Strategic Partners Get caught in our web!
The very title “Project Connect” accurately
describes our efforts to strengthen and support the long standing
collaboration between ELCA institutions on the East Coast. The fact
that three seminaries
(Gettysburg, Philadelphia, and Southern) are responsible for implementing
the grant indicates our commitment and ability to work collegially.
The Eastern Cluster of Lutheran Seminaries
serves as the hub of this network, working with institutional and congregational
partners affiliated with the twenty-one synods across Regions 7, 8,
The Eastern Cluster of
Lutheran Seminaries includes:
Specifically, they include, but are not limited
Ministry:Many prospective students attend private and
state colleges and universities and are under the pastoral care
of ELCA Campus Ministers during that time. Discernment Advocates
will partner with Campus Ministers to provide opportunities for
theologically sound vocational discernment. We also look to having
a presence at regional and national Lutheran Student Movement gatherings
to support and encourage the work of these partners.
and Pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):
90 Parish Pastors (15-20 in each of the next 5 years) will
be contracted as “Discernment Advocates” to
implement much of the programming for grant events and
will also serve
as mentors to prospective ministerial candidates. Several
congregations will serve as essential contexts for congregational
and mini-grant awards.
Church Colleges and Universities: ELCA colleges will
be developing and implementing a college course on Vocation. Our
hope is all ELCA schools in the East will offer the piloted model
in years to come.
Outdoor Ministries: As a part of their annual training
for summer staff, outdoor ministry sites will implement sessions
on Lutheran Theology and understanding of vocation, using a resource
already developed as part of Project Connect. Several camps will
have current seminarians serving on their summer staff, aided by
Project Connect scholarship funds. Discernment Advocates will partner
with outdoor ministry sites to provide on-going mentoring for camp
staff who may be discerning a call to public ministry.
Lutheran Services in America (LSA): Lutheran Services in America creates opportunities for people in thousands of communities throughout the United States and the Caribbean as an alliance of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the nearly 300 Lutheran health and human service organizations that offer healing and hope to one in every 50 Americans through services such as health care, housing, adoptions, disability, and aging support neighbor to neighbor. Explore possibilities for summer or part-time employment, volunteer opportunities or other ways to experience the work of Lutheran social ministry organizations by contacting the Project Connect office.
Volunteer Corps: Discernment
Advocates will serve as liaisons to the six houses in the East
providing support and mentoring to volunteers who are discerning
a call to public ministry.
and Synod staff: Regional Coordinators and synod staff
have much contact with prospective students, particularly through
the ELCA candidacy process. We will look to support their efforts
and increase these connections. In particular, Discernment Advocates
will serve as liaisons to Synod Youth Ministry Coordinators, with
an emphasis on having a presence at synodical youth events.