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Dr. Douglas Rutt to serve as Concordia Seminary provost

Dr. Douglas L. Rutt will serve as provost of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis [1], effective July 1, 2018.

“What a promising future for our Concordia Seminary!” said Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of the Seminary. “The breadth of Dr. Rutt’s experience as pastor, missionary, educator and administrator is a gift of God for our mission for the Lord at this critical time in communities, nation and world. We’re eager to welcome and work with Dr. Rutt.”

Upon the recommendation of Meyer and a Seminary search committee, the Board of Regents members called Rutt during their meeting May 17 after a national search by the Weingarth Group. Rutt officially accepted the call to the faculty May 25.

“The Board of Regents with great joy, has called Dr. Douglas Rutt as provost of Concordia Seminary,” said Rev. Shawn L. Kumm, Board of Regents chairman. “God always provides the gifts the church needs at the right time, at the right place. Dr. Rutt is the right gift at the right time at Concordia Seminary.”

As provost, Rutt will become one of three members of the Seminary’s Executive Management Team, which also includes the president and executive vice president/chief operating officer. As provost, Rutt also will serve as Concordia Seminary’s chief academic officer. Concordia Seminary is one of two seminaries of The Lutheran—Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), with 34 faculty members, 91 staff and an enrollment of about 600 students. Rutt will provide guidance to faculty, manage academic administrative affairs, and provide oversight of academic programs and curriculum.

“I am humbled to have been called to serve at Concordia Seminary as professor and provost,” Rutt said. “This Seminary is known around the world as a premier theological educational institution with a long and distinguished history, a great faculty, dedicated staff and students who are committed to serving their Lord Jesus and His church.”

Currently, Rutt serves as executive director of International Ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries [2] (LHM) in St. Louis. Since joining LHM in 2010 and serving in that senior leadership position, he oversees LHM’s initiatives in more than 35 countries, a staff of 230 people and a budget of more than $6 million.

Since 2012, he has been an adjunct professor at Concordia Seminary and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. At Concordia Seminary, he taught Ph.D. courses on cultural anthropology and contemporary missiology. Additionally, he was associate professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, dean for Distance Learning and supervisor of the Ph.D. Missiology Program at Concordia Theological Seminary (2000-10).

He served as a missionary to Guatemala (1986-87; 1991-95) where his responsibilities included church-planting, and pastoral and lay leadership training, and the creation of a program to train and certify pastors for the Lutheran church in Guatemala. He was dual parish pastor at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. James and Truman, Minn. (1987-91); and served LCMS World Mission in several capacities including as area secretary for Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain (1997-2000), area director for Southern Latin America (2000-04), and interim area director for Mexico, Central America and Panama (2002-04).

Rutt has written numerous articles on mission history and practice, and frequently speaks on mission matters. He has served on the board for Lutheran Bible Translators, served as chairman of the Seminary Relations Committee of the International Lutheran Council and is a founding member of the Lutheran Society for Missiology.

Before he began preparing for ministry, Rutt was a U.S. Navy jet engine mechanic and later served as a commercial pilot and flight instructor after he was discharged from the military.

Rutt holds a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University (1981) in Mankato, Minn., and a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Philosophy from and Concordia Theological Seminary (1986, 1997). Fluent in Spanish, he graduated from the Instituto del Idioma Español in Antigua, Guatemala, in 1984.

His areas of academic interest include theological education and formation, leadership and management for missions.

He and his wife, Deborah, have five children and 15 grandchildren. Deborah Rutt previously served as assistant vice president for advancement at Concordia Theological Seminary; as CEO of Lutheran Housing Support Corporation; as CEO and president of Humanitri, a St. Louis-based Lutheran social service organization; and is the founding president of A&D Global Business Relations, a public relations agency based in Kosice, Slovakia.

Most recently, Dr. Jeff Kloha served as provost. In July 2017, he became director of Collections Operations at the Oklahoma City-based Museum of the Bible. Since Kloha’s departure, two Seminary faculty members have overseen the provost’s duties: Dr. Paul Robinson, professor of Historical Theology and the dean of the faculty, who served as interim provost; and Dr. Joel Okamoto, the Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Professor of Systematic Theology and chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology, who served as interim chief academic officer (CAO).

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) [3]. To learn more, visit www.csl.edu [1].

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