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Spring 2018



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 seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

PRESIDENT Rev. Louise N. Johnson

PRESIDENT’S CABINET Rev. Amy Current, Vice President for Admissions and Student Services Paul K Erbes, Vice President for Development Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan, Academic Dean Andy Willenborg, Vice President for Finance and Operations

EDITOR Lisamarie Odeen, Director for Communication

SPRING EDITION, 2018 Wartburg Theological Seminary Dubuque, Iowa 52003 Phone: 563-589-0200 Fax: 563-589-0333

MISSION STATEMENT Wartburg Theological Seminary serves Christ’s church through 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. The community embodies God’s mission by stewarding resources for engaging, equipping, and sending collaborative leaders who interpret, proclaim and live the gospel of Jesus Christ for a world created for communion with God and in need of personal and social healing.

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From the President DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE THE WORLD? Thanks to the support of so many generous donors, Wartburg Theological Seminary has been able to help more and more students answer this question with a bold YES! Wartburg Seminary provides a unique experience that makes it possible for future church leaders to respond to God’s call to serve the church. The strong, financial stability that you have helped us achieve has provided a foundation for significant growth in enrollment. Here’s why Wartburg is growing: STUDENT-CENTERED • 100% of eligible students receive scholarship support. • Even with a 77% increase in first year students, total student debt is LOWER than last year. • Nearly $1 million dollars in scholarship and housing support provided in the 2017-2018 school year. • Support for housing assistance has DOUBLED from last year. COMMUNITY-CENTERED • Worship that extends into community and classroom has been the root of the Wartburg experience for generations. • Distance learning students who consistently tell us that they feel deeply connected in community.

• New technology “Huddle Spaces” which provide residential and distance students the opportunity for formal and informal small group meetings. INNOVATIVE • Master of Divinity – Collaborative Learning program (students serving in congregations while earning MDiv). • Unique 6-Year Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity program with Wartburg College. • Largest TEEM (Theological Education for Emerging Ministries) program in the ELCA prepares non-traditional students for church leadership.


In this edition of LifeTogether you’ll see how our students are saying YES, how our faculty are saying YES, and how Wartburg is leading the charge for innovation in the church. In Christ,


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Content 07 Collaboration Served Up

08 Learning in Context: From the Classroom to the Congregation

11 Funding the Collaborative Program Through Partnerships and Grants

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12 Collaboration Among Partners

14 Transitioning Roles: Staff Member to Student

16 Faculty / Staff Updates and Alumni Notes

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Master of Divinity - Collaborative Learning Explained “Collaborative Learning students, who are involved in congregational or diaconal ministry during the entirety of their theological education, bring to the classroom the daily practice of congregational ministry.” - Craig Nessan, Academic Dean

attending chapel and daily involvement in campus life to the enrichment of the whole. DL students bring their daily vocations in the local communities where they live—workplaces, congregation, family, and neighborhood—into the theological conversation through their coursework and relationships with the whole WTS community. CL students, who are involved in congregational or diaconal ministry during the entirety of their theological education, bring to the classroom the daily practice of congregational ministry. The joys and challenges they face in ministry become the basis for theological reflection with other students and the faculty. We consider each model to bring an added value to the entire mix of our life together at WTS.

With our new hybrid curriculum WTS has embarked on a bold, innovative adventure in theological education. Known for the value of our life together in community as the heartbeat of the Wartburg way, we now seek to build one seminary and one teaching and learning community among a diverse and dispersed student population. Masters students now access their education in one of three models: residential (RL), distributed (DL), and collaborative (CL). Each of these models adds its own unique value to the entire seminary community. Residential students are immersed in the rich and fulsome campus life that WTS has provided for generations. RL students bring to the teaching and learning community their experiences Page 6 | LifeTogether

What builds up our relationships together as one community are two distinctive features. First, the entire WTS community gathers for the prolog weeks at the beginning of each semester. We gather in the Loehe Chapel, Reu Memorial Library, Augusta von Schwartz Refectory, Weiblen Commons, and Fritschel Hall to build relationships with one another that sustain our academic life over the rest of the semester. Second, through the use of dynamic video technology in our classrooms and faculty offices, students at a distance can participate synchronously in the classroom and engage in life-giving conversations with faculty, staff, and student colleagues on a weekly basis. With the support of the WTS constituency, we continue to evolve as a seminary and yet intentionally maintain our core commitment to be a worship centered community of critical theological reflection where learning leads to mission and mission informs learning.

