Dr. William Schumacher was installed as the Buehner-Duesenberg Professor of Missions Aug. 23 during the Opening Service for Concordia Seminary’s 181st academic year.
Schumacher, a former missionary, is the Seminary’s mission professor of Historical Theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies.
Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg established the endowed chair in 2012 in honor of Phyllis’ parents and as an opportunity to inspire future church workers for mission service.
“This appointment is about heart. For decades Dr. William Schumacher has shown his passion for mission, especially through his long service in Africa,” said Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer. “In establishing this generous endowment, Mr. and Mrs. Duesenberg have shown their heart for the lost. Mrs. Phyllis Duesenberg grew up in India as the child of missionaries, Andrew John and Pauline Buehner. Phyllis was called to eternity this past June. Through this endowed chair, more hearts will be touched by Jesus and will join in the coming resurrection to life eternal. For this I am profoundly grateful.”
Schumacher joined the faculty in 1996. He served as the chairman of the Department of Historical Theology (2014-16). He also served as assistant to the director of Resident Field Education for cross-cultural experiences (1996-2007) and dean of Theological Research and Publication (2006-12).
Before joining the Seminary, he served as a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) missionary in Botswana, Africa (1985-95), and as the LCMS’ theological coordinator for Africa (2010-12). He has taught and lectured internationally in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“God’s mission is the beating heart of theology,” said Schumacher. “First and foremost, mission isn’t a bunch of theories and practices by which we try to understand and carry out one of the things God wants us to do in the world; mission is what God Himself has done, and still does, in the world. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost. That is why Concordia Seminary exists, and also why it’s such an honor for me to occupy the Buehner-Duesenberg chair.”
Schumacher received his Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology and Doctor of Philosophy from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1985, 1996, 2003). He earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in German language and literature from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa (1981).
He and his wife, Tamara, have three grown children and two granddaughters.
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 csl.edu.