The Rev. Dr. Javier “Jay” Alanis (1998, Th.M.; 2002, Ph.D.) has been named director of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (LSPS). He has served as interim director of the program since 2009. President Stan Olson of Wartburg Theological Seminary and Acting President Phil Hougen of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) made the announcement of Alanis’ appointment. LSPS is a joint program of the two seminaries. The presidents noted Dr. Alanis’ strong leadership during the recent years of transition for LSPS.
Dr. Alanis has been on the LSPS faculty since 2000, teaching theology and ethics. He received his master of divinity degree from LSPS. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Alanis served as a parish pastor. Before he attended seminary, he worked as an attorney and an accountant. His academic interests include contextual borderland theology, Latino spirituality, and the ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr.
LSPS develops pastoral leaders
The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest’s mission is to develop pastoral leadership for Hispanic communities in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It does this through the ELCA’s Theological Education for Emerging Ministries (TEEM) program, designed for individuals who could not take advantage of a full-time residential program leading to a master of divinity degree. TEEM participants must be recommended for the program by a synodical bishop and approved by the TEEM coordinator in the ELCA’s Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit. During the three years of the LSPS TEEM program, the participant serves a ministry in his or her area under the bishop’s supervision. They participate in independent study and are on the Austin campus for intensive courses. All students are required to have capacity in Hispanic language and culture. LSPS instruction is in both Spanish and English. Students come from across the United States.
Exploring new initiatives
LSPS is exploring cooperative arrangements with the ELCA’s full communion partners, including the Episcopal Church, U.S.A. Two new initiatives are also being developed. The “Equipping for Hispanic Mission Program” will be a week-long summer school held in Austin, Texas, designed for congregational teams to enhance outreach among Hispanic people. The “Equipping for Hispanic Ministry Consultation” will be a service provided to congregations, structured around a weekend event led by the LSPS faculty. “Given the dramatic demographic shifts in the U.S., the resources of LSPS are urgently needed to help transform the outreach of local congregations,” says Dr. Craig Nessan, academic dean of Wartburg Theological Seminary.
Learn more about LSPS
Also serving at LSPS are Dr. Eliseo Perez-Alvarez, professor of systematic theology; Consuelo Reid, administrative assistant; and the Rev. Kathy Haueisen, development associate. LSPS offices are located on the campus of the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas.
To learn more about the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, visit www.lsps.edu.
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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.