Collaboration Served Up

Collaborative Learning Faculty/Student Experiment


Part of the Building a Shared Learning Community Among Seminary, Congregations, and Synods in Master of Divinity Education grant from the Association of Theological Schools includes the building of faculty/student experiments. You may remember Emily Norris, a Collaborative Learner from North Carolina whose call story was recently highlighted in a past edition of LifeTogether. Working with Professor Troy Troftgruben she authored an online, lunch-hour Bible Study, “Faith Served Up”, that was intended for Emily’s learning in context congregation. Troy and Emily created a six-week study on the parables of Jesus. Not the obvious stories, but the “shocking or embedded” ones as Emily explained. Alternating weeks, Emily and Troy went “live” from Augsburg Lutheran’s Facebook page to reach not only members of her congregation, but the secondary audience created through Facebook “shares” and “likes”. “Learning from Emily the power of partnering with people in ministry settings to engage people outside the seminary’s walls was a highlight,” Troy says, “The partnership was a joy.” John Collins, an Augsburg parishioner who tuned in weekly shared his thoughts about the unique Bible study, “An excellent way to reach people with busy schedules efficiently and keep in touch on weekly topics of faith.” The congregation seemingly enjoyed the chance to read some familiar (and unfamiliar) short stories of Jesus’ more closely and

carefully -- to go beyond conventional and surface readings. The interests and engagement levels of people in congregations are not all that different from those of students in seminary. “We’re all hungry to ‘dig in’ deeper together,” shares Troy. While there are often hiccups when technology is involved, Emily said the only real struggle they had was finding a strong internet connection for their first week’s video. But that was remedied for week two and the benefits far outweighed the struggles. “The audience becomes HUGE! We had people tuning in from Africa. Your network becomes your congregation and the reach is unlimited,” Emily explains. “Facebook was also extremely accessible for most participants,” added Troy. Their reach was nearly 2100 views per video with around 20 tuning in for live sessions. “That’s one of the beautiful things about sharing through Facebook live. There’s always a replay and the views continue to grow beyond those who tuned in live,” Emily says. Emily also shared that many in her congregation thanked her for such a unique opportunity. They shared that they have been wanting more opportunities to engage. She even said she was shocked by the number of retired members tuned in. “Troy and Emily dug into parables and opened my eyes to these stories in new ways. The entire series was convenient, thought provoking, and perfectly simple in the best way possible,” said Leigh Anne Voigt. LifeTogether I Page 7

Learning in Context:

From the Classroom to the Congregation By: Marietta Nelson-Bittle Master of Divinity - Collaborative Learning

The woman laid in the hospital bed, an IV running into her arm. She was prepped for surgery and a biopsy. I had stopped by to say a prayer and sit with her for a bit. “Could you hand me my bag?” she asked. I took it from the hook on the wall. She dug around in it, produced a small glass marble and cupped it in her hand. “I brought my marble,” she said, “to help me remember that God cares for me.” I recognized that marble. A few weeks earlier, the children of our church gathered around the baptismal font, where we meet each week for children’s sermon. Taking a cue from my professor, Dr. Sam Giere, I asked the kids if they had ever thought about the size of the earth in comparison to the rest of the universe. We talked about how many earths (1.3 million) could fit inside the sun. Really, if you think about it, the earth is about the size of a regular marble when compared to the universe, I said as I handed each child a marble. Then I read, as Dr. Giere had in theology class,

from Psalm 8: When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established, what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Even though we are tiny, as tiny as a marble, in the scope of the universe, God cares for each and every one of us, I said. God counts the hairs on our heads. I looked out over the congregation and then peered into my bag of marbles. On the spur of the moment I realized I had enough to hand out to everyone. I turned to the kids and put a few marbles in each of their hands. Please give them to all the adults, I said. The kids scooted sideways through the narrow country church pews, placing the marbles into the hands of their grandparents and cousins, their aunts and neighbors. I reminded the adults that they too are children of God, blessed and beloved.




