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Three Concordia Seminary Professors Receive Doctoral Degrees

Three members of the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, faculty have completed their advanced study programs during the past few months and have been awarded doctoral degrees. The professors, Drs. John Oberdeck, Timothy Saleska and David Peter, join an increasing number of Concordia Seminary faculty who have completed or are in the process of completing advanced study in their areas of expertise.

Dr. John Oberdeck serves as Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Continuing Education at Concordia Seminary. He completed a Ph.D. program in educational psychology with a focus in learning theory and family studies at the University of Missouri this past spring. His dissertation examined the beliefs of pastors and parochial school teachers concerning religion instruction. “An important finding is that professional church workers approach teaching religion with differing expectations and practices that need to be understood as we work with one another,” commented Dr. Oberdeck.

Dr. Oberdeck also found that his advanced study complemented his classroom instruction of students at Concordia Seminary. “All through the Ph.D. program, I found ready points of application in my own instruction of seminary students. I look forward to continuing to share the results of this study.”

Dr. Timothy Saleska, Assistant Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, completed his Ph.D. program at Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio. His dissertation evaluated the writings of the church father Cyril of Alexandria as a biblical scholar in light of other Greek and Latin Christian writings, as well as writings from Jewish biblical scholars.

“The study of God’s Word and the critical evaluation of what others have said in interpreting God’s Word are tasks for all pastors to undertake as they prepare sermons and Bible classes,” said Dr. Saleska in commenting on the practical application of his doctoral study. “I continue to pass along to my students the necessity of serious study when they interpret the Word of God for people.”

Dr. David Peter, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and Placement Counselor at Concordia Seminary, completed a D.Min. degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill. “My studies for the D.Min. degree enriched me as a pastor and now as a teacher of pastors,” commented Dr. Peter. “My major applied project focused on assimilating and involving people in the church. Since these are important issues in some of the courses I am teaching, I look forward to sharing the insights of my research.”

Dr. Andrew Bartelt, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Concordia Seminary, commended Drs. Oberdeck, Saleska and Peter on the completion of their advanced study and the awarding of their degrees. “Our faculty combines the very best academic credentials with a heart for the pastoral ministry, and we celebrate these achievements. Such advanced degrees also represent a healthy spectrum of quality graduate programs and give the presentation of our confessional Lutheran theology integrity and respect throughout the world. Such academic credentials are an important part, but only a part, of all that makes our faculty excellent communicators of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we serve church and world with the message of salvation.”

For more information on Concordia Seminary’s faculty, contact Dr. Andrew Bartelt, Vice President for Academic Affairs, at 314-505-7013, or by e-mail (