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New library endowment display unveiled, blessed

Display honors donors, faculty members

A new display honoring the donors who have endowed faculty chairs was unveiled and blessed during a special ceremony in the Concordia Seminary library following chapel service Thursday.

The display, located just inside the library’s lobby, features 10 engraved aluminum panels on a lighted background of a cut metal pattern. Created and designed by the architectural signage firm Engraphix, the display recognizes the current 11 endowed faculty chairs and the donors who established the chairs. It also recognizes Board of Regents member Dr. LeRoy Wilke and his wife, Jane, who made the display possible.

“Endowed chairs are about the future of scholarship in the church,” said Dr. Dale A. Meyer, in his welcome and opening remarks. “An endowed chair is about the future of scholarship in this institution for the forward-looking mission of our Lord Jesus.”

An endowed chair is one of the highest academic honors that a college, university or seminary can bestow upon a faculty member. It reflects the donor’s desire to continue to see excellence in teaching and research in a specific area.

“It’s a double honor. Endowed chairs honor those for whom the chairs are named and it also honors the faculty members who represent these areas so well,” said Provost Dr. Jeff Kloha. “On the faculty side, the individuals appointed to the chairs represent outstanding teaching and leadership and scholarship among their colleagues. They have served successfully and faithfully as faculty members and as pastors and missionaries.”

Endowed chairs are nominated by the Dean of Faculty and the administration and approved by the Board of Regents.

During the display ceremony, the Seminary’s choir Laudamus sang “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” before a black curtain was removed, unveiling the display. The library erupted in applause. Afterward, Dean of Chapel Dr. Kent Burreson officiated the Rite of Blessing.

“God, bless and sanctify this endowment display, which is offered in honor of Your only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,” Burreson said in his prayer. “Grant that it may reflect our love for You and for one another, benefit Your Church, bring joy to all who see it and lead us to give thanks for these endowed chairs and the gifts of the people of God who made them possible.”

The endowed chairs include:

  • The Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Chair of Homiletics and Literature
    Provided by Bea and Charles E. Benidt in memory of his late son, Gregg, and to form new pastors and provide preaching resources for pastors.
    Occupied by Dr. David R. Schmitt, professor of Practical Theology.
  • The Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Chair of Exegetical Theology
    Provided by Gustav A. Butterbach in memory of his parents, Gustav and Sophie Butterbach.
    Occupied by Dr. Andrew H. Bartelt, professor of Exegetical Theology.
  • The Buehner-Duesenberg Chair of Missions
    Provided by Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg in memory of her parents, Rev. Andrew J. and Pauline Buehner, and to inspire future church workers for mission service.
    Occupied by Dr. Victor A. Raj, professor of Exegetical Theology.
  • The Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke Graduate Chair of Theology
    Provided by Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke to advance the cause of orthodox biblical and confessional Lutheranism.
    Occupied by Dr. Charles P. Arand, professor of Systematic Theology.
  • The Louis A. Fincke and Anna B. Shine Chair of Systematic Theology
    Provided by Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke in memory of Eugene’s father, Louis A. Fincke, and Nell’s mother, Anna B. Shine.
    Occupied by Dr. Kent J. Burreson, associate professor of Systematic Theology, and Dr. David R. Maxwell, associate professor of Systematic Theology.
  • The Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Chair of Systematic Theology
    Provided by Mary Griesbach in memory of her late husband, Waldemar, and in honor of the faithful ministry of their pastor, Rev. Toshio Okamoto (’56).
    Occupied by Dr. Joel P. Okamoto, associate professor of Systematic Theology.
  • The Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Chair of New Testament Theology
    Provided by Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury in support of biblical, Christ-centered theology of the Lutheran church.
    Occupied by Dr. James W. Voelz, graduate professor of Exegetical Theology.
  • The Werner R.H. Krause and Elizabeth Ringger Krause Chair of Hispanic Ministries
    (Catedra Werner R.H. y Elizabeth Ringger Krause de Ministerios Hispanos)

    Provided by Werner R.H. Krause and Elizabeth Ringger Krause in support of ministry among Hispanic people.
    Occupied by Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M., associate professor of Systematic Theology.
  • The Lutheran Foundation Chair of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry
    Provided by the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis in support of outreach among the growing foreign-born populations in the United States.
    Occupied by Rev. Laokouxang (Kou) Seying, associate professor of Practical Theology.
  • The Waldemar A. and June Schuette Chair of Systematic Theology
    Provided by June and Waldemar A. Schuette in thankfulness to their parents, pastors, family and as a testimony to the greatness of the Triune God.
    Occupied by Dr. Joel D. Biermann, professor of Systematic Theology.

Learn more about the Seminary’s endowed chairs here.

To learn more about Seminary’s endowments, please call Seminary Advancement at 800-822-5287 or email

About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit