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First Look

Dr. John Nunes, president of Concordia College New York, Bronxville, gives a plenary presentation during a two-day Student Convocation on Race Relations held Sept. 22–23. For more information about this event, see Page 21. Photo: Jill Gray












First-year Master of Divinity caption student Case Farney listens to a presentation during Orientation in August. Photo: Jill Gray



Dale A. Meyer


EXECUTIVE EDITOR Melanie Ave Vicki Biggs ART DIRECTOR Jayna Rollings MANAGING EDITOR Melanie Ave


Courtney Koll ART DIRECTOR Jayna Rollings


Melanie Ave DESIGNERS Rebekah Lukas Michelle Poneleit Sarah Maney Jayna Rollings Dr. Jeffrey Oschwald Dr. Travis Scholl

WRITERS Sarah Maney PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel HeatherMattson Bozarth Lisa Mills Jill Gray Travis FrankScholl Kohn

Rebekah Lukas PHOTOGRAPHERS Bridgette Sharp

Jill Gray Sid Hastings Courtney Koll Sarah Maney Michelle Poneleit Harold Rau

Concordia Seminary magazine magazine is is a a Concordia Seminary member of of the the Associated Associated Church Church Press Press member and the the Evangelical Evangelical Press Press Association. Association. and


INTERIM PRESIDENT Dr. Daniel Preus. Photo: Jill Gray

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8 ESV). How do we think during times of turmoil? The coronavirus pandemic continues to create uncertainty for at least the immediate future. Emotions were high for the presidential election. In the last several months, people have been hurt, stores have been looted and buildings have been burned. Racial relations are front and center in many discussions. And what are our reactions? Anxiety? Anger? Fear? Despair? I, for one, can sympathize with the sentiments of Martin Luther who wrote in one of his hymns:

In the very midst of life Snares of death surround us; Who shall help us in the strife Lest the foe confound us?

Yes, we who are Christians also experience distress as a result of turmoil in the world around us. But “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” How very comforting is this theme for our 182nd academic year! Christians do not wander aimlessly through life hoping against hope that somehow they may gain some small solace. No, we have a Savior who has washed away our sins, promised us the gift of everlasting life and sent His Spirit to comfort us and sustain us by His Word until the day He returns. And this message about Jesus and what He has done for us never changes! He is the same yesterday and today and forever. Although many serious challenges may confront us and confuse us, we remain safe in the hands of our Savior. Thus Paul Gerhardt writes:

Entrust your days and burdens To God’s most loving hand. He cares for you while ruling The sky, the sea, the land. For He who guides the tempests Along their thund’rous ways, Will find for you a pathway And guide you all your days.

It is a wonderful gift from God that we can live with the assurance that the Creator Himself loves us and in His Son promises that His grace toward us will never end. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. With this theme before us, it is very gratifying to see such a strong emphasis on the person of Jesus portrayed in the new stained glass windows being installed in our chapel. Those already in place depict our Lord being crucified and then rising from the dead. The next to be installed will show Him on His throne of glory. Certain Greeks once came to Phillip and said to him, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” We have listened to that request and answered it in these works of art being installed in our chapel. Those who worship here will see Jesus in the sermons, in the hymns and in the windows. And in the classrooms. Perhaps here more than anywhere else will our students see Jesus as the Scriptures are opened to them more fully, as they discover the richness of theology in our liturgies, as they see how faith in Christ has been preserved through the centuries in spite of persecution and heresy and plague. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. And no plagues, as nasty or pervasive as they may be; no elections, as fractious or divisive as they may be; no attacks, as painful or destructive as they may be, can separate us from the love of Jesus our Savior who is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Dr. Daniel Preus CSL.EDU


FALL/WINTER 2020 ISSUE FEATURES 6 Drawing closer to an unchanging Christ

10 Campus life during the pandemic

IN EVERY ISSUE 4 From the President


14 Faculty Focus 16 News Worth Noting 22 Student Spotlight 24 Alumni and Friends 26 Support Your Sem



OUR MISSION Concordia Seminary serves church and world by providing theological education and leadership centered in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ for the formation of pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

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Think about it. Does even one of the following statements sound like — feel like — good news to you? “My world, the same yesterday and today, and forever.” “My church, the same yesterday and today and forever.” “My life, the same yesterday and today and forever.” “ME, the same yesterday and today and forever.” More often than not, these statements, and especially the last two, leave a taste of hopelessness in our mouths. They are refrains of despair in our hymn of resignation to the inevitable and immutable rather than confident chorales celebrating a future bright beyond imagining. Why, then, should we turn to Heb. 13:8 for hope, strength, encouragement and confidence at the beginning of a new academic year? Obviously, the only hope for something that is not yet perfect is that it will change, not stay forever the way it always has been and continues to be. My world, my church, myself — none of these is perfect. Jesus is. But are these words from Hebrews good news for us?

How have you “learned Christ” (Eph. 4:20)? What is Jesus like? Has He been compassionate toward you, caring, sympathetic, the friend who’s always ready to listen? Has He been strong to save, mighty in the face of overwhelming challenges, threats, problems? Is He the big brother you look up to, try to emulate, want to be like or even be “when you grow up”? Is the Jesus you know someone you hope will be the same tomorrow as He was yesterday and is today? Or has He seemed distant — infinitely distant? Is He from a time, a place, a reality so far removed from your own that no communication between the two is possible? Or, when you think about Jesus, do you think primarily of what you believe about Him? Is He more teaching than teacher for you? An article of the creed? The faceless donor of the new heart that now keeps you alive? Do you hope none of this will ever change? Heb. 13:8 is much more personal than you may think. The author is not claiming that Jesus is the same as CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 >






He always has been in some abstract, cosmic way. Jesus is the same person: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, today — the same Jesus Christ — and forever.” He remains Himself, true to Himself, in His being, in His relationships, true to His word.

