National Lutheran News

Merged college, sem names provost

The Rev. Clayton J. Schmit has been named founding provost of the new School of Theology, which is to be formed when Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, merge July 1.

The seminary is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA); the university is one of 26 colleges and universities of the ELCA.

With the merger, the university is establishing the School of Theology, which will include the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. The seminary will retain its own name and identity while integrating with the larger university system.

“The merger of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary with Lenoir-Rhyne University offers great promise for the expansion of the ELCA’s work in theological education,” said the Rev. Jonathan Strandjord, program director for seminaries at ELCA churchwide ministries. “Calling this first provost is a crucial first step in making this promise real.”

“The merger of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary with Lenoir-Rhyne University offers great promise for the expansion of the ELCA’s work in theological education.”

As founding provost, Schmit will be the chief administrative officer of the seminary. He succeeds the Rev. Marcus J. Miller, who will retire this summer as the seminary’s president.

“I am very excited about the merger,” said Schmit in a Lenoir-Rhyne news release, “and the new approach to theological education it represents. This is a new day for the seminary, and I look forward to working with both teams to explore the synergies and prospects that the merger represents.”

Schmit earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He earned a doctorate from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and currently is the Arthur DeKruyter Christ Church Oak Brook Professor of Preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

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