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Higher Ed Administrative Careers - Deans, Higher Ed Administrative Careers - Provosts/Vice Presidents
Vice President, Academic Affairs and Academic Dean
St. Paul, Minnesota
Luther Seminary seeks a collaborative and seasoned academic leader to fill the position of Vice President, Academic Affairs (VPAA) and Academic Dean. Established in 1869, Luther Seminary is the largest seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and one of the ten largest schools of theology in the country. Luther has educated one-third of ELCA pastors in addition to an increasing number of ELCA lay professionals and leaders of many global Lutheran and ecumenical churches. With a reputation of having a talented faculty in an innovative environment, Luther currently enrolls 465 students (272 FTEs), graduating 129 students in 2019; a faculty of 25 (60% tenured); and a staff of 76. Degree programs include Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts, Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and Ph.D. Over one-quarter of the student body represents 41 denominations outside the ELCA. There are 52 international students from 23 countries. Faculty and board members also represent a range of ecumenical traditions. They have in common a curiosity and interest in engaging in Lutheran theology, a set of commitments concerning God’s immanence in the world, and a commitment to the body of believers across the church at large.
Reporting to and working in close partnership with the President, the VPAA serves as the chief academic officer for the seminary, charged with tending the vocation of Luther’s faculty and leading its academic enterprise. The VPAA is a member of the Enterprise Leadership Team (ELT) where the VPAA’s most important role is to serve as a constant advocate for the seminary’s mission to educate leaders for the Church, representing the faculty to the institution and bearing significant responsibility for ensuring faculty development. The VPAA must be comfortable living in the tension between theology and practicality, be willing to engage constructively with diverse constituencies around conflict, and be a leading participant in helping to build and lead the seminary so that it is positioned to fulfill its mission. The VPAA oversees the work of more than 40 faculty and staff in the areas of Graduate Theological Education, Contextual Learning, Library Services, and Registrar, and provides senior administrative leadership around mission and planning, curriculum, personnel, budget, board, and shared mission, vision, and welcome. The VPAA supports faculty development, overseeing and participating in the processes for appointment, reappointment, tenure and promotion of faculty members, and appointment to faculty chairs. The VPAA sets specific directions and priorities for the ongoing development of academic programs and curriculum and actively participates in the recruitment and development of diverse, distinguished faculty members.
The next VPAA will be an accomplished scholar with a track record in energetic, intellectual academic leadership that will garner credibility and respect for the sake of the church and the academy. The VPAA will have been a member of a faculty and have demonstrated administrative leadership in a management role, including personnel management, academic program oversight, and budget management. The ability to engender trust and draw people together will be critical to success in this role. The successful candidate will be called to educate leaders for Christian communities and possess an understanding of the current realities of pastors in congregations as well as the needs of future pastors. The VPAA will have a commitment to the mission, vision, and welcome statements of Luther Seminary accompanied by an understanding of Lutheran churches, confessional witness, and ecumenical dialogue and/or the willingness to grow in that understanding; an earned doctorate from an accredited institution (M.Div. or equivalent degree is desirable but not required); at least five years of teaching experience; administrative leadership experience at a university, college, or seminary; demonstrated support for and encouragement of faculty and student scholarship; commitment to academic innovation and excellence; familiarity with emerging technologies as they relate to teaching and learning; demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as critical components of academic excellence and student success; understanding of the dynamics of change; and a track record of building positive relationships that facilitate working together with faculty and staff to achieve mission.
Screening will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. All communications will be treated confidentially. Nominations, inquiries, and applications (including cover letter and curriculum vitae) should be directed electronically to LutherSeminaryVPAA@divsearch.com.
Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D. Senior Managing Director or Cynthia P. Barth, Senior Advisor
Nancy Helfman, Vice President & Senior Associate
One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 3300, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Luther Seminary is an equal opportunity employer and follows an affirmative action policy in the recruitment and hiring of faculty and staff.