On Sunday, September 6, at 4:00 p.m., the beginning of the 160th academic year at Concordia Seminary was marked with a special worship service on the Seminary campus. The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus was filled as Dr. John F. Johnson, President of Concordia Seminary, officially opened the new academic year.
During the preceding week, 106 new students completed the new student orientation process and enrolled in course work. This represents a 13% increase over the number of new students who enrolled at Concordia Seminary last fall. “We are thankful to the Lord of the Harvest for these gifted men who desire to serve as pastors, missionaries, and chaplains,” said Rev. Scott Sailer, Director of Ministerial Recruitment at Concordia Seminary. “They come from all walks of life and backgrounds, but they are united in their desire to serve their Lord in this special way.”
During the September 6 worship service, three new faculty members and one new staff member were installed. The three new faculty members include Dr. Joel Okamoto, installed as Instructor of Systematic Theology; Rev. Larry Rockemann installed as Vice President for Student Life and Assistant Professor of Practical Theology; and Rev. William Schumacher, installed as Mission Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Assistant to the Director of Resident Field Education for Cross-Cultural Experiences. The new staff member installed is Rev. Michael Redeker, a new Admissions Counselor.
Dr. John F. Johnson also delivered the sermon during the opening service. With John 8:31-32 as his text, Dr. Johnson proclaimed, “This we know for sure. We know what God has told us and what He has given us. Jesus Christ, crucified on the cross and risen from the grave. That message is foundational for this Seminary. In the classroom, the chapel, faculty offices, student apartments, in ministry and in all of life, that message is foundational. All knowledge, all experience is ultimately irrelevant unless it is seen to be related to God’s truth centering in Christ. And that point is placed in its proper perspective in the words of Christ, ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'”