordias were primarily producers of pastors and teachers.

Peace, JOHN

It seems hard to find statistics in this area, but I did notice that in 2014 CSP reported only 9% of their students as being enrolled in church work programs, compared to 21% just 10 years prior in 2004.  I suspect this is somewhat typical for many of the Concordias, and may be lower now 7 years later.  CUW boasts (at least as of 2021) the largest number church work candidates at 224, and the largest pre-seminary program at 61 candidates.  Combined that would represent only about 9% of its undergraduate students overall. 

Many of our Concordias, for years, have been developing non-church work programs in all kinds of diverse fields to offset this decline and in order to remain viable as an institution.  A few years ago I taught on online upper level theology course at CSP and out of the original 20 students I had, not one was a church-work student.  And some where not even churched, or possibly even Christian. 

None of our Concordias can keep up with the demand for church workers.  I'm sure there are a number of reasons for this, including the burden of cost and low pay upon graduation, but I think there are other cultural issues at play, as well.  The world has changed.  For example, we know, statistically speaking, that the number of processed Christians has dropped over the years and the number of unaffiliated and those identifying as "none" has risen.  The pool from which we might draw is not nearly as deep or wide.  This impacts all of our Concordias.

"Processed" Christians grabbed me, Don.  It seems connected to the process of indoctrination.  Those thoroughly indoctrinated are completely processed. And at the same time must be ready at all times to recite how the doctrine has gone into them.  Like cheese or meat, those processed have the seal of approval.  The heterodox, the partly processed, are of course less trustworthy, but at the same time more in need of further processing.

Either that or you meant to type "professed." 

As to substance, you list some of the pertinent factors; however with our two "businesses" in the LCMS being churches and schools, and with school-age populations shrinking even as church populations are aging out, I'm not sure the supply and demand may just level off at very much lower levels all around.

Dave Benke

Dave Benke

Oops...I didn't catch that.  "Processed" has an interesting twist, but I actually meant "professed". Interesting the difference one letter makes....

But it is true, "school-age populations shrinking even as church populations are aging out."  The reality is like all church bodies, in general, we are aging, and to some degree becoming smaller overall.  Birth rates are much less, so it's what we would expect. Overall, birth rates have plummeted for the last five decades.  According to one report between 1976 and 2018, the mean number of children ever born per woman declined, from three children to two. In fact, over the last 50 years the global birth rate has been halved. Birth rates were at their height in the 40's, 50's and 60's, which includes my era, the tail-end of the Baby Boomers. Many are choosing to have children later in life, and as with some generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, many are deciding to have no children at all.  All this impacts our educational system right up through post-high school institutions, both secular and religious.  As the thread I started on the closing of Cardinal Stritch demonstrated, this decline is going to cause a continuous closure of more colleges and universities over time.  But the decreasing birth rates have even more spill over effects, such as with Social Security, which has less people working to fund it.  Today's babies are tomorrow's workers and tax payers.  Less of one, less of the other. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

D. Engebretson

#48
Quote from: Michael Slusser on April 19, 2023, 05:32:13 PM
Some of the Concordias have also been expanding. Saint Paul more that doubled in size between 2007 and 2018. The percentage of church vocation majors is lower, but what are the actual numbers?

Peace,
Michael

One of the concerns I have is that such expansion often happens with the expansion of online degree programs which can be evident in the number of graduate degree programs compared to undergraduate. I think that many take graduate programs online. Normally, church work programs are residential.  But there is a limit in this expansion, I suspect, as more and more are competing for less and less. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Michael Slusser

#49
Quote from: D. Engebretson on April 19, 2023, 06:02:28 PM
Quote from: Michael Slusser on April 19, 2023, 05:32:13 PM
Some of the Concordias have also been expanding. Saint Paul more that doubled in size between 2007 and 2018. The percentage of church vocation majors is lower, but what are the actual numbers?

One of the concerns I have is that such expansion often happens with the expansion of online degree programs which can be evident in the number of graduate degree programs compared to undergraduate. I think that many take graduate programs online. Normally, church work programs are residential.  But there is a limit in this expansion, I suspect, as more and more are competing for less and less.
In your own teaching you've encountered the issues in non-residential graduate education. It's hard not to factor in the distance-learning for ordinands and others in ministry in which both the LCMS and ELCA have engaged for a long time now, as well as the Lutheran faculty in Sioux Falls SD. There is a new campusless Lutheran seminary which calls itself, I think, Saint Paul Seminary (I believe the late Jim Nestingen taught for them). Graduate education seems particularly affected by distance learning, with Phoenix U., Walden U., remote programs from Rhode Island to California serving people in the Midwest. Cautious institutions are hedging their bets, lest by putting all their eggs in the residential basket they go out of business when the model changes to distance for most higher education. It's a bit scary.

