In This Issue
PLTS Receives $100,000 Bequest
A Labor of Love
Week of Renewal 2012
Workshop: Transforming Church Conflict
Summer Program: Biblical Greek
Dr. Balch in Huffington Post
Thrivent Choice® Program Changes
In Memoriam
Quick Links
Join our list
Join Our Mailing List
Above the Fog
PLTS Newsletter

March 2012

As we look forward to Easter, we are mindful of all our blessings. We give thanks for the generosity of our donors and the liveliness of our community, for the dedication of our board of directors and the ministries of our graduates.

We wish you a wonderful season of rebirth and renewal.
Thank you for all the ways you bless us each and every day.
PLTS Receives $100,000 Bequest 

You could have walked by her a million times and never even noticed her. She may have waited on you at Mechanics Bank in Richmond, or sent you a homemade greeting card, or moved in next door to you in Auburn or Medford or Jacksonville. In all likelihood, she helped you out once or twice, because that's what brought her joy. She could spot someone in need of a boost and be the first one there to help. It was her nature.

After her husband died, she cared for her mother-in-law. And when her older sister needed someone to care for her, she did that, too.

She was smart. She was organized. She was faithful, and she was frugal. So we shouldn't have been surprised to open the letter from her attorney and find a check for $100,000 made out to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.

But we were. It was her first gift to PLTS. It will also be her last.

"She really wanted to make that gift," says her niece, Maureen Jones. "I cannot tell you how many times she told me, 'After I'm gone, be sure to write that check to that seminary.'"

So when she died and the estate was settled, Maureen did exactly as instructed. The check was written to the seminary, but the whole church will benefit. With it, the next generation of pastors and leaders will get yet one more boost from Rita Rosati.

And what a boost it is.

Thanks be to God for Rita Lea Rosati.
A Labor of Love

Joel Wudel 3

Perhaps you have noticed the announcement for a position at PLTS that looks a lot like mine. What happened? Was I fired? Am I upset about something and leaving in a huff?

No. Nothing of the sort.

This has been the best job I have ever had and only an act of God would or could move me.

Well guess what? God is active. Grace abounds, and last summer I met a woman at a synod assembly who has captured my heart. She is a pastor in Boise, Idaho, and this summer we will wed and I will move to be with her and her two beautiful daughters. So June 30, my last day, will be among the happiest and saddest days of my life.

Of course, I am thrilled for the prospects of a whole new life in Idaho. But I will deeply miss this place and its people and all of you. It has been the greatest of honors to work with the best people on earth and represent this amazing seminary. I am deeply, deeply grateful for all the many blessings that have come my way.

And I hope, in whatever assignment I find myself, I will be able to see you down the road. Until then, God be with you.

Ever gratefully,


Joel S. Wudel

Vice President for Seminary Relations

Week of Renewal: June 25-29, 2012

"This was my second Week of Renewal and it was even better than the first. Great class, great worship, wonderful community, amazing conversation, lots of laughs, a few tears, and a very relaxing environment." - Ruth Sievert


You are invited to a week of renewal of classes, worship, stimulating conversation and restorative time in the company of old and new colleagues in ministry and lay people interested in theology in the wonderful setting between the Bay and Tilden Park.


Four Outstanding Classes


Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad, "Embodied Preaching in a Virtual World"


Preaching is a strange and wonderful craft where spoken words are embodied not only in the preacher but in the listeners as well. In this week, we will engage the body (voice, movement, pauses, etc) and spoken words as resources for preaching and also explore how electronic resources can expand the dialogue preachers have with the congregation.


Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad, is the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in New York.


Rev. Dr. Ted Peters, "Life Beyond Death: What Can Christians Expect?"


The tragedy of human dying is accompanied by an impenetrable mystery: what next? Various religions have offered up a variety of theories. What can we learn from what the Bible or from the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? What is God's promise for us?


Rev. Dr. Ted Peters is Professor of Systematic Theology, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union


Dr. Lisa Fullam, "Spirituality and Ethics in Pastoral Ministry"


This course will bring into dialogue aspects of ethics and the spirituality of life and ministry around four salient virtues: self-care, justice, fidelity and trustworthiness. How does spirituality intersect with ethics?


Dr. Lisa Fullam is the Associate Professor of Moral Theology at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University and the Graduate Theological Union.


Steed DavidsonSteed Davidson, "Jeremiah: A Voice Out of Time: Reading and Hearing the Book of Jeremiah in our Day"


This class will explore the implications for life and ministry today of understanding Jeremiah as a marginal, solitary figure bereft of much support for his controversial positions that were probably never embraced in his time.


Dr. Steed Davidson is Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Biblical Studies, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union.


Registration Deadline is May 15. For more information and to register, please click here.


A Conflict Management Workshop for  
Pastors and Leaders
Conflict is a natural occurrence in every church community. In this workshop, Pastor Richard Jaech will present the three essential skills for transforming church conflict from a painful and divisive experience into a process that helps a congregation deepen and grow:  
* An attitude and approach to conflict that helps pastors and congregations address their conflicts more comfortably and productively. 
* Specific skills to help those in conflict speak effectively to each other and come to a working agreement that provides the best outcome. 
* An awareness of the multiple roles that pastors and leaders play throughout the conflict process and how these roles affect that process. 
DATE: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 
TIME: 9 am to noon, followed by a light lunch
LOCATION: Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary 
2770 Marin Avenue 
Berkeley, CA 94708 
COST: $40. Participants will also receive a free copy of the book Transforming Church Conflict: A Guide for Pastors and Leaders, which will be used as a workbook for the seminar.  
TO REGISTER: Contact Pastor Rick Jaech  
Office phone: 360.254.9243 
Home phone: 360.834.0476 
Pastor Richard Jaech has 36 years experience as Lutheran parish pastor, serving congregations in both central city and suburban locations. He is a graduate of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (Christ Seminary/Seminex) and also holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Facilitation. 


