“Teach us to number our days” (Ps. 90:12 ESV). You may have heard that Diane and I have decided to retire.
First, I want to share a video featuring the Chairman and Vice Chairman of our Board of Regents, Rev. Todd Peperkorn and Rev. Max Mons. This video was shared at our Alumni Reunion last week. The words spoken are sincere, and I personally know their commitment is for this transition to be accomplished in a churchman-like way so that the Seminary may continue its positive direction for years to come.
Second, below is the letter I shared with our Concordia Seminary community announcing our decision to retire. I underscore the second paragraph, that I have confidence in the leadership of the Board of Regents serving in this new triennium. In the letter, I also mention making some remarks in chapel about my retirement. You can find those chapel remarks and other updates at csl.edu/president-search.
Third, please use your connections to put a positive construction on this transition. Some inquiring minds will seek intrigue, but churchmen take the high road, and I know that our board and faculty will do just that. I look forward to welcoming the 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and giving him my full public support.
Much more could be said, and I will as the months go by, but the theme will be that it’s a great time to be the church and a great time to be at Concordia Seminary.
Here’s the letter.
October 3, 2019
Dear members of our Concordia Seminary family,
“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12 ESV). This morning I informed our Board of Regents that Diane and I have decided it’s time to retire. I hope you can imagine how we’ve anguished over this. About a month ago Diane and I were relaxing at the end of the day. I said, “I wish I could serve 15 more years,” having now served as president for 15 years. Diane sat up, leaned toward me and said in her direct, honest way, “Dale, we’re in our 70s.” Indeed. “Here we have no lasting city” (Heb. 13:14 ESV).
There’s a second reason now is the time. I have confidence in the leadership of our Board of Regents for this new triennium. In obedience to our Lord’s will that all things be done decently and in order, I know the leadership of our board will make the coming months of seeking and transitioning to a new president a model of churchmanship to our campus community and to the whole church. This is our Lord’s Seminary and the mission is His. It is bigger than anyone or group of us. I’m confident that you hold this truth with me and we will see our Seminary move forward with a positive spirit, collegially and as churchmen.
Fifty years ago I arrived on this campus as a student, but never imagined I would serve in this position. It has been hard, very humbling, but a singular blessing. It has taught me more than I can express to depend upon the guidance and loving-kindnesses of our God and Savior. Diane and I love Concordia Seminary, its places and people and our love will continue to grow in retirement. That said, a verse from the Gospel this coming Sunday sums it up well. “When you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty’” (Luke 17:10 ESV).
Lord willing, we will serve through the remainder of this academic and fiscal year, ending our full-time service June 30, 2020. I look forward to the selection of the 11th president of Concordia Seminary and will pledge him my full support and prayers for a blessed tenure.
The Handbook of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod prescribes the process by which a new seminary president is chosen (188.8.131.52.1-2). This afternoon a press release for the general public will be issued. Tomorrow Chairman Todd Peperkorn and I will make a few remarks after chapel. Our purpose is to assure you that this transition will be good for our Seminary community and for our service to the church. Let it be well with your soul! You’ve heard it often, this is a great time to be at Concordia Seminary. Together we will have confidence and good cheer in the coming months because the Spirit of Jesus, the Lord of our Seminary and church, will guide us. Amen!
With gratitude and in deep humility,
Dr. Dale A. Meyer
President, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis