Seminaries: Beware Who You Host – President Kieschnick and All His Men May Not be much Interested in Retaining Residency Seminaries, by Pr. Rossow

This notice appeared at the Ft. Wayne Seminary:

P R E S I D E N T ‘ S O F F I C E
Dear Seminary Family:
This coming week, November 4-6, it will be our privilege to host the President’s Seminary Summit to discuss and plan for the future of theological education in our church. Our guests will include President Kieschnick and his staff, the Board for Pastoral Education, the Board of Regents and President Meyer of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and our Board of Regents. Keynote speaker for the Summit will be Dr. Daniel Aleshire, Executive Director for the Association of Theological Schools. I invite you to greet and to visit with our guests. -President Wenthe

I am sure that there will be a lot of helpful things discussed at this meeting and I am sure that President Kieschnick will have some good input but our seminaries better beware who they host. Comments have been heard around the synod that our traditional residency seminary education is outdated. The expensive new age consultants that President Kieschnick keeps hiring are seeking to remake the synod in the eyes of the culture. Years of pastoral formation at the feet of our masters of theology is being replaced by a few internet courses and some experience in a “happy clappy church” or an emergent coffee house sanctuary (the Specific Ministry Program – SMP). Our grandfather’s seminary is in peril I fear.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Seminaries: Beware Who You Host – President Kieschnick and All His Men May Not be much Interested in Retaining Residency Seminaries, by Pr. Rossow — 19 Comments

  1. Online courses cannot replace the pastoral formation which happens at the seminaries. It is not only sitting at the feet of the masters of theology, but it is also the interaction between those who are being formed and wrestling with the deep theological issues which arise. It makes our pastors better at approaching these issues when they arise in the congregation. It is the “honing of the skills” which cannot be replicated outside a brick-and-mortar institution.

  2. I’m no seminarian, but through various and sundry Dilbert-like desk jobs I have read countless memos, and this sounds a lot like the bureaucratic version of the death rattle to me.

  3. Or better still it could be hash and rehash…and many of us thru many articles on BJS and our own personal comments being told us re: Synod or happenings with cong. I don’t think there is too much to shake us up anymore.

    I have a question is Thrivent footing the bill for this one????? Just wondering as MANY of us today just do a lot of wondering and PRAYING.

  4. sumbody asks: “Thrivent footing the bill for this one? Who knows! I do know that before the merger of LB and AAL the theological financial support given to the synod was substantial. I received a scholarship from AAL every year to work on my doctorate. Now all I see is Thrivent contributing to building houses, helping food pantries and the like – certainly worthy kingdom of the left matters, but little support, from my perspective, to the matters that matter – that is, theological. Maybe I’m prejudiced – can anybody enlighten a poor knuckle-dragging gnesio-Lutheran?

  5. Based on what has happened in the ELCA, when all this talking and discussing starts, we should beware. The CTCR continues to discuss the service of women and has already taken watered down position on that subject–and the yakking and mental manipulation continues. Now it’s the seminaries’ turn–from DELTO to SMP–and the handwriting is appearing faintly on the wall. Time to kick some backside and take names. Who’s going to do it? Is this another plank in the JF platform? Check it out….


  6. Fine reorganize it – turn Fort Wayne back to a Senior College, St Louis as the Sem – but for heaven’s sake sell the LCMS headquarters before you consider closing or closing/selling any of those seminaries, administration can be done anywhere, even in some of the buildings on a sem. campus.

  7. I suspect that the primary interest is not in closing the seminaries; but rather in the cash value of Concordia Seminary campus. Ft Wayne cannot be sold (conditions of acquition). Consider selling the St. Louis campus for $150 million (a price I have heard of). For $50 million relocate the faculty etc to Concordia Austin TX. More money and a seminary in Tx.

  8. From what I was once told the LCMS owns a large office complex on the other side of hwy 44 off of Watson Rd. as well.

  9. @Arthur Bolstad #9

    You may not be joking. There has been talk in Texas about a seminary here for decades. “After all, we’re 10% of LCMS… (and it snows! in Indiana).”
    [It’s also hotter’n Houston in St. Louis but only a former Minnesotan would notice.] 🙂

  10. @C.S. #11

    If we didn’t spend quite so much on offices and bureaucrats to fill them,
    we could afford missionaries and seminarians.

    P.S. I should have mentioned above that Concordia, Texas now has about 100 acres exclusive of the Nature Preserve. (Not long ago they ran a college on 20.)
    Texas District offices had 40 acres… the size of the original UT campus … but I’m thinking that some of that is on the block, if not already sold.

  11. Helen #15

    I was told this about 15 years ago by somebody who was renting office space in the building. They said the LCMS was their landlord. Apparently the LCMS didn’t need the whole building to themselves at that time. I do not know about the status of that office center today.

    I wonder about the ratio of LCMS bureaucrats to missionaries, seminarians, pastors and called teachers.

  12. @Rev. Joel A. Brondos #12

    Rev. Brondos

    Is the word “gifts” in your comment meant to be the American meaning for the word gift or the German meaning for the word “gift.”

    Actually, come to think of it…it is painfully funny either way!
    Larry Wright

  13. As much as I want to be a pastor and the natural man in me would love to save money and sit at home on his butt in front of the computer like I did for my B.A., the spiritual man knows it would be far better to go to Ft. Wayne and live in the dorms with my fellow travelers, worship, pray, study, and grow with them. I was hoping to go to Ft. Wayne in two years since it is closer to Cincinnati than St. Louis and I can’t stand heat. I hope it’s still there when/if I am ready to go.

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