July 16 - August 24, 2012

Meets 8:45 to 12:00 noon, Monday through Friday each week.

The PLTS intensive summer program, open to students of all faith backgrounds, in Biblical Greek operates with the two demonstrable assumptions: that learning Greek in an intensive, concentrated setting (3 hours in class plus homework, 5 days a week) has many advantages and that "People learn to read Greek by reading Greek." After an introduction to the basic elements of Greek grammar, students are soon learning by reading the Greek New Testament itself, building vocabulary while honing grammatical skills. Extensive portions of the Gospel of John will be read during the course. Students successfully completing the 6-week intensive program will earn 6 units of graduate credit.

A tuition deposit of $500 must be paid to PLTS no later than 6/1/12 and is non-refundable. The remaining tuition is payable the first day of class and is non-refundable after the first day of class. Tuition amount is $1008 for 3 credits (3 weeks). Tuition of $1670 is payable to PLTS for 6 credits (6 weeks). Auditors welcome with Faculty permission.

To enroll in this course if you are not an incoming or current student please complete an Unclassifed or Auditor Application. Contact the Admissions office for more information. Incoming or current PLTS students, please contact Christopher Evans.

Class meets weekdays, 7/16/12-8/24/12, from 8:45am-12:00pm, in PLTS Giesy Hall #1. 

 Dr. David Balch quoted in Huffington Post

Dr. David Balch was recently quoted in this
Huffington Post Article.
Congratulations, Dr. Balch!

Changes to the Thrivent Choice® Program. 


First, the Thrivent Choice® budget is increasing by 35%. This is great news. This tells us that the program is a success, and Thrivent is boosting it. There is more support available for all the programs and institutions Thrivent supports.

With the increased support, however, comes increased effort to receive it. Until now, you have been able to select an institution once and "let it ride" until some future time. Each month, the institution you selected would receive your designated dollars. This will cease beginning in 2013. All recurring directions set for PLTS by members before 2012 will be removed. Members will have the opportunity to renew their recurring direction in 2012. Recurring direction will not be an option in 2013.

Please take the following action steps:

1. Go to or call 1-800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and say "Thrivent Choice." Tell the Thrivent operator to direct your Choice Dollars to PLTS.

2. Invite your Thrivent member friends to do the same.

3. Remember to contact Thrivent again early in 2013 to direct your Thrivent Choice® dollars to PLTS.

Thank you for making PLTS your choice for Thrivent Choice® dollars. If you have not made such a selection previously, now is the time. 



Joel S. Wudel

Vice President for Seminary Relations





Jesse Brown, MDiv 2011, has been called to Our Redeemer in Newberry, Michigan, and was ordained on January 22, 2012.


Ham and Vicki Hamilton, TEEM 2002, shared this ministry news

Michael Johnson, MDiv 1994, continues to work 1/2 time in a UCC rural church while working full time in a mental health setting. He teaches psychology, sociology, mental health at a local community college and is pondering a PhD program.

Joel Langholz, MDiv 2009, accepted a call to Our Saviour's Lutheran in Bellingham, Washington, in December.

Jim Locke, MDiv 2009, was installed in his new call on February 19th at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Rock Valley, Iowa.

Carlton Monroe, MDiv 2011, has accepted the call of Immanuel Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Twenty-nine Palms, and Faith Lutheran Church, Joshua Tree. His service of ordination and installation is set for Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Chris Ode, MDiv 2009, was called to a solo redevelopment position at Bethel Lutheran Church in Shoreline, Washington.

Anthony Stevens, MDiv 1995, recently completed the Half Ironman for the 3rd year, and became a New York State Army National Guard Chaplain.

John Stevens, MDiv 1999, has accepted a call as pastor of Zion Lutheran, Oregon City, Oregon. He and Lynne are moving closer to Portland, with the main goal of being close to children, Peter and Oriah. 


Please keep us up to date with your whereabouts and news with this form.

In Memoriam: Thomas Kling, Sr.


On February 17, PLTS lost a true champion: Tom Kling, Sr.


Tom was best known among the PLTS community for his tenacious commitment to the Remember the Future Society. He and Dr. Judy Larsen and Jim Carlson from the PLTS Board of Directors made it their business to get every person on earth to include PLTS in an estate plan. Tom died before they were able to accomplish this feat, and it is about the only thing that could have kept him from succeeding.


Tom was a graduate of Carlton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and of the Stanford University School of Business. He loved and supported those institutions generously, and came to love and support PLTS and the GTU later in his life.


A recent retiree of the PLTS Board of Directors, Mr. Kling never tired of living life to the fullest. He and his wife, Alison, had just returned from a Hawaiian trip, and had already planned another one to South Africa.


Just days after his 89th birthday, Tom fell and bumped his head, causing internal injuries from which he would never recover. He died on February 17 and left a throng of friends and his family in tears.


"Keep the Faith!" he would always exclaim as he took his leave of you. Somehow you knew he meant it. And somehow you knew he did it. He certainly helped us do it at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.


We are grateful for the legacy and the memories of Tom Kling, Sr.


Blessed be the memory of this servant of God.