Ever since beginning her presidency at the North American Lutheran Seminary, the Rev. Dr. Amy Schifrin has not only worked full-time in an administrative capacity but has also taught full-time as a professor of homiletics and liturgy. Pending her transition to full-time faculty in the next academic year, Schifrin and the NALS Board of Regents decided to hire an interim director of partnerships and recruitment. The Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee, NALS adjunct professor and North American Lutheran Church pastor in California, was offered the job and accepted it in the fall of 2018.
His primary responsibilities are to manage the NALS’ existing educational partnerships, to develop and negotiate new partnerships, and to assist in implementing the seminary’s recruitment strategies. “I took this job,” he said, “because I am . . . convinced of the importance of the seminary’s work, not just for the NALC but [also] for Christian witness and mission in the 21st-century.” Lee praised the shared values between the NALS and the NALC, how both strive to be orthodox and ecumenical and uphold “formative, faithful worship around Word and Sacrament—the fruits of God’s good news—as the lifeblood of pastoral ministry, congregational life, and mission to the world. What could be more exciting than that?”
Lee is particularly interested in “working creatively with other communities and organizations,” so that, together, the NALS and its partners can build up men and women for the “ministry of the gospel in the church.” This passion grows out of a belief that the NALS and the NALC are “being called . . . to show by living example how a vigorous and grateful Lutheranism can serve the whole church and the unchanging gospel.” Working with other institutions, Lee says, connects the NALS in “concrete, stimulating, [and] cross-fertilizing ways with Christian co-laborers.” Such relationships benefit all who are involved—students, faculty, and staff.