Concordia University Texas

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

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Dave Benke

Thanks for that very thorough report, Mark!

The relationships inside the synodical umbrella are complex, aren't they.  Things have been stratifying and strategized around the "donor-designated" category for a long while already. 

When the old college system began and the buildings kind of all looked the same from the 1880s, and the heat bill was at 3 cents a gallon with the 12 foot ceilings, the "direct subsidy" for those schools (and you could add hospitals and Altenheims) based on the immigrant church body's needs seemed endless, I'm sure.

Speaking with retirees whose parents and grandparents went through that "system" in the LCMS, there is (finally?) clarity that those days are over.  And have been.  And have been for decades.  But the memories linger on.  When Concordia Bronxville went up for auction, the names of those forebears were closed to history - there will be no more Feth or Romoser or Ressmeyer Halls.  Irish names will prevail on the Iona grounds.  Even as when Concordia Milwaukee moved to Mequon long ago, Wunder and Pritzlaff in the old campus became part of the Potawatomi tribe.

It can and is and probably should be mourned.  But those days are indeed done, as is "direct subsidy."

Dave Benke
It's OK to Pray

Dave Likeness

Yes, we can admit LCMS, Inc. "direct subsidy" to our Concordia Universities
is over.  This has added a new challenge to a Concordia University President.
He must be an excellent fund raiser and build up financial endowments.  Even
during his 15 years as President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Dr. Dale
Meyer was recognized for his excellent fund raising ability.


peter_speckhard

Quote from: Dave Likeness on November 14, 2022, 03:23:03 PM
Yes, we can admit LCMS, Inc. "direct subsidy" to our Concordia Universities
is over.  This has added a new challenge to a Concordia University President.
He must be an excellent fund raiser and build up financial endowments.  Even
during his 15 years as President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Dr. Dale
Meyer was recognized for his excellent fund raising ability.
The issue, though, becomes what happened with Valpo over the years. St. Paul's, Munster was a big Valpo supporting congregation from the very beginning. Booster club, "Valpo Sunday", the whole spiel. But when Valpo began to part ways with the LCMS, they still hearkened back to the "special relationship" they had with the LCMS when it came to fundraising directly from individual members of LCMS congregations. But they insisted strongly that they were not and never were an LCMS school when it came to policies and teachings. I have a lot of older members and long time donors who are extremely perplexed about and disappointed in Valpo.

I think that same dynamic could be in the works with some of the Concordias that are looking for their independence. The LCMS becomes a good friend and partner to them in certain company but a mere acquaintance in other company.   

Mark_Hofman

#18
Perhaps we ought to admit that we no longer believe or confess that God provides what His mission requires through each of his baptized children, and that it takes charismatic and effective human intervention - through a position like a school president who is good at fundraising - to fill the gap. And glossy brochures.  God just can't or won't provide, so it's up to us and our ability to be independent as we go about doing what is really needed to get what we believe we should have.


Mark_Hofman

#19
Quote from: Dave Benke on November 14, 2022, 02:31:12 PM

It can and is and probably should be mourned.  But those days are indeed done, as is "direct subsidy."

Dave Benke

Like I shared with a dear faithful and mission-minded friend in the nowhere fields of Iowa, "The real glory days are always ahead of us, not behind us."  We have no need to mourn if our hope is in the LORD.

Noah Hahn

Quote from: peter_speckhard on November 14, 2022, 03:40:15 PM

The issue, though, becomes what happened with Valpo over the years. St. Paul's, Munster was a big Valpo supporting congregation from the very beginning. Booster club, "Valpo Sunday", the whole spiel. But when Valpo began to part ways with the LCMS, they still hearkened back to the "special relationship" they had with the LCMS when it came to fundraising directly from individual members of LCMS congregations. But they insisted strongly that they were not and never were an LCMS school when it came to policies and teachings. I have a lot of older members and long time donors who are extremely perplexed about and disappointed in Valpo.

I think that same dynamic could be in the works with some of the Concordias that are looking for their independence. The LCMS becomes a good friend and partner to them in certain company but a mere acquaintance in other company.


At a certain level, all of this is fine; the beauty of America is that if the people in power change institutions, the people with the money can build and study elsewhere. The church will have her schools, one way or another. My concern is mostly for the students, faculty, and donors who will get caught in the crossfire of changing loyalties, and for the souls of any who engage in deception to keep them there.

