Beginning July 1, 2007, Augsburg Fortress, the publishing house of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will operate the Book Center at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). It will continue to carry all the textbooks for classes at LSTC, McCormick Theological Seminary, and Catholic Theological Union. Additionally, the Book Center will reach out to area congregations by providing a full line of church supplies, clergy apparel, and curriculum resources. These changes will give LSTC a stronger partnership not only with those congregations, but also with the publishing house of the ELCA.
"After operating the Book Center for 16 years, LSTC has decided that in the current bookselling economy it makes the most sense for the students and faculty we serve, and for the seminary, to turn to Augsburg Fortress to provide those services for us," said Bob Berridge, Vice President for Operations.
Augsburg Fortress will be able to provide larger discounts on books due to its network of eleven retail stores across the United States, five of them at other ELCA seminaries.
"We have been very careful negotiating this agreement with Augsburg Fortress. We wanted to be sure that all the people who rely on LSTC's Book Center will continue to be well-served by it. We're confident that Augsburg Fortress is the right partner to do that," added Berridge.
The move to contract services in the Book Center is in keeping with the goals of LSTC's five-year financial plan, aimed at eliminating operating deficits while maintaining a high level of service. Augsburg Fortress's operation of the Book Center will also add annual rental income to LSTC's budget.
"This new partnership between Augsburg Fortress and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago is an outstanding fit for both organizations. A large part of Augsburg Fortress' mission is serving current and future leaders of the ELCA. Our work on seminary campuses allows us to do that very effectively," said Will Bergkamp, an LSTC alumnus and Augsburg Fortress' director for stores and events.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.