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2020 Opening Conversation—Enquiry extension project and recording

As a baptised learner, Martin Luther engaged with two very important and ancient questions:

Who am I before God? (Coram Deo)

Who am I before the world? (Coram mundo) 

His responses to these questions were deeply theological because, as he confessed, human identity is wholly derived from God through Jesus Christ.

ALC remains on its own lifelong journey of discovery and learning. Just like Martin Luther we daily confess and enact who we are before God and consequently, who we are in relation to our neighbour as matters of our own identity. As God serves us with life in Jesus Christ we serve our neighbour and creation because we are in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Our disposition is to receive, to hear, to enquire, and to listen. Firstly, we listen to God through the living and life-giving word, Jesus Christ. Then we are able to hear, to receive and be received by our neighbour.

In ALC’s case, our neighbour is clearly identified for us. As we are sent by the Lutheran Church of Australia/New Zealand (LCA/NZ) to follow Jesus Christ, ALC is called to serve in a partnership with the LCA/NZ through Lutheran theological learning. Our vocation finds its expression in the lives of our Church’s volunteers, lay-workers, Church planters, teachers, community and aged care workers and pastors, who all witness and serve in diverse, local contexts and ways. Through ALC we live and learn together in Jesus Christ.

ALC seeks to constantly understand its call and refresh its service. What do our various partnerships in the LCA/NZ look like, and how do they shape our service? While the one whom we teach and by whom we teach remains unchanged (Hebrews 13:8), the contexts in which the LCA/NZ enquires, learns, witnesses and serves are diverse and often changing.

Each year ALC has traditionally commenced its learning program with an opening lecture. This is an opportunity for the College to speak both into its own life as well as into the life of the LCA/NZ with faithful, deep and considered insight. In 2020 the College listened through an ‘Opening Conversation’. It listened to the Church as it identified itself as a learner, and as the Church described some of its learning needs. This was done both locally in Adelaide, with a diverse panel of LCA/NZ leaders, and Church-wide through a livestream. 

To build out from our Opening Conversation, ALC invites project submissions from any persons who wish to extend and advance the enquiry begun with the College’s Opening Conversation. A modest bursary of $1500 each (AU) will be provided for a maximum of three enquiry projects of a publishable standard. A project proposal:

  1. Must be submitted to the College and approved for commencement (;
  2. Must be theological, with particular reference to Lutheran theological values and expressions;
  3. Must be subjected to ethics approval through the College if it involves the use of living human subjects;
  4. Must be based upon significant areas of enquiry that advance the Opening Conversation theme: ALC exists in partnership to serve. (ALC’s Opening Conversation was held in Adelaide SA on 24 February 2020. A recording of that event is available at: 2020 ALC Opening Conversation)

The final project must be of a scholarly standard, up to 5000 words, and available for publication in the December 2020 Lutheran Theological Journal.

This is an opportunity for the Lutheran Church of Australia/New Zealand to give expression to and value its identity as God’s learner in Christ Jesus. As we see God, we see our neighbour whom God calls us to receive and to serve in Christ Jesus (Matthew 25:40).

Further enquiries to:

1800 625 193 

 Submissions close Friday, 17 April 2020.