The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What are they teaching?

Seminaries accused of being liberal

Are our seminaries getting too liberal for the church? I heard they do all kinds of liturgies that we would never do in the parish and that they are soft on gays and let in all kinds of students from strange places in the world. Are we going to have to take foreign pastors into our congregations?

As I write this response, I am at one of our church’s seminaries following my retirement from parish ministry. Therefore my answer is based on firsthand knowledge and experience. At the center of the life of this faith community is daily worship using a variety of liturgical forms. They range from standard Lutheran liturgies to worship in new forms with even a few testimonies to faith: Amen! and Praise the Lord! Every worship service is Christ-centered, participatory and full of the Spirit—with forms that can easily be used in most congregations. But this isn’t the main purpose of worship here. It is to be strengthened in our life with God in and for the world.

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