The 165th academic year of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, concluded on Friday, May 21. The day’s activities began at 10:00 a.m. with a baccalaureate service in the Seminary’s Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, followed by a special luncheon for graduates and their families. Commencement exercises were held at 7:00 p.m. in the Seminary’s main quadrangle.
Dr. Robert A. Kolb, mission professor of systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, delivered the sermon at the baccalaureate service. Following the sermon, students who successfully completed one of the programs of preparation for service in the pastoral ministry in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) were presented their theological diplomas and diplomas of vocation. In this act, the Seminary faculty fulfilled publicly the responsibility given it by the LCMS to certify those men it determines to be qualified in every respect for service in the pastoral ministry.
At the evening Commencement exercises, Dr. Jacob A. O. Preus, president of Concordia University, Irvine, Calif., served as Commencement speaker. Following the address, 93 students were recipients of master of divinity degrees. This is the academic degree which most students who desire to be pastors, missionaries or chaplains in the LCMS receive. Other degrees conferred included 14 master of arts degrees, including one to the Seminary’s first deaconess graduate, two doctor of ministry degrees, five master of sacred theology degrees and one doctor of philosophy degree. One of the master of arts students and two master of sacred theology students previously received their degrees on Nov. 17, 2003. Ten students were recognized as candidates for completion of the certificate program (alternate route). Upon successful completion of a one-year vicarage (internship), these students will be certified as eligible to receive a call and serve as pastors, missionaries or chaplains in the LCMS.
Four individuals were selected by the Concordia Seminary faculty to receive special honors during the Commencement exercises. Mr. Erwin F. Branahl of St. Louis received the Christus Vivit Award, granted each year to laity who exemplify a lifetime of distinguished and dedicated service in the LCMS. Rev. Robert P. Hoehner of West Bend, Wisc., received the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his many years of service in various advisory position and with youth, families and missions. Dr. Uwe Siemon-Netto, religion editor of United Press International in Washington, freelance correspondent of German publications, Research Scholar at the Institute for Religion and World Affairs, Boston University, and familiar voice on KFUO’s Issues, Etc. program, was awarded the honorary doctor of letters degree in recognition of his work to put his faith into action by applying it to contemporary life in countless publications and of training young Christians in various academic institutions to become competent secular journalists. Dr. Chi-Ping (Thomas) Yu, president of China Lutheran Seminary in Taiwan, was awarded the honorary doctor of divinity degree in recognition of his leadership in the development of Lutheran pastoral education in Taiwan.
For more information, contact Communications, Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105; 314.505.7374; firstname.lastname@example.org.