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LifeTogether wa r t b u r g t h e o lo g i c a l s e m i n a ry


s p r i n g 2011

Haiti and Wartburg PAGE 4

A Celebration of Mission PAGE 7

Presidential Inauguration PAGE 13 LifeTogether | Spring 2011


From the President

God’s Faithfulness – Wartburg’s Confidence

“Leaders shaped at Wartburg are effective at conveying God’s faithfulness, and they are needed. For that reason, Wartburg is determined to address its own challenges so that new leaders are prepared and confident for the challenges of the church and the world.”

LifeTogether Spring 2011, Vol. 16 No.1

Wartburg Theological Seminary 333 Wartburg Place PO Box 5004 Dubuque, IA 52004-5004 Phone: 563-589-0200 FAX: 563-589-0229

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I am confident about the mission of Wartburg Theological Seminary and excited and grateful to be part of it. I know that I join Wartburg as the new president at a very challenging time. That’s no surprise. The times have been challenging for every Wartburg president since 1854. Indeed, every student for 157 years has come here to study and has left to serve in times when the world and the church faced grave challenges. Nor is this unique to Wartburg—God’s people have always lived in a troubled world and have always faced challenges as the community of faith. Consider almost any set of Bible texts – the fall, the flood, Abraham and Sarah sent from Ur, the Psalms of lament, the prophets challenging religious and secular leaders, Jesus doing the same and being executed, Paul beaten and imprisoned, John exiled. The saga of faith continues. The central stained glass window in Loehe Chapel depicts Jesus sending out his first students, the twelve disciples. The text for that window is from Matthew 28, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” It is vital to remember how that great commission ends. Jesus said, “Remember, I am with you always to the close of the age.” The promise of God’s faithful presence sustained the people of Israel in their challenges. It has sustained the church and Wartburg. It will sustain us in the present challenges. That confidence has always set God’s people free to work hard. We move into Wartburg’s next chapter with energy and godly hope! The world is afflicted with anxiety that leads to conflicts and to seeking certainty in things and structures. Sometimes the anxiety becomes despair. The institutional church sees this pain in the world

PRESIDENT: The Rev. Stanley N. Olson, PhD

EDITOR: Janelle Koepke, Director for Giving Programs and Communication MANAGING EDITOR: Jill Kruse, Annual Giving and Communication Specialist DESIGN: Amy Speed, Indigo Design Company Life Together is a publication of Wartburg Theological Seminary for our alumni and friends. Permission is granted for additional use in congregations. Founded in 1854 and located in Dubuque, Iowa since 1889, Wartburg Theological Seminary is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

but also must struggle with its own anxieties, conflicts, misplaced trust and tendencies to despair. Our ELCA faces these realities too. World and church need the promise of God’s faithfulness. God calls faithful, wise and courageous leaders to help keep the promise alive. Leaders shaped at Wartburg are effective at conveying God’s faithfulness, and they are needed. For that reason, Wartburg is determined to address its own challenges so that new leaders are prepared and confident for the challenges of the church and the world. In November, the Wartburg Board of Directors adopted a three-year work plan to address financial challenges and the need to expand enrollment. The plan will enhance Wartburg’s strength so that we can be a strong partner with others who are engaged in this same mission. In serving the mission of Christ expressed through the ELCA, Wartburg and its partners, I will be guided by the work plan and grounded in Wartburg’s tradition of excellence. Here I want to highlight two important parts of the plan and ask for your help. Whom will you send? The work plan commits us to the hard work of finding those students who should be preparing at Wartburg for ministry in Christ’s church. Staff and faculty can’t do the finding alone. In 19th century Germany, Wilhelm Loehe became aware of the number of German Christians who were emigrating to North America and facing great challenges in life and faith. He gathered students, prepared them and sent them to be pastors here. I’m sure that Loehe didn’t merely ask a few people he already knew. Rather he must have said to people around him, “Whom do you know whom you could send to me so that they can be prepared for sending

Mission Statement Wartburg Theological Seminary serves the mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by being a worship-centered community of critical theological reflection where learning leads to mission and mission informs learning. Within this community, Wartburg educates women and men to serve the church’s mission as ordained and lay leaders. This mission is to proclaim and interpret the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world created for communion with God and in need of personal and social healing.

contents | into this service?” That’s Wartburg’s first question to each of you, “Who should be urged to come to Wartburg to prepare for ministry?” “Who might discover that they are called to ministry if they learn how they could be formed at Wartburg?” What financial resources will you and those you know send to support formation for ministry through Wartburg? The work plan calls for balanced budgets and the reduction of debt. We expect to have a balanced budget in the current fiscal year, thanks to the generosity many have already shown and to the careful work and sacrifices of faculty, staff and students. Balanced budgets and sharing the strong case for financial support are the plan also for coming years. Wartburg is servicing a debt that is too large for these challenging times, so debt management is part of that plan. Please ask yourselves, “What can I share? How might I sacrifice for this good and needed mission?” And also, “What people of means do I know who care about the future of Christ’s church and might come to care about Wartburg’s mission to prepare leaders for these challenging times?” Please share generously yourself and talk with us to help identify other benefactors who may be ready to join in supporting this mission that’s needed by church and world. You are part of the Wartburg community and I look forward to engaging with you on these two key aspects of seizing the mission opportunities before us. Confident in God and God’s people, I am delighted and excited to join Wartburg as we move forward through these challenges!


2 President’s Message 4 Haiti and Wartburg 7 A Celebration of Mission 8 Talking Rural 9 Alum Notes 11 Distributed Learning 12 Faculty and Staff Updates 13 Presidential Inauguration 14 Finding Their Way... To Iowa

on the cover

The Rev. Stanley N. Olson, President of Wartburg Seminary, and The Rev. Hans Giegere, Director of Ministerial Education and Workman Training of the Evangelical Lutheran Church – Papua New Guinea at Wartburg’s “Celebration of 125 Years of Lutheran Mission in Papua New Guinea.” Complete story on page 7.

Stanley N. Olson

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LifeTogether | Spring 2011


Haiti and Wartburg, Together for Life


quake? At first I thought, there is no hope.” When he heard about Ben’s death the next day, “It was the biggest shock.” The months that followed have not been easy. For Jon and Renee and their families, the pain is felt daily and in each milestone for which Ben was not present: graduation, birthdays, holidays, and first-call ministries. “This has by far been the most difficult year of my life,” Renee admits. “But at the same time, I am so grateful for the various communities that have nurtured me. Wartburg was a vital piece of this. They received Jon and me back into their midst, took us in and loved us well. And what helped the most was the daily centering in worship, where we could shed tears, and also hear the promises of God.”

