By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
— Proverbs 24:3-4
When the North American Lutheran Church was officially organized in 2010, students were encouraged to attend a seminary of their own choice. We thought that it would take some time for a comprehensive plan to develop.
It quickly became apparent, however, that the NALC needed to have its own seminary, so that future pastors might be educated more consistently, in accordance with the NALC's doctrinal positions.
At the same time, two events occurred. One was a gift of $1 million from Tom and Sandy Smith for the NALC, 40 percent of which was designated for theological education. The second was the formation of a theological center at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. This theological center included NALC seminarians from Southern Seminary as well as three faculty members who had formerly taught at Southern.
In 2012, the NALC Joint Commission on Theology and Doctrine recommended that a task force on theological education be named to consider the formation of a seminary for the NALC. The executive council approved this recommendation, and the task force began its work, with Dr. Roy Harrisville III as chair.
The Task Force recommended a design for theological education: a Seminary Center at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, and houses of studies at various locations throughout North America. The design recommended two houses of studies initially, one at Trinity School for Ministry and a second at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
The 2013 convocation adopted these recommendations and authorized a special campaign throughout the church to raise at least $1 million for the effort.
Following the convocation, the executive council appointed an interim Board of Regents, with bishop emeritus Paull Spring as chair. The House of Studies at Gordon-Conwell was officially inaugurated in October 2013, with Dr. Mary Havens as director and Dr. David Yeago and Dr. Lamontte Luker as adjunct faculty. Dr. Amy Schifrin was named as President of the Seminary and director for the Seminary Center at Trinity School for Ministry.
At its 2014 convocation, the NALC elected a Board of Regents for the seminary. Dr. Schifrin was installed as Seminary President in October 2014, along with the installation of Dr. David Yeago as full professor at the Trinity School for Ministry House of Studies.