News & Seminary Spotlights
LPTS is committed to helping "create community for one another in worship, celebration, sorrow, and success." Below are opportunities to participate and engage with activities shared by the LPTS community. For Upcoming Events at LPTS, click here.
News & Press Releases
News relevant to the life, work, and community of Louisville Seminary.
Louisville Seminary Announces Online Course Offerings
December 14, 2023
Louisville, Ky. – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the incorporation of online teaching and learning into curricula for the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts in Religion (MAR) programs beginning Fall 2024. We recognize that there are many people throughout the nation who would benefit greatly from theological education who cannot quit their jobs, uproot their families and move to Louisville, Kentucky to be a student at LPTS. Frankly, they should not have to.
To fulfill our mission of working toward a world where all can flourish, we are equipping our faculty to develop online courses with the same commitment to sound pedagogical approaches and rigor that we incorporate into our in-person courses.
Unlike many seminaries who are offering courses in hybrid form (wherein students attend the same class both in-person and online simultaneously) our faculty elected to offer a different hybrid model.
We believe that teaching courses in person (on campus) and online requires two very distinct pedagogical approaches. Courses that attempt to accommodate both online and in-person students do not always meet the unique needs of each population effectively. To avoid this dilemma, our faculty opted to rotate our MDiv and MAR curricula so that all required courses are offered in alternating years in fully in person or in fully online formats. Online courses will be offered asynchronously to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults.
This means that students who are in the Louisville area who would like to take courses in person can continue to do so. If they are enrolled full-time, they will need to take some courses online. This also means that students who enroll as online students will do so as part-time students.
We are excited to provide students throughout the country the opportunity to enroll in courses at Louisville Seminary. We believe there are many people who are preparing for various forms of ministry who share our cores values for whom this opportunity can be life changing. Our core institutional values include:
- Believing in God, following the example of Jesus as a model for our lives, and relying on the Holy Spirit;
- Celebrating the rich traditions of the Presbyterian Church USA and Reformed Christianity;
- Achieving excellence through academic rigor, creativity, and critical thinking;
- Committing to anti-racism academically and throughout the LPTS community;
- Modeling, expecting, and promoting gender equity;
- Supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ persons;
- Embracing diversity of ministries including pastors, chaplains, therapists, community leaders, and more;
- Engaging our community in action and reflection beyond the classroom;
- Respecting the dignity and gifts of all;
- Creating community for one another in worship, celebration, sorrow, and success;
- Valuing accessibility and inclusivity;
- Welcoming inter-faith and ecumenical study and dialogue;
- Committing to responsible, sustainable care for God’s Earth.
To learn more about in person (on campus) and online education opportunities, visit lpts.edu/prospective-students
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the technology requirements for enrolling in online courses?
- A computer that runs on Windows or Mac OS—Preferably the latest version of the operating system.
- The computer has virus protection software on it.
- The computer will play common video and audio formats.
- A printer for printing out readings, assignments, etc., if desired.
- A stable internet connection—cable, DSL, or other high-speed internet.
- An internet connection with sufficient bandwidth (5Mbps minimum/25Mbps recommended) to allow for watching video without problems.
- A browser that is within one update of the current version.
Are admissions requirements the same for online and in-person students?
Yes. Information about the admissions process can be found at lpts.edu/academics/masters
Will online students be required to come to campus at any time?
Yes. Since our inception in 1853, we have valued the role of community to help us effectively create and sustain engaging and effective learning opportunities. We want all online students to also be part of the Louisville Seminary community. With this in mind, we require online students to spend several days in Louisville at the beginning of each academic year. During this time students will meet with their peers, staff and faculty, participate in worship and communal meals, engage in on-campus (for credit) learning opportunities, and have opportunities to explore the Louisville Metro Area. These experiences will serve to help students integrate well into the LPTS community. Information about housing opportunities during this time can be found at lpts.edu/campuslife/#housing
Are online students eligible for scholarship?
Absolutely! Online students will follow the same process for applying for scholarships as in-person students. Information about the Whosoever Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities are available at lpts.edu/academics/financial/#scholarships
Is there someone I can speak to or email to ask a specific question?
The admissions team at Louisville Seminary is here to be a friend and resource as your discern your vocational journey. Fill out this form and an admissions specialists will be in touch or send an email.
Grawemeyer Religion Award Winner Announced
December 08, 2023
Scholar focusing on God’s human qualities wins Grawemeyer religion prize
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – God gets angry. God gets jealous. God hates, regrets and learns.
Theologians often dismiss those depictions of God in the Bible because they seem to clash with God’s image as an all-loving being, but an Episcopal priest with a different view has received the 2024 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for helping explain the paradox.
The Rev. Charles Halton, associate rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, Ky., won the prize for ideas set forth in his 2021 book "A Human-Shaped God: Theology of an Embodied God." He argues that embracing God as a deity with human qualities can bring us closer to God and inspire us to become better people.
"We are, like God, to move from a place of exclusion and anger-fueled violence to a life of inclusion, radical forgiveness and compassion," he said. "This is the path God is on. If we are not on it too, we are not imitating God."
As an example, Halton cites the Old Testament story of how God floods Earth, destroying everything except Noah’s Ark. Later, God feels regret and creates a rainbow in the sky.
"Many Bible accounts are springboards for theological imagination that help us see God in constructive ways," he said. "As humans, we too lash out in anger, but we also learn to forgive."
Halton explores "an underappreciated view of God that exists in the Bible but is absent from most Eurocentric theology," said Tyler Mayfield, who directs the religion award. "His approach is original, thought-provoking and offers new opportunities for understanding the biblical God."
Halton taught Old Testament and Semitic languages at seminary and college levels for nearly a decade. He holds a doctorate from Cincinnati's Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Bible and ancient Near East studies and is an external affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Judaism and Christianity in Antiquity at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London.