Peace,
Michael

One effect of the pandemic has been the development of technology and teaching methods for more effective distance learning. Develoments that might have taken ten years were squeezed into two or three.
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Charles Austin

   There is "learning" based upon a set of unchallenged assumptions as foundations for everything.
   There is head "learning" that one does alone, through books or movies or videos, using our brains, taking in what has been assembled by those who write books or produce other ways of mediating what they have learned.
   There is community "learning" that one does with others, perhaps in discussion or laboratories, cooperatively challenging or rearranging what was learned individually; maybe even rejecting previous "learning" to reach a communal goal.
   There is hot-stove "learning" that comes through experience; one may not know what heat is or why something is painful because it's hot, but one learns the consequences of putting your hand there.
   There is speculative "learning", things that may not yet be realized, brought up by wondering, theorizing, imagining things about what one knows or believes.
   So what is "education"? How does one "learn" to be an adult, a pastor, a teacher, a doctor, a bus driver? Who decides what packages of knowledge have to be opened to do what one wants to do? We old folks learn new ways of doing things, or learn that what we once "knew" doesn't work because others don't believe what we knew is correct.
   Ain't life interesting?

Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

D. Engebretson

Quote from: Michael Slusser on April 19, 2023, 10:38:23 PM
One effect of the pandemic has been the development of technology and teaching methods for more effective distance learning. Develoments that might have taken ten years were squeezed into two or three.

The pandemic did, indeed, change how we use technology inside and outside the classroom.  My mid-sized rural parish never thought of live streaming until March of 2020 when the governor essentially shut out doors to in-person worship for two and and half months.  We have now live streamed continuously each week for over two years, with the benefit that we are reaching people we never would have without this technology. 

I am now going into my seventh summer teaching for the seminary.  My class has always been distance learning, although until the last few years, and undoubtedly in part due to the pandemic, I have incorporated the Zoom technology at the encouragement of the provost.  It's still largely asynchronous, which quite honestly serves best in a situation where multiple time zones are at play, but it does add one component of face-to-face contact we did not have in 2017 when I started.  Some of the instructors in the same program have moved entirely to Zoom.  I haven't.  The one course I taught for a university in 2020 was designed from the start (it was a new course) as asynchronous based on the Blackboard platform. 

Undoubtedly education will continue to move in this direction more and more.  One institution that has been on the forefront of this, and has been very successful, is the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) based out of Brookings, SD.

Many questions have yet to be answered as we continue to develop in this area.  I believe we have discussed and debated in this forum the value of residential education for pastoral programs at seminaries.  There is something to be said for real time interaction on a brick-and-mortar campus in chapel, the commons, etc. I value the graduate program I had at Nashotah House that was based on the intensive style system where you are in residence for a couple of weeks, and then read, write and study outside of that both prior and after.  No amount of technology could have duplicated the unique campus situation in that place. 

Unfortunately, one of the limitations we discovered, also during the pandemic, is that internet access is not nearly as universal as we thought.  For a very developed country we are terribly lacking in this area.  Again, I live in a rural area, but even there one would think that in 2023 we would have basic coverage outside of satellite.  But we don't and we won't for some time yet.  This limits just how much distance learning can take place for some people, and so residential programs actually have a critical place, yet, in the overall system.   



Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

The Yak

#52
Quote from: D. Engebretson on April 19, 2023, 03:45:50 PM
None of our Concordias can keep up with the demand for church workers.  I'm sure there are a number of reasons for this, including the burden of cost and low pay upon graduation, but I think there are other cultural issues at play, as well.  The world has changed.  For example, we know, statistically speaking, that the number of processed Christians has dropped over the years and the number of unaffiliated and those identifying as "none" has risen.  The pool from which we might draw is not nearly as deep or wide.  This impacts all of our Concordias.

