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John Oberdeck Accepts Call to Wisconsin

Dr. John W. Oberdeck, assistant professor of practical theology and director of continuing education and parish services at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis has accepted the divine call issued him to serve as assistant director of the lay ministry program and associate professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW). He will begin his new responsibilities in the fall semester.

Oberdeck, a 1979 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, returned to the Seminary in 1989 as assistant professor of practical theology after ten years of parish ministry experience in Ill. While at Concordia Seminary, Oberdeck also served as director of the resident field education program (1989-95) and director of the doctor of ministry degree program (1995-97).

“To have served on this faculty at Concordia Seminary for the past thirteen years has been a privilege,” commented Oberdeck. “Not a year went by but what I was surprised and humbled by what I was called to do. I have the highest respect for my colleagues and Concordia Seminary will always be a significant part of my life and ministry.”

“John Oberdeck has been an important part of the life and work of Concordia Seminary for the past 12 years,” commented Dr. Andrew Bartelt, vice president for academic affairs at Concordia Seminary. “He has both taught and modeled the important role of the pastor as catechist and teacher of the faith to all ages. He also provided strong leadership in revising and invigorating our Resident Field Education program, advanced the work of our Doctor of Ministry program, and most recently served ably as our Director of Continuing Education, including some innovative new programs such as the Pastor’s Sabbatical Week and the Luther Hostel. We will miss him as a colleague and friend, but we are pleased to know that his service to our church and our Savior will continue through one of our partner institutions in higher education.”

Oberdeck also expressed excitement as he contemplated the opportunities for service associated with his new responsibilities at CUW. “The call I have accepted will focus my attention in two areas, preparation of lay members for roles of service in the church, and preparation of professional church workers for service with youth through the CUW Youth Specialist Degree program. Today’s youth have challenges unique to their generation, and the church can respond with programs to foster mature faith that meets those unique challenges. I hope to be part of that response by our church.”

For more information, contact Seminary Relations, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7370;