Save the Date: Homecoming 2015

Save the Date postcard
Homecoming 2015 is scheduled for October 22-24. We hope you’ll join us for a couple of days of fellowship, learning and worship as we reconnect with one another and our shared love for LTS.
A full slate of activities and information will be available soon, including the opportunity to visit Keeneland during the fall meet.
We hope to see you then!

Moosnick Lectureship in Judaic Studies

The Franklin B. Moosnick Lectureship in Judaic Studies continues this week with two opportunities to hear from Professor Susannah Heschel, the Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. She is the author of The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany, and Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus.

  • Tuesday, April 28, 7 p.m. “Scholarship and Ethics: How Do Jews and Christians Connect?” Transylvania University, Carrick Theater, 300 North Broadway, Lexington, KY
  • Wednesday, April 29, 7 p.m., “The Life and Legacy of Abraham Joshua Heschel: Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity,” Ohavay Zion Synagogue, 2048 Edgewater Court, Lexington, KY

The series is sponsored by Lexington Theological Seminary, Ohavay Zion Synagogue, Temple Adath Israel, and Transylvania University.


Spring events at LTS

The 150th celebration continues with a series of spring events to enhance ministry, and celebrate and support our students:

April 21 Table, Welcome, Wholeness, Movement: a Virtual Conversation, webinar for clergy with Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more info:
April 25 The Welcoming Church: Making a Place for People with Disabilities
April 28 & 29  Franklin Moosnick Lectors in Judaic Studies, Susannah Heschel, 7 p.m., Tuesday evening at Transylvania University and Wednesday evening at Ohavay Zion Synagogue

May 6  Symposium: Flourishing in Ministry: Emerging Research on the Well-being of Pastors Keynoter: Dr. Matthew Bloom, Principle Investigator University of Notre Dame
May 16 Creating a Culture of Generosity in Your Congregation

June 5   Golf Scramble
June 18-19   Commencement Activities—Crestwood Christian Church Keynoter: Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

For more on the 150th:

Kentucky Legislature Recognizes Seminary’s 150th

Lexington, Ky., March 4, 2015 – Lexington Theological Seminary was honored by both chambers of the Kentucky legislature Tuesday as “a pioneer institution (that) has forged new paths for preparing people for ministry in communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, throughout the nation, and worldwide.”

The Kentucky Senate and Kentucky House of Representatives recognized LTS President Charisse L. Gillett, Board of Trustees Chairman Richard Griffith, and Trustee Leslie Geoghegan, who were present for the reading of the resolutions honoring the Seminary.

“Lexington Theological Seminary is part of the rich educational fabric of Kentucky, and our graduates serve important roles as clergy and community leaders throughout the state,” President Gillett said. “It means a great deal to have the Seminary recognized in this way.”

Kentucky Senator Tom Buford was the sponsor for the resolution in the Senate (SR 188) while State Representative Rick Rand sponsored the resolution in the House (HR 204). Both had multiple co-sponsors in their respective chambers. For a full list of sponsors, please visit: and

The text of the Senate resolution follows. The House resolution used similar language.

A RESOLUTION recognizing and honoring the 150th anniversary of the founding of Lexington Theological Seminary.

WHEREAS, Lexington Theological Seminary was founded as College of the Bible within Kentucky University, chartered by the Kentucky General Assembly in February 1865; and

WHEREAS, in 1936, the school began requiring a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college for admission, thus becoming strictly a graduate institution; and

WHEREAS, in 1938, the Seminary played a leading role in the formation of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the official accrediting agency of theological institutions; and

WHEREAS, the Seminary established the first chair of religious education in the nation; and

WHEREAS, Lexington Theological Seminary instituted one of the first courses on the ecumenical church; and

WHEREAS, on the institution’s 100th anniversary in 1965, it was renamed Lexington Theological Seminary; and

WHEREAS, in 2011, the Lexington Theological Seminary Board of Trustees appointed the institution’s first female and African American president, Dr. Charisse L. Gillett; and

WHEREAS, as a pioneer institution, Lexington Theological Seminary has forged new paths for preparing people for ministry in communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, throughout the nation, and worldwide;


Be it resolved by the Senate of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

âSection 1. The Senate pays sincere tribute to the trails blazed by this historic institution in the field of theological education.

âSection 2. When the Senate adjourns this day, it does so in honor of the 150th anniversary of the founding of Lexington Theological Seminary.