“ He remains Himself, true to

Himself, in His being, in His relationships, true to His word.” “But,” we ask, “isn’t Jesus the one Person of the Trinity who does change?” Hebrews itself teaches that the Father says of this Son — right up front — “You are my Son, today I have begotten You” (Heb. 1:5 ESV). Whatever that means, it sure sounds like something has changed. Whose yesterday and today and forever are we talking about here? Readers old and new have answered this last question in two different ways, and some see it both ways. Martin Luther is a good example. In his 1535 “Lectures on Galatians,” Luther speaks of this as Jesus’ yesterday, today and forever: Yesterday, before the time of His coming in the flesh; today, when He has been revealed in time; now and forever He is the same Christ. Through one and the same Jesus Christ, therefore, all believers, past, present, and future, are delivered from the Law, justified, and saved.



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Interpretation Interpretation 11


Luther is not alone in understanding the words as a reference to the “history” of our Lord Jesus. Others refer the words to His earthly ministry (yesterday), His risen and exalted status (today), and His coming in glory to rule forever (forever). Either way, He is “one and the same Jesus.” Recall the attention paid to the marks of the nails and spear in the Resurrection narratives: Those are the marks that this is “one and the same Jesus” — the same Jesus who lived and died has now risen from the dead. Or think of John Donne’s “A Hymne to God the Father,” especially the final verse: I have a sinne of fear, that when I’have spunne My last thread, I shall perish on the shore; Swear by thy self, that at my death thy Sunne Shall shine as it shines now, and heretofore … Donne is desperate for the assurance that in the “and forever,” his God and Lord will be the same God and Lord he has known and trusted throughout his life. In other places, however, Luther can speak of these as our yesterday, today and forever: God helps us as he helped our forefathers, and as he will help our heirs, to the honor and glory of his divine name forever. Here Luther speaks of a very personal yesterday: our fathers and great-grandmothers; and of a very personal forever: our children, and greatgreat-great grandchildren. Others think more of the yesterdays and todays of collective humanity, of “yesterday” as the Old Testament period or of the whole history of humanity from Adam to us. But, again, the point is always the same: It doesn’t

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matter how I have changed, it doesn’t matter how the world will change, Jesus remains “the one and the same Jesus.” It’s difficult to choose between these approaches. Heb. 13:7, with its reference to our now-sainted “leaders,” all those who taught us the Word by their lives and by their deaths, might seem to point us to a more human yesterday and today. Heb. 13:9, on the other hand, with its warning against the alluring, varied, exotic delicacies of the new teachings being served up to the readers, might include false teachings that “Jesus” is yesterday one thing and tomorrow another, so the author assures us of the opposite. Luther could see the truth in both views and so used them both. The author seems to be saying, “It doesn’t matter how you look at it, from whose perspective, using whatever horizons of the imagination you choose —Jesus is still the same Jesus.” To say that Jesus is the same is not to say that we must stay the same. The Epistle to the Hebrews is anything but static. The author is addressing people who have grown into lazy listeners and sluggish learners. Their hope is tired. Their development is frozen, arrested in time. They are physically all grown up, but they’re still drinking from a spiritual baby bottle, pacified with what they learned long ago. To these droopy-eyed readers, the author shouts, “Wake up!” Today is not just the time of our lives, today is not just our stretch on the timeline of salvation history; today is the day of salvation. Past generations of God’s people missed their “today,” they hardened their hearts against it, preferring the known comforts (and discomforts!) of their wilderness to the challenges of the new land to which God was bringing them.



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Interpretation Interpretation 22



Hear this word of exhortation while the day is still called “today.” Granting what you’ve already learned of Christ, that solid but elementary foundation laid in Sunday school, confirmation class, family devotions, worship and fellowship in your home churches — everything you have learned of Jesus Christ up to this moment — build on that and be carried along (perhaps driven) toward the maturity, the completeness, the perfection that is yours in your unchanging Lord Jesus Christ. He does not change; He remains the same Jesus — but, oh, how much better we can come to know Him! How much He improves on closer acquaintance — no, how much we gain from a closer acquaintance with Him!

“ Today is the only day we get to

live. We cannot live yesterday. We cannot live tomorrow. ” Today is the only day we get to live. We cannot live yesterday. We cannot live tomorrow. But the Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday and today and forever, comes to you today, drives you and draws you into a fuller, richer, more complete knowledge of Him by the challenges and opportunities of today. Fill your thoughts with Him (Heb. 3:1)! Hold fast to Him (Heb. 4:14)! Find your confidence in Him (Heb. 10:19)! Direct your whole attention to Him and trust Him (Heb. 12:2)! You have drawn near to Him (Heb. 12:24), now find in Him your eternal home (Heb. 13:13-14). Today.

Dr. Jeffrey Oschwald is professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.






“Campus life.” For many in the Concordia Seminary campus community, this phrase is evocative of Student Association annual events like Oktoberfest or Springfest, the Seminary Women’s Association’s field day or the women’s retreat, campus activities such as intramurals and the annual Laudamus choir tours. “Campus life” also conjures community gatherings like after chapel coffee, Friday night BBQs in the Woods (where married students live) and bonfires in front of the single-student dorms. A quick look at the Seminary’s “Campus Life” website menu gives an overview of what life together has meant, and still means, to people on campus and to those who have come and gone from the Seminary to their places of ministry. Yet, as 2020 draws to a close — the year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic and the sickness, restrictions and fear that have come with it — that drop-down menu seems more like campus life-less:

Congregations that “closed” across the country converted their services, Bible studies and devotions to online formats. Schools that “closed” moved classes to virtual platforms. Almost everyone everywhere had to adapt as they adjusted to a new normal to stay safe and keep others safe from the deadly virus that has killed over a million people in less than a year since it was discovered.

