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Concordia Seminary Newsroom and Press Releases

New students welcomed, renovated library dedicated

180th year academic year begins

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis officially opened its 180th academic year Friday, Aug. 24, in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus, welcoming new students, faculty and staff, and recognizing the assignments of vicarages, internships and calls for some distance education students.

President Dr. Dale A. Meyer preached and introduced the 2018-19 theme from Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I! Send me.”

“When Isaiah said, ‘Send me,’ he was not accepting the status quo,” Meyer said. “He was eager for the future. Holiness shook him to woe, but the forgiving burn of holiness transformed him for mission. Concordia Seminary cannot accept the status quo. Our Lord Jesus bids us go to the world the way it is today. So it is my prayer that this 180th academic year will shake and send us into the future with confidence and cheerful courage in the Good News of God.”

During the Opening Service, new students, faculty and staff members, and students receiving Regent and Presidential awards were recognized. Vicarages also were announced for the fall 2018 cohort of the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program, as well as for some students in the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT), the Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) and the Cross-Cultural Ministry Center (CMC).

Dr. Douglas Rutt was installed as provost and professor of Practical Theology, and Dr. Abjar Bahkou was installed as associate professor of Practical Theology.

The Opening Service concluded new student Orientation, which was held Aug. 21-24. Orientation activities included servant events, with students and mentors joining with faculty and staff to serve the people of St. Louis at 13 locations citywide.

The Seminary has an anticipated fall enrollment of 569 students, including 86 new students in residential and distance ministerial formation programs: 44 residential Master of Divinity students; eight Residential Alternate Route students; one deaconess student; nine Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students; 22 Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program students; and three Center for Hispanic Studies students.

Concordia Seminary’s Advanced Studies department also welcomed 45 new students: 15 Master of Arts students; 13 Doctor of Philosophy students; seven Doctor of Ministry students; and 10 Master of Sacred Theology students.

To watch an archive of the Opening Service, visit here.

The grand opening of the newly renovated Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library also was held Aug. 24.

The Generations Campaign resulted in the $6-million transformation of the Seminary’s library in Fuerbringer Hall. The renovated library is named in memory of the daughter of Glenn and Kay Hasse, who died in a car accident at the age of 17. The Hasses of Naples, Fla., provided the lead gift for the library’s yearlong renovation.

The library grand opening celebration included remarks by Meyer, Clayton Mayor Harold Sanger, Master of Sacred Theology student Andrew Hatesohl, the Hasses, Director of Library Services Rev. Benjamin Haupt and Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert Rosin.

Rosin’s lecture about the historical significance of libraries served as a reminder how libraries engage people with contexts and conversations different from their own and how they can sharpen contemporary Lutheran witness to God’s truth.

“Books and libraries can be messy business,” Rosin said. “They can turn our ideas and our world upside down.”

Meyer thanked the Hasses, who he said “have a passion for our students who will bring Christ to congregations, communities and the world. Because of [the Hasses’] visionary generosity, the Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library will provide the best of theological resources to pastors, church workers and lay people around the world.”

Glenn Hasse said after he and his wife learned about the Seminary years ago they felt supporting the library was something they ought to do, almost like a calling.

“The digitizing of these books opens up this library to students and people all over the world,” Glenn Hasse said. “The whole intent of all of that, of course, is to help students and help people from around the world get to know about more about Jesus. That really is the bottom line. There is no better gift that anybody can give than the gift to help people learn about Jesus. That’s what this library does.”

To watch an archive of the library grand opening, visit here.

Before the library celebration, the Opening Service served as significant milestone for 44 distance education students who received calls, vicarages and internships.

