Dr. David Wollenburg was born at Lutheran Hospital in St. Louis, Mo. and attended grade school in Jefferson City, Mo. The week before confirmation, on Palm Sunday, 1959, he and his family were informed that he had been accepted to attend St. Paul’s High School and Junior College (SPC) in Concordia, Mo. That fall he moved into Biltz Hall at SPC. A year and a half later his father accepted the call to become pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Concordia, and home moved back to him. He has been on the move ever since.
While at SPC he met Jerry Witt. They dated for five years and were married in 1967. Dr. Wollenburg graduated from SPC in 1965; Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, Ind., in 1967; and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. in 1971.
By the time he graduated from the Seminary and was ordained, he had been employed as a custodian, snack bar manager, student recruiter for SPC, clothing salesman, bouncer, and full-time fast food restaurant manager—a position that financed the years as a student in St. Louis. He and his wife also had two daughters, Christina and Jessica when he graduated from the Seminary and he was commissioned as a Chaplain Candidate in the U.S. Air Force Reserves in 1968.
Parishes in Grayling, Mich. (1971-72, and Quincy, Ill. (72-74) and turmoil in Synod led to a call to the Seminary and he became the first admissions counselor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in January of 1975. By that time the family had been blessed with their third daughter, Rebecca, and Dr. Wollenburg was actively training as an AF Reserve Chaplain at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
While on Staff at the Seminary their fourth child, Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm, was born and Dr. Wollenburg received a call to Active Duty with the Air Force in 1976. He reported for duty in southern California in August of 1977. Two years later he was transferred to Tacoma, Wash., where he visited radar sites up and down the California, Oregon, and Washington coast until July of 1980.
In early 1980 he accepted a call to serve as pastor of Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Mo.
Transferring to the Air National Guard, he served Timothy and the ANG from July 1980 until August 1987, when he was recalled to active duty. During those years he completed his S.T.M degree from Concordia Seminary and served as guest instructor in homiletics. He was also active with the Missouri District and served on the first board of Lutheran Charities Association of St. Louis.
Dr. Wollenburg returned to active duty in 1987, as Chaplain for the Air National Guard’s Professional Military Education Center (PMEC) in Knoxville, Tenn. which hosted both professional NCO training and a pre-commissioning program. He served in this position until August of 1996, when he again transferred to the Air Force Reserves from which he retired on 9/9/99 as a Colonel. The family lived nearby in Maryville, Tenn.
While in Maryville he served various vacancies, including the vacancy at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Crossville, Tenn. Dr. Wollenburg became the pastor of Shepherd of the Hills in early 1997 and served there until the middle of 2001 when he was called to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis as associate professor of practical theology.
The Seminary immediately appointed Dr. Wollenburg as director of the various and nascent distance education programs of the Seminary including DELTO (Distance Education Leading To Ordination). While developing those programs he earned a Doctor of Ministry Degree (Leadership in the Emerging Culture) from George Fox Seminary in 2006 via distance education in order to better understand the processes he was developing.
Serving on Synod’s DELTO Oversight Committee, he worked to develop the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program adopted by Synod in 2007. Emeritus since May 2009, he continues to direct the SMP and DELTO programs on a contract basis. Dr. Wollenburg teaches a Bible Class at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Collinsville, Ill. where he as his wife are members and participates in the life of that historic parish.
- Director of the Specific Ministry Program (SMP)
- Professor Emeritus
- B.A., Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne. Ind.
- M.Div., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
- S.T.M., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
- D.Min., George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, Ore.
801 Seminary Place
St. Louis, MO 63105