I wanted to highlight a comment from the Rev. Martin Noland, in a previous post. He explains a bit about what the pool of people who are qualified to be seminary presidents looks like. He says that, generally speaking, you want someone with years of full-time seminary professor experiences, at least a few years of full-time experience as a parish pastor, an earned Ph.D. or Th.D. or equivalent, and some seminary admin experience. There are other qualifications that depend on what the Board of Regents intends in the next five to fifteen years.
He says that the qualifications he names gives you 17 men who would do a good job and, importantly, be faithful to the Scriptures and Confessions.
Only “Professor” rank faculty from both seminaries should be considered. The following are all the men who presently have full professor rank and are not retired or on the verge of retiring: Charles Arand, Andrew Bartelt, Jeff Gibbs, Glenn Nielsen, Paul Raabe, Victor Raj, Bob Rosin, Jim Voelz, Robert Weise, Dan Gard, Charles Gieschen, Art Just, Cameron Mackenzie, Lawrence Rast, Klaus Schulz, and William Weinrich. That makes sixteen. I don’t think I missed anyone. If so, I welcome a correction.
I would also add the seventeenth: JAO Preus III, who served well as a professor at the Saint Louis seminary, as a president at Irvine, and now as Executive Director at Bethesda. Other university presidents, to my knowledge, have not had the experience as seminary professors that would qualify them.
Pastor Noland remarks that this pool of people indicates that we are very blessed to have so many excellent choices:
Looking at those seventeen, I have to say that we are really blessed as a synod, to have so many excellent choices. These are the men that are leading our seminaries and producing our pastors. They are all dedicated to Scriptural inerrancy, the doctrine of the Lutheran confessions, and have a sincere commitment to the pastoral ministry and our church. Compared to other periods in our church, we are living in a golden era of seminary training (just look at the production of the Concordia Commentary series!).
I don’t know all of the men listed above, but of the ones I do, I know that we are very blessed. Pastor Noland notes that there are a few other issues that must also be considered. The position of president requires a lot of travel and involves much stress, which means any candidate’s wife must also be on board.
Pr. Noland’s final comment is also worth sharing:
I want to commend President Wenthe for a superb job–well done, good and faithful servant! He can now resume a normal life of teaching students, writing journal articles, reviewing books, and writing his own books on ideas and topics he has worked on throughout his career. I hope that he sticks around in Fort Wayne to continue to give wise and genial guidance, as he has done throughout his career.