The University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary jointly give the religion prize.
Recipients of next year's Grawemeyer Awards were named this week pending formal approval by trustees at both institutions. The $100,000 prizes also honor seminal ideas in music, world order, psychology and education. Winners will visit Louisville in the spring to accept their awards and give free talks on their winning ideas.
(photo by Amy Campbell Photography)
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Celebrates Seven-Year Renewal of Marriage & Family Therapy Program Accreditation
November 20, 2023
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - November 20, 2023 - It is with great pleasure and immense pride that Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the renewal of accreditation for the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) has granted the program a renewed accreditation that extends from November 1, 2023, to November 1, 2030.
The renewal of accreditation, which was officially confirmed by COAMFTE following their meeting on October 17-18, 2023, underscores the exceptional quality and dedication of our MFT community at LPTS. This significant achievement comes with two stipulations, which our dedicated MFT colleagues have already initiated steps to address.
Accreditation renewal is a remarkable accomplishment that reflects the relentless commitment of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's MFT program to maintaining the highest standards of education and clinical practice in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. We take this moment to recognize the outstanding efforts of our MFT colleagues, clinical supervisors, and students who played an instrumental role in preparing and submitting a comprehensive report, as well as hosting a successful virtual accreditation visit in the Spring. This achievement would not have been possible without the tireless contributions of Dr. Trina A. Armstrong, Loren Townsend, Lesley Earles, Beth Troy, and Becky Timerding.
Debra J. Mumford, Seminary Dean, expressed her appreciation for the collective effort, stating, "Accreditation renewal is never a given. It takes the work of the entire community daily to make it happen. This renewal affirms the excellence of our MFT curriculum, MFT faculty, staff, and clinical supervisors who work hard every day to maintain exceptional standards that equip our students to be outstanding therapists."
Seminary President Andrew Pomerville, echoed the sentiment commenting, "This renewal is further evidence of the incredible work being done in the Marriage and Family Therapy program here at LPTS. I am continuously impressed by the compassionate care they offer to the community, the rigor with which they pursue their study, and the positive impact they take into the world upon completion of the program. I am so thankful for their work, ministry, and care."
"It is wonderful to be affirmed in the hard work our faculty, supervisors, and staff did in the accreditation process," added Louisville Seminary Counseling Center Clinical Director, Beth Troy. "As we celebrate this achievement, we remain focused on educating persons with theological or spiritual commitments to become marriage and family therapists competent to practice in a diverse, multicultural, and interfaith world."
"The reaccreditation by COAMFTE affirms our position as a leader in MFT education, and we are excited about the opportunities it brings for further growth and innovation," reflected Dr. Trina A. Armstrong, Director of the MFT Program. "We thank COAMTE for its thorough evaluation and recognition of our commitment to excellence. This reaccreditation validates our past efforts and motivates us to continually raise the bar and exceed expectations in MFT education."
To learn more about the Marriage and Family Therapy degree program and others offered at Louisville Seminary, click here.
About Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Founded in 1853, Louisville Seminary offers an inclusive and diverse learning community, welcoming students from wide ecumenical backgrounds while maintaining its long, historic commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Louisville Seminary is led by the Holy Spirit to educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere. It is distinguished by its nationally recognized marriage and family therapy and field education programs, the scholarship and church service among its faculty and a commitment to training women and men to participate in the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. For more information, call (800) 264-1839 or visit lpts.edu. To make a financial gift supporting Christ-centered, justice-driven education at Louisville Seminary, click here.
The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is a recognized accrediting body that evaluates and accredits Marriage and Family Therapy programs to ensure they meet the highest educational and clinical standards.
Introducing the "Whosoever Tuition Scholarship" Available for the 2024-25 Academic Year and Beyond!
October 11, 2023
The Whosoever Tuition Scholarship is designed to embody the inclusive and welcoming mission of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) ensuring that no one is excluded from pursuing theological/higher education due to financial constraints. It also reaffirms the institutional commitment to lessen the financial indebtedness of our students upon completing a degree program.
Whosoever Scholarship Details:
- Eligibility: The "Whosoever Tuition Scholarship" is open to all full-time and part-time master’s level students enrolled at Louisville Seminary, irrespective of their background, denomination, ethnicity, gender, or financial status.
- Application Process: Upon acceptance into a master’s level degree program, candidates may apply for the "Whosoever Tuition Scholarship". The Financial Aid office will then run calculations to determine income and expense debt ratios to determine need and scale.
- Financial Assistances: Recipients of this scholarship will receive financial assistance on an as-needed basis to help cover tuition costs.
Presidential Scholarships will continue to be awarded to master's-level degree students and are based on academic achievement and/or a promise for ministry. Current scholarships are for $20,000 a year for up to three years of full-time study, and tuition costs are paid from the scholarship. All admitted master’s-level students who do not receive a Presidential Scholarship may be eligible to receive a Whosoever Tuition Scholarship. For details about the new tuition scholarship, other financial assistance available, and a directory of all degrees and programs offered at Louisville Seminary, click here.
Funds from a Tuition Scholarship pay for the cost of tuition for the hours required for a degree. Students need to maintain minimum hours of enrollment to maintain a Tuition Scholarship. Required fees are not covered by Tuition Scholarships.
In May 2023, the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board of Trustees authorized the creation of a new “needs-based” tuition scholarship for master's-level degree programs. Since that time, seminary leadership brought together a cross functional team to further develop that program and the infrastructure required to execute awarding scholarships beginning with the 2024-2025 academic year. Through months of collaborative efforts, the team identified a name for the scholarship program and also updated institutional processes for matters concerning financial aid.
Gratitude and thanks to all who gathered in these collaborative efforts and especially to the Board of Trustees who continue to support the mission of Louisville Seminary to be led by the Holy Spirit to educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere.