For more information about the sesquicentennial celebration, see


Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit

Celebrating a trailblazing past and innovative future

Lexington, Ky., Feb. 25, 2015 – Lexington Theological Seminary celebrates 150 years in 2015, with a series of events throughout the year commemorating this milestone anniversary.

“During the Sesquicentennial Celebration of the Seminary in 2015, we are going to hear many stories of the Seminary’s impact. These narratives can remind us of our history as a pioneer institution,” said LTS President Charisse L. Gillett. “Today, Lexington Theological Seminary’s model for theological education, which includes an innovative utilization of technology, removes common barriers to a high-quality, congregation-focused theological education.”

The year’s events in particular focus on the Seminary’s relationships with congregations, beginning with a kickoff event in January at Beargrass Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., where the Seminary and congregation recognized the long history of scholarship recipients known as Beargrass Scholars.

Events are planned for each month of the year; a complete list of events and more information about the sesquicentennial celebrations may be found online at Highlights include a series of webinars throughout the year; a symposium on flourishing in ministry in May; a community golf scramble in June; Commencement also in June with the Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), as keynote speaker; and homecoming in October.

“2015 will be a year of great celebration for the Seminary, looking both back in time with appreciation and forward with excitement” said Richard Griffith, Chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees.

Lexington Theological Seminary is the pioneer theological school of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is located within the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, where much of the Disciples’ early history occurred. The Seminary has played a vital role in that Church’s development.

It also plays a key role in the history of higher education in Kentucky.  The Seminary dates its founding from 1865 when it was The College of the Bible, one of several colleges in Kentucky University. Another of these colleges was the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts, which separated from its parent institution in 1878, and through a series of name changes emerged as the present University of Kentucky. The Seminary acquired its own charter in 1878 and occupied buildings on the campus of Kentucky University (Transylvania University) until 1950, when it moved to South Limestone Street in Lexington. At its centennial in 1965, The College of the Bible was renamed Lexington Theological Seminary.

LTS played a leading role in the formation of  The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, the official accrediting agency of theological institutions. The Seminary also established the first chair of religious education in the nation, instituted one of the first courses on the ecumenical church, and was the first seminary in the United States to offer clinical pastoral training as a part of its curriculum.

Lexington Theological Seminary in the 21st century transformed its educational model for clergy preparation to integrate the congregation as a full partner in the preparation of pastors for leadership in the church. In 2013, the Seminary moved from a residential model and campus to its present location at Lexington Green Circle.


Lexington Theological Seminary is an accredited graduate theological institution of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Consistent with the Disciples’ historic commitment to Christian unity, the Seminary is intentionally ecumenical with students, faculty, staff and trustees of various denominations. The Seminary has been preparing leaders for the church since 1865. For more information, visit


We’re celebrating 150 years!

LTS anniversary seal for websiteIn case you haven’t heard, Lexington Theological Seminary is 150 years old this year! We intend to celebrate all year long!

You’ll find a list of celebratory events, photos throughout the year, more about our history and your future, and we hope very much to see you at one or more of them. We’re very aware as we begin the 150th party that it is somehow all the more special given our last few years of transition. That we stand now, experiencing what the Psalmist called the “goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” is tremendous testament to the ways in which God has been at work in the LTS community—and you have played a significant role, all along the way.

We stand on the mighty shoulders of so many men and women who have been part of the LTS story—students, faculty members, staff, alumni, congregational supporters. All these people have gotten us where we are today, and for that we offer praise and thanksgiving.

It is good to be Lexington Theological Seminary these days!IMG_5614 copy

And always—always there are higher goals, more outreach, bigger plans—and most importantly, more men and women hearing God’s call to ministry, and finding that LTS might just be the place where they can explore and live into that call. And so always we will need your help—your prayers, your advocacy, your financial gifts. We literally cannot do this work without you, and in helping us do this work, you claim your place in the community, flung near and far! That is Lexington Theological Seminary!

IMG_5471 copyIf you have not made a gift to this fiscal year’s Ministerial Education Fund, we invite you to do so now. And you can always contact us directly at the Seminary if you have questions or want to talk to someone in the Advancement Office.

We hope to see you in 2015!