And now here in this hospital room was one of those marbles, comforting this woman as she headed into the unknown. That is the beauty of collaborative learning at Wartburg Theological Seminary. Things taught in class one day often quickly end up as part of sermons, Bible studies, confirmation lessons and pastoral care. My pastoral role is fed day by day, week by week, semester by semester, by the classes I take, by the professors who guide them and by my classmates who walk with me. As a collaborative learner, I am a fulltime Master of Divinity student while serving in the pastoral role for the three-point parish that is Southwest Iowa Ministries (SWIM). The churches - Strand, Bethesda and Tabor Wallin - are ELCA churches with Swedish roots. They are all more than 150 years old. Their white spires tower above the surrounding cornfields and gravel roads, and their creaky wooden pews are filled with generations of families. They are proud of their heritage and traditions. Recently, my Wartburg faculty advisor, Dr. Kris Stache, spent a weekend visiting with me and the members of these congregations to learn more about this ministry context and life in southwest Iowa. “What a gift it was to spend time listening to the stories of the people of God in the three


churches where Marietta serves,” Dr. Stache said. ”Even though these congregations have been serving as an internship site for Wartburg for over a decade, the idea of being a teaching/learning partner in theological education was new to them. I am excited to see how Marietta’s presence, and our shared partnership, will continue to shape their identity, and ours. True partnership is a mutual endeavor where we learn from each other.” Over the years, the three SWIM churches hosted many pastoral interns when it was led by an ordained pastor. Norma Jean Mosman, a member of Strand Lutheran Church for the past 64 years, has thoroughly enjoyed being a church served by interns and student pastors. “They have been the lifeblood for Strand,” she said. “I know the time spent at the churches is a learning experience for the intern, but it widens our understanding of what our mission for being has become. We are sort of a victim because of the changing times, but it is a winner for us to share the love of Jesus with those who come to us to learn. What a wonderful experience.” SWIM does not currently have an ordained staff member, so hosting interns is not currently an option. But in February of 2017, they agreed to take me on as a student pastor.

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Taking a full class load and serving in this role with three churches is busy. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming. It helps that SWIM church members are flexible and understanding and forgiving of mistakes. They are more self sufficient than any other church I’ve ever experienced. They are willing to try new things, to experiment. They invite new ideas. I am keenly aware of how wonderful this is. I also have the support of two nearby pastors. Pastor Carla Johnsen of Saint John in Dunlap, Iowa and Bethesda in Moorhead, Iowa is my supervisor. She and I meet almost weekly to discuss a wide variety of topics, from sermon content to confirmation lessons to church budgets. Pastor Jon Benson, who serves Saint John in Council Bluffs, is my mentor. He is endlessly patient and always available to wrestle with theology, worship planning and anything else that comes up. Going to class in “real-time” online is interesting. When I try to describe it to people I use phrases like “I Skype in” and “it’s like a Brady Bunch screen” in the classroom. Often people don’t quite understand. That’s OK. It feels good to think of Wartburg as on the cutting edge. A couple more years and this type of learning will make sense to everyone. In the meantime, my classmates and I take full advantage of this technology offered. From our screens at home we can talk to classmates and instructors on campus, ask and answer questions during

class each day - I may be sitting in my dining room in Glenwood, Iowa, but my brain and my heart are often in Dubuque wrestling with theology, New Testament exegesis and the poetry of pastoral care. Dr. Stache’s visit to southwest Iowa was a bridge between these two worlds. For so many years, seminary students had come from Wartburg to southwest Iowa to serve during their internship years, but no one could recall a faculty visit. The new collaborative model, with support from a grant from the Association of Theological Schools, made a visit possible. During and after Dr. Stache’s time in southwest Iowa, congregation members remarked over and over how wonderful it was to put a face with the institution. During her time with us, Dr. Stache and I visited each church so she could see the physical buildings. We also spent about an hour with a group of congregation members from each church. We talked a little bit about the history of each church and the makeup of the congregations. And we pondered how Wartburg could help the churches continue to serve as valuable teaching and learning congregations, and how the church members could further help Wartburg understand congregations and live into their callings as partners in theological education.



