Annual Conference of the Association of Lutheran College Faculties (ALCF)

Lutheran Education & (Diversity)x : What Does This Mean?

Lutheran colleges and universities have become far more diverse in a variety of ways. ​Most obviously, our ever-less Lutheran ​student population reflects a much broader cross-section of the country’s—and the world’s— population,​ and often includes a large number of Jewish, Muslim, animist, and “none of the above” students. Issues of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, class, gender, and sexual orientation play a more significant role in our courses and our campus life.

But many other forms of diversity have emerged over the last several decades. Lutherans themselves have become much more diverse in their opinions regarding what Lutheran education is and what it should and should not do. We are witnessing ever-greater diversity in course offerings, content, and delivery. We often teach not only undergraduate but graduate students comprising a broad range of ages, and have a greater diversity of revenue streams to help support our overall operation. The Great Recession, fears about rising college costs, and the advent of for-profit institutions have diminished focus on the liberal arts and pushed institutions to offer a wider variety of applied degrees.

We invite you to Concordia University in St. Paul to discuss the myriad ways in which diversity in all its forms presents challenges to and opportunities for Lutheran higher education.

How can we be places where (in the words of CSP’s Promise Statement) Christ is honored and all are welcome? To what degree are those two imperatives in conflict? What do ELCA, LCMS, and other Lutheran schools have to teach each other? How have faculty capitalized on and been challenged by new instructional technologies and social media? What is the role of the liberal arts in the 21st century? In what ways do our professional degrees reflect our Lutheran identity? How does one teach a class including everyone from recent high school graduates to seasoned adult professionals? We look forward to a robust discussion of these and many other questions at this year’s conference.

 

Call for Papers

Send your proposal to Dr. Paul Hillmer, ALCF President, at hillmer@csp.edu 

This is a peer-reviewed conference.

Submit an abstract of no more than one page describing what you plan to present at the 82nd Annual Meeting of the Association of Lutheran College Faculties (ALCF). The final version of your paper should be about five double-spaced pages and take no longer than 15 minutes to present, as there will be three presenters for each hour-long session. Below is a list of potential topics, meant to provide suggestions but not to limit your imagination. You are welcome to submit a paper covering anything that relates to this year’s theme.

  • What does “Lutheran higher education” mean in the 21st century?
  • Service learning and/or experiential learning promoting diversity
  • Higher education’s commitment to the liberal arts
  • Sharing one’s discipline through diverse means to diverse populations
  • Faith-driven educational relationships online
  • Communicating Lutheran values in pre-professional and/or graduate programs
  • Learning Management Systems and/or social media’s role in communicating and supporting learning
  • 21st Century STEM in Lutheran higher education
  • Competing and/or complementary synodical approaches to diversity
  • Recruiting and supporting diverse faculty
  • Dialogue about identity and diversity
  • Focusing on issues of diversity on less diverse campuses
  • Higher education in the era of “fake news”
  • Toward the next 500 years of Lutheran higher education: strengths, challenges, growth opportunities, creative contributions
  • Addressing the stigmas associated with Lutheran higher education
  • How to create an atmosphere of true dialogue in Luther Higher Educational Settings
  • Diversity in online education

Rev. Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez - Featured Keynote Speaker

ALCF Keynote speaker

Have I Got a Story for You!: A Narrative Approach to Christian Identity in a Diverse World

Research on attitudes toward spirituality among North American neighbors suggest that they live according to some story that shapes them. But these studies also reveal that our neighbors–from boomers to millennials, from global South folks to the religiously unaffiliated–share a number of spiritual struggles, needs, and hopes. How might stories of Jesus serve a formative purpose, inviting an increasingly diverse student body into conversations about the spiritual life?

Rev. Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez is professor of Systematic Theology and director of Concordia Seminary St. Louis’s Center for Hispanic Studies. He has written numerous articles for books and journals, including essays on immigration for Secular Governance. Sánchez teaches regularly in the U.S. & abroad and has delivered courses and workshops in Brazil, Cuba, India, Ghana, Chile, Panama, Argentina and Venezuela.

In addition to his Seminary work, Sánchez served as the main drafter for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Commission on Theology and Church Relations report Immigrants among Us: A Lutheran Framework for Addressing Immigration Issues (2012). He served as president of the LCMS’ Fifth National Hispanic Convention (2012-15) and chairman of Lutherans in Medical Missions (2012-16), an LCMS Recognized Service Organization. He also has served organizations such as the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Lutheran Hour Ministries, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service as a theological consultant for various projects.

 

September 21-22, 2018

Faculty Discussions

Lutheran colleges and universities have become far more diverse in a variety of ways. Most obviously, our ever-less Lutheran student population reflects a much broader cross-section of the country’s—and the world’s— population, and often includes a large number of Jewish, Muslim, animist, and “none of the above” students. Issues of race, ethnicity, nationality, age, class, gender, and sexual orientation play a more significant role in our courses and our campus life. We invite you to Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota to discuss the myriad ways in which diversity in all its forms presents challenges to and opportunities for Lutheran higher education.

Proposal Due Date

  • August 1, 2018

Conference Hotel

Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge

  • 161 St. Anthony Ave., St. Paul, MN 55103
  • 651-227-8711
  • Conference Rate: $109

Unfortunately, hotel reservations for the conference must be made by phone. Please call the number listed above and ask for the ALCF Conference discount. The block reservation for the conference expires August 21. After that date, rooms will be booked at the group rate but only if available.

A shuttle from and to the hotel is available.