January 12, 2010 forged an unbreakable bond between us. ABOVE Ray McKechnie, WTS Middler, with Haitian teens on his recent J-Term trip to Haiti.

RIGHT Minna Quint, WTS Junior, with Haitian orphans.

On that day, Haiti and Wartburg Seminary shared unimaginable fear, loss, and grief. Four of our seminarians were trapped in a struggle for survival, alongside five million Haitians. Soon we learned, to our horror, that the unprecedented earthquake had killed over 300,000 – and that one of them was our own Benjamin Splichal Larson. Ben was on J-term with his wife Renee and cousin Jonathan. They were all Master of Divinity seniors who fell in love with Haiti through the witness of their fellow WTS student, Pastor Joseph Livenson Lauvanus. In Dubuque two years before, Pastor Livenson had often shared his passion for his home and his people. He inspired the three to join him in God’s work to serve the new l’Eglise Lutherienne d’Haiti or EHL (Lutheran Church of Haiti). On that dark day in January, Pastor Livenson was actually in Florida, scheduled to return home the next morning. As he packed that evening, his hosts yelled for him to come watch CNN. “I was heartbroken,” recalls Livenson. “Our country is so small, so poor. How could it take such a major earth-

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As they continue to grieve for Ben, Jon and Renee also ache for the country he loved. Jon confides, “I’m still devastated at the brokenness of Haiti. To me, it’s not a mass of nameless people – these are our friends.” Over the past year, the news has rarely been good: aftershocks, hurricanes, the cholera epidemic, election unrest. As the media dispense despair, Haitians tell another story. “I do not talk about the rubble, even though only 2% of it has been removed,” declares Pastor Livenson, who now serves as the president of the EHL. “Though we are surrounded by death, we talk about resurrection. How new life is rising from the rubble.” The church body he leads consists of twelve congregations serving twelve different communities. Resurrection takes the shape of community development and self-sufficiency, to end the long cycle of dependency on government and foreign support. “People in Haiti can think they are worthless. But God tells them, they are not worthless. As a church we want to build the people up. We ask them, ‘What resources do you have? You have people. You have land. Yes, these are both resources.’ Then we ask: ‘Do you have water?’ And they say ‘No.’ So then, we can turn to our partners in the ELCA and in the global church, and say ‘Here is something you can help us find, fresh water. Let’s do this, together.’ This is accompaniment.” From first to last, Livenson is grateful for the partnerships forged from his days at Wartburg. “I am so thankful for the support I received to come

“The Haiti earthquake and my own loss have taught me so much about the theology of the cross. God meeting us in the darkest places.” PASTOR Renee Splichal Larson

to seminary. For the faculty who taught me well. For the students like Ben who welcomed me. For the people of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church [in Dubuque] where I did my internship. I say thank you, on behalf of the whole people of Haiti, for being with us, for staying with us, for praying and serving with us.” With the first anniversary of the quake come and gone, signs of new life can be seen rising from the rubble in both Haiti and the United States. Renee Splichal Larson is now pastor at Heart River Lutheran Church, a congregation in Mandan, ND that sits on the campus of a North Dakota youth correction center. For 27 years this ministry has served both the incarcerated youth and the greater community, both of whom worship together. It sounds perfect for Renee, and something Ben would have wholeheartedly endorsed: ministry that serves the whole community, including the most disenfranchised – young people in bondage to addiction and separated from their families by violence and poverty. “The Haiti earthquake and my own loss have taught me so much about the theology of the cross. God meeting us in the darkest places. For people like these youth, who bear their own crosses – if the gospel has nothing to say to them, then it’s not worth saying. Just like Haitians – new life and resurrection mean something very real to them.” Renee intends one day to return to Haiti. For now, as she builds the ministry at Heart River, she also is working as the organizer of a ground-breaking

“Haiti Focus Week” taking place at Holden Village in Washington State, June 18-25. Haitian leaders and artists along with prominent Haiti advocates in the U.S. have been invited to build new connections and engage in substantive dialogue. Anyone who is concerned for Haiti can also attend (see for details). “Haitians have to invite us first to walk with them…. The truth is, we can’t find out what [they] really need long term or hear it from them until trusted relationships are developed, and this simply takes times and commitment…. Eventually, we discover how to pool our gifts together.” Jon Larson has just accepted a call as an associate pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Bismarck. During his interview, Haiti came up many times. Jon admits, “I plan to share the story of Ben, and of Haiti, a lot. It will always be a huge piece of my life and ministry.” “This is all that we ask of you,” says Pastor Livenson, when he is asked how Wartburg can continue to support Haiti. “First, we ask for prayer. Second, give to our partners who believe in accompaniment and self-sufficiency – the ELCA, LWF and LWR. Finally, we invite you to come and see us. See what we are doing. Take our stories back to your communities. We need to celebrate that we are part of the wider church, the wider world. Many lives have been transformed, just by making connections and building relationships. You can do so much for us, just be remembering us to God and in your hearts.”

“ First, we ask for prayer. Second, give to our partners who believe in accompani- ment and self- sufficiency; the ELCA, LWF and LWR.”


January Term in Haiti, 2011 Four Wartburg MDiv students – Shannon Arnold (middler), Susan Haukaas (senior), Ray McKechnie (middler), and Minna Quint (junior) – spent a week in Haiti as part of their January Term. The trip was an immersion in the work of the Haitian Timoun Foundation, an organization founded in 2000 by Haitians and Americans in partnership to work on issues of healthcare, education, leadership, community development, and poverty eradication. The J-Term began and ended in Littleton, Colorado, where HTF’s largest U.S. partner, Abiding Hope Lutheran Church, is located. Abiding Hope is also the sponsor of the J-Term. MORE >

LifeTogether | Spring 2011


Haiti, 2011

The group spent the first few days in Jacmel, the small coastal city three hours south of the capital, Port-au-Prince. They spent time walking the community, meeting the people, and observing the various community organizations that partner with HTF. One of these, called “Pazapa,” is a day school for disabled children, and includes a school for the deaf, one of the few in the country. In Port-au-Prince, they visited two of the homes run by the St. Joseph’s Family, founded by Michael Geilenfeld and run today by Haitian young men who grew up in the family. The St. Joseph’s Home for Boys is also a guest house, and its former location is where Ben, Renee and Jon Larson stayed while in Haiti for the 2010 J-Term. It was there that Ben died, with the collapse of that building during the January 12th earthquake.

“Life everywhere is hard, but they appreciate everything. So that moment wasn’t just about grief and Ben. Of course we cannot forget the cross – but death is not all there is.” MDIV SENIOR SUSAN HAUKAAS

We spoke to the four when they returned from Haiti: LIFE TOGETHER: Did this trip overcome any misconceptions about Haiti? SHANNON: A lot of people were worried about our safety. We had no problems, and never saw any violence. I felt 100% safe the whole time. LT: What were some of the most impactful moments? MINNA: At St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, many of the children living there are talented singers, dancers and musicians. One day, Ray and I got to sing with them. They taught us a song in Haitian Creole. We taught them a different song in English. Then we put the two songs

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together, harmonizing and blending. It was so amazing. RAY: One of my favorite moments was encountering the deaf students at Pazapa in Jacmel. They use American Sign Language. [Ray is fluent in ASL] So we were able to communicate – for once there was no language barrier! LT: What did you talk about? RAY: I asked them about their lives. They told us, they are considered “the throw-aways.” Their families don’t know what to do with them. Many of them were once forbidden to learn, so going to this school meant so much to them. And they

were so smart, so beautiful. They were teaching us so much. They also asked, “How many deaf are there in the U.S.?” There aren’t many in Haiti, and none of them have family members who know how to sign. When I told them how large the deaf community was back here, their eyes got really big. SUSAN: One of the big moments for me was when we first arrived at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys. We were getting a tour of their new house, and we went around back to see the site of the old house. This was one of the moments I had been dreading, because this was the spot where

Ben had died. I was bracing myself for this. It was just this big hole in the ground. Later that night, as Michael Geilenfeld talked about Haitians being “resurrection people,” I thought – “That hole in the ground – it’s an empty tomb.” Haiti is all about resurrection. They find ways to live amidst death. Life everywhere is hard, but they appreciate everything. So that moment wasn’t just about grief and Ben. Of course we cannot forget the cross – but death is not all there is. LT: What did you learn that will matter in your ministry? SHANNON: In every organization, it was the same.

Haitians know what’s best for Haitians. Our way may not be the best way for them. The thing I did the most was listen. I learned that my gifts may lie in the U.S., but I can share the stories of the Haitian people, and inspire others to come and see. MINNA: I cannot wait to go back to Haiti. The young Haitian leaders we got to meet, they are truly inspiring. I could see bringing high school youth to visit Haiti, and sharing ideas and energy. This was one of the best experiences ever. I had a hard time flying back and leaving them!

Angel of Haiti

Through the combined creative efforts of artist Danika Perron and the High School youth group of Faith Lutheran Church in Andover, Iowa, the painting “Angel of Haiti” came to be and the project A Share to Share was born. Following the aftermath of the earthquake in January, 2010, the people of Faith Lutheran quickly raised money and sent it to Lutheran Disaster Relief. However, after a conversation with the youth, Pastor Shannon Witt (WTS ’07) discovered that there was a desire both for the students, and the mom of one of the students to do more. Then, artist Danika Perron got involved. Upon the completion of the painting, the students sold ‘shares’ to the congregation and the community. The goal to raise a minimum of $2,000 was met and sent to help rebuild an orphanage in Haiti through the Global Orphan Project. The painting was then donated to Wartburg Seminary in memory of Ben Larson and in honor of Renee Splichal Larson, Jonathan Larson, and Sarah Thomson. For more information email

A Celebration of Mission Celebrating 125 Years of Lutheran Mission in Papua New Guinea

On March 31 - April 1, 2011, Wartburg’s Center for Global Theologies sponsored the “Celebration of 125 Years of Lutheran Mission in Papua New Guinea,” a two-day event held on the Wartburg Seminary campus uniting former missionaries and others with connections to Papua New Guinea (PNG). The celebration focused on the past, present, and future work of the church in the Pacific island nation. Wartburg has historic ties to Papua New Guinea, a fact Dr. Craig Nessan, Academic Dean of Wartburg Seminary, elaborated on when he said “Wartburg Theological Seminary has a long and meaningful relationship with the Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea. We have been enriched by the gifts of students from PNG and graduates from Wartburg Seminary have served with distinction in mission accompanying the church there. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of Lutheran mission in PNG on our campus is a testimony to God’s amazing work over time and distance.” Approximately 150 guests descended upon the Wartburg campus for this 125th anniversary celebration. One such guest was Evelyn Heyl, of Cincinnati, Ohio, who had spent thirty-six years serving in PNG. Heyl reflected, “In my years serving in Papua New Guinea I became very involved with the PNG Church

and spent most of my time with the indigenous people. It is a true pleasure to be on the Wartburg campus for this celebration of that nation and its people and the church there, and I have enjoyed the chance to see Wartburg Seminary, a place where many of our missionaries in PNG received their education.” Presenters at the two-day celebration included Pr. Hans Giegere, PNG native, who currently serves as the Director of Ministerial Education and Workman Training of the Evangelical Lutheran ChurchPapua New Guinea; Dr. Catherine Frerichs, professor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, who grew up in Papua New Guinea; The Rev. Gary Hansen, former Bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod, who currently serves with the ELCA Global Mission; Dr. Fritz Lampe of Northern Arizona University, who previously served as chaplain at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea; and Ron and Else Schardt, who together have a combined total of fifty-four years of missionary service in PNG. The “Celebration of 125 Years of Lutheran Mission in Papua New Guinea,” was sponsored by the Center for Global Theologies which seeks to focus the commitments of Wartburg Theological Seminary to the global mission of the church, and to infuse those commitments into the programs and policies of the institution through scholarly research, church linkages, and programmatic initiatives. ifeTogether || Spring Spring 2011 2011 7 L LifeTogether

This Pastor Knows How to “Talk Rural”

BY Michael L. Sherer (WTS ’67)

“At seminary, they teach you that the world is a bigger place than where you grew up. The church comes with a message for all people.” ABOVE Dan Christensen’s neice was married in this cornfield last summer. Dan took the opportunity to hold an open air worship the next day for his parish.

