Sept. 19-20, 2017
The 28th Annual Theological Symposium will focus on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and its impact on the world today. Check back later for a list of next year’s speakers, schedule and registration information.
For more information, please contact Continuing Education at 314-505-7286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2016 Theological Symposium Recap
About 400 people — a record — attended the 27th annual Theological Symposium, “From Font to Grave: Catechesis for the Lifelong Disciple,” Sept. 20-21, 2016. For two days, speakers and participants studied and discussed how to recover and renew the church’s catechetical tradition and how to foster lifelong discipleship. Plenary presentations discussed Martin Luther’s creation, interpretation and teaching of the catechism. “Being a Lutheran is more than knowing the right answer,” said Dr. Anthony Cook, director of U.S. ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries, St. Louis, and one of the plenary speakers. “It’s a way of being that encompasses the totality of life.”
2016 Resources and Speakers
Dr. Charles Arand
Catechetical Challenges Today?
Formed for Life
Dr. Charles P. Arand is the Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke Graduate Professor of Theology. A Concordia Seminary, St. Louis faculty member since 1989, he is professor of systematic theology, dean of theological research and publication, and director of the Center for the Care of Creation.
He received his Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology and Doctor of Theology from Concordia Seminary (1984, 1987, 1989). He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, Milwaukee (1980).
He has translated the Apology of the Augsburg Confession for the Kolb-Wengert edition of the Book of Concord (Fortress). In addition to publishing nearly 50 articles, he has written two books, Testing the Boundaries: Windows into Lutheran Identity (Concordia Publishing House, CPH) and That I May Be His Own: A Theological Overview of Luther’s Catechisms (CPH). He has co-authored a book with Robert Kolb, The Genius of Luther’s Theology: The Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church (Baker Books).
His latest contribution comes as a joint work with Robert Kolb and James Nestingen, A Historical and Theological Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions (Fortress Press). His other research interests include the theology of creation to which end he served as the primary drafter for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Commission on Theology and Church Relations’ (CTCR) document “Together with All Creatures: Caring for God’s Living Earth.”
In addition to his Seminary work, he has served on LCMS CTCR (for which he has drafted three documents) and is now serving as a drafter for the Synod committee responsible for revising the explanation to Luther’s Small Catechism.
He and his wife, Betty, have two children.
Rev. Jason Broge
Formed for Life
Rev. Jason Broge is the director of curriculum design and development at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.
He is currently completing his Ph.D. in education with a focus on curriculum instruction and design. He is a member of the Seminary’s Master of Divinity curriculum committee and teaches in the area of education and emerging Christianity.
Broge studies the role of narrative inculcation in religious identity development and value development within religious communities.
He and his wife of 11 years, Mary Jane, have four children.
Dr. Anthony Cook
From Me to We: A Threefold Process for Narrative Induction in Lutheran Catechesis
Dr. Anthony Cook is the director of U.S. Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries in St. Louis.
He served on the faculty at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis from 2005-2016. He serves as a guest lecturer at the Seminary in the areas of pastoral theology, pastoral leadership and postmodern studies including courses in post-liberal theology and emerging Christianity.
He also served as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Granite City, Ill. (1994-98); district missionary and pastor, Iowa District West, Nevada, Iowa (1998-99); senior/administrative pastor, King of Kings Lutheran Church in Mason, Ohio (1999-2005); director of educational technology, Concordia Seminary (2005-07); director of distance curricula (2007-10); associate dean of curriculum and instruction (2010-13); director of curricular design and development (2013-16); and assistant professor of practical theology (2005-16).
Cook is currently working on an illuminated Catechism that combines Luther’s Small Catechism with artistic and contemplative activities. His dissertation explored the perceived spiritual impact of seminary training on second-year seminary students.
He holds a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary (1994) and a Doctor of Philosophy from Saint Louis University (2014).
He and his wife of 28 years, Elizabeth, have one grown son.
Dr. Mary Jane Haemig
Recovery, not Revolution
Dr. Mary Jane Haemig is professor of church history at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., where she has been a faculty member since 1999. She previously served as assistant professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., from 1994-99.
Haemig completed her Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) at Harvard Divinity School in 1996 with a dissertation titled “The Living Voice of the Catechism: German Lutheran Catechetical preaching 1530-1580.” She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1977, and received both a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Harvard Divinity School and a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree from Harvard Law School in 1981. She worked as an attorney in Illinois from 1982-89, before beginning doctoral studies at Harvard.
Haemig is a specialist in Reformation studies, particularly the study of the Lutheran Reformation. Her interests include preaching, catechesis and prayer in that period. She teaches courses related to the Reformation and participates in teaching the Lutheran Confessional writings. She also is director of the Reformation Research Program at Luther Seminary. Haemig has made many scholarly presentations, numerous church presentations, and has written many articles and book reviews. She is associate editor and book review editor of Lutheran Quarterly, associate editor of the Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions, a member of the continuation committee for the International Luther Research Congress and participates in other scholarly organizations.