- Strives to offer affordable and accessible theological education.
- Continues to become an anti-racist seminary.
- Continues to become a seminary that affirms people who are LGBTQIA+.
- Continues to become a seminary that welcomes people who have disabilities.
- Continues to become a seminary that welcomes people who are neurodivergent.
- Continues to welcome students of many faiths and those who identify with no religious tradition.
Office of the Ombuds at Louisville Seminary
October 5, 2023
How does the Ombuds help?
The Ombuds assists people in the seminary community through voluntary consultation and provides information and guidance in developing options to address their concerns. When possible, the Ombuds facilitates outcomes that build trust, enhance relationships, and improve communication within the seminary community.
The Ombuds also assists the seminary by identifying procedural irregularities and systemic problems. This might include identifying emerging trends, policy gaps, and patterns of problematic behavior in ways that do not disclose confidential communication or information. The Ombuds may provide general recommendations to the seminary for addressing these concerns.
The Ombuds is not an agent of Louisville Seminary authorized to receive notice of claims, complaints, or grievances against the seminary. Instead, the Ombuds may refer individuals to the appropriate place where formal notice of claims can be made. We discuss. YOU decide.
In short, the Ombuds is an independent, impartial, informal and confidential resource for the seminary community. Stay tuned for the launch of the Ombuds webpage in the weeks to come.
The Ombuds office is open and I can be reached by email, phone (502-338-2335) and Zoom.
Hope you are having a great start to the academic year!
Schlegel Hall #306
Celebrating DiLuca's Impact at Louisville Seminary as She Embarks on a New Chapter
October 4, 2023
LOUISVILLE, KY – October 3, 2023 – Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) is bidding a fond farewell to a valued member of its community. Susan DiLuca, who has served as the Executive Administrative Coordinator to the President, is set to retire from her position at the end of the year, on December 31, 2023.
Susan DiLuca joined the LPTS team in August 2009 as a part-time temporary employee during Dean Thompson's final year before retirement. Her dedication and commitment soon led to her being offered a permanent part-time role in the office in the fall of 2010. From November 2010 to May 2012, she served as the permanent part-time Administrative Assistant to the President. In June 2012, Susan took on the role of full-time Executive Administrative Coordinator to the President.
In her roles at LPTS, Susan has played an instrumental part in supporting the work of the President and the office. Her responsibilities included managing the President's intricate schedule, coordinating travel arrangements, serving as the liaison for all contact with the public, students, and employees coming through the President's office, and organizing board-related functions for bi-annual meetings. Additionally, she has been responsible for planning and executing the Seminary's Commencement services, ensuring that every detail was attended to with precision and care.
Susan's tenure at Louisville Seminary has been marked by her unwavering dedication and tireless efforts to facilitate the smooth operation of the President's office and the Seminary as a whole. Her meticulous planning and organizational skills have been essential to the success of numerous initiatives and events.
Reflecting on her time at LPTS, Susan DiLuca stated, “My time at LPTS has been filled with many joys, and I treasure the relationships I have made over the years. I am looking forward to spending more time with friends and family and plan to do contract work on a part-time basis.”
Seminary President Andrew Pomerville remarked, “Susan’s consistent professionalism has extended through four presidents, and with each new person, she has provided compassionate care, unwavering support, and outstanding attention to detail. Above all her marvelous professional accomplishments, she is a remarkable person who has been a friend to the seminary, a reliable colleague, and a joy to know. We will miss her greatly, and we wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”
Elizabeth Clay, Chair of the LPTS Board, added, “Susan has been a valuable member of the seminary community. The work she did on behalf of the board made everything run smoothly and well. I will miss working with her and wish her the best on her retirement.”
Louisville Seminary expresses its gratitude to Susan DiLuca for her outstanding service and extends its best wishes for a fulfilling retirement.
Louisville Seminary Congratulates Alton B. Pollard, III on New Appointment at Wake Forest University
September 28, 2023
Louisville, KY - Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) extends congratulations to Rev. Dr. Alton B. Pollard, III, president emeritus and professor of Religion and Culture from 2018-2023, on his appointment as The James and Marilyn Dunn Chair in Baptist Studies and University Professor of African American Studies at Wake Forest University.
Pollard, a visionary leader and esteemed scholar, played a pivotal role in shaping the intellectual and spiritual landscape of our institution during his tenure at LPTS. His dedication to fostering inclusivity, promoting interfaith dialogue, and advancing the study of religion and culture has left an indelible mark on our community.
Board of Trustees Chair, Elizabeth Clay, stated, “Alton’s new appointment is a testament to his leadership and scholarship. His commitment to academic excellence and his dedication to fostering understanding among diverse communities have made a lasting impact on the seminary community. We wish him every success in his new role.”
Current Seminary President, Rev. Dr. Andrew Pomerville, echoed these sentiments, saying, “Alton’s commitment to the Whosoever ethos at Louisville Seminary will continue to inspire us for years to come. We are excited to see the transformative work he will undoubtedly undertake at Wake Forest University.”
Dr. Pollard's appointment at Wake Forest University underscores the profound contributions he has made to theological education, and we do not doubt that he will continue to be a beacon of scholarship and leadership in his new position. We wish him the very best in this next chapter of his career.
Video and pictures from recent events honoring Pollard’s presidency at Louisville Seminary, which included his presidential portrait unveiling and prayer room dedication, will be shared soon.
Louisville Seminary Bids Farewell to Todd McWhorter After 24 Years of Service
September 26, 2023
Louisville, KY - September 26, 2023 - After 24 years of unwavering dedication and exceptional service, Todd McWhorter, a beloved member of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) community, is set to embark on a new chapter in his life. Todd's official last day at the Seminary is October 13, 2023.