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What’s an effective way to prepare a pastor for rural ministry? Here’s one way: Find someone who grew up on a farm and send him or her to seminary. That formula seemed to work for Dan Christensen. The 1985 WTS graduate grew up helping his father on the family farm in Howard County, Iowa. The Lutheran Church was in his blood from infancy. As a young adult he taught Sunday school in his home parish, a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) congregation, eventually becoming Sunday school superintendent. That experience convinced Dan that he could make it in ordained ministry. With a degree from Iowa State University, he considered enrolling in a LCMS seminary, but his father encouraged him to check out Wartburg instead. Now in his third ELCA call, a three-quarter position serving a two-point parish, Christensen finds himself in a ministry situation that appears to be an anomaly — a rural congregation that’s growing. “I came from the farm,” Christensen says. “I can talk to rural people.” By returning to rural Howard County, this 60-year-old WTS grad has also returned to the farm, at least in one sense. While

serving United ELCA in small-town Chester, Iowa and open-country St. Paul-Maple Leaf ELCA, Elma, Iowa, he raises sheep on a farm his retired farmerfather gave him. And, he shepherds another flock in his twin parish. While United congregation is in decline, St. PaulMaple Leaf is on the grow. “There were 220 baptized members there when I arrived,” he says, “and now there are 300. We have lots of young people. I’ve had 44 baptisms in the last ten years and four more are likely during 2011.” Christensen says ministry is two-directional. “My members often minister to me. I had a young child come through the line after worship, hug me around the legs and say, ‘Pastor Dan, we just love you!’ Don’t think that wasn’t affirming!” He remembers peering into the well-worn Bible of an elderly woman after her death. “She had a prayer card tucked inside, on which was included the notation, ‘Pray for the pastor every day.’” A nearby Roman Catholic parish created an unexpected worship venue for Dan Christensen’s flock. It started with Dan’s nephew and fiancée, who

wanted to get married in a field. In the midst of standing corn, Dan’s brother Steve cut a “footprint” identical to the dimensions of the Roman Catholic church building where he attends. Those in attendance, including Dan, assembled there, for the nuptials. But that wasn’t the end of it. Dan got his brother’s permission to use the open-air setting for an annual fall worship service for his twin parish. “It was the one Sunday a month when the Riceville Roman Catholics didn’t have Mass. They showed up too. We filled the space!” (See photo) “At seminary,” Dan says, “they teach you that the world is a bigger place than where you grew up. The church comes with a message for all people.” And, reflecting on what he calls his “rigid religious upbringing,” he adds, “I’ve also learned about grace. Christianity isn’t about legalism. It’s about God’s love.” That’s the good news being shared in Dan Christensen’s ministry.

Sherer is editor emeritus of Metro Lutheran Newspaper, a Twin Cities monthly independent pan-Lutheran publication. A 1967 graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary, he is retired and living in Waverly, Iowa.

Alum Notes

Wartburg Theological Seminary

’34 Mrs. Ruth Pannkuk, wife of deceased alum Rev. John Pannkuk, died October 6, 2010 in Robins, IA.

’44 Our sympathies to the family of Minnie Meyer, who died July 18, 2010. She is the wife of deceased alum Rev. Gilbert Meyer.

’45 Rev. Alfred W. Walck had his 65th Ordination Anniversary on September 4, 2010 in Urbandale, IA. Al was ordained at Grace, St. Paul, MN on July 22, 1945. The Rev. William Wittig and Isabelle (Nelson) Wittig, Byron, IL, received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Carthage College.

’46 Rev. Charles Hart died July 22, 2010 in New Ulm, MN. He served Christ, Nauvoo, IL; Zion, La Porte City, IA; and St. John, Arlington, IA. He served at the Mental Health Institute, Independence, IA, and developed a program of clinical pastoral education; as chaplain in several programs including Allen Hospital; and in interim ministries in Jubilee, Jesup, Independence, Dundee, and Lamont, IA.

’53 Rev. Rudy Wendel died March 16, 2010. He served parishes in Sagerton, Sweetwater, TX. He was commissioned as Foreign Missionary of the ALC and served in Ethiopia until 1960. He served in Bloomfield, IA. He taught High School English and Literature in Keokuk, IA. He served at a parochial school in Boyden, IA. He also taught German at Rock Valley, IA. He got his Masters Degree in Counseling and continued to serve churches in Lost Nation, Fort Dodge, IA; Elmore, MN.


Photo Credit: Rick and Carol Baethke

Rev. James C. Neffendorf died January 31, 2010. He served Hondo, Floresville, Edna, Jourdanton, and San Antonio, TX for many years, along with radio ministry for more than 37 years.

Rev. Arnold Vocke died December 24, 2010 in Sacramento, CA. He served parishes in Nebraska and Wisconsin. He was a hospital chaplain in Ohio; Illinois; and Sacramento, CA.

’56 Rev. Adolph H. Kohler died February 21, 2010. He served Gloria Dei, Sacramento, CA; as a school principle in Sacramento, CA; and Lutheran Church of Ascension, Roseville, CA.

’57 Rev. Arthur Roepke died July 9, 2010 in Oelwein, IA after a lengthy illness. He served as a Lutheran missionary in New Guinea for 32 years returning to Oelwein, IA in 1989. Rev. Leonard Rudolph died December 6, 2010. He served Emmanuel, Stuttgart, KS; Ascension, Colorado Springs, CO; Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield, CO. He was a charter member of the Colorado Springs Police Chaplains Corps. He served as clergy dean of the Colorado Springs Conference and several years as chairperson of the ALC Central District Social Action Committee.

’58 Our sympathies to Rev. Frank Pieper on the death of his wife Joyce Pieper.

’59 Rev. Ervin Buhs died July 25, 2010 in Belleville, IL. He served Immanuel, Zap, ND; Concordia, Albert Lea, MN; St Peter, Benson, IL; St John, Toluca, IL; St Paul, Fairview Heights, IL; and Calvary, Belleville, IL.

’61 Rev. Merlin Bartelt died March 8, 2010 in Alexandria, MN, after a ten year struggle with cancer. He served parishes in Wausau, Green Bay, Eau Claire, Racine, WI; Waseca, Nelson, Alexandria, MN.

’64 Rev. Paul William Rothfusz died April 28, 2010 in Weslaco, TX. He served Bethany, Elkader; St. Paul’s, Atlantic; Nazareth, Armstrong; Holmes, Holmes;

and Samuel, Eagle Grove, all in IA. After retirement he served as the first coordinator for the Companion Synod Program of the ELCA between the Western Iowa Synod and the Southern Diocese of the ELCT in Tanzania.

’79 Rev. Dale A. Young, former missionary to Chile, received his doctorate in ministry from the Florida Center for Theological Studies. His D-Min focused on baby boomer spirituality. Rev. Young is currently the Director of Congregational Health, a faith-health partnership between 98 congregations and five hospitals in the Miami area. Rev. Young is also founder of the Congregational Health Bereavement Program that has trained over 200 facilitators of peer group grief support groups in faith communities. Dr. Young has shared this peer group grief support model in Sri Lanka and India following the tsunami and more recently in Haiti and Chile. For more information go to: ch also

’80 Rev. Roger Kinkead died August 24, 2009. He served Prince of Peace, Forks; Peninsula, Gig Harbor; Mountain View, Edgewood; Family of God, Bremerton; St John’s, Lakewood; First, Longview; Dungeness Valley, Sequim; Pilgrim, Puyallup; Holy Trinity, Port Angeles, all in WA. Rev. Allan Oman has accepted a call to First, Manchester, IA. He previously served Christ, Monticello, IA.

