Robert A. Kolb (Emeritus)

Dr. Robert Kolb was born and raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and attended Concordia College, St. Paul, Minn. (1959-1961); Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind. (1961-1963); and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. (1963-1968, M.Div., S.T.M.). After completing his doctorate in history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1973), he served as director of the Center for Reformation Research in St. Louis (1973-1977). Concordia College, St. Paul, called him in 1977 to teaching positions in the departments of religion and history; he also served as acting president (1989-1990). In 1993 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, called him to be Missions Professor of systematic theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies. From 1994 through 2010 he taught abroad, chiefly in post-Soviet Europe, for three months of the year.

Kolb served as associate editor (1973-1994) and co-editor (1995-1997) of The Sixteenth Century Journal and is still co-editor, with A.R. Victor Raj, of Missio Apostolica (since 1996). He was a member of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (1984-1992) and its chair (1990-1992). He served as president of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (1981-1982) and the Society for Reformation Research (1994-1996). Since 1993 he has been a member of the Continuation Committee of the International Congress for Luther Research.

Kolb has lectured at more than 40 educational institutions on five continents and at many ecclesiastical gatherings. Since 1996 he has been Gastdozent at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany.

Valparaiso University (2000), Concordia University Saint Paul (2005), and Concordia University Irvine (2008) have awarded him the Doctor of Letters honorary degree.


  • International Research Emeritus Professor for Institute for Mission Studies
  • Professor Emeritus


  • B.A., Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • M.Div., S.T.M., Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.
  • M.A., Ph.D, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis.

Contact Information:

Concordia Seminary
801 Seminary Place
St. Louis, MO 63105

Published Works:

  • Hermeneutica Sacra. Studien zur Auslegung der Heiligen Schrift im 16.- und 17. Jahrhundert /Studies of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, editor, with Torbjörn Johansson and Johann Anselm Steiger (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010)
  • Martin Luther, Confessor of the Faith (Christian Theology in Context series; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Lutheran Ecclesiastical Culture, 1550-1675, editor, (Leiden: Brill, 2008)
  • with Charles P. Arand, The Genius of Luther’s Theology. A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008)
  • A Booklet of Comfort for the Sick, and On the Christian Knight By Johann Spangenberg (Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2007)
  • Luther’s Way of Thinking. Introductory Essays (Trivandrum: Luther Academy India, 2006)
  • Bound Choice, Election, and Wittenberg Theological Method From Martin Lutherto the Formula of Concord (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005)
  • Sources and Contexts of the Book of Concord, co-edited with James A. Nestingen (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001)
  • The Book of Concord, the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, co-edited with Timothy J. Wengert (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000)
  • Martin Luther as Prophet, Teacher, and Hero. Images of the Reformer, 1520-1620 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1999)
  • Luther’s Heirs Define His Legacy, Studies on Lutheran Confessionalization (Aldershot, Hampshire: Variorum, 1996)
  • The Christian Faith, a Lutheran Exposition (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1993; Russian translation, 2000)
  • Teaching God’s Children His Teaching, a Guide to the Study of Luther’s Catechism (Hutchinson, MN: Crown Publishing, 1992; India edition, 2005; Latvian translation, 2009)
  • Confessing the Faith, Reformers Define the Church, 1530-1580 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1991)
  • For All the Saints, Changing Perceptions of Martyrdom and Sainthood in the Lutheran Reformation (Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press, 1987)
  • Speaking the Gospel Today, A Theology for Evangelism (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1984; second edition, 1995; Latvian translation, 2001, Portuguese translation, 2009)
  • Nikolaus von Amsdorf (1483-1565), Popular Polemics in the Preservation of Luther’s Legacy (Bibliotheca Humanistica & Reformatorica XXIV; Nieuwkoop: De Graaf, 1978)
  • Andreae and the Formula of Concord, Six Sermons on the Way to Lutheran Unity (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977)

He has also written more than one hundred articles for referred periodicals, Festschriften, and collections of essays.

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