Todd McWhorter joined the Louisville Seminary staff in August 1999, initially serving as a Custodial and Maintenance Technician. His work primarily involved maintaining cleanliness in apartments and performing basic maintenance tasks. Over the years, Todd's commitment and expertise earned him promotions within the Maintenance department. In 2000, he was promoted to Maintenance Tech II, and in 2003, he achieved the position of Maintenance Tech I. In April 2021, Todd was further promoted to the role of Director of Campus Facilities, where his responsibilities evolved into a more managerial capacity while still maintaining a hands-on approach to his work.
Throughout his time at Louisville Seminary, Todd specialized in HVAC, mechanical maintenance, and all aspects of facility management, ensuring the smooth operation of the institution. As Director of Campus Facilities, he oversaw various parts of the Seminary's infrastructure and played a pivotal role in maintaining its physical integrity.
“Todd is an example of a piece of our LPTS mission in action - ‘to care for all,’” commented Seminary President Andrew Pomerville. “During his time at LPTS, Todd has genuinely cared for all of us - students, employees, alums, and friends. I am so thankful for the dedicated, compassionate care he has shown to us all. Please join me in offering thanksgiving for Todd's time at LPTS.”
Emily Carle, Third-year MDiv Student and Laws Lodge Community Assistant, had this to say in a thank you message sent in August: “Todd and the entire Facilities team have always been prompt, thorough, dedicated, friendly, patient, and knowledgeable with their work at LPTS. Many students do not get the chance to interact with Facilities, and their hard work deserves to be known, recognized, and honored. Much of their ‘behind-the-scenes’ work is why the scene functions to begin with!”
Theresia Smith, VP for Finance & Administration at Louisville Seminary, commended Todd's contributions, stating, “Todd is well respected and has always executed his responsibilities with compassion and care for the Seminary and the Seminary Community. Dependable, attentive, responsive, and caring—just a few words that exemplify Todd’s character. His service to LPTS over these last 24 years has been impactful, and I am better for having worked with him.”
Reflecting on his time at Louisville Seminary, Todd McWhorter expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude for the opportunities for advancement and growth that the institution provided him. He remarked, “I am honored to have served this community over the past twenty-four years and equally honored and grateful for the relationships that have formed over those years. A special thanks goes out to my department and coworkers both past and present, without whom I could not have made this journey. Their constant support and companionship will never be forgotten.”
As Todd McWhorter prepares to embark on the next chapter of his life, the Louisville Seminary community extends its heartfelt gratitude and best wishes for his future endeavors.
Special Events Celebrating Alton B. Pollard, III
August 21, 2023
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF LOUISVILLE PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY JOYFULLY INVITE YOU TO ATTEND
SPECIAL EVENTS HONORING LOUISVILLE SEMINARY'S BELOVED 10TH PRESIDENT, ALTON B. POLLARD, III
Celebrate with us in Caldwell Chapel
1044 Alta Vista Road, Louisville, KY 40205
In-person or Online at LPTS.edu/watchlive
A light reception will follow in the Nelson Hall lobby
SEPTEMBER 14, 2023
PRESIDENTIAL PORTRAIT UNVEILING
Be among the first to see the commissioned portrait of Alton that will be hung alongside past presidents' portraits in Nelson Hall
SPOUSES GARDEN DEDICATION
An LPTS tradition that will give special recognition to Alton's beloved wife Jessica Pollard
PRAYER ROOM DEDICATION
The Caldwell Chapel Prayer Room is being dedicated in honor of Alton
Louisville Seminary Celebrates the Retirement of Jean Newman After 32 Years of Dedicated Service
July 28, 2023
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (LPTS) announces the retirement of Jean Newman, administrative coordinator to the dean, after 32 years of service to the institution. Her career at Louisville Seminary began in 1991 when she joined the President’s Office under the leadership of John Mulder. Over the years, Jean transitioned to the Dean’s Office and served under several esteemed deans, including Gene March, Dianne Reistroffer, David Hester, Susan Garrett, Steve Cook, and Debra Mumford.
As a key figure in the management of the Dean’s Office, Jean played a crucial role in assisting various academic committees and Board of Trustee committees. Her dedication also extended to organizing and coordinating significant events, such as Faculty book signings, opening Convocations, Baccalaureate, and Commencement exercises, which have left a lasting impact on the Seminary community.
“Jean was a very good administrative assistant. She kept the office running on time and took care of the routine things. She was and still is also a very good friend. One of Jean’s strengths is her ability to foster relationships. She helped to create a welcoming environment for all of those coming into the Dean’s Office - particularly for international students. She will not be easy to replace,” remarked Gene March, a former dean who worked closely with Jean during her tenure.
Dianne Reistroffer, reflecting on Jean’s contributions, stated, “For 32 years, Jean has served LPTS presidents and deans. For most of those years, she has supported the Dean of the Seminary and the mission and the work of the academic affairs department with deep devotion and steady commitment. As one of the deans she has supported, I came to value very early on Jean’s warmth and highly relational style in meeting, greeting, and helping everyone who came into the office to do business. Generations of students, faculty members, administrators, staff, and their families found in Jean a listening ear and a caring heart, and that loyal spirit will be greatly missed. As she begins her well-deserved retirement season, I rejoice in Jean’s newfound freedom to spend more time with friends and family, especially with her two adult sons, Matt and Phillip, to whom she has been singularly devoted.”
“In addition to many gifts Jean brought to the Dean’s Office (such as her gift for event coordination) Jean brought the gift of relationality. She was able to connect with people in a way that made them feel heard and valued. She was able to foster a sense of hospitality that made the Dean’s Office a welcoming space. She will truly be missed,” added Debra Mumford.