“ what happened at Concordia Seminary ... a place where community is fostered and formation is central? ”

But what happened at Concordia Seminary — a place for not only learning and teaching, but a place where community is fostered and formation is central? While the Seminary shifted to online learning in the spring for all programs and harbored students in dorms and families in apartment buildings, the daily rhythms of life seemed to almost stop. Yet, spring turned into summer, and new students and families arrived. Then came fall and a new school year started — with a 55% increase in residential Master of Divinity (M.Div.) enrollment over last year! — and students are now in the midst of their fall semester classes. So what does “campus life” mean now? What will it mean to the hundreds of students and their families, and to faculty and staff when they look back on 2020 and ask, “How did we live?” As the Seminary community prepared for the fall semester, some aspects of campus life were reinstituted, but with significant changes. “There are ramifications from the virus still to come,” said Dr. Timothy Saleska, the Seminary’s dean of Ministerial Formation. “Students are coping, but they also are struggling.” Returning M.Div. student Nick Wagenknecht said he is trying to adjust. “The whole social distancing thing is tough, especially because I am a very extroverted person,” he said. “Social interaction is what keeps me going. Not being able to play intramurals — that’s hard. I know many people are missing that.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 12 >



Second-year M.Div. student Drew Oswald participates in morning services in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus following health and safety guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing within pews. Photo: Rebekah Lukas


New students like Adam Tanney are adjusting to the strangeness. “Community has really suffered,” he said. “Even at the start of summer Greek, we were split up into two groups and didn’t really have contact between sections at all.” Students aren’t the only ones struggling. Students’ families — their spouses and children — have faced changes, adjustments and cancellations as well. “We are all straining right now,” noted Katie Nafzger, the Seminary’s women’s coordinator who oversees the Seminary Women’s Association (SWA) and the Families in Transition (FIT) team. “People are still not sure what they can do, what they should do. We have to think about how to do things differently, and it takes a little more time, a little more effort. What can we do that’s feasible? We can’t just say, ‘Let’s all meet in the field on this night.’ Now we have to think about how to connect people. Do they sign up? How do we obey all the rules? There’s a lot more logistical planning.” The challenges of the pandemic can become overwhelming, but Saleska said, as Christians and as a Lutheran theological graduate school, those in the campus community need to look beyond the trying times to the hope on the horizon. “What blessings are we overlooking?” he asked. Looking around campus, there are indeed blessings and signs of life, he said. Things are being done to overcome obstacles and cultivate community, which is so vital to making the Seminary the special place it is.



Student Association (SA) President Mason Vieth, a fourth-year student, said he was overjoyed when daily chapel services resumed in the summer after being halted for months in the spring. “Many other things have been changed so drastically, other things canceled, but this one thing, the core thing that makes the Seminary community function, is still happening,” he said. The SA also has made efforts to put together activities that, while adhering to the physical distancing and face covering regulations, are encouraging community building and fellowship, such as virtual Prof ’n Stein events and a block party on campus this fall in which students signed up to attend in shifts to minimize large gatherings.

“ Things are being done to

overcome obstacles and cultivate community. ” Similar efforts are being put forth by the SWA and FIT team to provide for the needs of the women on campus. “I remember what it felt like to move here our first year, going to events feeling alone,” reflected Courtney Koll, the 2020–21 SWA president, as she remembered her own transition to the Seminary when her husband, Quincy, began as a new M.Div. student in 2017. “I didn’t know anybody while it seemed everyone else knew everybody. I can imagine how hard it is to be here for your first year and to meet everyone on Zoom.” Already this fall, SWA and FIT have provided inperson classes for the women on campus with a “Zoom-in” option. They also hosted a “Wine and Cheese at Home” event that was 100% virtual, providing a time for the women to meet each other without masks and to “break-out” into “small groups” through some of the Zoom features, in order to get to know each other better. “It’s important that the women who would like to meet online will have opportunities to do so, and the women who would like to meet in person will have opportunities to do so,” Koll said. Although the fall semester began with in-person classes, all programs converted to online-only instruction after the Thanksgiving holiday. For the faculty, Saleska explained how important it was to have the students together for most of the fall and the formational groups that, while having to adapt, were still able to function for students.

Interim President Dr. Daniel Preus said the Seminary’s leadership team decided that residential students should return to campus for the beginning of the fall semester. “In-person is always better and we were confident that having classes this fall would be a more favored course by both students and professors,” he said. This in-person aspect of education, Preus emphasized, is especially important for our students because of the ministry of presence that is vital to spiritual care, a ministry that began with the Son of God who put on human flesh and dwelt among society — in person. The Seminary, because of ample space available on campus, was able to have students properly spaced apart. “Students were at the recommended distance, and with face masks, we maintained a safe environment,” Saleska said. “For example, my Psalms class met in the Presidents Room! Normally, I’d never do that,” said Saleska about the large, wood-paneled room that is typically reserved for larger events. “Other people were meeting in places that are not normally classrooms, but it worked. I think that was all positive.” But as coronavirus numbers spiked nationwide in November, and local restrictions were put in place, the Seminary moved all classes online for the remainder of the semester and encouraged students to stay at home, if possible, and not return to campus. “We recognize that is not ideal by any means,” Preus said. “But this is a necessary step to safeguard the health of our entire community.” Even so, many campus activities such as Student Association-sponsored online events and chapel services were kept in place to help continue the spirit of community for those students who remain on campus as well as for those participating virtually. All of these efforts to bring community to the campus are not lost on the students. Returning Deaconess Studies student Sarah Rusche appreciates the measures that have been taken. “I see the responsibility and care the administration has taken to keep everyone on campus healthy and comfortable,” she said. “Striking a balance between safety and community can be difficult. This reinforces for us our Christian duty of service to others in this time of uncertainty and hopelessness in the world around us.”

treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. So we do not lose heart” (2 Cor. 4:7–9, 16 ESV).