Haemig’s honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa, a research grant from the Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany (2010), a research grant from the Evangelische Kirche Deutschland (2003), the Regency Advancement Award of Pacific Lutheran University (1997) and the Frederick Sheldon Travelling Fellowship of Harvard University (1993-94).
Dr. Gerhard Bode
Knowing How to Live and Die: Martin Luther and the Teaching of the Christian Faith
Dr. Gerhard Bode is an associate professor of historical theology, dean of advanced studies and archivist at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has been a Seminary faculty member since 2005.
Bode is a regular presenter on the topic of the Reformation and the history of Lutheranism.
He is the author of “Preaching Luther’s Small Catechism: Paul Eber’s Catechismuspredigten (1562)” in Paul Eber (1511-1569): Humanist und Theologe der zweiten Generation der Wittenberger Reformation; “Man on a Mission: Henry Muhlenberg (1711–1787) and the Lutherans in America” in the Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly; “Leonhart Hütter’s Compendium Locorum Theologicorum: A classic of Lutheran theology and its translation into English” epilogue to Leonhart Hütter, Compendium Locorum Theologicorum ex Scripturis Sacris et Libro Concordiae, Lateinisch—deutsch—englisch; “The Instruction of the Christian Faith by Lutherans after Luther” in Lutheran Ecclesiastical Culture, 1550-1675; and “The Apostle’s Creed: Confessing the Faith” in Teachers Interaction 42 (Fall 2000), 7-8.
He earned a Doctor of Philosophy (2005), Master of Sacred Theology (1999) and Master of Divinity (1995) from Concordia Seminary. He received a master’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis (1998) and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minn. (1990).
Prior to coming to the Seminary, Bode was assistant to the pastor from 2005-08 and assistant pastor from 2004-05 at Salem Lutheran Church in Affton, Mo.
Bode and his wife, Rachel, have three children. They live in Glencoe, Mo.
Faith Formation: Propelling us into the Community
Andrew T. Fitzgerald is the director of digital ministries and creative services at Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM). With LHM for more than 10 years, he leads LHM’s efforts to share the Gospel online (web and mobile), as well as overseeing its creative, web and video departments.
He previously served as LHM’s director of marketing and communications, providing direction to the overall communications and organizational marketing strategies and leading its branding efforts, communications and marketing effectiveness. Earlier Fitzgerald served as assistant director of LHM’s international ministries division, overseeing the division’s staff in St. Louis and its more than 30 ministry centers worldwide; setting the division’s vision and planning; evaluating programming and training; and maintaining productive working relationships with local board and partner church leadership. Before his promotion to assistant director he served as LHM’s manager of international volunteer services, overseeing the ministry’s global care packages program and its global work and witness international volunteer trips.
Before joining LHM, he worked at the American Red Cross-St. Louis Chapter, where he served as the service center manager. Prior to that, he volunteered in Sighisoara, Romania, for two years, where he managed an education center and was administrator for the Veritas Foundation.
Fitzgerald holds a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing from Manchester University in England and a master’s degree in communications from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.
A London native, he now lives in Florissant, Mo., with his wife and three children.
Rev. Paul Hoffmann
Bringing New Christians to Baptism and Beyond
Rev. Paul Hoffmann is a writer and teacher for the Northwest Washington Synod of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA).
He served 32 years in parish ministry and has authored two books — Faith Forming Faith and Faith Shaping Ministry. The books, which address the power of adult faith formation to both welcome new Christians and to transform congregational ministry, have become go-to reads for congregational leaders seeking renewal in the post-Christian era. He retired as lead pastor of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle, serving there from 1996 through 2013. Since his retirement, he has turned his attention to writing and teaching.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in music from Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pa., and a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa.
He and his wife of 38 years, Donna, have two grown children. The couple also has parented seven foster infants awaiting adoption.
He lives in Seattle.
Rev. Mark Kiessling
Numbers Don’t Lie, but What Can They Tell Us?
Rev. Mark Kiessling is director of LCMS Youth Ministry and program director for the LCMS Youth Gathering.
In the director role, Kiessling works with the LCMS Youth Ministry staff on the LCMS Youth Gathering and the leadership, service, resourcing and networking functions of the office.
He received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (2006). He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, Portland, Ore. (1998).
He is the son of an LCMS pastor and grew up attending Grace Lutheran Church, Hamilton, Mont.
Kiessling is married to Beth (Timm), who teaches preschool at Christ Community Lutheran School, Kirkwood, Mo.
Faith Formation: Propelling us into the Community
Matt Miller is social service outreach and volunteerism specialist for Send Me St. Louis, an organization that aims to inspire Christian service and social service outreach.
Miller trains, coaches and connects churches and faith-based nonprofits in St. Louis as they seek to serve their communities and create cultures that encourage participation and volunteerism. Raised in the Lutheran church, Miller is passionate about the intersection of the church and local community. He desires to see churches become part of their neighborhoods and be the body of Christ to a world desperately in need of the Gospel.
