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Theological Symposium focuses on the cross

More than 175 people attended the Seminary’s 29th Annual Theological Symposium, “The Cross Alone is Our Theology,” held Sept. 18-19. The symposium featured plenaries, sectionals, an art exhibition in the library curated by the Intersect Arts Center in St. Louis and a Prof ’n Stein with Dr. Erik Herrmann, associate professor of Historical Theology, director of Concordia Theology and director of the Center for Reformation Research. Dean of Theological Research and Publication Dr. Charles Arand said 30 pastors submitted papers to present during the open sectionals.

Werner Auditorium is filled to capacity for Dr. Jeff Kloha’s plenary, “Carry On: The Centrality of the Cross.”
Left: Dr. Jeff Kloha gives his plenary presentation. Right: Rev. Scott Holder, admissions officer, presents on “Paul and Timothy: Discipleship, Pastoral Formation and the Next Generation of Pastors.”

Plenary speakers included: Dr. Jeff Kloha, former Seminary provost and chief curatorial officer at the Museum of the Bible; Dr. Kent Burreson, the Louis A. Fincke and Anna B. Shine Professor of Systematic Theology and dean of chapel; and Dr. Joel Okamoto, the Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Professor of Systematic Theology.

Dr. Kent Burreson gives his plenary presentation, “Ad fontem in crucem: The Formative Function of the Cross as Artistic and Ritual Sign.”
The symposium’s two worship services included a Service of Holy Communion.

The symposium addressed what it really means to have cross-centered theology, cross-centered pastoral care and a cross-centered life. About 40 registrants came early to the symposium and enjoyed a free golf outing at the Highlands Golf and Tennis Center at Forest Park, sponsored by LCMS Foundation Sept. 17. The symposium also included the Fourth Annual Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Lecture, “The Death of Jesus and its Aftermath in the Gospel According to Mark” by Dr. James W. Voelz Sept. 18.

These participants are attending Dr. Erik Herrmann’s presentation on “Luther’s Theology of Suffering and Pastoral Care: Trying to Make Sense of Suffering.”
Left: Dr. Joel Okamoto gives his plenary presentation, “The Word of the Cross and the Story of Everything.” Right: Sarah Bernhardt, director of the Intersect Arts Center in St. Louis, serves as the curator of the art exhibition.

Video recordings of the plenaries and some of the sectionals will be posted on the Concordia Theology website later this year at