Trinity Lutheran Seminary, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) located in Columbus, Ohio, has been designated as Reconciling in Christ (RIC).
On May 1, the institution’s board of directors acknowledged unanimously that the “Trinity Lutheran Seminary community welcomes, embraces, and celebrates people of all sexual orientations and gender identities whom the Spirit calls to God’s reconciling mission in the world. Our commitment is inspired by the radical inclusivity of Christ, the knowledge that we are all created in God’s image, and the movement of the Spirit that gathers people to places like Trinity to be transformed into leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world.”
President Rick Barger said, “I am very proud of our students, faculty, and board for not only embracing this movement, but for their acclaim of it. Moreover, my life has been profoundly blessed by the rich gifts and faith of those identifying as LGBTQ on our campus.”
ReconcilingWorks Executive Director, Aubrey Thonvold, said “Today is a day filled with deep gratitude and joy as we celebrate Trinity Lutheran Seminary and its Board of Directors who have discerned and voted to be a Reconciling in Christ seminary. This action is a faithful witness to the gospel message of love, welcome, and inclusion. ReconcilingWorks will hold Trinity in prayer as they live out this decision, making over half of all ELCA seminaries a place where LGBTQ students can discern, build skills, and transform in their call to ministry. Amen!”
“May Trinity join those others who are pioneers in transforming the culture of our church and world into one that is radically inclusive of ALL people,” said President Barger.
Trinity Lutheran Seminary traces its beginnings to 1830, when it was founded as the German Theological Seminary of the Ohio Synod. It was renamed Trinity in 1978.
The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program of ReconcilingWorks recognizes congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries and other Lutheran communities that make a public welcome of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
The RIC roster now stands at 650 settings across North America, including five of the eight ELCA seminaries. Along with Trinity Seminary, RIC seminaries include Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and Gettysburg Seminary.