“ We are to build one another up in that gospel.” -Mason Vieth

Vieth said he is thankful for all events and activities offered. “I hope we will be creating spaces and places for people to come with their burdens, their joys — that our events will intentionally center on the fact that we’re here in the Seminary community because we are grounded in the Gospel,” he said. “We need to have that be our rally cry, to focus on what is good, what is right and not lose hope,” Nafzger added. “That’s hard when things are uncertain and you’re scared or you’re being told you should be scared. We are trying to help everyone see we can still do things together.” “I think what we have seen in all of this is the resiliency that we have,” Saleska said. “We didn’t just crumble, and we should celebrate that. We kept our mission of teaching and learning at the forefront, and the formation of our future church workers continues in spite of the challenges.”

Rebekah Lukas is a 2020 Deaconess Studies graduate and a communications specialist at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Seminary wife Anna Otterman announces prize winners during a break at the 2020 Seminary Women’s Association fall retreat, held at Crave Coffeehouse in St. Louis. Photo: Courtesy Heather Bozarth

Life together certainly is happening at Concordia Seminary, albeit a little differently these days. Saleska points to Scripture and the hope Christ offers as a sustaining message for everyone: “But we have this




In the past year, Professor Thomas Egger finished his Ph.D., was installed as the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology and was appointed as chairman of the Department of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. It was simultaneously the culmination of a long journey and the start of a new stage. Egger finished his doctoral course work and exams in the late 1990s, after graduating with his Master of Divinity (M.Div.), all at Concordia Seminary. But then he received a call to serve as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Storm Lake, Iowa. Having grown up in Iowa, the call brought him back home for a time. “There is no higher calling in the church than to bring the Gospel of Christ into the lives of real people, with all of their very real joys, sorrows, struggles,” Egger says. He then returned to the Seminary to teach exegetical theology in 2005. “Studying the ‘whole counsel of God’ prepares pastors to bring the right word, at the right time, to bind up the wounds of Christ’s people and to build up the church in Christ’s promises.” Upon his return, he began researching and working on his dissertation, studying the book of Exodus and, in particular, God’s self-description of “visiting iniquity of fathers against sons,” a phrase that God utters twice in Exodus. With a growing family (Tom and his wife, Tori, have six children who range in age from adulthood to middle school), the busy schedule of teaching and faculty service, and numerous other commitments, his dissertation work unfolded more slowly than he anticipated. But in some ways, that turned out to be a blessing. His classroom teaching helped shape his theological reflection on Exodus and the Old Testament as a whole, which enriched his doctoral work, and vice versa. 14


Most recently, he has been teaching courses on the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) and the Psalms, as well as elementary Hebrew. He also has been teaching a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) course, “Exegetical Theology Today,” an online Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program course, “Old Testament Theology,” and soon will be teaching a Ph.D. seminar, “Advanced Hebrew Readings.” Now that his doctoral work is completed, Egger has been able to use his expertise on Exodus and the Old Testament in academic conferences, pastors’ conferences, continuing education workshops, congregational Bible studies and lectures to college students. “Exodus is the story of God’s rescue of His people from bitter slavery, and then His gracious forgiveness of their sin,” Egger says. “God comes to dwell in their midst, to make them holy and to own them as His people, His enduring inheritance.” In 2019, he led a very popular Winter Lay Bible Institute at the Seminary on “Exodus: The Greatest (OT) Story Ever Told” and is preparing a Lenten sermon study for 2021 on “O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High: God’s Enormous Mercy.” At the heart of the book of Exodus is the story of how Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, which includes the account of the 10 plagues. This has allowed Egger to reflect on how biblical faith helps people understand life in 2020, amid the ongoing global pandemic associated with COVID-19. As he says in a recent interview with Concordia Seminary President Emeritus Dr. Dale A. Meyer on Word and Work: An Intersection, “The moral of the story of the book of Exodus is if you wait upon the Lord and put your trust in Him, you will not be disappointed. … You know, even in dark times, I can see many signs of the goodness of God. … Feed on the Scriptures and feed on time serving one another in love, and experience in both of those places the love of Jesus for the world.” But Egger’s work has not been limited to the Old Testament. In 2015–17, he served on The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) drafting committee for its new Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation (Concordia Publishing House, CPH). His niche on the committee was centered on selecting the biblical texts and citations for each question and answer, which drew on his own knowledge of the LCMS’ history of producing and publishing catechisms. He also has a strong interest in American Lutheran church history, which is rooted in his work as a seminarian at Concordia Historical Institute (CHI), organizing its collection of materials related to the


life of Dr. C.F.W. Walther, the first president of Concordia Seminary and the LCMS. Egger continues to serve on CHI’s Awards Committee, which reviews key works in American Lutheran history each year and selects the best for its annual awards. He also currently serves as a member of the Board of Regents at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill. All of this work is upheld by the endowed chair Egger now occupies. The Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Chair in Exegetical Theology was established in 2000 by Gustav A. Butterbach, a self-professed “German bachelor farmer” from Michigan, to honor the memory of his parents and to support excellence in scholarship and teaching in the area of Old Testament studies. The chair had previously been occupied by longtime Concordia Seminary Professor Dr. Andrew Bartelt until his retirement this past summer. Egger met his wife in college when they were both students at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Their son, Andrew, is a journalist in Washington, D.C., and daughter, Stacey, works

as a writer and editor in the communications department of the LCMS. They have two children in college: Abram at Concordia University Chicago and Bonnie at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon. Their youngest children are Ellen, in high school, and Mary, a seventh-grader. Tori has worked as an educator, program manager and social worker serving people with developmental disabilities. She now teaches online English classes to children in China. Looking ahead, Egger has begun work on a commentary on Genesis 1–11 for the Concordia Commentary series (CPH). He also hopes to one day write a commentary on the book of Exodus. Videos of Egger’s Lay Bible Institute on Exodus are available at scholar.csl.edu/lbiexodus/, and his Word and Work interview is available at concordiatheology.org/2020/05/ feeding-on-the-scriptures/. Dr. Travis Scholl is managing editor of Seminary Publications at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Dr. Thomas Egger, the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology, addresses the LCMS National Convention in Tampa in July 2019. Photo: Courtesy LCMS/Frank Kohn






Board of Regents Chairman Rev. Todd Peperkorn, top left, installs Dr. Daniel Preus, bottom left, as interim president. Photo: Jill Gray

