Kent J. Burreson

Kent Burreson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1966 into a Missouri Synod family with a strong Norwegian Lutheran heritage through his paternal grandfather. After high school in Milford, Ohio, he majored in history and minored in theology at Valparaiso University and attained the distinction of scholar in Christ College, the honors college. There he also met his wonderful wife, Cindy nee Gardels, and they were married after his first year of seminary education. Training for pastoral ministry beckoned at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis where he earned the M.Div. in 1992 and an S.T.M. degree in 1994 in historical theology. His love for the study of the history and theology of liturgy and worship led him and his family to the University of Notre Dame. There he matriculated in the liturgical studies program learning at the feet of noted scholars Paul Bradshaw, Michael Driscoll, Maxwell Johnson, Randall Zachmann, and John Melloh and completed a dissertation in 2002 under the direction of the father of Protestant worship historiography, James White. His dissertation examines the historical development of sixteenth century Lutheran baptismal rites.

While working on his doctoral degree Dr. Burreson was called to serve as assistant to the pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Mishawaka, Ind., where he preached, presided, and led the adult education program of the congregation in a part-time capacity. In 1999 he assumed the position of full-time assistant pastor at St. Peter, serving amongst the people of God gathered there around the cross. In 2000 he was called by his alma mater, Concordia Seminary, as an instructor to teach systematic theology. After serving as assistant dean of the chapel, in 2009 he was appointed dean of the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. While continuing in his teaching capacities, he plans and supervises worship life on the Concordia Seminary campus.

Dr. Burreson engages in research on the history of Reformation and post-Reformation worship; worship and culture; worship as ritual performance; and the theology of worship. He presents the results of his research at conferences and workshops and in essays.

Outside of the immediate Seminary setting, he served on the liturgy subcommittee of the Lutheran Hymnal Project that prepared Lutheran Service Book. In his leisure time, he loves to read widely in the fields of history and literature, play golf, follow major league and collegiate sports, and is an avid homebrewer. He lives in St. Louis with his wife Cindy and their two daughters, Maggie and Lily Kate.


  • Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
  • Dean of the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus


  • B.A., Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind.
  • M.Div, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
  • S.T.M., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
  • M.A., University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.

Contact Information:

Concordia Seminary
801 Seminary Pl.
St. Louis, MO 63105
Office phone: 314-505-7569


Conference Topics

  • “Through Whom We Live: A Christocentric Theology of the Worship of the Triune God”
  • “The Next Worship: The Changing Face of Christian Worship in the World”
  • “The Rhythm of Life with God”
  • “Incense Rising and Screens Descending: How Do We Worship God in the 21st Century?”
  • “A Catechumenate for Lutherans”
  • “The End Times in Luther”
  • “This is the Night: The Easter Vigil as Our Theology”
  • “Steeped in the Water: Images for Living a Baptismal Life”
  • “With Hands Uplifted: The Purpose of Liturgy and Worship as the Norm of Appeals to Early Church Tradition and Evangelicalism”

Published Books and Essays

  • “Biblical Engagement within Various Christian Traditions (forthcoming)”
  • “What is Confirmation? Shaping a Word-Filled, Sacramental Life” in Confirmation Basics, edited by Mark S. Sengele (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 1009), 23-32.
  • Burreson, Kent, ed. He Was Crucified. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2009).
  • “Water Surrounded by God’s Word: The Diocese of Breslau as a Window into the Transformation of Baptism from the Medieval Period to the Reformation,” in Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Worship: Change and Continuity in Religious Practice, edited by Karin Maag and John D. Witvliet (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), 203-242.
  • “Forming a Lutheran Liturgical Reader: The Appropriation of Meaning in the Liturgy,” in Lord Jesus Christ, Will You Not Stay: Essays in Honor of Ronald Feuerhahn on the Occasion of His Sixty-Fifth Birthday, edited by J. Bart Day, Jon. D. Vieker, Albert B. Collver, Scott A. Bruzek, Kent J. Burreson, Martin E. Conkling, and Naomichi Masaki (Houston: The Feuerhahn Festschrift Committee, 2002), 373-96.
  • “Book Review of American Methodist Worship by Karen Westerfield Tucker,” Doxology 19 (2002): 137-40.
  • “Baptism, Anointing, Eucharist: Luther, Lutherans, and A Unitary Rite of Initiation,” Sacramental Life 11:3 (Ordinary Time 1998), 114-122.
  • “Confirmation: Living and Rejoicing in the Sacramental Life,” in Through the Church the Song Goes On: Preparing a Lutheran Hymnal for the 21st Century, edited by Paul J. Grime, D. Richard Stuckwisch, and Jon D. Vieker (Kirkwood, MO: The Commission on Worship, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1999).
  • “Advent: Preparation for the Incarnation, An Historical Survey,” The Bride of Christ: The Journal of Lutheran Liturgical Renewal, 22:1 (December 1997), 3-7.
  • “The Mystagogical Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem: The Crossroads of Fourth Century Anaphoral Development,” in Essays on Early Eastern Eucharistic Prayers, edited by Paul F. Bradshaw, 131-151. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1997.
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