Author Topic: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced  (Read 135985 times)

D. Engebretson

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Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« on: January 15, 2020, 12:18:42 PM »
From CS-SL:

The following 44 individuals have been nominated as candidates for election as the 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, per Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Bylaws, and have allowed their names to stand for consideration:

Dr. Joel D. Biermann
Dr. Ralph Blomenberg
Dr. Gerhard H. Bode Jr.
Dr. Jon S. Bruss
Dr. Kirk M. Clayton
Dr. Anthony A. Cook
Dr. Burnell F. Eckardt
Dr. Joel C. Elowsky
Dr. Glenn K. Fluegge
Dr. Kevin S. Golden
Dr. Paul J. Grime
Dr. Gifford A. Grobien
Dr. Benjamin D. Haupt
Dr. Erik H. Herrmann
Dr. Jeffrey J. Kloha
Dr. Robert R. Lessing
Dr. David P. E. Maier
Dr. Walter A. Maier III
Aaron M. Moldenhauer
Dr. Steven P. Mueller
Dr. Edward A. Naumann
Dr. Martin R. Noland
Gerald A. Paul
Robert W. Paul (Houston, Texas)
Dr. Paul A. Philp
Dr. Christian A. Preus
Dr. David R. Preus
Dr. Jacob A. O. Preus III
Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr.
Dr. Harold Ristau
Dr. Matthew W. Rueger
Dr. Douglas L. Rutt
Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.
Dr. Peter J. Scaer
Dr. Travis J. Scholl
Dr. Klaus D. Schulz
Dr. William W. Schumacher
Dr. Ken R. Schurb
Dr. Mark A. Seifrid
Dr. Jeffrey E. Skopak
Dr. Dien A. Taylor
Dr. James W. Voelz
Dr. Lucas V. Woodford
Dr. Thomas J. Zelt

Presidential nominations, per the LCMS Handbook, were submitted by LCMS congregations, the Seminary’s Board of Regents and the Seminary faculty.

During the next phase of the search, the Presidential Search Committee will evaluate each of the candidates and will recommend at least five candidates from the list of nominees to the four electors. Electors meet May 16 to elect the new president. The four electors include one vote from the Board of Regents voting as a group, one vote from the LCMS district president serving on the board as a voting member, one vote from the chairman of the LCMS Board of Directors and one vote from the LCMS president. The election of the president requires three of four elector votes.

The new president will succeed President Dr. Dale A. Meyer, who will retire June 30. Meyer became the Seminary’s 10th president in 2005.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Likeness

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 01:28:43 PM »
A brief glance at the list of 44 reveal that 11 of them are currently or were in the
past on the Faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis  There are at least 5 men
from the Fort Wayne Seminary Faculty
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 01:51:42 PM by Dave Likeness »

Dave Benke

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 01:47:17 PM »
I know most of these men.  Some really good candidates in there, it will be fun to watch and pray through it.  I don't know the "weeding" process, nor the communication process to the wider church along the way.  I am sure it's mostly imbedded in the handbook, though, and I have just received my brand spanking new copy of the 2019 edition.  So timely.

Dave Benke

Dave Likeness

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2020, 04:47:26 PM »
The LCMS Handbook now calls for a Search Committee to make recommendations from the
list of nominees for Seminary President.  The Search Committee consists of 3 full-time faculty
members at the St. Louis Seminary and 3 members of the Seminary Board of Regents. In the
second phase, the Search Committee adds 3 more full-time faculty members from the Sem.

Finally, the Search Committee recommends a list of at least 5 candidates for the Presidency.
There are 4 Electors........1 vote from the Seminary Board of Regents
1 vote from the District President on the Board of Regents, 1 vote from the LCMS Board of
Directors Chairman,  1 vote from the the President of the LCMS.

3 votes are needed for the election of a Seminary President.  He is called and elected to a
five year term which is renewable.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 04:50:23 PM by Dave Likeness »

Dave Benke

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 08:45:30 AM »


Quote

A pastor trained at a Lutheran seminary?

