ELCA Imperatives

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Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Theological Education Imperatives: The Profile and Path to Leadership
Attachment E

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) at its 1993 church-wide assembly adopted eleven Imperatives for implementation by its seminary clusters.

The Profile

Rostered and lay leaders will need to have:

  • deep faith rooted in Scripture and a Lutheran understanding of the gospel, sustained by a disciplined devotional life;
  • the capacity to share the faith with those who have not heard or believed and equip others for mission outreach;
  • practical congregational skills in preaching, teaching, stewardship, evangelism, administration and community building;
  • sensitivity to the cultures of those they serve and the ability to adapt to ministry situations;
  • the ability to help church members connect their faith with their daily life in the workplace, in relationships, and in the wider society.

The Path

To provide diverse student populations with access to theological education, the ELCA seminary clusters and their partners will:

  • identify and prepare African American, Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Arab American leaders for ministry in ways congruent with their cultural backgrounds;
  • provide flexible, accessible forms of theological education that equip laity for daily life ministry and/or leadership in the Church;
  • expand continuing education opportunities that equip and support lay and ordained ministers for service in a changing world throughout their lives;
  • support theological centers where doctoral studies may be pursued;
  • provide options for training that meet the diverse needs of those preparing for ministry who differ in age, gifts, education, ability to relocate, experience of the church, etc.;
  • build cooperative relationships with non-Lutheran seminaries that promote ecumenical, inter-faith, and global understanding.
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