’94 Rev. Garry Grunzke died July 28, 2010 in New Ulm, MN. He served Bernadotte, Lafayette, MN as pastor until 2003 when three area churches, Bernadotte, First, and Swan Lake joined together as Fields of Grace Lutheran Parish. Garry served as pastor to the three point parish until the time of his death. He was on the Mental Health Board for Sibley County, MN. He extended his ministry into the Lafayette Good Samaritan Home with LifeTogether | Spring 2011


Bible Studies and Chapel Services, and also volunteered at the Winthrop and Gaylord Care Centers. He assisted local Funeral Homes as a Pastor for those who needed a church.

’95 Mrs. Joyce S. Benz died June 30, 2010 while attending the Luther Academy of the Rockies at Meeker Park Lodge near Allenspark, CO. She was employed at many companies throughout her career. During her employment years she took classes part-time to complete her degrees. In 1994 she graduated from the University of Dubuque with a BA degree in psychology. In 1995 she had completed the requirements for the M.A. degree at Wartburg Seminary. She is survived by her husband of 51 years, Frank Benz, who was a Professor of Old Testament Theology at WTS.

’96 Ms. Bonnie Flessen recently earned a Ph.D. with distinction in Biblical Studies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Her dissertation focused on masculinity and empire in Acts of the Apostles.

’99 Rev. Cheryl Fleckenstein has accepted a call to Bethany, Mauston, WI. She previously served Salem Evangelical, Hermantown, MN.

’08 Rev. Robert J. Hoffman was ordained Fall, 2010. He accepted a call to St. Matthew Evangelical, Lebanon, PA.

’09 Rev. Patricia Decker was ordained on October 10, 2010. She has accepted a call to Gloria Dei LC, Cedar Rapids, IA. Rev. Christian Nisonger was ordained on December 4, 2009. He has accepted a call to Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Centennial, CO.

’10 Rev. Kalen Barkholtz was ordained on June 27, 2010. She has accepted a call to St. John, Tama, IA and Trinity, Malcom, IA. Rev. Richard Brenton was ordained on July 21, 2010. He has accepted a call to Zion, Ferguson, MO. Rev. Tamara Craker was ordained on July 21, 2010. She has accepted a call to Our Savior, Faulkton, SD. Rev. Brenda Crossfield was

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ordained on July 17, 2010. She has accepted a call to Faith, Prairie Village, KS. Rev. Corrine Denis was ordained on September 25, 2010. She has accepted a call to Cross, Burlington, WI. Rev. Jay Denne was ordained on December 5, 2010. Rev. Thomas Dowling was ordained on June 27, 2010. He has accepted a call to St Paul, Tama, IA. Rev. Amanda Ghaffarian was ordained October 30, 2010. She has accepted a call to Faith, Metamora, OH. Rev. Velma Larson was ordained on July 10, 2010. She has accepted a call to Faith United, Volin, SD. We would also like to extend our sympathies to Velma in the loss of her husband, Phillip. Rev. Elizabeth McHan was ordained on August 15, 2010. She has accepted a call to serve as Communications Assistant in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, through the Global Mission Unit of the ELCA, rostered in the La Crosse Area Synod. Rev. Kathy Montira was ordained October 26, 2010. She has accepted a call to Mount Moriah, Anna, IL. Rev. Benjamin Morris was ordained on August 14, 2010. He has accepted a call to Good Samaritan, Pontiac, MI. Rev. Erik Olson was ordained on August 8, 2010. He has accepted a call to Immanuel, Elk Point, SD. Rev. David Rosales was ordained on September 3, 2010. He has accepted a call to Sagrada Familia/First, Garland, TX. Rev. William Rosin was ordained on July 17, 2010. He has accepted a call to Our Saviour’s, Montevideo, MN and Saron, Montevideo, MN. Rev. James Sells was ordained on September 11, 2010. He has accepted a call to Prince of Peace, Geneva; First, McCool Junction; and St John’s, Ohiowa, NE. Rev. Rebecca Sells was ordained on September 26, 2010. She has accepted a call to Prince of Peace, Geneva; First, McCool Junction; and St John’s, Ohiowa, NE. Rev. Renee Splichal Larson was ordained on August 2, 2010. She has accepted a call to Heart River, Mandan, ND. Rev. Matt Steinhauer was ordained January 2, 2011. He has accepted a call to Faith, Lebanon, TN.

Rev. Dena Stinson was ordained December 11, 2010. Rev. Gloria Stubitsch was ordained December 24, 2010. She has accepted a call to St. John Evangelical, Mosinee, WI. Rev. Erika Uthe was ordained on August 22, 2010. She has accepted a call to St. John, Ely, IA.

’11 Rev. Brian Jones was ordained November 20, 2010.

Student Notes Jealaine Marple received the 2010 Young Alumni Award at Northwest Missouri State at the Alumni Awards Banquet held Oct. 1, 2010. Marple is a 2000 graduate of Northwest Missouri State and is currently pursuing her master’s of divinity at Wartburg Theological Seminary. She is a senior this year and serves as Chapel Sacristan. As a student at Northwest, she was involved in the Writing Center, Residence Hall Association, and Student Senate. She also has been involved with four of Northwest’s alumni chapters.

The class of 1965 celebrated its 45th reunion during Wartburg’s Homecoming in October 2010. Men L to R: Roger Schneider, Lyle Miller, Delmar Klover, Marvin Ehnen, Paul Schaedig, Thomas Baumgardner, James Uden, Ronald Schardt Women L to R: Barbara Ehnen (back), Joan Baumgardner (front), Sonya Miller, Else Schardt, Deanna Klover, Rosemary Schneider

Debra (Erickson) Hartfield and her husband Steven Hartfield, Kenosha, WI received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Carthage College.

save the date!

