Interim Thoughts                                                                                                        September 13, 2017


Emerging Shared Vision, Part One: Theological Themes 

This week and next I want to look at the future of Trinity Lutheran Seminary--our future in mission, our future with Capital University. I hope to describe some of the shared vision that I think is emerging. I’ve been listening to many Trinity people and others, people with decades of history here and newcomers. I’ve borrowed much wisdom from them. Nevertheless, the selections and formulations here are my own.

Next week I’ll think with you about approaches and elements that will shape our future. Today’s focus is on foundations. The Trinity community is clear that strong theological convictions guide and must guide our integration process with Capital. Important among our convictions are these:

  • The Trinitarian God is relational and differentiated, shaping all of life. We are shaped into community. We learn and serve in community. We are engaged by the world.

  • We are people of the cross. We acknowledge that in the world and in ourselves there are continuing realities that threaten trust, hope, love and even life itself. Nevertheless, we claim the God-given possibility of living in love, hope and trust in the midst of threats and ambiguities.

  • In Christ an apostolate is created—changed people are sent into the world to proclaim, heal, teach, serve, renew, reconcile, forgive, and free.

  • Jesus Christ came as a servant. We live as servants. All people are called by God to serve the neighbor, and neighbor is broadly defined. No vocation is more essential to God’s mission than any other. “Leader” is a sub-category of servant.

  • God addresses humanity. Apostolic service entails capacity to hear and speak the Word and to enable others to hear and speak the Word.

  • We are called to be wise stewards of the gifts of God which include mission, people, skills, time, money, institutions, traditions, land, buildings, communities and relationships.

I articulate these theological convictions for the Trinity-Capital integration in the hope that the list will be discussed, improved and enhanced. I invite all of you who read these columns to share your thoughts and vision with others and with me. How shall we ground this work?

In Christ,

Stan Olson

Interim President

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Upcoming Events
Dr. Julie Faith Parker Book Signing: September 14, 2017
My So-Called Biblical Life: Imagined Stories from the World’s Best-Seller gives fresh perspectives to stories from the Bible, filling them with powerful, honest emotion. Julie Faith Parker’s translation of biblical passages grounds twelve original narratives, which engage the reader and invite a personal response. This event is being held at the Ruff Learning Center on Capital University's campus from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. More details at
Trinity Days: September 28 - 29, 2017
From Dialogue to Commemoration & Beyond: Catholic-Lutheran Relations after 500 years.
Featured presenters: Dr. Kathryn L. Johnson, director of ecumenical and inter-religious relations for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America & Dr. Susan K. Wood, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas & a professor of systematic theology at Marquette University. More details at
Explore Trinity October 10-11, 2017
Are you discerning where God might be calling you? Is seminary a part of that discernment process? Trinity Lutheran Seminary would like to invite you to our campus to explore your faith, your passion, your purpose, and your calling. Discover surprising places where God is working in our world today. Registration is now open!

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