Looking back on her time at the Seminary, Jean expressed her gratitude, saying, “I have enjoyed my 32 years of work at the Seminary and appreciate all the support given to me and my family. The Seminary community has played an important role in my life for many years, and I have developed many friendships throughout the years, among faculty, staff, and students. I am excited about entering this time of my life as retired and plan to spend more time with my family, especially my sons Matt and Phillip, traveling, and perfecting my pickleball game.”
As Jean embarks on this new chapter in her life, Louisville Seminary acknowledges her immeasurable contributions and profound impact on the institution and its community. Her dedication, warmth, and commitment will be cherished and greatly missed by all.
The Seminary extends its best wishes to Jean for a fulfilling and joyous retirement!
Louisville Seminary Affirms Commitment to Gender Equity Amidst Recent Southern Baptist Decision
June 21, 2023
On Wednesday, June 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana, messengers (a term for members of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)) voted to expel two churches from its membership. The churches were not expelled because they were guilty of fostering a culture of sexual misconduct. They were not expelled because there had been any kind of financial impropriety in their midst. Rather, they were expelled because they allowed women to serve as pastors.
The vote, along with another to amend the SBC constitution, further codifies a long-held practice. In 2000 the SBC voted to approve the document, “Baptist Faith & Message 2000.” In the document, the SBC makes it clear that only men are authorized by Scripture to serve as pastors:
Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation, each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its two scriptural offices are that of pastor/elder/overseer and deacon. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor/elder/overseer is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
It has been the practice of the overwhelming majority of SBC congregations to only elect men as pastors. However, a few congregations chose to deviate from this practice and allow women to serve as pastors - including the two churches that were expelled – the Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky and the Saddleback Church in Southern California. Rev. Linda Popham has served as senior pastor of the Fern Creek Baptist Church since 1993. In 2022, upon the retirement of senior pastor Rick Warren, Saddleback Church called clergy couple Amy and Stacie Wood to serve as pastors. In 2021, three women were installed as pastors. 
In addition to expelling two churches, the SBC membership overwhelmingly approved an amendment to Article III of their constitution to clarify that electing men as pastors is not simply a tradition but a mandate.
At Louisville Seminary, we believe that God freely gives gifts and graces to all people. We believe that our responsibility as followers of Christ is to continually critique and reform our thoughts, beliefs, and practices to make room for all to be members of communities of faith and to dwell freely in God’s kindom. Everyone must have the freedom to be the people whom God created them to be. When we adopt beliefs and practices that erect barriers and stumbling blocks for any of our siblings we are being unfaithful to our call.
We believe that God is Spirit. Where the spirit of God is allowed to reign, all of humanity therein will live in freedom. May all who follow Christ continually strive to foster environments where all of God’s people are able to fully develop and use their gifts regardless of race, gender, gender identity, class or sexual orientation.
Debra J. Mumford
Dean of the Seminary
 “Baptist Faith & Message 2000,” The Southern Baptist Convention. https://bfm.sbc.net/bfm2000/#i . Accessed June 19, 2023.
 Brendan O’Brien, “Southern Baptists Finalize Expulsion of Two Churches with Female Pastors.” Reuters, June 14, 2023. Accessed June 19, 2023. https://www.reuters.com/world/us/southern-baptists-finalize-expulsion-two-churches-with-female-pastors-2023-06-14/.
 Dakin Andone and Shawn Nottingham, “Southern Baptist Convention votes to uphold removal of Saddleback Church over women pastors after appeal by Rick Warren.” June 15, 2023. Accessed June 19, 2023. https://www.cnn.com/2023/06/14/us/southern-baptist-convention-annual-meeting/index.html.
 Ada María Isasi-Díaz, La Lucha Continues: Mujerista Theology (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2004), 243-51.
Louisville Seminary Receives $25,000 Moving Forward in Mission Grant to Enhance Online Teaching and Expand Theological Education Access
June 16, 2023
LOUISVILLE, KY – June 16, 2023 – Louisville Seminary is excited to announce that it has recently received a $25,000 Moving Forward in Mission grant from The Association of Theological Schools | The Commission on Accrediting. This grant will empower the seminary's esteemed faculty with the essential knowledge and tools to deliver courses online, significantly broadening access to theological education for a wider audience.
The Moving Forward in Mission grant program, established by The Association of Theological Schools | The Commission on Accrediting, aims to support theological institutions in their pursuit of innovative strategies to enhance the quality and accessibility of education. Louisville Seminary's successful attainment of this grant underscores its commitment to embracing modern pedagogical approaches and ensuring that theological education remains accessible and relevant in an ever-evolving world.
Louisville Seminary has long been recognized as a pioneer in theological education, fostering an environment where students are equipped to engage critically with complex theological concepts while being encouraged to put their faith into action. The grant's objectives align perfectly with the school's mission and strategic plan, which place a strong emphasis on nurturing spiritual formation, cultivating academic excellence, and promoting equity and inclusivity.
By harnessing the power of online teaching, Louisville Seminary will be able to transcend physical boundaries and reach individuals who may not have had access to traditional theological education due to geographical or other constraints. This initiative will empower the seminary to expand its reach, embracing diversity, and fostering dialogue among a broader spectrum of learners.
Debra Mumford, dean of the seminary, expressed her enthusiasm about the grant, stating, “We are deeply honored to receive the Moving Forward in Mission grant from ATS. This support will enable us to enhance our educational offerings and serve a more diverse community of learners. It aligns perfectly with our mission to prepare leaders who are intellectually astute, spiritually mature, and equipped for the diverse ministries of the church and the world.”
The grant will be utilized to develop comprehensive training programs for faculty, equipping them with the necessary skills to create engaging and interactive online courses. By implementing cutting-edge technologies and pedagogical methodologies, Louisville Seminary aims to deliver an immersive online learning experience that maintains the rigor and depth of traditional classroom settings.
