Author Topic: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?  (Read 2880 times)

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5028
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2021, 01:39:59 PM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12230
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2021, 02:47:44 PM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

In OJT (on job training) programs such as SMP, EIIT and Center for Hispanic Studies, the Vicar is with the mentor for a minimum of three years, often four.  That's more an early church than a medieval academic/internship model for formation into the pastoral office.  Certainly there have been vicars/interns who have returned to the congregation in which they vicared through the academic - year 3 of 4 - program.  But it's by far not the norm. 

The fact that maximum impact on ministry is made by a vicar supervisor should not be put on the side - it's a primary learning experience and speaks to what pastoral formation and education are. 

Dave Benke

RevG

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 785
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2021, 03:53:08 PM »
Since the question was which seminary professor(s) that impacted one's ministry, and since vicarage supervisors were/are technically considered "adjunct instructors", I would say David Anderson, who supervised me as a vicar.  I learned much more about the practical and day-to-day work of a pastor from him than from the resident instructors (as wonderful as they were!).  The lessons I learned from him are used daily.

I had an amazing vicarage supervisor, too. A similar experience.  I don't mean this as any sort of criticism of the faculty I had, but I don't think about them all that much. For better or for worse I looked at seminary as a means to an end, especially as a coast guy, but I will very forever cherish my vicarage year in Indiana.

Peace,
Scott+

Tom Eckstein

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 693
  • Tom Eckstein
    • View Profile
    • Concordia Lutheran Church, Jamestown, ND
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2021, 05:55:07 PM »
Many professors influenced me in various ways, but the following are on the top of my list:

1.  Norman Nagel:   I had several classes with him, and especially loved his class on Holy Baptism.

2.  Louis Brighton:  I had several classes with him, and especially enjoyed a graduate course he taught on the Septuagint
          wherein we compared the LXX with the MT as well as the Vulgate.  We also spent some time in the Apocrypha.

3.  Francis Rossow:   He helped me unleash my creative juices for preaching!

4.  Jeff Gibbs: I had him for an STM course in Greek Readings and learned a lot from him.
I'm an LCMS Pastor in Jamestown, ND.

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3671
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2021, 06:20:53 PM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

Yes, I was very blessed to be assigned the vicarage I had.  I was like the 19th vicar Pastor Anderson had (Rolf Preus was the first) and by the time I came, he had his teaching and methods down quite well.  But he DID say that his first vicar was the best, and it was downhill after that.  19th is pretty far downhill.

Charles Austin

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
    • Charles is Coloring
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2021, 07:43:36 PM »
When I arrived at my internship, my supervisor said something like this: "You are not an assistant. You are not here to do the work I can't or don't want to do. You and I are both full pastors here, we will share all the work, sometimes side by side, sometimes on our own." And that's the way it was. I preached twice a month, we split all the other pastoral duties pretty much equally, although he obviously kept the organizational and management things he knew best, but let me in on what that kind of work was. I probably spent more time with "the kids" than he did, but he was often there. We took communion to shut-ins together because at that time we did not have a rite whereby those not ordained could do that.
It was a pretty good year. And - since he and the congregation council (a number of IBM executives)  knew the value of continuing education - they allowed me to take a day a week during the school year to ride the train to New York City for a course at Union Seminary. 
The only hardship I remember was that my "office" was a desk, a chair a telephone, and a small bookcase in a corner of the church basement.  Running up and down those stairs was my daily exercise.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 07:49:26 PM by Charles Austin »
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Now in Minnesota. Just finished six great days in a beach house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with a bunch of friends and relatives. About 18 of us, and the young folks did all the cooking.

RDPreus

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1187
    • View Profile
    • Christ For Us
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2021, 09:26:52 PM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

Yes, I was very blessed to be assigned the vicarage I had.  I was like the 19th vicar Pastor Anderson had (Rolf Preus was the first) and by the time I came, he had his teaching and methods down quite well.  But he DID say that his first vicar was the best, and it was downhill after that.  19th is pretty far downhill.

He only said that his first vicar was the best because I was more Norwegian than he was.  :)  Pastor Anderson taught us by his example.  He loved the people he served and he loved God's Word.  He retired to Dubuque Iowa where he had served as a young man.  As an old man he became friends with my son Andrew who serves in Guttenberg.  I thank God that my son got to know him.

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3671
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2021, 09:44:40 PM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

Yes, I was very blessed to be assigned the vicarage I had.  I was like the 19th vicar Pastor Anderson had (Rolf Preus was the first) and by the time I came, he had his teaching and methods down quite well.  But he DID say that his first vicar was the best, and it was downhill after that.  19th is pretty far downhill.