October 23-25, 2011

Re-Formation and Renewal Alumni Reunions for Class Years Ending in 6 or 1 (40 and 50 year reunions will be held at Commencement in May)

Distributed Learning Program Encompassing “The Best of Both Worlds” Wartburg Theological Seminary’s Distributed Learning Program could be described as encompassing “the best of both worlds.” The program, launched in the Fall of 2010, and accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, incorporates both online and on-campus intensive courses which are taken over a two year timeframe and fulfill the first year curriculum requirements for the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry degrees. The Distributed Learning Program is of benefit to students who are not able to relocate to the seminary immediately, but plan to do so after completing their two years of distance coursework. Students enrolled in the program take six credits of online courses in both the fall and spring semesters and come to campus for sessions of intensive classes, one to two weeks in length, in the months of September, January, and June. The online element of the program provides flexibility to students who want to pursue ministry, but whose personal or professional lives don’t yet allow for a move to Dubuque. Academic Dean, Dr. Craig Nessan, affirms, “Wartburg Seminary’s distinctive Distributed Learning Program allows those called to the church’s ministry to begin their theological studies before they would otherwise be able to become residential Masters students...The value of this approach is to allow candidates for ministry to engage in serious theological education, while also balancing their vocation to families and local communities.” Heidi Larson, a student currently enrolled in the program, agrees; she says, “My husband and I don’t have to leave our current living and work situations. It has given me the freedom to pursue my vocation much earlier than we had planned.” Wartburg’s Distributed Learning Program is not just another distance learning program, though. Its on-campus intensive course component brings students to the campus three times during the academic year and strengthens their sense of connection with each other and the greater Wartburg community. Academic Dean Nessan sees great worth in the Distributed Learning Program and its on-campus component, “Because this course of study combines on-campus intensives with the online classes, these students can also experience and be connected to Wartburg’s dynamic community life.”

Larson has felt that sense of community as she and her classmates have participated in the program, “I love that we still feel as though we’re part of the Wartburg community. When we do come together for our intensive courses, it’s like a small family reunion. We really cherish those moments together, as well as with the larger Wartburg community.” An additional feature of Wartburg’s Distributed Learning Program is that enrolled students are still able to receive hands-on, practical ministry experience even when miles away from the seminary campus. During their two years of distance coursework, students remain a resident member of their congregational communities and have field work assignments in their local congregations. This model further enhances their overall student experience and prepares them for the classroom and their future ministries. Dr. Winston Persaud, who teaches Systematics to first year students at Wartburg Seminary, including to Distributed Learning students, observes, “Students in the master’s level Distributed Learning Program at Wartburg Theological Seminary come with the living reality of being active pastoral leaders in congregations and other ministry settings. They come with theological questions that reflect their ministries-in-context.” The Distributed Learning Program at Wartburg Seminary combines the best of traditional, residential theological education with advancing technology. The program gives students flexibility to begin their theological education while continuing to gain insights into congregational ministry and offering glimpses of the Wartburg campus community during the on-campus intensives. The current cohort of students in this program will graduate in the Spring of 2015.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Name Heidi Larson Age 27 Hometown Cedar Rapids, IA Profession Accounting Specialist Family Husband Samuel Larson Call MA Diaconal; Called to Chaplaincy

“My husband and I don’t have to leave our current living and work situations. It has given me the freedom to pursue my vocation much earlier than we had planned.” HEIDI LARSON

UPDATE! Wartburg has just announced that it will offer a fully distributed Master of Arts Program beginning in the Fall of 2011.

Class of 2015 Distributed Learning Students

Back row (left to right): Mark St. Aubin, Julane Nease, Nate Preisinger, Tera Kossow, Lynn Culkin Middle Row: Ann Walsvik, Heidi Larson, Kristen Briner, Tina St. Aubin Front: Doug Dill, Kim Sturtz LifeTogether | Spring 2011


Faculty & Staff Updates

Craig Nessan, Academic Dean, Professor of Contextual Theology, is co-author with Paul Chung and Ulrich Duchrow of the book, Liberating Lutheran Theology: Freedom for Justice and Solidarity in a Global Context (Fortress Press, 2011).

Norma Cook Everist, Professor of Church Administration and Educational Ministry, has been selected to be the St. John’s Summit Visiting Professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia for Spring Semester 2011. She will return to Wartburg later in May.


He was keynote speaker at the conference “Real People, Real Hunger, Real Hope” in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Saturday, March 19, 2011. His presentation was entitled, “The Eucharist and the Feeding of the World.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Everist presented a number of lectures and workshops on Church Conflict for the Cape Atlanta District of the United Methodist Church in New Jersey; on Images of Soteriology in the Epistles for a Rostered Leaders Conference in Blooming Prairie, MN; and on Confirmation Ministry for the Nebraska Synod of the ELCA.

Department of Vocation The Rev. Amy Current (WTS ’97) has been called to serve as the Dean for Vocation. The Dean serves as a leader of the seminary overseeing Admissions, Candidacy, Financial Aid and other student related services. Ms. Heather McClintock Doidge provided outstanding leadership as the Director for Admissions and Enrollment Services. Her last day at Wartburg was December 31, 2010. The Rev. Karla Wildberger was appointed Director of Admissions. She has served as Associate Director of Admissions since 2008. Mr. Chris DeForest (WTS ’09) is serving as Interim Admissions Counselor through May 2011.

Mission Support The Rev. Dr. Len Hoffmann has been appointed as Vice President for Mission Support. Dr. Hoffmann has served as a lead pastor and was vice president for advancement for Lutheran Social Services of New England. He also served as a consultant to congregations on capital campaigns and annual stewardship support, and most recently as associate director for gift planning for the ELCA Foundation in Chicago, IL. Dr. Hoffmann received his M.Div. from Concordia Seminary in Exile, St. Louis, MO, and earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. The Rev. Dave Assmus (WTS ’78) joined the Mission Support Team as a Gift Consultant. He served most recently as Manager of Church Relations for Lutheran Services in Iowa.

