We have documented several concerns about our Concordias here on the Brothers of John the Steadfast website, including faculty at Concordia – Chicago signing a petition in support of terror-bomber and humanist educator William Ayers, the establishment of a gay and lesbian support group at Concordia – Portland and more recently the use of small groups and a chapel band at Concordia Seminary – St. Louis. Now we have a former adjunct professor sharing some candid thoughts about the theology of the faculty at Concordia – Mequon.
I worked as an adjunct philosophy instructor at Concordia, Mequon, WI–just before I completed my PhD at Marquette U. I was not Lutheran, but was frankly more theologically orthodox than a segment of the faculty there. When I was hired, I was told it was because my M.A. in Theology was from Fuller Seminary. That made my resume “go to the top of the stack.” I was shocked. I’m far more conservative than Fuller Seminary: I hold to the inerrancy of the Bible, men only as pastors, and all the standards of the early ecumenical creeds. Fuller is notiorious for undermining biblical orthodoxy. I’m glad I was hired, but astonished as well. The Concordia faculty was split between those who were faithful to the Lutheran confessions, and those who were working quietly to change the LCMS view of Scripture, ministry, and certain elements of theology and doctrine. One adjunct was a Presbyterian woman, who held some very unsettling beliefs. I worried about the students, and wondered why I, as the outsider, was more concerned than the LCMS people themselves.
I am not surprised by this comment. I am greatly appreciative of commenter Ron taking the time to share his experience. Before offering support for and commentary on Ron’s experience I do want to say that there are many good things going on at Concordia – Mequon. I have had interaction with one of the theology professors over the years and I am convinced he is solidly confessional. I have also heard others offer glowing support for the President, Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry, as a supporter of all things good and confessional. So what gives with Ron’s experience?
Among other problems, it is clear to me that our Concordias have outgrown their ability to supervise doctrine. Maybe more accurately, the pace at which they have grown has raced ahead of the ability to properly supervise the doctrine in the lecture hall. I believe our Concordias have put growth of program and thus tuition income ahead of preservation of the Gospel, or at the very least, allowed them to stand side by.
There is no greater concern for a Lutheran college, university or seminary, than to preserve and pass on the pure Gospel. This priority should always be number one and that is just not happening in our Concordias based on the things we have reported on this website. In order to grow their programs, they have taken on adjunct faculty that do not espouse the full doctrinal position of the LCMS. There is no reason why every last professor in every last department should not be fully trained in LCMS doctrine and practice, installed with an oath to that doctrine and then held to that standard. Of course, the response is, but we do not have that kind of resources in the LCMS. If that is the case then we cannot afford, for the sake of preserving the Gospel, to have the Concordias that we do and at the size at which we currently maintain them.