FALL 2016


FALL 2017 SPRING 2018



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Funding the Collaborative Program Through Partnerships and Grants One of the ways Wartburg Theological Seminary funds the Collaborative Program is through grants. In the 2017-2018 academic year Wartburg is administering five grants that all play a part in the success of the Collaborative Program. ASSOCIATION OF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS Educational Models and Practices in Theological Education Project, Faculty Development Grant. WTS Grant Title: Facilitating a Learning Community Across Synchronous and Asynchronous Classrooms - $14,900 This grant addresses the following questions: What are the best practices for engaging a classroom with both residential students and students participating via video conference? How can students on the two learning tracks – synchronous and asynchronous – be cultivated as a single learning community? How can the distinct logics of both the classroom experience and the online experience be brought together in meaningful ways? ASSOCIATION OF THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS Educational Models and Practices in Theological Education Project, Innovation Grant WTS Grant Title: Buliding a Shared Learning Community Among Seminary, Congregations, And Synods in Master of Divinity Education - $48,070 This grant aims at the full integration of all students within our Master of Divinity program in a single, integrated, coherent teaching and learning community, joining the collaborative and distributed models together with the residential model. The faculty is exploring “advising as formation” by developing best practices with students in all three models, including the use of digital competencies for advising as formation. Grant activities include faculty visits to collaborative congregations and teaching experiments with collaborative students.

THE KERN FAMILY FOUNDATION Five-Year Plus Pastoral Degree Program WTS Grant Title: Competency Based Assessment in BA/MDIV Education toward Pastoral Formation in Context - $497,115 This grant streamlines preparation for pastoral ministry for first career ministerial students in partnership with Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa. The grant allows for implementation of a fully integrated and accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Divinity degree program to provide leadership, theological education and spiritual formation embedded in congregational contexts. IMMANUEL VISION FOUNDATION Immanuel Vision Foundation Grant WTS Grant Title: Initiating a Full-Time Director of Contextual Education Position. - $60,000 This grant supports the start up for a full-time position for a Director of Contextual Education. LILLY FOUNDATION Lilly Foundation Grant WTS Grant Title: Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers - $125,000 Wartburg is grateful for the opportunity to once again partner with the Lilly Foundation. With the grant, “Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers”. This grant, $125,000 over the course of 3 years, has and will continue to provide funds to offset costs of the Collaborative Program to identify, nurture , and support ongoing relationships with congregations and synods.

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Collaboration Among Partners “Collaborative Learning is like DL [Master of Divinity Distributed Learning Program] 2.0. We are now talking about what’s best for the student’s formation, finances and family. It is especially great for students who are already serving in a congregation and now can dig into seminary in real-time.” -Rev. Blair Lundborg, Assistant to the Bishop in Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod

The Master of Divinity Collaborative Learning Program (MDiv – CL) is a collaborative partnership between the student, congregation, synod, and seminary where all partners play a role in the formation of a new leader. This program places students in a congregation where they will work part-time throughout the 4-year degree program while accessing Wartburg Seminary’s virtual classroom and engaging in online coursework taught by Wartburg Seminary’s faculty in real-time. This unique learning platform gives students an opportunity for simultaneous learning and serving. Collaborative Learning is only possible through collaboration among partners. A key partner is the synodical bishop and staff. “Wartburg Seminary has developed this learning model and our intention is to have students engaged in healthy ministry sites with strong supervisors and mentors, which is only possible through the wisdom and partnership of synod partners,” says Rev. Amy Current, Vice President for Admissions and Student Services. The synod is the first collaborative conversation when a student or congregation shows interest in this program. The synodical leadership often have insight into the student through candidacy, or they may know congregations that would be wonderful teaching and learning sites. Rev. Blair Lundborg, Assistant to the Bishop in Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, has partnered with Wartburg Seminary, two collaborative learning students and two congregations so far to provide opportunities for students that feel called to pursue seminary. Pastor Lundborg says, “Collaborative Learning is like DL [Master of Divinity Distributed Learning Program] 2.0. We are now talking about what’s best for the student’s formation, finances and family. It is especially great for students who are already serving in a congregation and now can dig into seminary in