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Nate Frambach, Associate Professor of Youth, Culture and Mission, led a discussion-based conversation on transformational ministries and emerging churches on February 10, 2011 with a group of ELCA clergy and rostered leaders at the Fort Dodge Forum, Grace Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge, IA. On March 5, 2011, he was the guest presenter at Metropolitan Chicago Synod ‘s “Fresh Fire,” a learning event at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, IL. He presented “Theologies of Welcome and Hospitality with Youth” at Wartburg Seminary’s Rural Ministry Conference, held March 6-8, 2011 in Dubuque, IA. He was keynote speaker on March 25 & 26, 2011 at the Allegheny Synod “Congregations Together in Mission” event, Zion Lutheran Church, Hollidaysburg, PA. Dr. Frambach has a collaborative book project tentatively entitled Hyphenated Christians Speak: How the Emergent Conversation is Shaping Mainline Churches, forthcoming in 2011 with Chalice Press. Ralph Quere, Professor emeritus of History and Theology, has written No Greater News for Postmodern Youth, a book intended to encourage and empower youth outreach. He expresses gratitude to present and former students who embodied or explained Gen-Xers and Ys, especially Erik Goehner (1999), who wrote the chapter on “Life in the Cyberworld;” Marcus Bigott (2012), who wrote a piece on “Branding in the Cybermall;” and Andrew Dietzel (2013), who wrote on “Social Networking.” Erik and Andrew also were a tremendous help in revising and editing. The book’s version of the human problem describes youth as excluded, enslaved wills, and being “encultured” by the Cybermall. Jesus is introduced as friend, hero, and brother and the new models of the church are suggested. The book is available, in digitized or hard copy paperback from Susan Ebertz, Assistant Professor of Bibliography and Academic Research & Director of Reu Memorial Library, had an article titled, “Christ Seminary – Seminex Library: From Concordia Seminary in Exile Library to Seminex Legacy Collection,” in the April 2011 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission. In November she was a member of the accreditation Evaluation Team of the Association of Theological Schools for a comprehensive visit to a seminary in Michigan.

Dr. Everist also attended a conference on women’s and gender history in Dubuque. At a panel on “Feminist Activist, Feminist Archives,” the head of the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa was fascinated on learning that Wartburg women have a continuous record, in their own voices, of their history at Wartburg and requested copies from Dr. Everist of The Persistent Voice and booklets about the history of women at Wartburg. The head of Special Collections and University Archives at Iowa State University has also requested copies of the publications. Dr. Everist’s blog, “Conversations on the Church’s Vocation in the Public World” is now on ELCA’s She was invited to be the first theologian to have a blog on the site because of her posting on “Doing Theology in the Languages of the Laity.” Samuel Giere, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, presented a paper, “’This is my world!’ Son of Man (Jezile) and Cross-cultural Convergences of Bible and World,” in the Bible and Film Consultation at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Atlanta, November 22, 2010. The paper, which focuses on the cross-cultural translation of Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion in this Jesus-film set in contemporary South Africa, was published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Religion and Film. He also co-authored New Proclamation: Year A, 2011, Easter through Christ the King (Augsburg Fortress, 2010), commenting on the Sunday scripture readings between August 14 and October 2, 2011.

Faculty Appointment Kristine Stache was named Assistant Professor of Missional Leadership and Director of Distributed Learning and Certificate Programs. Dr. Stache’s new position is a hybrid position in that half of her role focuses on administrative responsibilities and the other half on faculty. Administratively, she oversees the Distributed Learning Program, TEEM, Certificate Programs & Courses, and Online Learning. She has also recently taken on the role of Interaction Center Team Leader for the National Youth Gathering 2012 to be held in New Orleans. The other half of her position entails faculty responsibilities, teaching, student-advising, and serving as a faculty representative on committees.

Presidential Inauguration The Rev. Stanley N. Olson, PhD

“We celebrate that there are places like Wartburg Seminary and other seminaries that are producing faithful, wise and courageous leaders who engage this astonishing world and who are ready, willing and able to let the good news of Jesus Christ shape the vocations of all.” The Rev. Stanley N. Olson, President

The inauguration of Wartburg Theological Seminary’s thirteenth president, The Rev. Stanley N. Olson, PhD, was a celebration of Wartburg’s mission in the church and began a new chapter in its 157-year history. Dr. Olson was installed during a morning worship service of Holy Communion on April 2, 2011. The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, presided and preached at the service. In his sermon, Bishop Hanson stressed the significance of the two words, “voices” and “feet” in sharing the story of Jesus and proclaiming the Christian message of salvation. Following a celebration luncheon, the newly installed President Olson delivered an address entitled “Gathered, Sent, Learning,” on the Wartburg Seminary campus. The address discussed the complexity of vocation as a reflection of the complexities of the world. It focused on celebrating the church and its seminaries’ appreciation of this vocational complexity and the mission to nurture leaders who will help and teach people in their everyday vocations.

“This day we give thanks to God especially for Wartburg Seminary. The buzz I hear among bishops is that when a Wartburg Seminary grad comes up for assignment, you know you are going to get a pastor that preaches the gospel with clarity, that loves to be a part of a church together in mission, that is connected globally, ecumenically and rooted in congregational life. I also want to thank all of you who were part of the spirit’s working in leading you to call such an exceptional president for this next chapter in Wartburg’s life.” The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA

To hear full audio of Bishop Hanson’s sermon and audio, video, and text of President Olson’s Inaugural address please visit Wartburg Seminary’s website at

PEAK: Children, Family & Faith October 16 - 26, 2011 Join professors Nate Frambach and Kristine Stache as they explore the nature of today’s child and family, and how to care for their faith development. In this ten-day course, participants will reflect critically on childhood from a variety of perspectives found in the history of Christian thought. These historical, ethical, and theological views will help those enrolled in the course gain better understanding of the changing notion of family in a diverse, pluralistic social context. Instruction is interactive and includes discussion, presentation, video, assigned read-

ings and more. Adventure learning and a worshipping community in a mountain setting will add to the 24-7 immersion learning experience. This dynamic seminary level course will be held against the back drop of the gorgeous Rocky Mountains. Held on-site at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp, this course is designed for working professionals and volunteers who serve our church in children, youth, and family ministry. For more information and to register visit

LifeTogether | Spring 2011



Pastor Mark Griffith (WTS ’07) of Mt. Si Lutheran Church in North Bend, Washington regularly encourages those he knows are considering a call to ministry to look at seminary in Iowa. Wartburg Theological Seminary calls Dubuque, Iowa home - a place that seems very far away to many in the Pacific Northwest. Despite the distance and “foreignness” of Iowa, Pastor Griffith had such a positive experience at Wartburg Seminary as a student, he today asks others thinking about ministry to also consider making the long journey to the Midwest to experience all that Wartburg Seminary has to offer. Current Wartburg students Matthew Agee and his wife Jennifer are two Washington state natives that heeded Pastor Griffith’s advice and decided to give Wartburg and Iowa a chance…and they feel so blessed that they did. Griffith grew up in southeast Alaska, and it is there that his own journey to Wartburg really began. He was raised in the Lutheran church in his native Alaska, and his experiences with ministry and close-knit congregations there would help shape him into the person he would become and laid the foundation for his own future pursuit of ministry. Griffith went on to attend Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington and graduated with a degree in physics. He recalls, “I had planned 14 LifeTogether