I would assume so. I'm not sure someone trained at Hartford Seminary or Denver Seminary or Fuller would fully understand Lutheranism. If the pastor was trained at a non-Lutheran seminary, I would question how long the congregation would remain Lutheran.


Well, Yale Divinity School grad here. I think I kept my parish pretty Lutheran for 29 years.

One of those just nominated to serve as the new president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis -- Dr. Travis Scholl -- has his MDiv from Yale and PhD (in English) from U of Missouri, with no Lutheran college or seminary training listed on the official LCMS Worker Locator page.  He is currently listed as "college or seminary faculty".

I know Dr. Scholl very well.  Not related to Dr. Scholl's on the foot powder side of the aisle, by the way - if so, he would be a very wealthy guy. 
He did work through the Synodical process, which I think was "Alternate Route" plus interview and possibly course work.  Vicarage conducted at one of the best urban congregations in our denomination, Redeemer Lutheran in the Bronx, which - now that I look at the list - has its pastor, Dr. Dien A. Taylor, on the list for President as well.

Dave Benke

According to the LCMS Locator, Dr. Scholl is a member of your district.  And, according to a post on LutherQuest, has been ever since his colloquy into the LCMS — 17 days after receiving his Yale MDiv, which must be close to a record time.  And, I believe you were the DP at the time of his colloquy, Dr. Benke.  Do you know: has he ever served in the Atlantic District?  Or has he been at CSL the entire time after his colloquy?

I'm taking this response from its misplaced beginning on the names of churches thread over here to the Seminary President thread.

a) "close to record time."  I don't know what that means; there are various routes to our denomination's ordination track, some of which have the steps included in them prior to accession (Alternate Route being one).  So the word "colloquy" could be where this goes on the off-ramp.  The comment seems to have an ulterior motive; not sure what it is.
b) My recollection is that Dr. Scholl had his internship/vicarage with us, was a member of a congregation in the Atlantic District, and upon ordination began serving the seminary. 
c) The New 44, list of candidates, includes two who are to me far more obviously misplaced on the list - candidates Christian Preus and Robert Paul are both out of the seminary three to four years.  Thinking of myself, would I have allowed my name to stand for Seminary President after 3 years of service being maybe 30 years old?  Why did they?  What's up there?
d) Of course, the weeding process will take a major whack at that list of 44 until just a few are left. 

Dave Benke

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 09:39:15 AM »
Dr. Benke,

To answer your post/questions:

a. By "close to record time" I mean that it seems highly unusual for a man to receive his MDiv and within 3 weeks be received/rostered by colloquy.  Not being familiar with the process, I imagined it took quite a bit longer than that.  In fact, I recall a man who lived across the hallway from me at seminary who had his MDiv from a rather famous Baptist seminary and like 10 years experience as a parish pastor but he was required to do an entire year at seminary before his colloquy was accepted.  And it wasn't because he did not know the Bible or the Confessions -- he was one of the best prepared men there.

b. So, to your best recollection, Dr. Scholl has never served as a parish pastor?  Straight from vicarage to colloquy to seminary staff?  My understanding was that our seminaries required faculty (and I believe the president IS considered faculty) to have a minimum of 5 (?) years parish pastor experience.

c. I agree: 3-4 years out of seminary is not sufficient for ANY seminary faculty member, let alone its president.

d. Hopefully the whacking can be done in a God-pleasing manner.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 09:52:35 AM »
This does bring up a good question: Who is best qualified to serve as president of a seminary?

Historically we have often chosen established and credentialed scholars.  Yet the Rev. Karl Barth, D.D. who was president from 1982 to 1990, did not have an earned doctorate and was a district president when elected. 

Should the president have some experience teaching at seminary before assuming this role?  Or would teaching at any school or higher learning be sufficient? 

If we want the president to have an earned doctorate, what kind would we prefer: theology or something else? I have noticed in a couple of our Concordia University presidents that their earned doctorates are not in theology but rather in leadership for higher education.  One became president with only an MBA beyond his M.Div.

