At the November 6-8, 2003 meeting of the LSTC Board of Directors, Dr. Jos é D. Rodriguez was elected Director of Th.M/Ph.D Programs beginning July 1, 2004. Rodriguez was chosen from a pool of five gifted individuals, all with strong commitments to teaching and learning.
Dr. Kadi Billman, Dean of Academic Affairs, acclaimed Rodriguez by stating, "LSTC is incredibly fortunate that Jose was elected to this important position. He is a globally recognized scholar and teacher, which is critically important in a doctoral program that has prepared leaders for international positions since its inception.... On the U.S. front, Jose is a well-respected participant in the ELCA, one of the most 'connected' leaders of the church. He has brought great vision and fund-raising skill to many programs, notably the Hispanic Ministry Program, and is a skilled administrator. I'm delighted that he'll be stepping into this position of leadership for a program that is so dear to the mission of LSTC."
Ordained in 1975 in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez has served as pastor, professor, facilitator, author and chair, among other prominent positions, for innumerable committees, churches and institutions; many focusing on cross-cultural studies in religion and philosophy, and is also an accomplished student of martial arts. Receiving both the Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from LSTC, Rodriguez also earned the Doctor of Philosophy from LSTC with the Dissertation, "Fellowship of the Poor: A New Point of Departure for a Lutheran Ecclesiology Taking the Poor as a Theological Locus."
Rodriguez said, "Our Th.M. and Ph.D. program has a very distinguish record. Yet, it seems to me that at this point in time when our social and historical context and the ELCA is undergoing so many changes and challenges, after close to 32 years of being in the context of Hyde Park relating to the ACTS cluster of theological schools and the University of Chicago.... we need to build on the contributions that our predecessors made in this area, in an effort to respond more effectively to the needs and challenges of the present. The promise is to establish a new stage of our commitment to advance studies in theology that can meet the needs and opportunities of today."