Seminary begins 182nd academic year With the theme “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” from Heb. 13:8, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis began its 182nd year with Opening Service Aug. 28 in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Due to social distancing measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, in-person attendance was limited, but the service was available for all to watch via live stream at csl.edu/live. During the service, Seminary Interim President Dr. Daniel Preus welcomed new students, preached and introduced the 2020-21 academic theme. “The faith that lives in you and me is the same faith that lived in Abraham and Moses and it is the same faith that will live in our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren and in the hearts of every believer that will follow us until the day Jesus comes to judge the living and the dead — because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever,” said Preus. New faculty and staff were recognized during the service, as well as new positions for existing faculty and staff. Two professors were installed in new positions: Dr. Philip Penhallegon as professor of Exegetical Theology and Dr. Thomas Egger as the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach 16


Professor of Exegetical Theology. The service also included the installations of Preus as interim president and Rev. Micah Glenn as director of Recruitment, and the ordination of Dr. James Marriott, the Kreft Chair for Music Arts. Additionally, some 34 students in distance-education programs received vicarages and deaconess internships. The Seminary has a fall enrollment of 628 students, including 105 new students in residential and distance Ministerial Formation programs: 65 residential Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students, five Residential Alternate Route (RAR) students, four Deaconess Studies students, nine Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students, 20 Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program students, one Center for Hispanic Studies student and one General Pastor Certification (GPC) Program student. Enrollment in the M.Div. Program saw a 55% increase this year — from 42 new first-year students last year to 65 this year. The Advanced Studies department welcomed 28 new students: eight Master of Arts students, 10 Doctor of Philosophy students, three Doctor of Ministry students and seven Master of Sacred Theology students.



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Work to install the new stained glass window in the south transept of the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus was completed Sept. 4. The window, one of two installed so far in the chapel, depicts the crucified Christ. Stained glass windows are being installed in all of the windows in the chapel thanks to a generous gift from the Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke Memorial Trust. For more information about our chapel windows, visit csl.edu/chapel. Photo: Rebekah Lukas


42 NOMINEES FOR SEMINARY PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED The following 42 individuals have been nominated as candidates for election as the 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, per Lutheran Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Missouri Synod (LCMS) Bylaws, and have allowed their names to stand for consideration: Dr. Joel D. Biermann Dr. Gerhard H. Bode Jr. Dr. Phillip L. Brandt Dr. Jon S. Bruss Dr. Albert Collver III Dr. Anthony A. Cook Dr. Burnell F. Eckardt Dr. Thomas J. Egger Dr. Joel C. Elowsky Dr. Alfonso O. Espinosa Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II

Dr. Kevin S. Golden *Dr. Gifford A. Grobien *Dr. Matthew C. Harrison Dr. Benjamin D. Haupt Dr. Erik H. Herrmann Dr. Ross E. Johnson Dr. Jeffrey J. Kloha Dr. Joel D. Lehenbauer *Dr. Robert R. Lessing Dr. David W. Loy *Dr. David P. E. Maier

Dr. Aaron M. Moldenhauer Dr. Steven P. Mueller Dr. Martin R. Noland Dr. David R. Preus Dr. Jeffrey H. Pulse Dr. Timothy A. Rossow Dr. Travis J. Scholl Dr. Gregory P. Schulz *Dr. Klaus D. Schulz *Dr. William W. Schumacher Dr. Gregory P. Seltz

*Dr. Don R. Stuckwisch Jr. Dr. Dien A. Taylor Rev. Daniel T. Torkelson Dr. William G. Utech Dr. Jon D. Vieker Dr. James W. Voelz Dr. Wilhelm Weber Dr. John C. Wohlrabe Jr. Dr. Lucas V. Woodford

Presidential nominations, per the LCMS Handbook, were submitted by LCMS congregations, the Seminaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Board of Regents and the Seminary faculty. The Presidential Search Committee is now evaluating each of the candidates and will recommend at least five candidates from the list of nominees to the four electors. Electors meet Feb. 6, 2021, to elect the new president. The four electors include one vote from the Board of Regents voting as a group, one vote from the LCMS district president serving on the board as a voting member, one vote from the chairman of the LCMS Board of Directors and one vote from the LCMS president. The election of the president requires three of four elector votes. * Indicates candidate who has subsequently withdrawn his name from consideration. 18



Virtual Alumni Reunion Though alumni were unable to gather on campus for the 2020 Alumni Reunion, the Seminary made three engaging videos available Oct. 9 on its website as a virtual reunion:

• State of the Seminary address by Interim President Dr. Daniel Preus

• Enrollment update by Associate Provost Dr. Benjamin Haupt • Pretzel-making demonstration by campus chef! The videos can be viewed at csl.edu/alumnireunion. The Seminary also created a “directory” with photos and personal updates that was shared with graduates of class years ending in 5 and 0. A screen shot of a pretzel-making demonstration video shows alumni (and others!) how to make pretzels as part of three videos that served as a virtual 2020 Alumni Reunion.

Second annual #GiveGreenandGold Day a success On Sept. 28, friends of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis raised $27,065 during the second annual Give Green and Gold Day. Gifts on the special day of giving were earmarked for student aid and will be used to provide tuition grants to residential Ministerial Formation students. “When I spoke with students on Give Green and Gold Day, I kept hearing how thankful they are for the donors who support them, especially when it comes to student aid,” said Megan Duncan, the Seminary’s manager of annual giving and the Give Green and Gold Day campaign manager. The amount raised exceeded the $25,000 goal by $2,065. Thanks to a matching gift, gifts from donors were doubled up to the first $10,000 raised. The campus community celebrated the day with free ice cream outside of Loeber Hall. Seminary friends were encouraged to share updates about the day by using #GiveGreenandGold on their social media channels. Save the date! The next Green and Gold Day is set for Sept. 27, 2021.