And since the president, I believe, has to be an ordained pastor, should he have a certain requisite amount of years in the ministry before such a role?  I have noticed that professors often end up at a seminary after only the bare minimum of three to five years.  As a pastor with over three decades I sometimes wonder what their insight into ministry is with so little experience.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Charles Austin

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2020, 11:10:52 AM »
Pastor Engebretson asks:
As a pastor with over three decades I sometimes wonder what their insight into ministry is with so little experience.
I comment:
This question was asked of H. George Anderson when he was a candidate for presiding Bishop in the ELCA. He had spent most of his career as a teacher and theologian. He had an interesting response. He said he did have parish because he had been a member of several parishes his entire life, serving on committees, doing occasional preaching and teaching, and working within the congregation where he held membership.

Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Birkholz

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2020, 11:44:42 AM »
This does bring up a good question: Who is best qualified to serve as president of a seminary?

I was nominated for CSL president and chose not to let my name stand.  I did not consider myself qualified, nor would I have an interest in doing this job.

My "qualifications":
- Earned doctorate from TEDS
- Masters of Theology from Australian Lutheran College
- MDiv from CSL & BA from CURF
- 11+ years as a Parish pastor
- NID BoD (5 yrs)
- A few publications (articles and editing work)
- Adjunct work at CUC and TEDS on both graduate and undergrad levels, including a few online courses

In my opinion, one would need to serve as a full-time faculty member at a university or seminary and/or have extensive experience in administration and fundraising to qualify.

It's hard for someone to have extensive parish experience as well as the high academic credentials we would expect of seminary faculty members.  Even after completing your degrees, you need to stay current in the field by reading, writing, and attending conferences, which the parish life rarely affords time to do. 

Wanting a sem prof who is both an top-notch scholar and an experienced parish pastor is often like desiring a pastor for your congregation who is both young and energetic and also has decades of practical experience.
Pastor Mark Birkholz
Zion Lutheran Church
Naperville, IL
www.zionnaperville.org

Dave Benke

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2020, 11:47:14 AM »
Dr. Benke,

To answer your post/questions:

a. By "close to record time" I mean that it seems highly unusual for a man to receive his MDiv and within 3 weeks be received/rostered by colloquy.  Not being familiar with the process, I imagined it took quite a bit longer than that.  In fact, I recall a man who lived across the hallway from me at seminary who had his MDiv from a rather famous Baptist seminary and like 10 years experience as a parish pastor but he was required to do an entire year at seminary before his colloquy was accepted.  And it wasn't because he did not know the Bible or the Confessions -- he was one of the best prepared men there.

b. So, to your best recollection, Dr. Scholl has never served as a parish pastor?  Straight from vicarage to colloquy to seminary staff?  My understanding was that our seminaries required faculty (and I believe the president IS considered faculty) to have a minimum of 5 (?) years parish pastor experience.

c. I agree: 3-4 years out of seminary is not sufficient for ANY seminary faculty member, let alone its president.

d. Hopefully the whacking can be done in a God-pleasing manner.

There are what looks to me like a whole bunch of people on the list of 44 who have minimal experience as a parish pastor.  Some of them had a parish pastor position for a couple of years, and then went into the teaching ministry at a college or seminary, and are now in their 50s or 60s.  There is a candidate with substantial multi-decade parish experience, a terminal doctorate from a highly respected institution (Fordham University, which produced Vince Lombardi), adjunct and other teaching experience at the college and seminary level, and experience on a synodical educational institution's board of regents, and current service at the national mission level.  Rev. Dien A. Taylor.

I agree to a large extent with Charles, who writes of Bp. Anderson's response in being a congregational member.  What is missed in not holding the pastoral role is both the ministry of care and compassion at the top leadership level as well as the ministry of teaching to the empowerment of individuals and the Body of Christ around the central community theme of forgiveness.   That's a unique assignment, in my opinion, and often difficult to explain to "normal" people.  (What do you do the rest of the week?  How do you spend your time?  Does what you do matter to people - why?)