Louisville Seminary looks forward to implementing the Moving Forward in Mission grant and is excited about the new opportunities it will create. By expanding its online educational offerings, the seminary will continue to be at the forefront of theological education, empowering students and fulfilling its commitment to be led by the Holy Spirit to educate people to proclaim the Gospel, to care for all, and to work for justice in communities everywhere.
Monell named Executive Director of Louisville-area Foundation
June 12, 2023
It is with sadness and gratitude that we share the news that Anne Monell, Vice President for Philanthropy & Stewardship, will be ending her time at Louisville Seminary. “Four and a half years ago our seminary community and then Office of Institutional Advancement welcomed Anne Monell to our ranks. Today, our Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship has made significant strides due in no small part to her dedicated leadership and team. Innovative, energetic, insightful, and winsome, Anne has brought much to Louisville Seminary during her time here. While her departure is a sad moment for us, we celebrate her bright future. Thank you, Anne, for having shared your gifts with LPTS. You will be missed!” commented seminary president Alton B. Pollard, III.
Anne shares the following with gratitude. "It has been such a privilege to be part of the Louisville Seminary community. Prior to joining LPTS in January 2019, I had been praying for a next step that would lead me to a welcoming, mission-based organization that aligned with my personal values. Louisville Seminary’s “Whosoever” community was the answer to that prayer.
What an honor it has been to work alongside exceptional colleagues in the Office of Philanthropy & Stewardship and the senior leadership team, as well as the Board of Trustees, President’s Roundtable and Alum Board. I am especially grateful to Alton for his leadership and mentorship during our time together. It is because of his guidance and support that I feel confident to take on this new endeavor. My last day at LPTS will be June 15, and I am excited to take the helm of the Legacy Foundation of Kentuckiana at the end of June. In this new role I will develop a grantmaking program that will support projects in the greater Louisville area that improve healthcare equity and access. I anticipate finding ways to continue working together with LPTS and faith communities in our area.
Of course, I feel a twinge of sadness to be leaving as we are welcoming a new president to LPTS. I have gotten to know Andrew Pomerville through the seminary’s relationship with Alma College and his participation on the President’s Roundtable. I am confident he will be an excellent leader for the Seminary’s next stage of growth. Again, thank you all for such a rewarding and fulfilling experience together. I will continue to hold Louisville Seminary in my heart and prayers."
Elizabeth Clay, Board of Trustees chair, added, “Anne Monell has brought strong leadership and expertise to the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship during her years with us. She has engaged with longtime friends of Louisville Seminary and helped us make new ones. From the moment Anne became a part of our community she has looked for ways to use data, proven models, and her positive attitude to increase giving in all areas. We will miss you, Anne! May God go with you!”
Best of luck to you, Anne on your new endeavors!
The Reverend Doctor Andrew David Pomerville named as the 11th president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
May 31, 2023
CLICK HERE to watch the live announcement!
In a world hungry for visionary leaders, where faith, education, and justice-driven work intersect, The Board of Trustees of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary proudly and with great excitement welcomes its 11th president: The Reverend Dr. Andrew David Pomerville.
Andrew brings to Louisville Seminary successful experience in both higher education and ecumenical parish ministry, defined by innovation, energy and joyful communication as an executive administrator, chaplain, and senior pastor. Currently at Alma College (MI), he is the founding director of the Center for College and Community Engagement, Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement, and Senior Chaplain. Committed to students’ formation, through his active role in recruitment he has exceeded goals for increasing enrollment; implemented the graduation requirement for off-campus involvement, while developing and teaching nine new courses; and directed the Pre-Ministry Professional Program, guiding graduates each year to LPTS. With Alma’s Institutional Distinctive Task, he asked where the College’s strengths meet the changing needs of our region and the world; and in the $120 million capital campaign, he co-led the $2 million fund for the historic chapel’s renovation. He has been a champion for anti-racism policies and LGBTQIA+ affirming practices in education and the Church. An officer of the Presbyterian College Chaplains, he participates actively in the network of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.
Andrew came to Alma in 2018 from the multi-denominational 1300-member People’s Church of East Lansing — affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and American Baptist Church — where as Senior Pastor for seven years he led a staff of 82 to use the church’s resources, including location and historic significance, to start new ministries focused on ecumenical partnerships, racial justice, targeted mission, and active involvement in city and state planning. Immediately before, was pastor for four years of the multi-denominational Church in the Hills (Bellaire, MI), with a growing membership of 250, and earlier served as a director of youth ministries and hospice chaplain.
In his ministerial leadership, Andrew has developed financial acumen with a love for fundraising, stewardship of relationships and recruitment of new giving partners. Through the Presbyterian Foundation, he has been named one of ten Church Financial Leadership Coaches, working with congregations and pastors across the US. He was awarded the Executive Certificate for Religious Fundraising (ECRF) from the Lake Institute for Religious Fundraising (ECRF) of Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis. He serves on the boards of his local community foundation, is nominated for Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and formerly chaired the board of NYAKA, a foundation in Uganda focusing on AIDS orphans. He has come to know LPTS as a member of the President’s Roundtable.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 2007, Andrew is a graduate of three Presbyterian schools: Bachelor of Arts in history and religious studies, Alma College (2001) ; Master of Divinity, Princeton Theological Seminary (2007), and Doctor of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (2018), focused on Reformed Theology in a joint program with University of Aberdeen. In addition to the ECRF, he holds certificates in Presidential Leadership Development from CREDO, and Adaptive Leadership from Michigan State University’s College of Business.
Andrew is eager for the seminary community to meet his spouse Rachell, currently a Great Start Readiness Program specialist in the Lansing School District, and their children Denali and Bryce, who will be a senior and sophomore in high school this fall.
