Merge with Trinity Lutheran leads to ‘difficult organizational decisions,’ layoffs

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Trinity Lutheran Seminary announced that they would be letting go of several staff members as well as adding and changing a few administrative positions in light of the decision to reunite with Capital.

In a post on their Facebook page on Friday, Capital President Beth Paul and Trinity President Rick Barger addressed the “difficult organizational decisions” they had to make throughout the week and expressed their gratitude to the faculty the institution will be saying goodbye to.

“We are confident the future is bright for these special individuals because of their gifts, talents, and love of our Lord,” the post stated.

The post also asked for the “grace and trust” of those involved as the university and seminary begin their merge.

“Though our hearts are heavy right now, we have great hope for the future,” the post stated. “A bright and thriving future made possible by the reunion.”

In a joint email sent out at the beginning of the month, Presidents Paul and Barger detailed the next few steps of the reunion. They wanted to foster an open dialogue on the issue between students, staff and administration to create “the foundation for healthy collaboration.”

One of the large parts of the merge involves eliminating redundancies within similar departments in each institution, creating a “unified organizational structure,” as well as finding ways to strengthen the partners through the bond of the institutions.

Currently a committee made up of administration members from both institutions is holding a search to find a Dean of the Seminary. This position will take the place of the presidential position usually held by the leader of Trinity Lutheran.

Under the new dean, a position called the Director of Contextual and Experiential Formation will be created at the seminary to “complement Capital’s strategic emphasis on high-impact practices” and create a focus on hands-on student experience during learning.

The email also stated that Trinity and Capital have sent formal notice to the accreditors of the institutions and are in the process of seeking legal approval for the merge.

As the Chimes reported earlier, the institutions split back in 1960 after over 100 years of being strongly affiliated with one another. In November of 2016, the institutions announced their intent to begin the process of reuniting, which will continue gradually over the next two years. Administration has said they will keep students and faculty updated on the process and steps of the merge as time goes on.

The Chimes will continue to keep the community updated as more information becomes available.

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