Luther Seminary's president has resigned as the school struggles financially, officials said in a news release.
The Rev. Dr. Richard Bliese had been president of the seminary located in St. Paul since 2005. An interim will be named before the seminary launches a national search for a succesor, the school said in a news release posted Monday on its website.
Seminary Board Chair Jim Lindus said the school faces a number of challenges, including deferred maintenance charges related to aging buildings and a drop in enrollment.
He said the challenges are "not unlike those faced by many other" higher education institutions. There's been a nationwide drop in enrollment at seminaries, he said.
The seminary's financial performance has "lagged expectations," Lindus said.
Officials said they hope the seminary's interim chief financial officer, William Frame, will help ensure the seminary's financial health. Frame began work last week after the seminary's vice president of finance and administration resigned last month.
The seminary now known as Luther has roots going back to 1869, when Augsburg Theological Seminary was founded in Marshall, Wis. That school merged with Luther in 1963 in St. Paul. It's the largest of eight seminaries affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
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