On Sunday, Sept. 2, at 4:00 p.m., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, began its 163rd academic year with a special worship service in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Seminary campus. Dr. John F. Johnson, president of Concordia Seminary, served as preacher and officially opened the new academic year.
The Seminary community gave thanks for the 121 new students who enrolled at Concordia Seminary this fall and are preparing to serve as pastors, missionaries and chaplains in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Of the 121 new students, 111 are enrolled in the Seminary’s master of divinity program, and 10 in the certificate (alternate route) program. Combined with the unusually high 137 new students last year, Concordia Seminary has experienced its best back-to-back years in recent history.
“These new students are the answers to the prayers of people throughout our church that God would raise up workers for His harvest field,” commented Johnson. “We consider it a privilege to provide their Seminary formation and are thankful for the confidence the church places in us to provide pastors who are both faithful theologians and compassionate shepherds for their people.”
Three new faculty members and one new staff member were installed during the Sept. 2 service. Rev. William W. Carr Jr. was installed as assistant professor of exegetical theology, academic advisor and registrar. Dr. Dale A. Meyer was installed as professor of practical theology and the new occupant of the Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Chair in Homiletics and Literature, an endowed faculty chair. Rev. David W. Wollenburg was installed as associate professor of practical theology. New staff member, Dr. Wallace M. Becker, was installed as admissions counselor.
In his sermon at the opening service, Johnson used Jeremiah 18:1-6 as his text, the account of the prophet Jeremiah’s encounter with a potter fashioning a vessel from clay. “As we begin a new year together in this community, it is still a lesson of immense significance: God as the potter, ourselves as the clay,” proclaimed Johnson. “Of all communities, this one should realize that God is so wonderful in His grace that He can take our very shortcomings and overrule them, working them into the completed design of our lives and the ministries for which we prepare.”
During the week preceding the opening service, new students completed an orientation process and registered for course work. Orientation also included opportunities for new students and their families to become better acquainted on Sept. 1, “Field Day,” which consisted of men’s and women’s sports, games for children and a community-wide barbeque. Concordia Seminary remains one of the largest Lutheran seminaries and one of the 25 largest seminaries of any denomination in the United States. Its graduates number more than 11,000 who have served as pastors, missionaries or chaplains throughout the world.
For more information, contact Rev. Glen Thomas, vice president for seminary relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63105; 314-505-7371; email@example.com.