Concordia Theological Seminary President Nominees Announced

News from Ft. Wayne:

Please be advised that the election for the new President of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana will be held pursuant to Bylaw on Saturday, May 21, 2011, at the campus of the Seminary at 6600 North Clinton Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The following is the list of nominees who have permitted themselves to be candidates:



Pursuant to Bylaw, all recommendations, statements of qualifications of any nominees, or objections to any nominee with reasons therefore, must be filed with the Board of Regents before the date fixed for the election.


Concordia Theological Seminary President Nominees Announced — 18 Comments

  1. This is great news. I do not think I have ever seen such a qualified field of nominations for the president of one or our seminaries or universities. It speaks well for the future of the seminary. Let us pray for God’s blessings and wisdom for the electors who will make the decision.

  2. I was told that all candidates had to have an earned PhD. How can Rev. Jeffrey Pulse be part of this list.

    Do not get me wrong, he is very good from what I hear, but does not the title before him.

    If this is the case, our church would have gladly nominated the Rev. John Fiene for this position as well.

    Can someone clarify for me what is going on?

  3. @Nathan Raddatz #3
    Your question should be directed to someone at the seminary. I don’t recall anything in Synodical guidelines which states they have to have an earned doctorate–but that may have been a point of the calling committee. Contact Larry Rast at the seminary, he might have the answer and be able to give it.

  4. Prof. Pulse is writing his dissertation, so he shouldn’t be without the PhD for long.

  5. Karl Barth, former president of the St. Louis seminary, also had no earned doctorate.

  6. Sorry that I cannot be so enthusiastic about this list of candidates. I still think more leaders need to come from the ranks of clergy who have extensive experience as parish pastors. I believe the result would be better leaders and men who were more in tune with the needs of the local congregations that they serve.

  7. I believe Rev. Pulse is finishing up his doctorate from one of the Universities in England. Perhaps Durham; I can’t remember exactly.

  8. Rev. Zell-
    there certainly were long time parish pastors nominated, I know this for a fact as our congregation nominated the Rev. Dr. Scott Murray of Memorial, Houston. It seems he declined.

    The list above shows those who allowed their names to stand for possible election.

  9. Prof. Pulse served congregations in both Iowa and Washington state for over over 20 years.
    What is interesting is that Rev. Gard, Rev. Fickenscher, Rev. Gieschen, Rev. Pulse and Rev. Jastram all graduated from CTS in 1984.

    For what it is worth, most of the students are very pleased with the list of nominees.

  10. As more of our professors have earned doctorates, I think it well for the President to appreciate that kind of labor, too. We also liked Dr. Murray, but were torn, because there are not so many confessional Pastors in Houston. Evidently he felt that he should stay there.
    Dr. Fickenscher has family in our congregation, so we know him for that and other reasons.

    God bless them all in their decisions, and lead the committee to make the right choice for CTS, LCMS and ultimately for us pewsitters!

  11. Has any of the above nominees distinguished themselves in confessionally defending the Lutheran faith?

    What I mean is have any of the above spoken out plainly and clearly and dared to be Lutheran without in any way, shape and form, at the same time, thinking of doing a CYA and temporizing the faith for fear of not getting ahead by being labeled a trouble maker or worse.

    A Pseudo-Confessional in name only we can do without.

  12. (Please excuse the pseudonym; certification has already taken place, but call night hasn’t, if you follow my meaning.)

    I am unfamiliar with Dr. Jastram apart from his appearances on Issues, Etc. (though his frequent appearances there probably say something about him), so I can’t speak to his qualification. That said, none of these [other] men is pseudo-confessional in the least. Each of these men has, in many and various ways, defended the truth and stood for Confessional Lutheranism. Further, each has demonstrated his commitment to Confessional Lutheranism by his instruction in the classroom to form new pastors for the Church. This I have seen from each one (again, except Dr. Jastram) and can attest to. I would be pleased to have any one of them serve my future alma mater as president. If you aren’t aware of how a particular candidate has distinguished himself in his confession, ask someone familiar with him, Google his name, call him on the phone, or do something besides assuming he’s guilty until proven innocent.

  13. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Before you make SMP, or its criticism, the sine qua non for faithfulness in office, you should read this comment from a previous post and, PLEASE, read the CHIQ article I cite:

    In many ways, SMP (and Delto) continues the Loehe-Fort Wayne-Springfield educational tradition that the LCMS lost when the synod decided to upgrade the Springfield curriculum. The story of that change is in my CHIQ article. Please don’t bash SMP until you read my article.

    SMP is much better than the local district ministry-prep programs; and is a better choice for congregations than a licensed lay minister. SMP is not an ideal program, because it could not “start from scratch.” But it is an improvement over what came before.

    The good faith efforts of seminary administrators and the Board of Pastoral Education in 2007 was vitiated in 2010 by Resolution 7-05. We also need to determine whether or not SMPs are being used as 1) “cheap” assistant pastors, or 2) sole pastors serving communities (or ethnic groups) that have no pastors. The latter purpose is in line the Loehe-Fort Wayne-Springfield tradition. The former is something new and rightly suspect. In any event, you cannot blame the former (“cheap assistant pastors”) on the former BPS or seminary administrators; the blame falls on the “usual suspects.”

    With regards to the candidates listed, all are excellent pastors, all are excellent communicators, all are excellent teachers, and all are personable. Of course, they are all well qualified in academics and experience. I think all have had some degree of administrative experience. These are the primary qualifications I would look at, since in my opinion they are what make a good general administrator and fund-raiser-for-the-church.

    The LCMS will be well-served by any of these candidates. The electors will have a tough time deciding this election!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  14. The only thing wrong with this list is that some stupendous teacher will be removed from the classroom. Praise the Lord for providing such a list of faithful and confessional men willing and qualified to serve.

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