Dr. Pomerville’s proven record of innovation, creativity, and adaptive leadership will serve the seminary well in the next season. His commitment to WHOSOEVER, his lifelong attentiveness to student formation and his embrace of a joyful theology of stewardship will allow him to share our seminary’s story in an exciting and compelling way. Welcome Andrew!
Don’t miss introductory events and other opportunities to connect and engage with Andrew.
For upcoming events and to send a message, visit: lpts.edu/incomingpresident
Active shooting in Downtown Louisville
April 10, 2023
We pray for peace within our city, our state, our nation, and our world.
Dear Seminary Community,
Our thoughts and prayers go to God for the families and loved ones of those who died from today’s tragedy in Downtown Louisville. We lift our hearts to God for healing for those injured, especially those whose lives hang in the balance. We pray for God’s comforting presence and peace upon those in the grips of terror and anxiety for being on the scene when the shooting occurred. We pray for God’s strength upon those within our community who may experience vicarious trauma from being notified of this occurrence. We express thanks to God for the quick response of the city’s first responders, whose actions prohibited further loss of life and/or injury. We pray for community leaders as they minister to the grieving. We pray for our students who are currently completing their Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at University Hospital where those injured were taken. We pray for the family and friends of the aggressor, who are now left with unfathomable pain. We pray for those within our community whose spiritual and mental pain tends to translate into retaliatory actions of violence. May they find resources that can enable them to transform hate into reconciliation and love. We mourn the loss of those whose lives have been taken from us. We pray for peace within our city, our state, our nation, and our world.
In the name of the Holy One,
If you or anyone you know would like to speak with someone regarding mental health resources or need a safe space to share concerns and grief, please contact the Office of Community Life (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 502-992-9365).
To read the Kentucky Council of Churches Statement on Assault Weapons, click here.
Timerding to Retire After 25 Years of Dedicated Service
March 20, 2023
On Friday, June 2, 2023, Becky Timerding, Administrative Assistant to the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program, will retire after 25 years of faithful and joyous service to Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. When Becky joined LPTS in 1998, her duties centered on supporting the MFT Program Director (bookkeeping, clerical work, receptionist for the program office) and taking intakes for Louisville Seminary Counseling Ministry. Her responsibilities then expanded to include tracking practicum hours, auditing client records, and serving in a support role to the Clinical Director/Director of Clinical Training.
Loren Townsend, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, who has worked together with Becky for a quarter-century shared, “Becky has been a quiet anchor in the MFT Program who has helped arrange melody and counterpoint out of what otherwise would appear to be a chaotic flurry of unruly notes without particular purpose. Becky has helped us shape our purpose (and document that with the COAMFTE). She has helped us remember the many lives our faculty and students have touched. She’s kept us in order, and we can’t thank her enough for the gifts she has contributed. As she sings her way into retirement, we wish her and her family happiness, health, and peace. Thank you, Becky.”
“Becky has been the soul of the Family Therapy program since before I was myself a seminary student twenty years ago. She has fulfilled her role not as a job but as a calling, shepherding students through their time with us. We will sorely miss her compassion and competence but wish her well in her retirement and the adventures to come,” added friend and colleague, Lesley Ann Earles, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy.
“I have enjoyed working and being in relationship with the directors, faculty, clinical supervisors, and students who have been a part of the MFT Program. There have been many learning opportunities and new experiences.”
Becky is looking forward to spending couple-time with her husband of 41 years, who is retiring in July from the Jefferson County Public School District, and being with their son. When asked about her retirement plans, Becky enthusiastically commented, “Eric and I plan to do more cycling and disc golfing. This summer we are leading a summer musical arts camp in Jeffersonville, Indiana. ‘There’s more to see than can ever be seen and more to do than can ever be done.’”
Best wishes Becky on your next adventure!
LPTS Supports our Transgender/Gender Non-conforming Siblings
March 06, 2023
Louisville Seminary envisions a world where all can flourish, evidenced by the justice and mercy of God, the welcome of Jesus Christ, and the creativity of the Holy Spirit. To this end, we commit to being a fully inclusive community where all of God’s children feel loved, affirmed, and valued.
Therefore, we condemn anti-transgender legislation that seeks to deny trans and gender-nonconforming people the freedom and agency to live into gender identities that do not adhere to socially constructed gender binaries. We condemn legislation that denies them the mental and physical health care they need to experience the happiness and well-being they deserve. In addition to denying basic human rights, the anti-trans legislation compounds the mental and emotional harm that many people who are trans and gender nonconforming already experience on a daily basis.
Christian faith affirms that each person is a beloved child of God, made in the image of God. Jesus Christ taught us to love one another. And the Holy Spirit has always been a source of transformation, calling us toward new ways of being. Grounded in our Christian heritage and faith, Louisville Seminary stands proudly with transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, adults, their families, and providers committed to providing gender-affirming care.
Debra J. Mumford
Dean of the Seminary
Lias to serve as Student Support Specialist
March 02, 2023
We are excited to share that beginning March 13, 2023, Lisa Lias, who currently serves the Office of Community Life as a part-time Administrative Coordinator, will begin a new role as Student Support Specialist.
Her focus will be on coordinating all student engagement initiatives, including the support of students, in the following eight life formation areas: professional, financial, physical, social, spiritual, recreational, intellectual, and emotional. This comprehensive approach to caring, nurturing, and supporting students and their families is an extension of Louisville Seminary's commitment to work towards a world where all can flourish, evidenced by the justice of God, the welcome of Jesus Christ, and the creativity of the Holy Spirit. Lisa will also continue to assist the Dean of Community Life, serve as housing coordinator, and work closely with other ministry departments including admissions in preparing resources for new student cohorts.
Dean of Community Life, Kilen Gray shares, “Lisa Lias has, in one year, made an indelible relational impact upon the entire seminary community, especially among our student body, with just a part-time assignment. Through this new appointment, she will bring her generous, generative, engaging, and compassionate spirit to every student interaction full-time. Her higher education experience and experience as a life coach and grief counselor will be significant as we work to ensure students receive holistic support during their matriculation. We are blessed to have more of her presence within our seminary community.”