Open Letter from African American Presidents and Deans

An open letter from African-American Deans and Presidents of Theological Schools regarding issues of racial justice, with signatures from more than 30 presidents and deans in theological education, including LTS President Charisse L. Gillett, was recently published in the Huffington Post. We invite you to read the letter and share it so that conversation surrounding these issues may be heard:


By Julie Richardson, M. Div., Advancement Associate

It is no exaggeration to say that both my undergraduate and graduate educations remain two of the most important gifts I’ve received in my life. I was incredibly fortunate to walk away from both college and seminary without any significant student debt. I was grateful then; to be sure, I am now even more so. It took a few years of full-time professional work, a broader and deeper understanding of higher education and Church, and becoming a mom for me to truly understand how fortunate I am in regards to education.


I am humbled when I hear the stories of those who have given generously, and often sacrificially, so that my seminary peers and I could follow a call to ministry via an education at Lexington Theological Seminary. It is a tremendous thing, and we all stand on the shoulders of the individuals, congregations and alumni who have said, “We believe in you and your call, and so we give.”


The amount I give monthly to LTS feels like a small drop in a large bucket—there’s so much need, so many big dreams and so many men and women out there who want to serve the Church. But what I’m learning – cliché though it sounds – is that every drop matters. Without question.


Your drop matters, too. Be it $5 a month or $500 dollars a month, it matters, and it is an investment in the Gospel, a sign that you believe quality theological education matters and that those who want such an education ought to be able to find a path towards it.


There are any number of good, even righteous, causes to invest in, especially at this time of year. More people to help than sometimes even seems possible. I know this. And, still, I ask you to consider a Christmas gift to the Ministerial Education Fund at LTS. No matter the size, that gift will translate directly into helping students prepare for ministry.


Join me, won’t you?


Merry Christmas to you and yours, and may the hope, peace, joy and love of the Christ-child be with you now and always.


A call to conversation

The following message and call to conversation was written by the Rev. April G. Johnson, Minister of Reconciliation, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ):

Ferguson GT Verdict Statement

Tomato Aspic

By Julie Richardson

“We’re going to Mrs. Jackson’s house for lunch,” my dad said to my younger sister and me, “and I expect you to be on your best behavior.”

“Um…okay,” was our rather reluctant reply. We’d been residents of Winder, Georgia, for less than a year, uprooted from our happy life in South Texas so our dad could take the position of senior minister of First Christian Church in Winder, and neither my sister or I were really happy or comfortable with the situation yet.

The occasion required Sunday-best clothing (as defined in the Deep South), and our best efforts at manners, not all that hard considering we’d had several years practice being preachers’ kids.

Annie Jackson’s house sat on a main street through small-town Winder, red brick, with white trim and pillars gracing the front porch. There were hardwood floors and a big fireplace and we ate at a formal dining room table.

I remember like it was yesterday and not 25-plus years ago, the first course of that meal at Mrs. Jackson’s: tomato aspic. This odd, and I soon determined disgusting, gelatinous mold of tomato…and maybe meat broth…and spices I couldn’t name. It was cold, and served on a small plate on a leaf of lettuce, and as it was set down in front of me, I remember thinking, “No. Way.”

Of course, “Yes. Way,” because even politely declining wasn’t an option. And somehow my sister and I, we managed.

Years later, I learned that Annie Jackson, and her already-by-then deceased husband Theo, were tremendous financial supporters of both our local Disciples congregation and the wider church. It seems that as a young girl, Annie Jackson had earned extra money for her family by cleaning the church building they lived next to–a Disciples church.

When I showed up as a first-year student at LTS in the fall of 1997, the then-Vice President greeted me with, “Oh yes, you’re from Mrs. Jackson’s church.”

Annie Jackson was also a tremendous supporter of Lexington Theological Seminary, so much so that at her death in the late 1990’s, she left a portion of her estate to the Seminary.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Winder, a long time since I’ve been a student at LTS, and a long time since Annie Jackson died. And so I’d forgotten all this until a few weeks ago. And then, while reviewing past gifts to LTS, I came across “Annie Jackson.” My very first thought was, “Oh! The tomato aspic!”

She’s been on my mind ever since, her memory this thing I’ve tried to capture as I think about how and why individuals and alumni and congregations give to this Seminary; her gift to LTS this thing I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for.

Miss Annie, she made me eat tomato aspic, and I’ll never forget it. But she also, through tremendous generosity, has made it possible for many of us to follow a call to ministry via a theological education at Lexington Theological Seminary.

May we all, each in our own way and within our own means, find ourselves capable of such generosity.