The campus community celebrated #GiveGreenandGold Day Sept. 28 with an ice cream truck on campus. Photo: Rebekah Lukas

To learn more or make a gift, visit csl.edu/support. CONCORDIA SEMINARY, ST. LOUIS



Title 22


Pre-Lenten Workshop

“O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High”: God’s Enormous Mercy clock 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. user Dr. Thomas Egger



28-29 Faith and Film Festival (virtual) laptop csl.edu/faith-and-film-festival




Lay Bible Institute: “Galatians: Hearing Paul’s Gospel Afresh” user Dr. Mark Seifrid clock 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


20 20





About 40 people attended the Lay Bible Institute, “Wholly Citizens: Thinking Rightly about Christian Engagement with the World,” Oct. 10 in Werner Auditorium. Professor of Systematic Theology Dr. Joel Biermann, who taught the class remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, explored Martin Luther’s teaching of the two realms and then focused attention on the application of God’s truth to the world as Christians seek guidance on engaging in the political process. Photo: Bridgette Sharp

The convocation focused on racism as it affects Black communities in the United States, and Black church workers, lay leaders and congregations. The convocation opened with a chapel service at which Rev. Roosevelt Gray Jr., director of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Black Ministry, preached. Interim Seminary President Dr. Daniel Preus and Associate Provost Dr. Benjamin Haupt welcomed students and Dr. John Nunes, president of Concordia College New York, Bronxville, gave the plenary. “We are not stuck in anger,” Nunes said. “We move on to courage and hope.” The convocation focused on three goals: listening, discerning and acting. “Ministry has nothing to do with your color, but everything to do with what you do,” said Rev. Gerard Bolling, pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Louis, who served as a session presenter. In order to allow for social distancing, first-year students and faculty attended in person while wearing masks, and all other students attended the convocation virtually.



Students and faculty attended a Student Convocation on Race Relations Sept. 22-23, which was organized in place of the 2020 Theological Symposium that was canceled because of the pandemic.

Save the date for these upcoming Continuing Education events


MULTIETHNIC SYMPOSIUM: The Rest and the West: What the West Can Learn from Global South Christianity

laptop csl.edu/multiethnic



Two-day Student Convocation on Race Relations held



THEOLOGICAL SYMPOSIUM: Whatever is Lovely: The Role of Beauty in Theology and Ministry csl.edu/symposium



Married seminarians Rachel and Daniel Heitshusen hold hands in the Main Quadrangle on campus this fall. Photo: Jill Gray


Bound to serve


Rachel and Daniel Heitshusen’s story is one that is filled with the faithfulness of parents, pastors and teachers. It’s a story that began with Baptism — Rachel before she was 1 month old; Daniel at 2 months. The Heitshusens cannot recall a day when they didn’t know about Jesus’ love for them. This fall, the young couple began their latest chapter at the Seminary with Rachel starting the Deaconess Studies Program, and Daniel, the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Program.

RACHEL Rachel grew up in Carl Junction, Mo. She attended a Lutheran day school where her mom taught. “I had my mom as my teacher for two of those years, so that was fun,” Rachel says. “I also come from a family of engineers. My older brother is the newest of many engineers in my family, including my dad, uncle and grandpa.”


As a teenager, Rachel’s heart was set on ministry — she wanted to become a Lutheran school teacher, just like her mom. It was during a youth retreat as a sophomore in high school that she first heard about the role of deaconess during a brief conversation. After returning home, she hopped onto her computer to learn more, and came across a video from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod 22



(LCMS) about being a deaconess. “I felt like my whole life plan was crashing around me. I thought, that looks really cool. Every single thing that they said in the video about what a deaconess does, I wanted to do,” Rachel says.

cut themselves,” Daniel says. “That struck me and pushed me to consider becoming either a director of Christian education (DCE) or a pastor. I wanted to be able to help people like this.”

Most recently, the onset of the pandemic has strengthened her desire to serve as a deaconess. She is especially moved and concerned for the elderly who have been cut off from their loved ones during the pandemic. “I want to be there for them, to serve them, to pray with them,” she says.

A few years later, after he had met Rachel and was studying at Concordia University Nebraska, Seward, the pull to become a pastor strengthened.

DANIEL Daniel was born in Florida, along with his younger brother, Ben. “Ben has Down syndrome. He’s been a wonderful brother throughout my life; he’s very loving and caring,” Daniel says. The boys’ family moved to Georgia, and then to Houston, when Daniel was in elementary school. There he continued to grow in the faith, but it wasn’t without its growing pains. “Having your dad as your confirmation teacher is a unique experience,” Daniel says. “I just wanted to get through confirmation and go on with my life.” The year 2013 would prove to be a turning point for Daniel. He was skeptical when his parents signed him up for the LCMS Youth Gathering, but he was glad he went. “I met some people that I’m still friends with today,” Daniel says. The gathering also inspired him to dig deep into Scripture, prompting him to ask his dad, Rev. Scott Heitshusen (’96), a lot of theological questions. “I kept hearing that salvation is a gift from God. You can’t earn it. But I kept trying to turn it into a work. I wanted to know what I needed to do to know that I was saved,” Daniel says. “My dad and the other pastors in my church, Rev. Andrew Roettjer (’12), and Rev. Timothy Duerr (’09), were patient with me. They were very influential in my formation as a Christian young man and my desire to go into the ministry.” In 2014, Daniel attended Missional Youth Retreat through Concordia University Texas, Austin. As part of the retreat, young people participated with LINC Austin to serve street youth and the homeless with bags of food, water and other necessities. Afterward, they reflected on the service event. “Someone who worked with the street youth talked about how it’s sad that some people feel so unloved — even if they have all sorts of material goods — that they feel the need to


“Everything that pastors did, I wanted to do — preaching, administering Communion, baptizing, making home visits and hospital visits — I wanted to do it all,” Daniel says.