D. Engebretson

APRIL 18, 2023    LCMS.org
LCMS BOD and President make a statement concerning Concordia University Texas

On April 4, 2023, the Board of Regents (BOR) of Concordia University Texas (CTX) confirmed its November 8, 2022, action to separate CTX from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). The LCMS Office of the President (OTP) and the Synod Board of Directors (BOD) are deeply disappointed by this decision.

Our synodical union is rooted in the belief that the doctrine and practice of the church, the "all things whatsoever" our Lord gave (Matt. 28:20), as secured to us in the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions, are the lifeblood of the church. The Synod's member congregations have set forth the Synod's Constitution and Bylaws to provide the orderly supervision that is necessary to the conservation and promotion of unity in the true faith and for fruitful ministry, to keep the Synod in all its parts walking together in the truth. In the nearly 100 years since its founding by the LCMS, CTX has served fruitfully under this Constitution and Bylaws as part of a unified educational system of the Synod, for and on behalf of the member congregations.

Since the CTX BOR first proposed a separation in February 2022, the Synod OTP and BOD consistently have reminded the CTX BOR that it has no authority, under the Synod Constitution and Bylaws, to establish a model of governance independent of the Synod. Since the assertion of separation by CTX in November 2022, the Synod BOD and OTP, desiring to welcome CTX back with open arms, have made every effort to encourage and exhort the CTX BOR to reverse its action and return CTX to the Synod. In face-to-face meetings, phone calls, and correspondence, we answered questions, addressed misunderstandings and misperceptions, and cautioned the BOR about the damage an asserted self-separation would cause to the Synod and to CTX, its faculty, staff, and students. Despite our appeal, the BOR has again asserted itself as the sole governing body for the institution, apart from the Synod. Clearly, this was not the intention of the congregations in entrusting the CTX BOR with governance of the Synod's university.

The CTX BOR's actions come as the BOD's 7-03 Task Force has been working with our universities on a proposal to strengthen them in governance and in ties to the Synod and to its life-giving doctrine and practice. The task force is expected to propose Bylaw revisions to this summer's convention. We are grateful for the commitment of the leadership and boards of our other Concordia universities to our Synod and its Constitution and Bylaws, for the faithful confession of God's truth in our doctrine and practice.

Together with the Concordia University System (CUS), we desire a faithful resolution to the CTX governance matter. We do not acknowledge the authority of the CTX BOR to self-separate, or the validity of such actions.

As steward of the Synod's property and business affairs, the Synod BOD is responsible to address CTX's asserted self-separation in a way that best honors the Synod's Constitution and Bylaws and serves the interest of the Synod's member congregations. As chief ecclesiastical supervisor of the Synod and its institutions, the LCMS President is also addressing the matter of theological and philosophical concerns faithfully and forcefully. This work calls for prudence and discretion. We will update the Synod's member congregations as appropriate.

We pray that our risen Lord will also in this matter bring good from ill, both for the Synod and for CTX. We invite everyone to join us in continued prayers for our Synod; our Synod President; the BOD; the CUS; the CTX BOR; and CTX's leaders, administrators, faculty, and students.

May the Lord have mercy on us all.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Michael Slusser

Not a happy scene.

One sentence in the letter strikes me:
QuoteThe CTX BOR's actions come as the BOD's 7-03 Task Force has been working with our universities on a proposal to strengthen them in governance and in ties to the Synod and to its life-giving doctrine and practice.

That seems to me to say that without their relationship with LCMS leadership, Concordia Texas will be cut off from true doctrine and the life it gives. That seems like a fairly drastic kind of excommunication. Can the LCMS leadership really do that?

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

Brian Stoffregen

Quote from: Michael Slusser on April 18, 2023, 10:41:55 PM
Not a happy scene.

One sentence in the letter strikes me:
QuoteThe CTX BOR's actions come as the BOD's 7-03 Task Force has been working with our universities on a proposal to strengthen them in governance and in ties to the Synod and to its life-giving doctrine and practice.

That seems to me to say that without their relationship with LCMS leadership, Concordia Texas will be cut off from true doctrine and the life it gives. That seems like a fairly drastic kind of excommunication. Can the LCMS leadership really do that?

