From My Desk to Yours

From My Desk to Yours: Community Updates

ULS President’s Newsletter | Spring Term 2018-19

Volume II, Issue 7


In the press of paper deadlines, group projects, CPE, field ed. assignments and all the other academic pursuits here at ULS, it’s easy to forget that life goes on off campus, and affects our community here on campus. This week, we say goodbye to some, and welcome others to our community.

Following are a few notes from the life of our community in the past two weeks.

Preaching With Power

Each year, the Urban Theological Institute at ULS hosts its Preaching With Power event, inviting distinguished African-American clergy and theologians to preach and lecture (mostly preach!) at the ULS Philadelphia Campus and at churches around Philadelphia. As usual, this year produced a host of powerful messages delivered with the deep passion and erudition that is a tradition in our African-American places of worship.

Preaching With Power is well-attended by ULS students as the preachers are some of the best in the country each year, with this year being no exception. Listening to sermons in the various venues also gives students a chance to experience worship in different denominations, which is always a worthwhile and educational experience.

ULS Announces Pastoral Presence on Both Campuses

Rev. Terrence (Terry) McCarthy and Rev. Gwendolyn (Gwen) King, both senior ELCA pastors, will be available for on-campus pastoral care for the remainder of the academic year.

Pastoral presence will now be available on both ULS campuses, and will be available for Distributed Learning students as well. Pastor Gwen has served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and at Dartmouth College. Pastor Terry was most recently the pastor at St. Paul’s Church in Hanover, PA. Contact information, as well as details on how to set up a pastoral care appointment, will be provided to students shortly.

Please join me in welcoming Rev. McCarthy and Rev. King to our community.

ULS Mourns Rev. Dr. William Staton

With heavy hearts, we announce that the Rev. Dr. William Staton Jr., pastor and scholar who graduated from and taught at ULS predecessor institution LTSP, passed on March 9, 2019. A North Carolina native, Rev. Dr. Staton earned MDiv and DMin degrees at LTSP, and was a distinguished professor of Pastoral Care, Family Counseling and Conflict management at LTSP and the Urban Theological Institute. Rev. Dr. Staton is survived by his wife, Carolyn, of almost 60 years; two daughters: Debra Arrington (Michael) and Charie; two granddaughters: Melody and Mia; and one grandson: Daren.

Barry Hill Opts for disability leave

ULS Chief Communications Officer Barry Hill has taken disability leave from his role at ULS due to health issues.

Barry has been dealing with stage 4 kidney cancer which has recently worsened. He and his family request the prayers of the ULS community.

Rev. Becca Ehrlich Says Goodbye

Associate Director of Admissions Rev. Becca Ehrlich announced her departure from ULS. Her decision was announced March 19. She joined the admissions staff in 2017.

Becca received her MDiv degree from LTSP and served as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA beginning in 2012. She will continue to pursue a DMin degree at ULS.

ULS IT Department Welcomes New Staff Member

Derrick Tidwell was recently appointed IT Site Manager for the Philadelphia Campus. A resident of Philadelphia, Derrick had previous employment in the IT field with Xerimis, Physiotherapy Associates and Hewlett-Packard.

It’s been wonderful ever since I got here,” Tidwell said. “Joining the ULS family is going to be a long, prosperous and successful relationship.

ELCA Trustworthy Servants Update

In response to the ELCA Church Council document draft titled Trustworthy Servants of the People of God, leaders of the seven ELCA seminaries prepared a response to the Church Council. That response may be viewed here.

Read more about Trustworthy Servants here.

The faculty of United Lutheran Seminary have also prepared a response to the Church Council. That response may be viewed here.

White House Floats Changes to Accreditation Rules

The White House released proposals March 18 to reform the Higher Education Act (HEA) through legislation and revised higher education regulations. The list of proposals calls for the accreditation process to focus on student outcomes, instead of institutional compliance with regulations. Language accompanying the list asserts that current rules inhibit innovation and that accrediting organizations need to return to the primary purpose of ensuring educational quality. The proposals call for Congress to streamline the ten federal recognition standards to focus on educational quality and student learning. And, the proposals call for defining accrediting organizations by the mission of their institutions, not geographically, as regional accreditors are currently structured.

Almighty God, the world you have created is one of constant change. Help us adjust to the transitions in our own lives, to lend a willing hand and a cooperative attitude to those undergoing their own transitions, to comfort those who mourn, and all through the strength and the example of your son, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Amen.

Richard Green
Interim President
United Lutheran Seminary