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Concordia Seminary's 164th Year Begins

On Sunday, Sept. 8, at 4:00 p.m., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, began its 164th 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 124 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 124 new students, 109 are enrolled in the Seminary’s master of divinity program, and 15 in the certificate (alternate route) program. Combined with the unusually high 137 new students two years ago and 121 new students last year, Concordia Seminary has experienced its best three consecutive years of new-student enrollment since the early 1980s.

“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 were installed during the Sept. 8 service: Dr. Joel D. Biermann as assistant professor of systematic theology; Dr. Timothy P. Dost as assistant professor of historical; and Dr. Jeffrey A. Oschwald as associate professor of exegetical theology.

In his sermon at the opening service, Johnson used 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 as his text. Addressing the new students beginning their Seminary study, he said, “The question is whether we remain faithful to Christ. This is, of course, at the very heart of pastoral ministry for us. That message which, indeed, is of first importance: “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” Our Lutheran identity points beyond itself to Christ and His fullness.”

During the week preceding the opening service, new students completed an orientation process an d registered for course work. Orientation also included opportunities for new students and their families to become better acquainted on Sept. 7, “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;