The Board of Directors for the Institute of Lutheran Theology met on Tuesday, June 12 and Wednesday, June 13, 2018. There were many items on the agenda, among which changes to the ILT logo, the addition of a PH.D. program, the addition of a 72-credit hour master’s degree in military chaplaincy, and the budget for fiscal year 2018-2019 were most significant.
The Board dealt with the issue of modifying the ILT logo to make the name ‘Christ School of Theology’ more prominent. We surveyed our constituents, and many who responded were solidly in favor of moving forward with this. A number of others, however, did not feel comfortable with the change. The board decided to take no formal action at this time. The board would like to thank all who gave feedback on this issue.
The Board next voted to add a Ph.D. to the programs ILT offers. This was a historic moment for the school. The board approved two different emphases in the Ph.D., one in systematic theology and one in Biblical studies. With the addition of the Ph.D., ILT keeps the promise it gave in the beginning to train not only lay people and pastors, but also the next generation of teachers who will carry the Lutheran theological tradition forward.
The board approved a Master’s in Military Chaplaincy program. The faculty of ILT has been working together with army chaplains and endorsing agents to create a program for those who wish to serve in the military as chaplains.
The next step for implementing both of these programs involves the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), our accreditation agency. ILT must petition this fall to have these programs added to our other accredited programs and will receive the ABHE decision next February. ILT has both the resources and the capability to offer both of these programs and we are hopeful that ABHE will grant our request.
Finally, the board received a proposed budget from the board finance committee. This budget was discussed and adopted. ILT will have a $987,700.00 operating budget for fiscal year 2018-2019. This budget is funded by tuition, rental income, donations from the staff/faculty, donations from individuals and congregations, and from the generous support of a Canadian charity dedicated to helping ILT students in Canada. The board expressed its gratitude to all the generosity of the staff and faculty, as well as all those who give to the mission of ILT. ILT depends on the generosity of its donors to be able to provide at reasonable prices the programs it offers.
Overall, the meeting was a great success. The entire board was able to attend, and it nominated two new people to join its ranks at the fall meeting. We are grateful to God for His continuing grace in the life of the Institute of Lutheran Theology!