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Commencement exercises planned at Concordia Seminary

178th academic year comes to a close

Commencement exercises for the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis graduating class will take place Friday, May 19. The public is invited to attend.

The day’s events will begin at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) with the Theological Diploma Service in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the Seminary’s campus. Theological diplomas will be presented at this service to all graduating students eligible to receive a call as a pastor or deaconess in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). Dr. Mark Rockenbach, associate professor of Practical Theology, will deliver the sermon.

Directly following the Theological Diploma Service, the public is invited to a groundbreaking ceremony for the Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library. Preparations for the $6 million renovation of the Seminary library began in February 2017 and construction is expected to take between 12 and 18 months. More information about the transformation of the original 1962 library building into a state-of-the-art learning center can be found here.

Commencement will take place at 7 p.m. (CDT) outdoors in the Seminary’s Main Quadrangle, weather permitting. Academic degrees and honors will be presented during this ceremony. Dr. Curtis Peters, pastor emeritus of Resurrection Lutheran Church in Louisville, Ky., will deliver the Commencement address. Five special honors also will be given for exemplary service in the church:

  • Christus Vivit Award: Richard and Lynn Gast of Orange, Calif.
  • Distinguished Alumnus Award: Dr. Michael Coppersmith (’80) of Georgetown, Texas
  • Doctor of Letters, honoris causa: Dr. John Lautenschlager, M.D., of St. Louis
  • Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa: Dr. Curtis Peters (’69) of Louisville, Ky.; and Dr. Carlos Walter Winterle of Edgemead, Cape Town, South Africa

To read biographies of the honorees, visit and scroll to bottom of the page.

This year’s graduates will be joining more than 7,000 called leaders of the LCMS around the world and more than 12,500 individuals who have received degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis in the school’s 178-year history.
Commencement exercises will be available via live stream starting at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) May 19 here or

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