He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Ill. He holds a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Dominican University, River Forest, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill. He is a graduate of Lutheran High School South, St. Louis.
Miller lives in St. Louis with his wife.
Dr. John Oberdeck
The Adolescent Brain: What are They Thinking?
Dr. John W. Oberdeck is professor of theology at Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis.
Oberdeck served parishes in central and southern Illinois from 1979-89. From 1989-02, he served in the practical department on the faculty of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In 2002 Oberdeck accepted the call to Concordia Wisconsin. Besides serving as the director for lay ministry, he teaches courses in theology and youth ministry. He is the author of Eutychus Youth: Applied Theology for Youth Ministry.
He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1979), and his doctorate from the University of Missouri – Columbia (1999).
Dr. John Pless
Sacraments in the Catechism: Treasures God Gives and Faith Grasps
Rev. John T. Pless is assistant professor of pastoral ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., where he also serves as director of field education.
Pless is the author of Handling the Word of Truth: Law and Gospel in the Church Today, A Small Catechism on Human Life; Word: God Speaks to Us; Confession: God Gives Us Truth; Luther on the Care for the Sick and the Dying and two chapters in Lutheran Worship History and Practice. He served on the Agenda Committee for the Lutheran Service Book. He is book review editor for Logia: A Journal of Lutheran Theology and a member of the editorial council of Lutheran Quarterly.
He served for 17 years as campus pastor at University Lutheran Chapel at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He also served on the staff at the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University.
He entered The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) by colloquy at Concordia Theological Seminary (1983). He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio (1979). He earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Lutheran College, Seguin, Texas (1975).
Dr. Dave Rueter
Equipping the Family to Teach the Faith at Home
Dr. Dave Rueter is the director of the Director of Christian Education (DCE) rogram at Concordia University in Irvine, Calif. He also serves as the youth and family ministry facilitator for the LCMS Pacific Southwest District. He volunteers as an elder at his church, teaching Bible class and assists with the high school youth group.
He is the author of Teaching the Faith at Home (Concordia Publishing House).
He received a Master of Arts from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill. (2003), and a Doctor of Philosophy from Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. (2011)
Rueter and his wife, Andrea, have two sons.
Dr. James Voelz
The Son of Man Coming to Give His Life as a ΛΥΤΡΟΝ (“Ransom”) in Place of Many (Mark 10:45): What Does This Mean in the Gospel According to Mark?
DR. JAMES W. VOELZ is the Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Professor of New Testament Theology.
A Concordia Seminary faculty member since 1989, he is graduate professor of exegetical theology. He has served as chair of the exegetical department (2013–15), dean of the faculty (2006–10) and dean of the graduate school (1996–2002).
He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament studies from Cambridge University, Cambridge, England (1978); a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1971); and a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind. (1967).
His areas of focus are the Greek language, hermeneutics (theory of interpretation) and the Synoptic Gospels, but he also has taught the Pauline Epistles and Acts of the Apostles. He served as an adjunct faculty member of Kenrick Seminary, the Roman Catholic diocesan seminary in St. Louis, from 2009–14, and from 2005–15 was coordinator of the Institute of Theology at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Des Peres, Mo., at which he also taught a Sunday morning Bible class for 24 years.
He has been involved with the North American-centered Society of Biblical Literature since 1977, presenting papers regularly on a wide range of topics, generally in the areas of the Greek language, hermeneutics and the Gospel of Mark. In 1984 he was invited to membership in Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (SNTS), the international Society of New Testament Studies. Again, he has regularly presented papers in both the biblical hermeneutics and New Testament Greek grammar seminars there, each of which he also has co-chaired in turn from 1991 until the present. He has written three books (an elementary Greek textbook, a hermeneutics textbook and a commentary on the first half of the Gospel of Mark) and dozens of articles.
He and his wife, Judy, have one son, Jonathan.
Rev. Larry Vogel
LCMS Catechism 6.0 History, Overview and Prognosis
Rev. Larry Vogel is the associate executive director of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR).
Vogel writes, edits and contributes to LCMS position statements on various theological questions and societal issues. He also represents the Synod in discussions with other church bodies.
He has served in the public ministry for 35 years, as a worker-priest teacher on the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as a missionary/pastor in Queens, N.Y., and as a pastor of Martin Luther Chapel and School, Pennsauken, N.J.
Vogel has published biblical plays for children, sermons and theological articles in Concordia Journal, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Concordia Pulpit Resources, The Lutheran Witness and Lutheran Forum. He has contributed chapters to Shepherd the Church: Essays in Pastoral Theology Honoring Bishop Roger Pittelko, Lutheran Study Bible, Lutheranism 101 and a forthcoming book on Law and Gospel.
Vogel received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1981). He holds a bachelor’s degree from Concordia University Nebraska in Seward, Neb. (1975).
He and his wife, Betsy, have three married children and four grandchildren.
Sponsored in part by Lutheran Hour Ministries and Send Me St. Louis.