LSTC adopts new strategic plan focused on forming leaders that form communities January 4, 2018

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) has adopted a new three-year strategic plan that will map the process for becoming ‘a community to form leaders to form community.’ Strongly informed by present circumstances in our church and world, the plan recognizes the need to form leaders who are adept at forming faithful communities. Such communities are needed as signs of hope in our time of strained trust and a diminished sense of belonging and such leaders must themselves be formed in faithful community.

“Our communities cannot be restored without leaders who nurture the gifts of those who gather, organize them for shared purpose, and guide them in a sustained vision,” said James Nieman, president. “Such leaders do not happen automatically but must be formed in communities that model faithful living in all of its complexity and promise. At LSTC, we are distinctly positioned to be just this kind of place, a community to form leaders to form community.”

Accreditation process, stakeholder suggestions shaped plan
The 2018-20 plan is built upon the platform of strategic goals LSTC met over the last three years to ‘form leaders for a public church.’ These included curricular revision, institutional rebranding, improved infrastructure for finance and advancement, and the quiet phase of a comprehensive fundraising campaign. The new plan continues that work with strategies and key tactics in four goal areas: Distinctive Profile, Formative Community, Educational Impact, and Resource Sustainability. The 2018-20 plan is the result of an extensive and inclusive process that invited ideas and input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, boards, and other stakeholders. Information gathered during recent re-accreditation processes was also used during plan development.

“We know the challenges we face and we heard the perspectives of many stakeholders about the best way for the seminary to move forward to achieve its mission and vision. The Board of Directors unanimously endorsed the strategic plan at its November meeting. We are committed to supporting LSTC in becoming a community that forms leaders to form communities,” said Maryjeanne Schaffmeyer, Board president.

To ensure that LSTC meets the goals outlined in the plan, each strategy has been assigned to an individual or small group who will serve as the implementation lead. They will develop annual action plans that include budget implications, measures of success, and action steps to implement the plan.  A multi-disciplinary Strategic Plan Oversight Team (SPOT) will monitor overall plan implementation and success.

The plan is available on LSTC’s website and updates on the plan will be included regularly in the LSTC Epistle magazine and the E.pistle e-newsletter.


Christine Yucha
Director of Assessment and Planning

Jan Boden
Director of Communication and Marketing

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.

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