Q: Will Lancaster Theological Seminary be closing as a result of this combination?
A: No. Lancaster Theological Seminary (LTS) will become part of Moravian University. Moravian Theological Seminary (MTS) and Lancaster Seminary will craft and execute a shared vision for theological education that serves their individual and collective constituencies. Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary are excited to have a presence in Lancaster.
Q: Why combine the two institutions?
The timing is right for both Moravian and LTS. A strategic combination creates an exciting ecumenical partnership able to serve an even wider global faith community. The opportunities that result from combining resources, facilities, faculty expertise and our respective alumni communities have the potential to write a new and powerful story for our two seminaries.
By combining institutions, both can take advantage of the strengths of each school and will be strengthened, missionally and financially. Both Moravian Seminary and Lancaster Seminary will benefit from the shared work and cooperative engagement of faculty, staff, and students.
Q: Where did the idea to combine institutions originate, and why now?
LTS has been exploring opportunities over their last three strategic planning processes. In the most recent strategic plan, the LTS Board of Trustees identified long-term financial sustainability as a key goal with the possibility of creating new partnerships that would help achieve this goal while advancing the seminary’s mission.
Q: Before considering the combination with Moravian Theological Seminary/Moravian University, did LTS consider other combinations, in particular with United Church of Christ (UCC) schools?
A: LTS has had conversations with UCC institutions over several years, but found the right partner in Moravian. LTS benefits from geographic proximity with Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary that is not the case with other UCC seminaries. Combining with Moravian University and Moravian Theological Seminary allows LTS to keep its distinct UCC identity while partnering with a seminary of the Moravian Church with a compatible mission and approach to theological education.
Q: Will Lancaster Theological Seminary keep its name and current campus?
LTS will retain its name and will remain on its Ann B. Barshinger Campus for the foreseeable future.
Q: When will the combination with Moravian University be complete?
A: Though the partnership is underway, the full, legal consolidation will take place over a number of years as we finalize accreditation and regulatory approvals. The Association of Theological Schools and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education must approve the consolidation, as well as the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. We anticipate that it will be a full year (fall 2022 at the earliest) before the consolidation is complete.