MOVING AHEAD, TOGETHER “Most people choose one life-changing event at a time. We decided to go for three,” Rachel says. Indeed they did. After graduating from Concordia University Nebraska in May of 2020, they married over the summer before moving to Concordia Seminary in the fall, all in the middle of a pandemic. The guaranteed-tuition financial aid package for those enrolling in residential ministry formation programs helped make the transition to Seminary possible. “That was very helpful. The biggest thing that got me here though, honestly, was him,” Rachel says, nodding at Daniel, “because otherwise I don’t know how I would possibly make this work right now.” They’re learning about their study preferences along the way. “I prefer exegetical theology and he prefers systematic,” Rachel says. Balancing married life, work and homework is key. But being intentional about their relationship with one another and their Savior is paramount. As they look to the future, the Heitshusens know that God is still writing His story. He holds the past, present and future in His hands. Knowing this in their hearts and minds, Rachel and Daniel take the Seminary’s academic year theme, based on Heb. 13:8, to heart: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Sarah Maney is a communications specialist at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.



Meet our



Associate Pastor, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, West Allis, Wis. YOUR BACKGROUND: “I was born and raised in Grafton, Wis., and my parents, friends and mentors showed me the love of Jesus and I wanted to be like them when I grew up!” HIGHLIGHT FROM SEMINARY: “Taking a class that allowed me to study in Israel for two weeks. I also loved building relationships with my Adopt-A-Student congregations.” WHY BECOME AN SRA: “I chose to be an SRA to help God’s kingdom to grow in America as our world continues to transition deeper into a post-church culture.” ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: “Soak it up! Seminary will challenge you intellectually and shape your mind to engage the mission field for 21st century ministry. You also will meet friends in ministry who will walk by your side for the rest of your life.”

REV. CHRISTOPHER BODLEY Director, Acts 2 Enterprise and Missionary At-Large, Detroit, Mich.

BACKGROUND: “I have pastored a church in Orlando for 14 years, planted a multiethnic church in Sanford, Fla., and served as a United States Navy chaplain for 12 years.” HIGHLIGHT: “I was greatly impacted by Dr. Robert Newton in a spiritual formation class in my fourth year. Dr. Newton’s insights and Christ-like character have influenced how I understand character and leadership development through the lens of biblical theology.”


Pastor, Mount Calvary Lutheran Church and Preschool, Brentwood, Mo. BACKGROUND: “By the age of 10, I had people telling me I should be a pastor, and by age 13 I had made that the plan for my life. I love finding creative ways to share the Gospel of Jesus.” HIGHLIGHT: “Seminary was a blast! I enjoyed the brotherhood, and loved playing sports and talking theology with my friends. I built lifelong friendships in Seminary.” WHY SRA: “I love the place I serve but hurt for vacant churches. This opportunity allows me to be a part of the solution to fill those vacant churches with passionate workers who love Jesus.” ADVICE: “Listen to those who are encouraging you to come to Seminary and ask them questions. Ask them why they think you should be a pastor, what qualities do they see, etc.”


Director of Care and Women’s Ministries, Salem Lutheran Church and School, Affton, Mo. BACKGROUND: “During college I realized I had deep questions about my faith, ones that couldn’t fit on a trivia card, so God led me to pursue answers to those questions at the Sem, and from there, to become a deaconess in The Lutheran Church— Missouri Synod.” HIGHLIGHT: “I was able to walk through that time with an amazing cohort of sister and brother students, and those shared experiences, both the struggles and joys, were deeply meaningful.”

WHY SRA: “We need to identify potential leaders who possess a deep love of God and God’s Word and who will embrace cultural competency in order to be effective as an ambassador for the kingdom of God.”

WHY SRA: “There were both women and men who took the extra time to help me discern the next right steps in preparing for ministry, and I sincerely hope I am able to do the same for members of the next generation of deaconesses.”

ADVICE: “Invest heavily in reading and memorizing the Word of God so that your academics may deeply complement your educational development.”

ADVICE: “Pray — both alone and alongside others — trusted mentors, family members and believers. (Also, get the reading lists early if you can.)”



This year, Concordia Seminary created new part-time positions to aid the Seminary in recruiting students throughout the country. These Student Recruitment Ambassadors (SRAs) aim to build relationships with prospective students near where they live and work, and help them discern whether ministry and Concordia Seminary should be part of their future.



Pastor, St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, New Orleans, La., and President, LCMS Black Clergy Caucus

Senior Pastor, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Hayward, Calif., and Director of Mission, LINC Bay Area, Calif. BACKGROUND: “I was born in Asmera, Eritrea (East Africa). My parents showed me firsthand what it meant to be loved by Jesus. They passed away before I turned 13, but they planted the seed, they showed me the ‘way,’ they fought a good fight.” HIGHLIGHT: “I grew up in a ‘high church’ with the same liturgy but a different language, and it was just beautiful to experience it in English and to have communion with saints who don’t look like me but are one with me through Christ.” WHY SRA: “Matt. 9:37, ‘the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few,’ is what my mother had me memorize before I turned 8. Now I have an opportunity to do that alongside other saints and a clear strategic direction.” ADVICE: “We are not perfect, but you will learn what it means to center everything in the risen Christ.”

BACKGROUND: “Born in Chicago, I am the son of a Chicago Transit Authority comptroller and a farmer’s daughter who became an occupational therapy assistant. I left home to go to Pearson College in Canada only to return and attend the University of Chicago, learning what it means to love God with all my heart, soul and mind.” HIGHLIGHT: “Going down to Kaldi’s with four or five classmates and supporting one another in brotherly love.” WHY SRA: “Because ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.’ Dr. Rosa Young placed a premium on education and recruitment. To follow in her footsteps, I hope to do the same.” ADVICE: “Examine yourself. Make sure you are coming for the right reasons. Through the lens of vocation, we are to be anchored in our love of neighbor and faith in God.”



