Seminary president pool

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.


Comments

Seminary president pool — 17 Comments

  1. Hrm. What about qualified people meeting the above criteria in one of the other English-Speaking synods that LCMS is in fellow ship? Australia, England, Canada, etc. There are some fantastic choices in these groups, are there not?

  2. One person that Rev. Noland missed is Dr. John Johnson at Concordia University Chicago. He was a parish pastor, professor at CSL, president of CSL, and is now president of CUC.

  3. Good bunch of guys, but I would say to saddle them with the administrative duties of Sem. President would be a waste. Some of those guys were profs of mine and I can say to lose them in the classroom would be a grievous loss.

  4. @revaggie #3

    Being president does not necessarily take the prof out of the classroom. I know that Pres. Meyer, for example, still teaches several Homiletics classes.

  5. @Concerned Seminarian #4
    No it doesn’t, but it does severely limit the amount of time they can dedicate to teaching. I remember a few of those named above lamenting the administrative work they had to do because it kept them from interacting with the students.

  6. I remember my better half taking a wives course with Robert Preus. She was in awe that he was one of the rare professors that could speak on a level that she could understand.
    Sad to say, the one class that I had with him, he was gone a lot.

    Its too bad that in these latter days such a great percentage of what a Sem president does is fund raising.

  7. Well, this individual doesn’t really have “Professor rank” at either seminary, but he does have a PhD, loads of administrative experience, loads of fund raising expertise, AND this man does not currently have a Call assignment, so you wouldn’t be stealing him from a parish, the classroom, or any other duties.

    http://www.lcms.org/locators/nworkers/w_detail.asp?W7735

    He’s an option
    🙂

  8. What is the process for choosing a new president anyway? These are some excellent names!

  9. Young Blood,
    In the last decade, “raising” a dollar has often cost 90 cents.
    I don’t know about you, but charities with those ratios don’t get my money.

    [A certificate from the compliant Concordia BOR that you are Chairman of, does not qualify as an earned Doctorate, any more than the “Tin Star” out of the cereal box made you a Sheriff of Dodge. (What? You never had one?)]

    Maybe he should find a small rural congregation and find out how Missouri Pastors live and work?

  10. @helen #11
    “Maybe he should find a small rural congregation and find out how Missouri Pastors live and work?”

    I still find it ironic that the Church Growth models endorsed during his tenure have only one place for a semi-retired pastor like himself: “relegated” to shut-in duty. Let him do TLH page 15 with the elderly every day till his full and complete retirement. As they are too weak to hold the hymnal, too blind to read it, too stricken with Ahlzheimers to remember who he is when he comes in, they will testify to the power of the Liturgy every time he begins and like a needle finding its record groove, their heart filled with the Holy Spirit picks up where their minds cannot.

  11. @Young Blood #12
    they will testify to the power of the Liturgy every time he begins and like a needle finding its record groove, their heart filled with the Holy Spirit picks up where their minds cannot.

    That is far more than a brainwashed “new every Sunday” entertainment veteran will be able to do.
    And that is what those of us who are older fear, disconnection with all that was Lutheran and being left with empty minds.
    The Alzheimer’s patient can remember a lot… of what s/he learned in childhood and practiced all his/her life.
    But now the elderly are only fit to be stuck in closets (until somebody decides to get “cost effective”) so why think ahead to how “entertainment church” is robbing all ages?

    [The proponents, of course, are never going to grow old: they are going to sing “Shine, Jesus, shine” to their graves. They’d add ‘never dying’ to their childish regimen, but that one escapes them, so far.]
    Kyrie eleison!

  12. >>In the last decade, “raising” a dollar has often cost 90 cents.

    I was on a synodical board which oversaw an entity for which in some years raising a dollar–through the synodical fundraising arm it was mandated at the time we utilize–cost well OVER a dollar! 🙁

  13. @Kebas #14
    …in some years raising a dollar–through the synodical fundraising arm it was mandated at the time we utilize–cost well OVER a dollar!

    Yikes!
    Some stories are better not told to pewsitters! **
    We get public arena thoughts of “graft and corruption” . 🙁
    [I hope we lost that “fundraising arm” in the “restructuring”.]

    **No, that’s wrong; total transparency would have stopped that fast.
    And, I think, honest needs would have been/would be better funded.

  14. Reading this post makes me wonder why Concordia, St. Paul had a woman on list of the first round of candidates for the President, even though nothing is said here about it EXCEPT that the candidate should have “at least a few years of full-time experience as a parish pastor”. Send this qualification criteria to all University Boards of Directors! Thank you, Pr. Noland!

  15. @A Beggar #16

    Do the same criteria apply to CUS Presidents as Seminary Presidents? I know that Johnson (CUC) and Preus (CU-Irvine) are both former seminary professors, but is that necessarily a requirement?

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