He only said that his first vicar was the best because I was more Norwegian than he was.  :)  Pastor Anderson taught us by his example.  He loved the people he served and he loved God's Word.  He retired to Dubuque Iowa where he had served as a young man.  As an old man he became friends with my son Andrew who serves in Guttenberg.  I thank God that my son got to know him.

My parents came to visit when I was on vicarage and Pastor Anderson and his wonderful wife Arla had us all over for supper.  When my dad said that his mother was Norwegian, Pastor Anderson's eyes lit up and he said: "I KNEW there was something about Steve that I liked!"  He sure was proud of his Norwegian heritage.  Why, I could not say.

Dave Benke

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 12230
    • View Profile
    • Atlantic District, LCMS
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2021, 08:50:27 AM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

Yes, I was very blessed to be assigned the vicarage I had.  I was like the 19th vicar Pastor Anderson had (Rolf Preus was the first) and by the time I came, he had his teaching and methods down quite well.  But he DID say that his first vicar was the best, and it was downhill after that.  19th is pretty far downhill.

He only said that his first vicar was the best because I was more Norwegian than he was.  :)  Pastor Anderson taught us by his example.  He loved the people he served and he loved God's Word.  He retired to Dubuque Iowa where he had served as a young man.  As an old man he became friends with my son Andrew who serves in Guttenberg.  I thank God that my son got to know him.

My parents came to visit when I was on vicarage and Pastor Anderson and his wonderful wife Arla had us all over for supper.  When my dad said that his mother was Norwegian, Pastor Anderson's eyes lit up and he said: "I KNEW there was something about Steve that I liked!"  He sure was proud of his Norwegian heritage.  Why, I could not say.

I knew Dave Anderson as a man both with a pastor's heart and with a strong sense of the primary purpose of a seminary.  We served together as two of the three ordained members of the Board of Regents at CTS-Fort Wayne from 1989-1991.  In those days we stayed on campus in one of the dorms for the board meetings, and the three of us had the pastor's wing on the bottom floor of a dorm behind the (then) library, so we hung out together. 

I was having an absolutely great time in parish ministry then; the congregation was booming, we were well into the Nehemiah Housing plan and our congregations were re-configuring that whole part of East Brooklyn, I was playing some of my best middle-aged softball.  To be immersed in the seminary's absolutely immense internal struggle was like entering a hospital emergency room the night of a big local gang fight (an image I had seen in reality), nothing but pain, triage and divvying up into sides of the room. 

Among the things that stuck with me was that the three of us ordained board members, although from way, way different congregations, shared the same pastoral instincts in our private conversations.  Love the Lord, love your people, serve the Lord, serve your people.

Anyone who was a student in that era had to have received an embattled education.  That impact on ministry can't be minimized.  I was at the St. Louis seminary in the time of its Blue Ribbon investigation and eventual blowup, which happened a few months after I left.  Plenty of impact there.

Dave Benke

Dave Likeness

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 5028
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2021, 12:12:34 PM »
In the calm before the storm, my Seminary class was the last one to have
their diploma signed by Dr. Alfred Fuerbringer in 1968.  In the intramural
fast-pitch softball league, I was pitching for the undefeated team which
won the Championship.  We were called Dorm X and it was the married men.

RDPreus

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1187
    • View Profile
    • Christ For Us
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2021, 12:39:48 PM »
Pastor Bohler highlights an important part of the seminarian's experience and that is
the vicarage supervisor. At one time these vicarage supervisors were chosen with great
care and discernment by the seminaries.  Most of them were great mentors  to their
vicars.  It seems Pastor Bohler hit the jackpot on his vicarage.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case today.  Fewer parishes want a vicar and some
get one simply because they signed up  for one.  It is still important that a parish pastor
be a good mentor for his vicar and has something to offer him from his experience in the
parish.   There are still some congregations who want some cheap help for a year and
do not see the vicarage assignment as a learning process.

Yes, I was very blessed to be assigned the vicarage I had.  I was like the 19th vicar Pastor Anderson had (Rolf Preus was the first) and by the time I came, he had his teaching and methods down quite well.  But he DID say that his first vicar was the best, and it was downhill after that.  19th is pretty far downhill.

He only said that his first vicar was the best because I was more Norwegian than he was.  :)  Pastor Anderson taught us by his example.  He loved the people he served and he loved God's Word.  He retired to Dubuque Iowa where he had served as a young man.  As an old man he became friends with my son Andrew who serves in Guttenberg.  I thank God that my son got to know him.

