On Sunday, Sept. 7, at 3:00 p.m., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, began its 170th academic year with a special worship service in The Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Seminary campus. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary, served as preacher and officially opened the new academic year.
The Seminary community gave thanks for 154 new students who enrolled at Concordia Seminary this fall in programs preparing them to serve as pastors and deaconesses in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Ninety students are enrolled in the Seminary’s master of divinity degree program, and three are enrolled in the certificate (alternate route) program. Three new deaconess formation students enrolled in the M.A. in Deaconess Studies. Seventeen students are enrolled in the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT), and 29 students are enrolled in the Specific Ministry Pastor Program (SMP). A total of 12 students enrolled in the Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS). In addition, there are 21 new students enrolled in the Seminary’s Graduate School. Not included in these numbers are students who will begin their studies during the coming academic year, in both residential and distance-education programs of study.
The service included the installation of new faculty and staff members: Rev. Dr. Arthur “Andy” Bacon as professor of practical theology and director of curriculum assessment; Rev. Dr. Paul Devantier as senior vice president for seminary advancement; Michael Flynn as senior major gift officer; Mark Kempff as instructor and curriculum developer for the Center for Hispanic Studies; Thomas Rehkop as executive director of seminary support; Rev. Jeffrey Thormodson as assistant to the director of vicarage and internships; and Rev. Blake Wolf as director of the sustaining fund.
The opening service marked the public launch of the How Will They Hear? Campaign. How Will They Hear? is designed to secure $77 million in gifts and commitments for the three major interconnected components essential to a Christ-centered theological education in the 21st century: Pastors (tuition grants and scholarships); Place (renovations to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis campus); and Promise (endowment funds for future endeavors, including student aid).
Concordia Seminary remains one of the 25 largest seminaries of any denomination in the United States. Since its humble beginnings in Perry County, Mo., in 1839, more than 12,000 Concordia Seminary graduates have served as pastors, deaconesses, missionaries or chaplains throughout the world.