We can only train those in church work who desire to be trained in church work.  A couple of good questions for pastors to ask themselves are: a) have I encouraged a young person to go into church work recently?; and b) do I project joy/satisfaction in my calling such that a young person might be inspired to go into church work?
Rev. Dr. Scott Yak imow
Professor of Theology
Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Dan Fienen

Another factor is how pastors are treated by their congregations? Something that congregations need to consider, does the way they treat their pastor, in compensation, appreciation, respect encourage their youth to consider church work professions. If "roast pastor" is typically on the Sunday dinner menu, why would anyone want to consider joining that menu?
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

The Yak

Quote from: Dan Fienen on April 20, 2023, 11:24:44 AM
Another factor is how pastors are treated by their congregations? Something that congregations need to consider, does the way they treat their pastor, in compensation, appreciation, respect encourage their youth to consider church work professions. If "roast pastor" is typically on the Sunday dinner menu, why would anyone want to consider joining that menu?

Absolutely.  Unfortunately, it's something that pastors have little control over, while actively encouraging young people into church work is something they can control.
Rev. Dr. Scott Yak imow
Professor of Theology
Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Dave Benke

I received this via email during the week - sharing on the topic of the thread. 

TO: CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY TEXAS STAKEHOLDERS
FROM: DR. DONALD CHRISTIAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY TEXAS
SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO THE ECCLESIASTICAL VISITATION REPORT FROM PRESIDENT MATTHEW HARRISON OF
THE LCMS
DATE: APRIL 21, 2023
Over a year ago, The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod engaged in an Ecclesiastical visitation of Concordia University
Texas. A report from that visit will soon be made publicly available. As we reflect on that visit and the report, we are
grateful for the opportunity to engage in a thoughtful and constructive conversation with the LCMS about our
commitment to Lutheran theology and identity. While we fully supported President Harrison's visit as the
Ecclesiastical supervisor of the University at that time, we are disappointed in the way the visitation was conducted
and the many statements in the report that do not accurately reflect the ways that Concordia University Texas lives
out its Lutheran identity.
We believe that the unstructured approach to information gathering during the visit resulted in an unrepresentative
and inaccurate portrayal of Concordia University Texas. Furthermore, we are disappointed that President Harrison
included in his report unsupported and inaccurate statements about CTX, which do not reflect the depth of our
commitment to Lutheran identity. That commitment is evidenced by our values, campus ministry, ongoing training
and learning, required coursework, partnerships with LCMS churches and schools, and the role of the School of
Ministry. We have a robust and active University community, and we take seriously our vocation to broaden minds
and engage students in critical thought while sharing the Gospel.
The Concordia University Texas Board of Regents and administration are committed to remaining faithful to our
Lutheran identity and the teachings of the Church. The report does not accurately represent this commitment. We
will not provide a detailed rebuttal to the report's specific claims in this memo. However, we will continue to provide
answers to specific questions we receive on the Lutheran identity page of our website.
Furthermore, we have concerns about the focus of the visitation report, which spends a significant amount of time
discussing the decision of the Concordia University Texas Board of Regents to become the sole governing body of the
institution, even though this decision did not occur until about seven months after the visit. It is important to note
that the stated purpose of the visit was to assess the University's Lutheran identity and culture. Yet, much of the
report focuses on governance issues unrelated to this purpose.
____________________________________________________________________________