It sounds to me like the BOD believes that only they and they alone can determine "life-giving doctrine and practice."
I flunked retirement. Serving as a part-time interim in Ferndale, WA.

RDPreus

Quote from: Brian Stoffregen on April 19, 2023, 02:30:11 AM
Quote from: Michael Slusser on April 18, 2023, 10:41:55 PM
Not a happy scene.

One sentence in the letter strikes me:
QuoteThe CTX BOR's actions come as the BOD's 7-03 Task Force has been working with our universities on a proposal to strengthen them in governance and in ties to the Synod and to its life-giving doctrine and practice.

That seems to me to say that without their relationship with LCMS leadership, Concordia Texas will be cut off from true doctrine and the life it gives. That seems like a fairly drastic kind of excommunication. Can the LCMS leadership really do that?

It sounds to me like the BOD believes that only they and they alone can determine "life-giving doctrine and practice."

An unfortunate choice of words, to be sure.  It smacks of synodical triumphalism, as if the Synod is the source of divine truth.

Charles Austin

Like congregations leaving ELCA, if a college wants to leave Missouri affiliation, why can't it do so?
ELCA PASTOR. Iowa born and raised. And look at this. Here's the old 1960s protestor and critic of our government as virtually the only "love this country" patriot in this forum.

John_Hannah

Quote from: Charles Austin on April 19, 2023, 08:51:34 AM
Like congregations leaving ELCA, if a college wants to leave Missouri affiliation, why can't it do so?

In most cases the real estate is owned by the synod; not sure about Texas.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

D. Engebretson

Aside from physical ownership, one area that would be deeply impacted, from my perspective, is how church work preparation is handled.  If they are no longer subject to the ecclesiastical oversight of the Synod, then the Synod would also not be obligated to automatically accept their graduates into church work positions.  Instead, they would have to go through the process of colloquy as any graduate would do if they graduated from an institution outside the LCMS. That would mean additional course work above what they already completed.  I wonder if anyone would therefore go to Concordia-Texas to be a rostered worker in the LCMS knowing that ahead of time.  But, then, perhaps they wish to phase themselves out of that area. 
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Jim Butler

Quote from: Charles Austin on April 19, 2023, 08:51:34 AM
Like congregations leaving ELCA, if a college wants to leave Missouri affiliation, why can't it do so?

Are you saying that a congregation of the ELCA can just vote to leave? It doesn't have to have two votes? It doesn't have to have 2/3 vote of the voting members present (so that abstentions count as a "no" vote)? It doesn't have to have a conversation with the Synod bishop and administration? Because I'm sure Brian said that there were all kinds of ELCA by-laws that have to be fulfilled in order for a congregation to leave the ELCA.


Just so, the LCMS also has by-laws that need to be fulfilled in various situations, including a congregation wishing to leave the Synod. It does not, however, have any by-laws that allow a Synod college or university to disassociate with the Synod. There is no mechanism for what CTX has done.

Now that I've answered your question, perhaps you can answer mine. Where is there any evidence for your statement quoted in the tag line below? I've been asking since January.

"Pastor Butler... [is] deaf to the cries of people like me, dismissing our concerns as Satanic scenarios, denouncing our faith and our very existence."--Charles Austin

peter_speckhard

Quote from: D. Engebretson on April 19, 2023, 09:15:21 AM
Aside from physical ownership, one area that would be deeply impacted, from my perspective, is how church work preparation is handled.  If they are no longer subject to the ecclesiastical oversight of the Synod, then the Synod would also not be obligated to automatically accept their graduates into church work positions.  Instead, they would have to go through the process of colloquy as any graduate would do if they graduated from an institution outside the LCMS. That would mean additional course work above what they already completed.  I wonder if anyone would therefore go to Concordia-Texas to be a rostered worker in the LCMS knowing that ahead of time.  But, then, perhaps they wish to phase themselves out of that area.
That is the case with Valpo. My dad had to colloquize onto the roster, which is how he met my mom on campus in Seward. After he got his Ph.D and went back to Valpo as a professor, his roster status lapsed because he had no official call. He always considered it a matter of paperwork, and that his work at Valpo was still church work, and in later years was very disappointed about the way that played out.

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