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on going out into the world and being a physicist, but after a lot of prayer, discernment, and listening to some wise people, I went off to Iowa to attend Wartburg Theological Seminary. I always joke, I’m not sure what leap was greater- physics to theology or Alaska to Iowa! My experience at Wartburg was fantastic. The staff, faculty, and students all invest their lives in that community and make it a truly wonderful place.” While attending PLU, Griffith met fellow student Matt Agee, a native of Kelso, Washington, a small town in the southwestern corner of the state. The two became acquaintances, but did not really get to know each other well until years later, after Griffith had attended Wartburg and was serving his first call at Faith Lutheran Church in Shelton, WA when the two reconnected. Agee shared that he was attending his first year at Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry and was looking at ELCA seminaries. He and his wife Jennifer were actually looking at all eight ELCA seminaries, but something about Wartburg stood out and that seminary in particular kept inexplicably coming up in their lives. Agee had toyed with the idea of attending Wartburg, but had dismissed it, as Iowa seemed too far away and his and Jennifer’s families and friends were all in the Pacific Northwest. But now he found

“Without a doubt, I would encourage and send any potential seminarian to Wartburg.” MDIV STUDENT MATT AGEE, CLASS OF 2012

COMING SOON! Resources for being a Sender

The Wartburg Seminary Toolkit Telling the Wartburg Story for God’s Work in the World Watch our monthly e-newsletter for details.

“One of the many things we as church leaders do is constantly invest in the future of the church. We do that by lifting up new leaders and helping them find their vocation.” PASTOR MARK GRIFFITH

himself talking to Pastor Mark Griffith, someone he had known from college who had himself gone to Wartburg. Griffith, who had only been out of seminary for less than a year, was more than happy to share his Wartburg experience with Agee. The two men kept in touch and over the course of the next couple of months talked more about Warburg and Griffith’s experiences as a student. Griffith thought that Agee would be an asset to the Wartburg community and was the kind of young man, with his energy and creativity, that the church needed. He also felt that Wartburg would be a good fit for Agee, but he sensed Agee’s reluctance to move to Iowa. Griffith recalls, “Like me, I think Matt was hesitant to move from the Pacific Northwest to Iowa. For those of us living in the west, Iowa seems like a mysterious far off world. Once you experience Iowa and the Wartburg community, it’s hard to say anything other than this a great place.” Agee eventually decided to make the leap to Wartburg and to Iowa. He remembers, “Jennifer and I realized how much we were being called to a life together in ministry, and furthermore, it was time to really commit to my education…Finally, we discerned that we were being called to Wartburg, and it was time to listen. Within a few days, I quit my job and Jennifer and I flew to Dubuque for a campus tour, and a couple of months later, I was living in a Pulpit Rock Apartment on campus and attending Summer Greek.” Agee has been impressed with the breadth of the education and the sense of community he has experienced as a student at Wartburg: Here at Wartburg, we have learned, lost, and loved together- WTS is a family of people with a passion for the Gospel, who are excited to share that message with others. The faculty, staff, campus, and students are top-notch and provide a diverse and robust learning experience. Most important of all, we worship together each morning. I can’t fully

online learning

explain how important this has been to my development as a future minister.

explore your call

The best way to experience the Wartburg community is with a visit to our campus.

Matt, though, is not the only member of the Agee family who became a Wartburg student. His wife, Jennifer Agee, is now also enrolled at Wartburg herself. She began by auditing Systematics and the course reignited her long held interest in theology. She had considered higher theological education in the past, but after the couple moved to Wartburg, pursuing it became a realistic option. Jennifer is in her second year of a Master of Arts degree. Matt Agee, who is currently on internship, says that after he graduates from seminary, he too plans to “send” students to Wartburg: “I often refer to being at Wartburg as ‘studying abroad’ in Iowa, and for a lot of people who have never lived in the Midwest, it might as well be a foreign country, but without a doubt, I would encourage and send any potential seminarian to Wartburg. My education and experience at Wartburg has been indescribably important to me and my future ministry. It has made me confident as a leader, as a theologian, and as a Christian.” As for Pastor Mark Griffith, still serving his second call at Mt. Si in Washington, he continues to encourage those considering ministry to look at Wartburg: I enjoy sharing with others what I experienced at Wartburg. Some of them find a place at Wartburg; others find other seminaries or other vocations. One of the many things we as church leaders do is constantly invest in the future of the church. We do that by lifting up new leaders and helping them find their vocation. I think Wartburg has a lot to offer to individuals preparing for a life in ministry and through those individuals, Wartburg is a gift to the larger church. One way I can support their mission is to share my experience at Wartburg and help others find their way…to Iowa!

Did you know that Wartburg offers a variety of online courses as part of the Distributed Learning Program, as well as the TEEM and Certificate Program? Online courses are also open to others who may not be enrolled in a degree or certificate program but have an interest in theological education or are seeking continuing education. To learn more about these courses visit and go to Programs and Courses.

CAMPUS VISIT We welcome individual and group visits. “CONSIDERING YOUR CALL” CONFERENCE ON MINISTRY November 12-14, 2011 March 10-12, 2012 EXPLORING SEMINARY A six-week on-line course focused on seminary study and discerning a call to public ministry July 18 - Aug. 26, 2011 Jan. 2 - Feb. 10, 2012 HOW TO APPLY Contact us directly for information or go to Admissions Office 333 Wartburg Place Dubuque IA 52004 Toll Free 800-CALL-WTS Direct 563-589-0203 admissions@

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Non-Profit US Postage PAID Permit #24 Dubuque, IA


Upcoming Events: WOMEN OF THE ELCA BIBLE STUDY SEMINAR May 23 - 24, 2011, Wartburg Campus WYLS June 20 - 26, 2011, Wartburg Campus LUTHER ACADEMY OF THE ROCKIES June 20 - 30, 2011, Allenspark, CO To register for any of these events, visit

Your gifts to Wartburg Theological Seminary are investments in the future of the church, gathering and sending leaders for God’s work in the world.

For Such A Time As This Matching Gift Challenge 100% of the Wartburg Foundation Trustees, Board of Directors, Faculty, Staff, and a few other key donors have committed a combined total of $470,000 to the annual fund to be used as a matching gift challenge encouraging others to give to the annual fund. Your new, renewed, or increased gift to the annual fund will be matched if received by June 30, 2011.

Make your gift today using the enclosed envelope or give online at

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Life Together Spring 2011  

Wartburg Theological Seminary Life Together Magazine. Spring 2011

Life Together Spring 2011  

Wartburg Theological Seminary Life Together Magazine. Spring 2011