In the following sections, we will address more of the broad themes and inaccuracies in the visitation report.
Visitation Structure and Methodology
We must express our disappointment with the structure and methodology of the visitation. We do not believe that it
was structured in a way that allowed for the best information to be gathered from members of our community. We
had hoped for a thorough and transparent assessment of the University, but we found that there was no clear set of
standards or criteria for evaluation and no clear process or timeline for reporting after the visit.
It is essential that we highlight our concern about the lack of transparency and consistency in the interview and datagathering process because the report mentions that University employees seemed to have been coached on their
answers. Let us be clear, the University did not receive a list of questions, standards, or measures the visitation team
members would use for evaluation before the visit, leaving us with no means by which to prepare employees ahead
of time for individual interviews.
We also want to note that throughout our history as a University, we have maintained an open and transparent
relationship with The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. We have consistently welcomed feedback and guidance
from Synod as we work to fulfill our mission of providing a Christ-centered education to our students. We have
eagerly and willingly participated in regularly scheduled past visits from the Concordia University System (CUS).
Concordia University Texas has consistently met the Lutheran identity standards outlined by the Concordia University
System. We believe there were many opportunities for the Concordia University System and the Office of the
President to provide pastoral and Ecclesiastical guidance if they believed there were areas in which we needed to
improve. Unfortunately, we were made aware of their concerns only after we had begun exploring a new governance
model and almost 9 months after the visitation.
Higher Education and Diverse Ideas
The report highlights several speakers engaging with students, faculty, and staff on our campus with diverse ideas.
Concordia University Texas is a liberal arts institution of higher education. We teach literature, philosophy, the
sciences, human behavior, leadership, and many other disciplines—all aspects of God's created world. In such a
learning community, students are invited to learn about a wide range of ideas and perspectives. Learning happens in
community as we realize that each discipline and each vocation is connected to each other as part of God's world.
In such a learning community, we study the diversity of the human experience and welcome all voices to the table,
even those who might challenge us to think differently. Teaching and learning in this way expose students to broad
learning—and does so in a Lutheran context and with Christian faculty and staff who can help them process these
ideas. This is our distinct calling as a Lutheran higher education institution.
We are disappointed that President Harrison consistently took phrases from the mentioned speakers out of context,
using them to misrepresent the University's commitment to diversity and Lutheran identity. The short phrases or
words, as presented in President Harrison's report, cannot fully capture the context and nuance of the topics
presented by the speakers. We believe the misrepresentation is unfair to the speakers and the University. It is also
vital to note that we have trained members of the LCMS on our faculty and as a part of our staff who provide further
instruction about Lutheran theology and doctrine. This allows our students to engage with diverse ideas and
perspectives while still receiving a robust education shaped by Lutheran theology and teaching that prepares them to
enter vocations equipped to hear and engage with the various worldviews they will encounter.
____________________________________________________________________________

We are proud to have many faculty and staff who are active members of LCMS congregations, including a core group
who are on the roster of the LCMS as commissioned or ordained ministers, as well as LCMS trained leadership and
our 100% LCMS-led Board of Regents, all who play a crucial role in guiding and supporting the University's Lutheran
identity. These leaders ensure that our Lutheran values permeate the University's culture and classroom
engagement, and they serve as the leading voices in shaping the spiritual life of our campus community.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We are disheartened that President Harrison believes CTX has been reluctant or unwilling to allow the Scriptures and
the Lutheran Confessions to be the source of our mission. This could not be further from the truth. Our Lutheran
identity is central to all we do, including our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work.
We recognize that DEI is an important issue and believe that our efforts in this area align with Lutheran theology. We
understand that navigating DEI is complex and requires we approach these issues within the context of the people
and communities we serve. As a Christian institution, we believe that following the example of Christ requires us to
recognize the individual needs of people in our community and actively seek ways to ensure that every population
receives care, concern, and resources according to their unique needs.
The report highlights the visitation team's disappointment in how we handle social issues. However, we want to
emphasize that we have never received clear guidance from the LCMS or the CUS on how they would expect our
colleges to serve people from diverse racial backgrounds or sexual identities. Despite this lack of direction, we have
remained true to our Lutheran identity while serving our Central Texas community. We believe that our commitment
to DEI reflects our values and mission, and we are committed to continuing to address these issues in a way
consistent with our Christian and Lutheran identity.
Ongoing Faithfulness
We are disappointed by President Harrison's assertion that the University has lost the Lutheran distinctive of
repentance, forgiveness, the Word of God, and the sacraments. This is simply not true. Concordia University Texas
has always been committed to teaching and practicing these fundamental aspects of our faith, which are central to
our Lutheran identity and mission.
We also want to emphasize that we do not believe the visitation report accurately reflects the heart and soul of our
institution. We take our commitment to upholding our Lutheran identity seriously, and each employee is deeply
committed to the University's mission and ministry. We believe our mission as an institution of Lutheran higher
education is essential to who we are. We strive to provide our students with a rigorous academic experience that
prepares them to become thoughtful, engaged members of their communities – all within a Christian Lutheran
community committed to the Gospel. We believe that our Lutheran identity is an inseparable part of that mission. We
will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our students receive an education grounded in Lutheran theology and
teaching. This is demonstrated by our Demonstrations of Lutheran Identity that ground the University and provide
direction for how this identity will be maintained.
At Concordia University Texas, our Lutheran identity is at the very heart of who we are and what we do. It is not just a
label we wear but a foundational aspect of our community that we embrace wholeheartedly in the daily life of the
University. Our faculty, staff, and leadership are committed to fostering an environment that upholds our Lutheran
values and beliefs. We require all students to take coursework in theology. We encourage ongoing learning and
development for faculty and staff through regular training and professional development opportunities around
Lutheran Identity. Our campus ministry program provides many opportunities for students to grow in their faith, and
we actively partner with LCMS churches and schools to support and strengthen our Lutheran community.
Additionally, our School of Ministry is dedicated to training the next generation of church leaders and supporting the
work of the LCMS. We are deeply disappointed that President Harrison did not recognize the depth of our
commitment to our Lutheran identity and heritage, as it is an integral part of who we are as a University community.
We invite you to learn more about our Lutheran Identity by visiting our website. You can also learn about our
commitment to Lutheran Theology and Teaching in our Demonstrations of Lutheran Identity approved by the Board
of Regents.


Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Dave Benke

Quote from: The Yak on April 20, 2023, 12:19:21 PM
Quote from: Dan Fienen on April 20, 2023, 11:24:44 AM
Another factor is how pastors are treated by their congregations? Something that congregations need to consider, does the way they treat their pastor, in compensation, appreciation, respect encourage their youth to consider church work professions. If "roast pastor" is typically on the Sunday dinner menu, why would anyone want to consider joining that menu?

Absolutely.  Unfortunately, it's something that pastors have little control over, while actively encouraging young people into church work is something they can control.

What pastors have a degree of control over in the parish is relationships in the Body of Christ and keeping them healthy. 

I see this a bit differently, through a look at the age of members and size of congregations.  How does the smaller congregation set the vision for pastoral vocation before the dwindling supply of young people?

What can happen is that only the larger and more financially healthy congregations end up sending young people into pastoral formation, because
a) there aren't any to many young people in a reasonable chunk of Lutheran congregations across the board
b) the larger congregations have a full set of programs for people of all ages
c) the larger congregations look like and mostly can actually support a pastor
d) the larger congregations are not primarily old folks at prayer, which is for the most part not a look that appeals to young people in terms of church work preparation.

Having said that, solution one is to get some kids and young people in the pews.  Solution two is to be a relationship builder as a pastor.  Solution three, as Scott indicates, is to set this vocation before those kids not only when they're in high school but well before that time, and include the parents in that conversation.

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Charles Austin

It would be interesting to see the report from the Synod president that prompted this particular response from the president of the college.
Iowa-born. Long-time in NY/New Jersey, former LWF staff in Geneva.
ELCA PASTOR, ordained 1967. Former journalist. Retired in Minneapolis. Often critical of the ELCA, but more often a defender of its mission. Ignoring the not-so-subtle rude insults which often appear here.

peter_speckhard

As a Christian institution, we believe that following the example of Christ requires us to
recognize the individual needs of people in our community and actively seek ways to ensure that every population
receives care, concern, and resources according to their unique needs.
The report highlights the visitation team's disappointment in how we handle social issues. However, we want to
emphasize that we have never received clear guidance from the LCMS or the CUS on how they would expect our
colleges to serve people from diverse racial backgrounds or sexual identities.


I think this section shows the two talking past each other. "Recognizing individual needs of people in our community" means that there is one community, the Concordia community, with individuals with various needs within it. It also means agreeing on what people's "needs" are. But the second half of the sentence sends it off the rails. "...and actively seek ways to ensure that every population receives care, concern, and resources according to their unique needs." The completely changes the organizing principle from one community of individuals with various needs to a collection of communities. We move from the unique needs of individuals to collective needs of identity groups, which assumes that the needs of members in those groups are not unique individual needs but are determined according to membership in those subgroups.

I find it hard to believe that the college had no idea how the synod expected them to serve people of various racial backgrounds or sexual identities. Without ever corresponding with anyone at a synod office about it, I would take as a default assumption just from living in the synod that a place dedicated to Scriptural truth would not treat people differently based on the false category of "races" among the one human race, and would not treat as a "sexual identity" anything other than male and female, which are the only two actual sexual identities. Those would be ways for a Christian university to be distinct from a secular one because those are areas where secular academia is most visibly at odds a Scriptural approach. Harrison's concerns, I would anticipate, have to do at least in part with Concordia's desire to treat racial groups and sexual identities as distinct subcommunities within the Concordia community.     

George Rahn

#59
It is one thing to critique.  It is another when direction and constructive ideas are offered as well.  Seems to me from reading the above response by the university, that the visitation team did not do the latter.  This dust-up will not go away for St. Louis.  As I'm experiencing in my participation in the Texas district, the Lutheran substance fits well with the evangelical center.  There is a healthy critical atmosphere here in our local missional outreach.

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