Concordia Seminary, St. Louis was host to four international visitors during the final week of September. One visitor was from the People’s Republic of China, two were from Sweden and one was from Finland. “All of these visitors brought important messages concerning the international aspects of Lutheranism,” said Dr. Andrew Bartelt, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Concordia Seminary, “and this is consistent with the fact that ‘Concordia Seminary serves church and world,’ a direct quote from our Seminary’s mission statement.”
Prof. LEI Yutian from the Guangzhou Normal University in the People’s Republic of China is a guest of Concordia Seminary for two weeks. On September 29, he delivered a lecture to the Seminary community entitled “Luther’s Contribution to Education in Modern China.” A recognized Luther scholar, Prof. Yutian is the author of numerous books and articles including his latest book, Christianity and Culture in South China.
The two visitors from Sweden, Rev. Dr. Rune Imberg and Rev. Bengt Birgersson, are both from the conservative, confessional Lutherans working within the state church structure of Sweden to present an alternative to the dominant theological movement of the state church Rev. Imberg represents the theological Forsamlingfakultaten at Goteborg. Rev. Birgersson is headmaster of the Engstrom Gymnasium, also in Goteborg.
The visitor from Finland, Mr. Goran Stenland, is the Director of the Swedish Lutheran Evangelical Association of Finland. This group conducts its work in Finland and in various mission fields throughout the world, especially central Africa.
The guests from Sweden and Finland were invited to a special reception with the Seminary faculty where they reported on the important aspects of their work to advance confessional Lutheranism.
“Our Seminary community was enriched by the visits of these international guests,” commented Dr. Bartelt. “We hope that these visits will lead to further the close relationships we have in common tasks of theological education around the world in the service of confessional Lutheranism.”