Great Lakes Theological Academy 2014

Traverse City, Michigan

July 28 – August 1, 2014


We'll update this page shortly with more details, but we wanted to put up the basic info so folks can plan their vacation time.

The Basics

Where: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Traverse City, Michigan
When: July 28-August 1
Speakers: Rick Barger, President of Trinity Lutheran Seminary; Sarai Rice, Field Consultant at the Alban Institute
Theme: "Change that Gives Life, for the Sake of the World"

Participants will be gifted in these areas of effective change:

  • Adaptive leadership
  • Asking the right questions for missionally-driven change
  • Why change is hard
  • Why and how we continue to live out of assumptions handed to us from previous ages in the church's history and culture's memory
  • How change is a culture, not an event
  • Spiritually enriching tools for the work of change

Speaker Bios

barger rick low great lakesRick Barger

The Rev. Dr. Robert C. “Rick” Barger began his term as president of Trinity Lutheran Seminary on September 1, 2013. He is 1989 graduate of Trinity and has served as the pastor of three congregations, most recently Epiphany Lutheran Church in Suwanee, Georgia. Prior to his call to Epiphany in 2008, he served for 15 years as the lead pastor at Abiding Hope Lutheran Church in Littleton, Colo., and four years as pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Apollo Beach, Fla.

Dr. Barger earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s degree in construction engineering and management. He entered seminary with 12 years of international executive experience, focused primarily in the Middle East.

During his pastoral ministry Dr. Barger supervised 13 of Trinity’s former interns and taught on Trinity’s campus. He is the author of A New and Right Spirit: Creating an Authentic Church in a Consumer Culture and has a passion for developing “authentically transformational leaders.”

Inspired by a trip to Haiti in 1997, he founded and now serves as chair of the Haitian Timoun Foundation, a grassroots consortium that invests in the development and self-sustainability of the youth and children of Haiti.



sarai schnucker riceSarai Schnucker Rice

Rev. Sarai Schnucker Rice is the Executive Director of the Des Moines Area Religious Council and a Field Consultant for the Alban Institute, specializing in strategic planning, staffing, and governance issues. Sarai is a graduate of Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman University) and Yale Divinity School. Prior to beginning her work with DMARC, Rev. Rice served as an Interim Presbytery Executive for the Presbyteries of the Twin Cities Area and North Central Iowa. She also taught at Memphis Theological Seminary (Cumberland Presbyterian) in Memphis, Tennessee, served as a co-pastor at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Ames, Iowa, and was the Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa.








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