real-time.” Wartburg Seminary staff, the student’s academic advisor, congregational leadership, supervising pastor, student, and synodical leadership work together to support the student from day one, tailoring learning for the student and congregation to fulfill candidacy and seminary curriculum requirements. Pastor Lundborg shares, “I love the intentionality of the seminary and the regular communication that supports the student and congregation.” “Collaborative students located in congregational settings bring particular gifts for the mutual enrichment of the whole seminary community, specifically perspectives based on their daily involvement in pastoral ministry in the congregations where they are serving. Moreover, collaborative students receive the mentoring of experienced pastors in an ongoing way throughout their formation process. The existential experiences, insights, and questions of collaborative students assist faculty and all other students to engage more fully in the action-reflection theological method by which Wartburg Theological Seminary has been known,” said Academic Dean, Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan. Wartburg currently has three students in the Master of Divinity program from Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod (pictured left). One student is in the MDiv-DL Program and two in the MDiv-CL Program with another hopeful CL student for the fall of 2018. Pastor Lundborg reflects, “The synod is going to be challenged to find placements as this is a popular program, yet at the same time, it is in our synod’s strategic plan to lift up leaders. Thanks, Wartburg Seminary, for thinking outside the box for future leaders in the ELCA.”

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Transitioning Roles: Staff Member to Student

“They recognized gifts in me for ministry long before I ever fully realized them, and from the very beginning their unconditional support and encouragement have been a source of strength in my seminary journey.” Tony Acompanado

Tony Acompanado is a Collaborative Learner at Ascension Lutheran Church, a large suburban congregation in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Tony was on staff with Ascension before enrolling at Wartburg Theological Seminary. The balance of the collaborative program has made attending seminary a reality for Tony that would not have otherwise been a possibility. Being able to attend classes as part of ministry and having the chance to immediately implement this learning directly into practice in a congregation creates amazing opportunities for ministry. The workload is structured across all four years of seminary in such a way as to make it completely reasonable to balance work, studies, and family. “The transition from staff member to Collaborative Learner has gone far smoother than I ever could have anticipated. My pastor/supervisor has been instrumental in guiding the congregation in all the necessary changes that would take place, and he established an open and available environment for successful learning – for both the congregation and myself. The congregation has been wonderful in every possible way as they have embraced the changes. They have been an amazing support throughout all aspects of the transition,” says Tony. “They recognized gifts in me for ministry long before I ever fully realized them, and from the very beginning their unconditional support and encouragement have been a source of strength in my seminary journey.” Tony is a student in real-time and has been leading within the congregation from his first day of seminary. “Having the opportunity to incorporate daily learning into daily practice has created so many opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. It is such a valuable gift of connection and inclusion. It feels as close as possible to actually being in the classroom alongside my peers, yet it honors the variety of circumstances that prevent me and many others from actually being physically present on campus and in the classroom. My congregation has been an amazing learning lab of discovery, and because of their willingness to walk this journey alongside me I have been able to effectively develop my skills for pastoral ministry,” Tony explains about the program.