My parents came to visit when I was on vicarage and Pastor Anderson and his wonderful wife Arla had us all over for supper.  When my dad said that his mother was Norwegian, Pastor Anderson's eyes lit up and he said: "I KNEW there was something about Steve that I liked!"  He sure was proud of his Norwegian heritage.  Why, I could not say.

Being of Norwegian background while serving as a pastor in the Missouri Synod gives a man a great benefit.  You see, Steve, when folks criticize the LCMS, we can assume a snooty posture of gentle judgment against Germans, saying such things as, "Well, Missouri's doctrine is quite sound, but, well, the German culture is rather boorish and oppressive."  In this way we can defend Missouri's doctrine while blaming Missouri's shortcomings on other people, namely, you Germans.  It usually works.   :)

PrTim15

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2021, 12:44:55 PM »
Vicarage supervisors and other pastors served as great models as far as what to do and what not to do. The sainted Pastor Leonard Klitzing taught me a level of pastoral care that is sacrificial and brings hope in terrible times. I remember him twice beating the ambulance to Memorial Hospital in Belleville IL. His caring soul brought a church back together after the pain of the walk out. He literally wore out his soles on his "work shoes" yearly. Thanks for going here Steve.

jebutler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 1633
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2021, 01:29:12 PM »
I'm often jealous of guys who had great vicarage/internship experiences. My entire year can be summed up in one event. I asked my (now sainted) supervisor if he wanted to read my first sermon before I preached it. His answer, "What--you think it's so good I should hear it twice and read it too?" It was all downhill from there.

Sem profs who impacted me: Charlie Knippel who counseled me after that horrifying vicarage and encouraged me not to drop out of seminary. David Daniel made history alive. Louis Brighton was a master of exegesis and pastoral warmth.  Dan Pokorny who brought preaching to life.

But the person who probably had the biggest impact what the senior pastor in my first call: Kennard Mueller. He was a master pastor. He mentored me, encouraged me, and yes, corrected me on occasion. I will always be grateful for him. He was what my vicarage supervisor should have been--and I got to work with him for seven years. I can only hope to be half the pastor he was.
These are things that we can discuss among learned and reasonable people, or even among ourselves. (Luther, SA III, paraphrased).

Steven W Bohler

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 3671
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2021, 02:50:26 PM »
I'm often jealous of guys who had great vicarage/internship experiences. My entire year can be summed up in one event. I asked my (now sainted) supervisor if he wanted to read my first sermon before I preached it. His answer, "What--you think it's so good I should hear it twice and read it too?" It was all downhill from there.

Sem profs who impacted me: Charlie Knippel who counseled me after that horrifying vicarage and encouraged me not to drop out of seminary. David Daniel made history alive. Louis Brighton was a master of exegesis and pastoral warmth.  Dan Pokorny who brought preaching to life.

But the person who probably had the biggest impact what the senior pastor in my first call: Kennard Mueller. He was a master pastor. He mentored me, encouraged me, and yes, corrected me on occasion. I will always be grateful for him. He was what my vicarage supervisor should have been--and I got to work with him for seven years. I can only hope to be half the pastor he was.

A couple of thoughts:

1) When I phoned Pastor Anderson to tell him I had been assigned as his vicar, his first question to me was how was I doing academically at the seminary.  I told him I was doing OK.  He said: "What does that mean?  Are you barely passing?"  I was worried that I would have a whole year of such conversations.  I later learned that was his sense of humor, but it was hard to read it unless you knew him.

2) When I had vicars, I ALWAYS read their sermons before they preached them.  And, if necessary, had them re-write them.  I cannot fathom how a supervising pastor would do otherwise -- vicars are not pastors.  They are still students.   The responsibility falls on the pastor.

D. Engebretson

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 4402
    • View Profile
Re: Sem. Prof. Who Impacted Your Ministry?
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2021, 06:38:46 PM »
I'm often jealous of guys who had great vicarage/internship experiences. My entire year can be summed up in one event. I asked my (now sainted) supervisor if he wanted to read my first sermon before I preached it. His answer, "What--you think it's so good I should hear it twice and read it too?" It was all downhill from there.

My vicarage was certainly not perfect, none are.  It was a challenge, but that turned out to be good.  I got a very realistic view of church and ministry. I had no illusions about what the church should look like when I finally assumed my own pastorate. My supervisor once had me preach an upcoming sermon to him privately while he sat before me in the pew.  At once point he walked up and joined me in the pulpit to show me something.  I don't know if I've carried into my ministry any specific advice he gave me on preaching, but I was impressed that he cared enough to take that much interest in it.

One of the high points of my vicarage was meeting my future wife.  Hard to top that! :)
Pastor Don Engebretson
St. Peter Lutheran Church of Polar (Antigo) WI