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Professor Emeritus Dr. Charles T. Knippel enters rest

Dr. Charles T. Knippel, professor emeritus of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, entered rest in Christ Jesus July 24.

He retired in 1992 after 11 years of distinguished service as professor of Practical Theology (1981-92). He came to the Seminary as a visiting instructor in 1971 and was named associate professor in 1981.

“I first met Charles Knippel in 1971 when he was a visiting instructor at Concordia Seminary. To this day I remember with appreciation what he taught me in that class,” said Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary. “Our association continued when we both served as pastors in the LCMS Southern Illinois District and later as professors at our Seminary. He was one of the fairest and most caring men I have ever known. Many have been blessed by his life and ministry and I thank the Lord of the Church for His grace through Dr. Charles Knippel.”

Before joining the Seminary, Knippel served as pastor at Salem Lutheran Church in Salem, Ill. (1953-54); Trinity Lutheran Church and the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. (1954-63); The Lutheran Church of the Risen Christ in Florissant, Mo. (1963-67); St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in St. Louis (1971-73); and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wood River, Ill. (1976-81).

Knippel’s legacy includes specialized service to those suffering from addiction. He served as chaplain at St. Louis Detoxification Center (1968-71); coordinator of ministry for chemical dependence at Lutheran Mission Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (1968-76); instructor at Missouri Alcoholism Education and Training Program (1968-71, 1974-76); outpatient counselor at St. Louis County Hospital Psychiatric Division (1969-70); research associate for Social Science Institute at Washington University in St. Louis (1969-71, 1975-76); coordinator and chief counselor at St. Michael’s Therapeutic Community in St. Louis (1973-75); and as a regional development specialist for the Missouri Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (1975-76).

Knippel also served as a visiting professor at Washington University School of Continuing Education (1971-75).

A prolific author, his works include Freedom from Hurtful Behaviors: What the Bible Teaches about Liberation and Renewal (Concordia Publishing House); When Addictions Threaten (Concordia Publishing House); How to Minister Among Older Adults (Concordia Publishing House); Joy in the Parish: Hope for Pastor and People (Concordia Publishing House); The Twelve Steps: The Church’s Challenge and Opportunity (Concordia Publishing House); Self-Righteousness: Our Greatest Danger (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform); and The Augsburg Confession and its Apology Leaders Guide, part of the Lutheran Confession Series (Concordia Publishing House).

Knippel received his Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from Concordia Seminary (1952, 1969). He earned an associate’s degree from St. John’s College in Winfield, Kan. (1947), and a Ph.D. from St. Louis University (1987).

A funeral service will be held Monday, July 30, beginning at 10 a.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Granite City, Ill. Pastors are invited to process and recess with red stoles.

Visitation is Sunday, July 29, from 2-5 p.m. at Paynic Home for Funerals, 618 East Airline Dr., East Alton, Ill., and Monday at the church for one half hour before the funeral service begins.

The family is requesting memorials to Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; Hope Lutheran Church, Granite City; or Messiah Lutheran Church, Alton, Ill.

Knippel was preceded in death by his wife, Donna Marie, and their son, Charles Andrew. He is survived by daughter Anne Marie (Jerry) Glassmeyer, and grandson Gregory J. (Kacie) Bamert Jr.

The faculty, students and staff of Concordia Seminary have been blessed by Knippel’s leadership, scholarship and ministry. He will be missed.

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!’” (Rev. 14:13 ESV).

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