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Ascension Lutheran has embraced the identity of becoming a teaching congregation and they view every ministry activity of the church as an opportunity for Tony’s pastoral formation and their congregational development and call to mission. Not only has the leadership embraced the redefining of Tony’s new role, but the congregation, as well has recognized this as an opportunity for identifying and equipping new lay leaders within the church. “The congregation is excited to uplift and walk this journey with Tony to see the completion of the good work Christ is doing in and through him,” says Sheri Greger, a member of Ascension. “Having Tony complete his seminary education and internship through the CL program and here at Ascension provides the opportunity for him to share the passion God has placed upon him to teach the Gospel and grace God gives to us all.” As a teaching congregation they are learning to utilize the ministries of the church to encounter a student in their learning and find ways that are mutually beneficial for pastoral and spiritual formation. The congregation also recognizes this as an opportunity to take a deep and objective look at all its ministries and ensure that they align with God’s mission for the church. The congregation’s role as a learning congregation has set the foundation for how to identify, build up, support, encourage, and equip new leaders for the future. Also, as a learning congregation they are able to utilize the learning that the student gleans from their seminary studies by creating new opportunities for faith development, teaching, small groups, scripture studies, etc. As a learning congregation they are learning to understand and fulfill their role in the larger mission of the church. “The CL Program offers an opportunity for a congregation to identify gifts in an individual while at the same time affirming the call God has already placed on the student’s heart. In this partnership: the seminary, the congregation, and the student all share in the journey from the first class to the day of graduation,” says Rev. Christian Marien, Lead Pastor, Ascension Lutheran. “What more could we hope for?!”


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Faculty and Staff Updates


Ms. Susan Ebertz, Director of the Reu Memorial Library and Associate Professor of Bibliography & Academic Research, was a participant in the Association of Theological Schools School for Peer Reviewers, Pittsburgh, PA, January, 2018. Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan, Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology and Ethics, Holder of William D. Streng Professor for the Education and Renewal of the Church, presented “Preaching Pastorally and Prophetically in an Era of Polarization and Messy Politics” in The Northeastern Minnesota Page 16 | LifeTogether

Synod, January 19, 2018; “Ministry in Difficult Times: Preaching and Leading within Politically and Socially Diverse Communities” fir the Rockford Illinois Pastors Conference, January 25, 2018; “Spiritual Roots and Prophetic Proclamation: Church Leadership in Polarizing Times” at Shalom Hill Farm, Pitchfork and Hay, March 1114, 2018. He also authored “Luther Against the Jews: The Ethics of Historical Interpretation,” Currents in Theology and Mission, January 2018. Mr. Matthew O’Rear, former Associate Dean for Vocation has been appointed Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives. Matt has been a leader in developing a grant received by the ELCA seminaries from the InFaith Foundation, facilitating vocational

discernment and recruitment across the ELCA. Matt will serve as Director of the InFaith Grant in addition to his work with President Johnson on several of our strategic initiatives. Ms. Lindsey Queener, Director for Admissions, joined the team in early 2018. A Master of Theological Studies graduate from Boston University, Lindsey has experience in fundraising, social media marketing, project management, and event planning. She brings deep faith, energy, and fresh insight to the work of vocational discernment, especially with young adults. Lindsey transitioned to this role from the WTS Development office where she served as Development Officer.

Alumni Notes Wartburg Theological Seminary ‘47 Ms. Shirley Hansen, wife of alum Edward Hansen, died March 27, 2017. Rev. George Reinke died October 12, 2017. He served Millarton, Millarton, ND; St. Paul, Danbury, OH; Trinity, Chicago, IL; and Holy Cross, Wheaton, IL. ‘54 Rev. Gordon Braun died November 2, 2017. He served congregations in Portland, OR; Moses Lake, WA; Moscow, ID; and as chaplain for Good Samaritan Village, Moscow, ID.

November 11, 2017. ’56 Chaplain Franklin W. Krueger died on December 28, 2017. He served the United States Air Force and then St Luke’s Hospital, Cedarburg, WI as a chaplain. ’57 Rev Philip I. Kurtz died on Oct. 3, 2017. He was the seventh generation of his family to be Lutheran ministers and the fourth to graduate from Wartburg Seminary, and served seven congregations in Wisconsin over the course of his career.

Rev. John DeYoung died October 18, 2017. He served congregations in Sunnyslope, AZ and Aurora, CO and spent 30 years as a missionary in Japan, working with college students in Tokyo and Kyoto.

‘60 Rev. Richard Beckman died on November 25, 2017. He served several congregations in Ohio and Indiana, beginning at Trinity, Galion, OH and retiring at St. Peter, Ridgeville Corners, OH.

’55 Rev. Ronald W. Onnen died January 16, 2018. He served St. Peter, Sheboygan, WI; First English, Wasau, WI; Redeemer, Succasunna, NJ; and Zion, Litchfield, MN.