“I am overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude to support our students in this capacity,” Lisa added. “I look forward to guiding our students in ways that holistically enhance their lives. My heart’s desire is that every student that attends our Seminary makes many fond memories and leaves better equipped for ministry; not only to serve others but to fully enjoy life for themselves.”
Meet our new Philanthropy Specialist: Jake Johnson
February 20, 2023
February 20, 2023 – (Louisville, KY) Today Louisville Seminary welcomes Jake Johnson as the new part-time Philanthropy Specialist as a member of the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship team. In this role, Jake will engage in follow-up activities (such as phone calls and emails) after events, assist with updating alum and donor information, and support stewardship projects throughout the year. In the next few weeks, he will assist with several events, including the Grawemeyer Awards, our inaugural Giving and Gratitude Day, and Louisville Seminary 101 presentations.
VP for Philanthropy and Stewardship, Anne Monell commented that “Jake brings to LTPS a pastoral approach to relationship-building.” He most recently served as Associate Pastor at Memorial Baptist Church in Newport, Tennessee. He focused his time on welcoming new members, led youth and outreach activities, and assisted with pastoral care and preaching.
Jake grew up in the mountains of Upper East Tennessee as a kid and young adult. He felt a call to ministry at age 15 and began preaching shortly after. His life journey took him into a multitude of denominations and faith traditions. In 2021, Jake graduated from Johnson University with Bachelor's degrees in Bible and Theology and Preaching and Leadership. He was recently accepted into Duke Divinity to begin their online Master of Divinity program. Jake enjoys all things Star Wars related, hanging out with friends, and kayaking and cliff jumping in the summer.
“I’m very excited to get started at LPTS. The mission of Christ and inclusion is something I hold dear and am looking forward to further in my role at the Seminary. My passion has always been people; I cannot wait to express that passion with everyone at LPTS.”
Sara Babcock Selected to Serve at New Director of Admissions
February 14, 2023
February 14, 2023 – (Louisville, KY) LPTS is delighted to announce that Sara Babcock has been selected to serve as our new Director of Admissions. Sara is an anticipated Master of Divinity graduate of Louisville Seminary. Sara has exhibited her unique gifts and graces in leadership and ministry in various capacities during her matriculation.
Her leadership and creativity have been exhibited within, and celebrated by, the Seminary community within her work as Student Body Clerk, for which she received affirmation twice by the student body, as Chapel Minister, and within the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA). Sara has shown significant strength in building supportive relational connections across the human intersectional continuum. She is highly touted by her employment references for her adept communication skills and compassionate pastoral presence.
Sara earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Originally from Nebraska, Sara has had the great fortune to live in distinct and diverse communities in Kentucky, Michigan, Washington DC, France, and Senegal. She is passionate about co-creating communities that are just, honest, and fun! She lives with her partner and cat in Louisville.
While Sara completes her degree program, she will begin work in the Office of Admissions on a part-time basis on Monday, February 20, 2023. Sara transitions to full-time service after commencement on Monday, May 22, 2023. Join me in congratulating Sara Babcock on her new call to ministry. Welcome, Sara, to your new assignment and to the Division of Community Life team at Louisville Seminary.
Edwin Hernández named Executive Director of the Louisville Institute at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
January 19, 2023
E.M. White Library & Louisville Seminary Announce Callicott to be the New Director of Library Services
January 18, 2023
January 18, 2023 - (Louisville, KY) - On July 1, 2023, Burton Callicott will assume the position of Director of the E.M. White Library. Callicott has served as the public services librarian at the E. M. White Library since October 2020. In this role, he oversees day-to-day operations and maintains library functions including circulation and information desk services, course reserves, reference, interlibrary loan, collection development, and research instruction.
Callicott earned a Master of Library and Information Science and a Master of Arts in English from the University of South Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Before beginning his work at Louisville Seminary, he worked for nineteen years as a librarian at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. During this time he held several positions including head of research and instruction services. He also served for several years on SACSCOC QEP (Southern Association of Colleges and School Commission on Colleges and Schools Quality Enhancement Plan) committees. He has also served as a librarian at Long Island University and the Queens Public Library.
“Burton’s years of library experience and commitment to sustainability and open access make him the ideal person to serve as library director at this time in our institutional history. His experiences as head of research and instruction will continue to benefit our students as they prepare for many different ministries and careers. In addition, his many years of experience in accreditation will enable him to help us to continue to meet the accreditation standards of all of our accrediting bodies,” said Dean Mumford.
“I am thrilled at the prospect of guiding the library to provide the highest quality and most responsive support to the community in all its endeavors,” said Callicott. “Sustainability and open access are concepts that inform much of my work as the library navigates the myriad of changes that have resulted from the transition from an analog to a digital world.” The Library, which is open to the public, currently offers 24/7 remote access to ebooks and research databases, video tutorials, pictorial guides, and information tools.
Faculty member Marcus Hong, who served as search committee chair added, “In addition to more than 20 years of experience in various library settings, Burton’s warm presence, excellent listening skills and quiet competence were evident to the search committee from the beginning. Through the interview process, we also came to understand that he brings to this role a kind of collaborative leadership that inspires trust in those with whom he works, as well as significant experience in and a compelling vision for the kind of institutional evaluation and accreditation that brings a community together to tell its story.”
Callicott is forever grateful to his wife, Alea McKinley, for all of her support and for the fact that she alerted him to the Public Services Librarian job post that initially brought him to the Louisville Seminary.
The Ernest Miller White Library was named in honor of the Seminary librarian who served from 1944-1985, which spanned the move from the downtown campus to the current location on Alta Vista Rd.