SMP students receiving vicarages included:

Brian Bocian, St. Luke Lutheran Church, Cabot, Penn., Eastern District
Daniel Bodeman, Christ Lutheran Church Little Rock, Ark., Mid-South District
Kyle Borcherding, Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, Avon, Ind., Indiana District
Jason Christ, First Trinity Lutheran Church, Tonawanda, N.Y., Eastern District
Martin Cornes, Peace Lutheran Church, Robbinsdale, Minn., Minnesota South District
Dean Dunavan, Woodbury Lutheran Church, Woodbury, Minn., Minnesota South District
Matthew Fitzpatrick, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Lake Mary, Fla., SELC District
Shawn Hecksel, Cornerstone Lutheran Church, Carmel, Ind., Indiana District
Danlias Howe, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Lake Mary, Fla., SELC District
Erik Johnson, Our Saviour (OSNY) Lutheran Church, Rego Park, N.Y., Atlantic District
Peter Johnson, Faith Lutheran Church, Rochester, N.Y., Eastern District
Matthew Koch, St. Paul Community Lutheran Church, Pontiac, Mich., Michigan District
Colton LaMay, Saint Michael Lutheran Church, Fort Myers, Fla., Florida-Georgia District
Morgan Lane, Bethel Lutheran Church, Claremont, N.C., Southeastern District
Daniel Longden, First Lutheran Church, Charlotte, Mich., Michigan District
Leo (Patrick) Luke, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Orlando, Fla., Florida-Georgia District
Scott Magneson, Light of Christ Lutheran Church, Marysville, Mich., Michigan District
Benjamin Maxson, Makah Lutheran Church, Neah Bay, Wash., Northwest District
Mark Payne, Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Flower Mound, Texas, Texas District
Samuel Troemel, Calvary Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, Ind., Indiana District
Craig VanPay, St. John Lutheran Church, Luxemburg, Wis., North Wisconsin District
Jason Wallingsford, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, Texas District

EIIT students receiving vicarages included:

Henry Chanderdatt, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., Atlantic District
Jawed Dass, Living Faith and Faith Lutheran Churches, Cumming, Ga., and Naples, Fla., English District
>Alex Johnson, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Austin, Texas, Texas District
Zaza Kandakai, Christ Assembly Lutheran Church, Staten Island, N.Y., Atlantic District
Bennego Kangar, LINC Ministries International – Twin Cities, St. Paul, Minn., Minnesota South District
Paul Lauaki, LINC Ministries International – Bay Area, Hayward, Calif., California-Nevada-Hawaii District
Soe Moe, Southwest Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Ind., Indiana District
Jae Hyun Park, Light of the World Lutheran Church, Fort Worth, Texas, Texas District
Hunde Takele, Emmaus Lutheran Church (Oromo), St. Paul, Minn., Minnesota South District
Fabricio Velasquez, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Va., Southeastern District

CHS students receiving vicarages included:

Noé Anastasio Luna, Glocal Mission, Spring, Texas, Texas District
Edwardo Martinez, Iglesia Evangelica Luterana Esperanza Viva, Orlando, Fla., Florida-Georgia District
Erwin Andrés Valencia, Saint Paul Lutheran Church, Mount Prospect, Ill., Northern Illinois District
José Pinedo Whatts, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., Atlantic District
CHS students receiving deaconess internships included:
Nancy Estrada, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Aurora, Ill., Northern Illinois District
Abigail Ramirez, Cristo El Salvador Lutheran Mission, Del Rio, Texas, Texas District
Mariaisabel Villegas de Morales, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Aurora, Ill., Northern Illinois District

A CMC student receiving a vicarage assignment included:

Chris Simmons, XrossWay Lutheran Ministries Inc., Twin Falls, Idaho, Northwest District

A CHS student receiving his first call included:

Miguel Andrés Sanabria, Messiah Lutheran Church, Tampa, Fla., Florida-Georgia District

CMC students receiving their first calls included:

Jacob Brouwer, Faith Lutheran Church, Huntington Beach, Calif., Pacific Southwest District
Benjamin Mai
, University Lutheran Church, La Jolla, Calif., Pacific Southwest District
James Toma, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Huntington Beach, Calif., Pacific Southwest District

The new academic year festivities also included the second annual Opening Weekend Hymn Festival, which was held in the chapel Sunday, Aug. 26, and featured an ensemble choir and guest artist, Kantor Kevin Hildebrand of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. The festival marked the inaugural concert of the Concordia Seminary Concert Series. To watch an archive of the festival, visit here.

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,