Anyway, the Spirit will lead and guide the process, I'm sure.

Dave Benke

Charles Austin

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2020, 12:10:56 PM »
I did raise a fuss with one of our ELCA seminaries some years back, when they called a professor with decent academic credentials but only two years parish experience as an assistant pastor. This person was to teach preaching.
I asked how the person could teach preaching without having to preach year after year, season after season to a congregation of specific people. How could this person understand the spiritual and homiletical flow of the seasons, the times, the lives of the people to whom they are preaching?
Homiletics should be taught by a pastor with years of experience in preaching even if they don’t have their tickets punched with all the proper academic degrees.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

Dan Fienen

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2020, 12:20:22 PM »
This points up the split nature of seminaries.  On the one hand,  they are an institution of the scholarly pursuit of theology, on they other they are a trade school teaching people to be pastors.


Pastors themselves need to have a grounding in theology, a scholarly subject, not only to inform their preaching and teaching  but also to be a resource for their people as they encounter the often wacky theology floating around in society.  But they also need the practical skills to minister to the people who have called them.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
LCMS

Charles Austin

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced”
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2020, 12:33:48 PM »
This is a long-standing and unnecessary bifurcation of pastoral training. In the old old old days, one of our LCA seminaries was considered the place to go if you want to be a “pastor.” Another seminary was considered to be the place to go if you wanted to be a “theologian.”
That was an unfortunate stereotyping of both seminaries and their graduates, but it was there.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Iowa native. Oh, my. How close we were to a situation where many people with guns could’ve killed many members of Congress. The possible result? Martial law and/or Civil War. Thank God some people are still coming forward to tell the truth.

D. Engebretson

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2020, 01:15:01 PM »
I did raise a fuss with one of our ELCA seminaries some years back, when they called a professor with decent academic credentials but only two years parish experience as an assistant pastor. This person was to teach preaching.
I asked how the person could teach preaching without having to preach year after year, season after season to a congregation of specific people. How could this person understand the spiritual and homiletical flow of the seasons, the times, the lives of the people to whom they are preaching?
Homiletics should be taught by a pastor with years of experience in preaching even if they don’t have their tickets punched with all the proper academic degrees.

As one who currently teaches preaching (in an alternate route program) as an adjunct I can see your point.  I understand how some disciplines such as biblical studies and dogmatics benefit from a Ph.D level scholar (even one with minimal pastoral experience).  For a tenure track homiletics professor, however, I would be very open to an experienced pastor with a D.Min, which is considered a "professional doctorate."  Preaching is the one place a pastor 'connects' with his congregation on a weekly basis in a real world setting.  It is the direct and practical application of the other disciplines.
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI

Dave Benke

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Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced”
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2020, 01:16:21 PM »
This is a long-standing and unnecessary bifurcation of pastoral training. In the old old old days, one of our LCA seminaries was considered the place to go if you want to be a “pastor.” Another seminary was considered to be the place to go if you wanted to be a “theologian.”
That was an unfortunate stereotyping of both seminaries and their graduates, but it was there.

That was absolutely the case in the Missouri Synod.  Until, that is, the decision was to change the name of the practical-oriented seminary to Concordia THEOLOGICAL Seminary.  Oh, I get it, was the desired response.  We don't have one practical/trade school seminary and one theoretical/academic/theological seminary.  We have two theological/academic/theoretical seminaries. 

Just what the doctor ordered.  And so it went for quite awhile, until both seminaries made the shift to pastoral formation as "job #1."  Which I would hope it always was.  The bifurcation today is out in the field - maybe trifurcation.  One group is done with the educational task and goes to work in the vineyard.  The second group is also in the vineyard but takes additional training and enhancement toward the end of the pastoral ministry - "how to" stuff.  The third group is also in the vineyard but gathers for additional training in theology often in the Lutheran confessions - "this we believe, teach and confess" stuff.

Dave Benke