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Seminary Receives $300,000 Technology Grant

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is one of more than 40 theological schools to receive a $300,000 grant from Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. to participate in a national program for using technology in effective theological teaching.

With this grant, the Seminary will provide technological resources for classroom instruction, maintain and update the resources, train faculty and staff, and explore innovative ways to integrate technologies into theological teaching practices.

“Concordia Seminary took an intentional step toward the effective use of educational technology in the classroom when it installed a campus-wide computer network over the past two years, including data lines in every classroom and every renovated dormitory room,” explained Dr. Andrew Bartelt, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Concordia Seminary. “We look forward to taking the next step, with the help of this grant, to further the use of computer technology in the educational process.”

Dr. David L. Adams recently accepted a call to serve as associate professor of exegetical theology and director of educational technology at the Seminary. His new position of director of educational technology, made possible by the Endowment grant, will emphasize the increased use of technological resources in classroom education. Adams will lead the Seminary’s efforts to make greater use of modern technological advancements in the formation of future pastors, missionaries and chaplains. He also will serve as a resource for the entire Seminary faculty and others in the Seminary community.

“The seminary recognizes the need to use all the technology available to us in the preparation of future pastors for the church,” Dr. Adams explained. “We have a responsibility as stewards to use God’s gifts—including those gifts, like technology, that are the fruit of human ingenuity—to take the message of eternal life in Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. We have to be competent and up-to-date in our use of technology. But for us technology is never an end unto itself, it is always just a means to a greater end. Everything that we do, we do for the sake of the Gospel. We are grateful to the Lilly Endowment for the grant that gives us this opportunity to advance our use of technology in theological education.”

Grant proposals were invited from all 230 members of the Association of Theological Schools.

“Improving the quality of theological school teaching is a central focus of the Endowment’s grantmaking in religion,” said Craig Dykstra, Edowment vice president for religion. “With this initiative, we expect theological schools to develop their capacities to use computer-based technologies to enhance teaching and learning. Our long-term goal, of course, is to enrich American Christianity with a generation of knowledgeable ministers who can lead vibrant and healthy congregations in this country.”

Since the Endowment began this initiative in 1996, it has invested more than $24 million for information technology programs in 80 theological schools in the United States and Canada.

For more information, contact Dr. Andrew Bartelt, vice president for academic affairs, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; (314)505-7013.