On March 2, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) and McCormick Theological Seminary issued a “Joint Policy Statement Regarding Immigration Enforcement.” In an email to their schools, LSTC President James Nieman and McCormick President Frank Yamada outlined the seminaries’ shared “commitment to the well-being of immigrants and refugees in our midst, especially in light of recent actions by the executive branch that may threaten their safety and security.”
For many years, LSTC and McCormick have shared many programs, personnel and services. Nieman and Yamada stated that “many shared aspects of our respective missions are directly implicated by recent federal actions and decrees.” These include international students and staff who work and live in the seminaries’ connected facilities and shared programs which provide services for international participants. The presidents added that “because these overlaps are so extensive and fundamental, a joint policy for response has become essential.”
They note that beyond the schools’ interwoven history, LSTC and McCormick share a “trust in God’s way of abundant life for all, which compels us to respect and defend the immigrant in our midst (Leviticus 19.33-34, CEB).
The joint policy statement affirms the two seminaries’ support of the goals and values embodied in Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). It also states that neither school will voluntarily grant access to immigration officials for enforcement or investigations, how they will deal with requests from each of the U.S. immigration enforcement agencies, the role of on-campus security personnel, compliance with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Acts, their housing nondiscrimination policies, and non-cooperation with any federal efforts to create a registry of individuals based on protected characteristics.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.