End of Year Letter From Our President
We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! We at the Institute of Lutheran Theology are so very thankful for all of you! Your prayers and financial support make our existence possible.
Here are highlights for 2019:
We had record numbers of students in calendar year 2019, easily breaking old records. ILT is now larger than Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and Trinity Lutheran Seminary, ranking ninth in size among all the Lutheran Seminaries in North America.
• There were 10 students who graduated from our degree or certificate programs, and they are all serving congregations as pastors.
• We received authorization from the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) to begin our Ph.D. program, and the first class, “Theological Methods,” was offered in the fall of 2019 to seven students.
• We are pleased to have members of the US military taking classes with us in our new Masters of Military Chaplaincy program.
• We researched and sought a substantial change from the ABHE to allow us to begin to offer undergraduate courses with hopes of offering undergraduate degrees. We shall know in February if our proposal is approved.
• Our auditors gave us an unqualified audit and we finished 2018-19 in the black.
Thirteen years ago, ILT began as an initiative within the Word Alone Network to found a House of Studies which would adopt the Biblical hermeneutic of the Lutheran Reformation. We remain committed to this goal. We educate students in classical Lutheran theology and preaching. Our pastoral programs prepare people to preach, teach and lead congregations in proclaiming and witnessing to the free grace of God in Christ Jesus.
ILT is both a seminary and graduate school because we know that in the future, it will not only be increasingly difficult to find faithful Lutheran pastors, but also to locate faithful, qualified teachers of these future Lutheran pastors.
While we keep our expenses as low as possible, we can do nothing without your continuing help. A major donor has stepped up to offer a challenge donation of $155,000. Thus, we can announce that all gifts up to $155,000 will be matched through January 2020!
For those who have given in the past, we appreciate your gifts. For those who may not yet have contributed, we seek to be worthy of your gifts. I have always told you that I keep our expenses to an absolute minimum. Let me assure you that there is no fat at all in our budget. Please consider a major gift to help ILT. If we together give $155,000, the gift insures there will be $310,000 for ILT operations. Please pray about this. God bless you!
Dr. Dennis Bielfeldt, President