Pastor, Grace Ev. Lutheran Church (Comunidad de Gracia), Milwaukee, Wis., and President, VII Hispanic National Convention and Hispanic Missionary League

Senior Pastor, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Ridgewood, N.J., and Founder/Director, The Kairos Network BACKGROUND: “I grew up all over but spent most of my time in Kansas City where I got connected with an amazing local church.” HIGHLIGHT: “I had an amazing group of friends who loved to get off campus and be in the community, an incredible field work pastor who taught me how to do ministry in a way that would connect with the lost and found, and amazing professors who saw gifts in me before I could see them myself.” WHY SRA: “Concordia Seminary gave me a theological toolbox to launch ministries and contextualize the Gospel in my community. I get excited about connecting others to that level of training.” ADVICE: “Ministry looks a little different in every context. Don’t look for a place that is going to give you a one-size-fitsall solution.”


BACKGROUND: “I was born and raised in Venezuela, and I came to the United States in 2012 to begin my ministry at Grace.” HIGHLIGHT: “I think my Seminary experience was unique, with three programs involved [Specific Ministry Pastor Program, Center for Hispanic Studies and Master of Divinity Program]. The Seminary is one of the greatest blessings I have in my life.” WHY SRA: “I believe we need more Hispanic and bilingual servants in the church. This will strengthen our Latino ministries and will make our church more diverse.” ADVICE: “‘Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain’ (1 Cor. 15:58 ESV). God can do great things through us, His servants!” Melanie Ave is communications manager at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. CONCORDIA SEMINARY, ST. LOUIS


Choosing joy in the face of hardship DONOR ‘ADOPTS’ SEMINARIANS BY SARAH MANEY

Matter-of-fact and down-to-earth, Warren Solem chose a quiet life, living in a house on the outskirts of a small town. He drove an Amoco Oil truck around the country for his career. His church, Joy Lutheran Church in Cambridge, Minn., was extremely important to him. In his free time, he hunted. He would say he enjoyed the outdoors and the quiet it offered. But a quiet life does not necessarily mean an easy life.

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Born in 1933 in Forest Lake, Minn., to Elmer and Sarah Solem, Warren grew up, attended school, and in 1950, joined the United States Air Force. He served in the Korean War and was stationed at a military base in California. He was honorably discharged in 1954, and went to work.

Warren understood the church’s need for pastors and recognized the importance of Seminary-trained pastors. “I first met with him in 2008,” Flynn says. “As we talked about his giving, he became very interested in the Seminary’s Adopt-A-Student program.” Through the program, sponsors “adopt” seminarians to help make their ministry formation financially possible.


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Warren participated in the program and looked forward to hearing from his “adopted” seminarians. “That meant a lot to him,” Flynn says. “So when he was developing his estate plan, he decided to leave a portion of his estate to the Seminary in support of the Adopt-A-Student program.”

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In 1958, he married the love of his life, Phyllis Jean Renner. They had three sons, but tragically, their first son was born drastically disfigured and died.

Joy Lutheran Church because in spite of everything that happened to Warren, he had great joy, trust and faith that he knew exactly where he was going.”

Flynn wonders if Warren thought about his own sons as he “WHEN ... corresponded with his adopted DONORS LIKE seminarians. Despite Warren’s WARREN SEE HOW life struggles, he helped THEY HAVE TOUCHED propel the sons of others on AND SHAPED A their ministry journey.

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STUDENT’S LIFE ... The couple had two more sons, Dale and Jeffrey, Flynn and David Priebe, who both appeared to be healthy. But as time THEY HAVE the Seminary’s gift planning passed, they both developed severe mental and INDESCRIBABLE JOY.” consultant, walked Warren physical abnormalities, requiring them to move to a — MICHAEL FLYNN through the process of planned facility where they could receive professional aroundgiving, offering clear guidance. By the-clock care. The facility was miles away from home, but creating an estate plan, Warren was able Warren didn’t allow distance to grow between them. He made to remember the Adopt-A-Student program and a point to visit his sons regularly. future seminarians long after the Lord called him home. Eventually, doctors traced the boys’ health issues back to the Warren passed away April 21, 2016, at the age of 83, and was chemicals Warren had been exposed to during the Korean War. Those same chemicals became the cause of cancer that buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Warren later battled. “Warren was a wonderful example of a donor who shared his financial blessings,” Flynn says. “When a response of gratitude is received and donors like Warren see how they His wife, Phyllis, developed Alzheimer’s disease. Warren have touched and shaped a student’s life and enhanced a faithfully cared for her as she struggled through the decadeministry, like the Seminary, they have indescribable joy.” long illness, before it finally took her life. “What struck me about Warren was not so much what he went through, but how he handled the struggles afterward,” says Michael Flynn, Concordia Seminary’s director of principal gifts. “It’s fitting that the name of his church was 26


To learn more about the Adopt-A-Student program, visit csl.edu/support. Sarah Maney is a communications specialist at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.


Title Campus landscaping $4,000

Journaling Bibles* $2,500

Adopt-A-Student* $4,000

Student athletics and fitness center $2,000

2020-21 adopted service projects

After chapel coffee time $1,000

Music Arts $2,000

Donate and learn more at csl.edu/semguild today!

New student orientation $2,500

Total $18,000 *Funded


Tax-Wise Year-End Giving Strategies As the end of the year approaches, you may be looking for ways to save on taxes. Check out these tax-wise year-end charitable gifts that may provide you with tax savings while also supporting seminarians in their formation for ministry:

1 Make a gift of appreciated assets

2 3 4 Fund a charitable gift annuity

Establish a charitable remainder trust

Make a gift of life insurance

5 Create a charitable life estate

To make a year-end gift, contact us: PHONE 800-822-5287

envelope plannedgiving@csl.edu laptop csl.edu/support







“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6 ESV)












Profile for Concordia Seminary

Concordia Seminary magazine | Fall/Winter 2020  

Drawing closer to an unchanging Christ | Sharing the wisdom of the Old Testament for today | Campus life during the pandemic

Concordia Seminary magazine | Fall/Winter 2020  

Drawing closer to an unchanging Christ | Sharing the wisdom of the Old Testament for today | Campus life during the pandemic