‘62 Rev. David Nelson died on September 24, 2017. He served Lord of Life, North Haledon, NJ; Immanuel, Earlville, IL; and Good Shepherd, Champaign, IL.

Mrs. Elinor Vlasak, wife of Rev. Don Vlasak, died

‘67 Rev. Duane Levin died October 27,

2017. He served St. Paul’s, Tescott, Kansas; Emmanuel, Stuttgart, Kansas; St. John UCC, Florence, IA; and United, Cole Camp, IA. ‘86 Rev. Dr. Zirajukic Kemung died September 23, 2017. He served congregations in Teptep and Goroka, Papua New Guinea, and taught at Martin Luther Seminary, PNG, for 35 years. ‘87 Rev. Kristen Wee died November 30, 2017. She served congregations in Waterloo, IA; Austin, MN; and Weeki Wachee, FL. ‘88 Rev. Sophia Boettcher died on September 22, 2017. She served several rural congregations in south central Texas including Zion Lutheran, DeWitt County. ‘02 Rev. David Frerichs has accepted a new call at St. Andrew’s, Columbia, MO. He previously served at Zion; Albion, NE. ‘07 Rev. Justin Wiese died October 2, 2017. He served Immanuel, Madison, WI; Nebraska Lutheran Campus

Ministry, Omaha, NE; and St. John’s, Norfolk, NE.

Lutheran Church of the Wilderness, Bowler, WI.

‘09 Rev Lorene Glant died October 2, 2017. She served Hope, in Everly, Iowa; Harvest Ministry: Salem, Correctionville; and St. John, Cushing, all in Iowa.

‘17 Rev. Mindy Czycalla was ordained October 28, 2017, at Beckville, Litchfield, MN. She has been called to serve as pastor to Beckville and to First Evangelical, Cosmos, MN.

‘10 Rev Katrina Walther has accepted a new call at Zion, Brenham, TX. She previously served Our Saviour’s, Sunnyside, WA.

Rev. William Dodd was ordained on December 3, 2017. He has accepted a call at United Lutheran Church, Almont, ND.

‘12 Rev Cindy Warmbier-Meyer has accepted new call at St John, De Pere, WI. She previously served Calvary, Green Bay, WI.

Rev Christopher Lee was ordained on October 29, 2017 at St. John’s, Mendota, IL. He has been called to serve as pastor to First, Rock Island, IL.

‘14 Ms. Anna Dykeman has accepted a call at Lutheran Campus Ministry, Minot State University, Minot, ND. She previously served at Peace Lutheran Church; Dickinson, ND. ‘15 Rev. Paul Andrew Johnson was ordained on August 19, 2017 at St. John, DePere, WI. He has been called to serve as pastor to

Rev. Steven Neal was ordained October 13, 2017, at St Mark’s, St. Paul, NE. He has been called to serve as pastor to St. Mark’s ‘18 Rev. Nancy Raabe was ordained on January 13, 2018, at Atonement Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wisconsin.

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Non-Profit US Postage PAID Permit #477 Dubuque, IA


Upcoming Events: April 4-6, 2018 Three Year Reunion - Class of 2015 May 15, 2018 Admissions Online Open House May 20, 2018 Baccalaureate Worship Commencement - Class of 2018 June 11-June14, 2018 Advanced Preaching Workshop: The Promise and Peril of Personal Narrative June 12-22, 2018 Luther Academy of the Rockies June 23, 2018 The Association of Lutheran Church Musicians One-Day Workshop October 14-16, 2018 Reformation & Renewal

For more information on these events visit

Luther Academy of the Rockies Meeker Park Lodge Allenspark, Colorado June 12-June 22, 2018

Wartburg Theological Seminary invites YOU to join us for 10 days of LEARNING, RECREATION, and RENEWAL for ministry. Come join us for 10 DAYS in the beautiful ROCKIES with renowned speakers sharing their wisdom. THIS OPPORTUNITY IS TOO GREAT TO MISS!!


Profile for Wartburg Theological Seminary

Spring 2018  

Spring 2018