At a meeting today of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis’ Board of Regents, Seminary President Dr. Dale A. Meyer announced his decision to retire, effective June 30, 2020.
“My wife Diane and I both feel the time has come to retire. This has not been an easy decision. We love this Seminary, and we have been singularly challenged and blessed to serve the people of the church and our Lord through it,” said Meyer. “We fully believe that this is the Lord’s Seminary and He will guide it into a greater vision than I can presently imagine. It’s a great time to be at Concordia Seminary and it’s a great time to be the church of our Lord Jesus Christ – that’s truer today for us all than ever before!”
Meyer was first named interim president by the Board of Regents in November 2004 before being elected president in May 2005. He was renewed by the Board of Regents in 2010 and 2015 for additional five-year terms and is only the 10th president since the Seminary’s founding in 1839.
“Meyer is respected across The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and among its global partners as a scholar, preacher, leader, teacher and churchman. He and Diane have contributed greatly to the vibrancy of the Seminary community. They are renowned in their ambassadorship of the Seminary and for creating a friendly, welcoming and community-involved campus. Their legacy will be their commitment to the formation of our church’s future pastors, deaconesses, teachers and other church leaders with a passion for the mission of our Lord Jesus,” said Seminary Executive Vice President Michael Louis.
Seminary Provost Dr. Douglas L. Rutt commented, “A hallmark of Dr. Meyer’s service is his deep affection for our students and alumni. Despite the demands of his schedule, he is regularly at chapel and on campus, getting to know our students, celebrating their joys, empathizing with their struggles, and offering advice and encouragement. Dr. Meyer very often says, ‘it’s a great time to be the church’ – this sentiment stands as a testament to his abiding faith in Jesus Christ and God’s plan for the future of the Seminary.”
Meyer’s dedication to theological academic excellence is evidenced in his leadership of a world class faculty and positioning the Seminary to advance confessional Lutheranism through enhanced partnerships with Lutheran church bodies and seminaries around the world.
During Meyer’s tenure, the Seminary’s long-term debt has been eliminated and the Seminary’s endowment has quadrupled. He led the Seminary’s Generations: The Campaign for Concordia Seminary from 2012-18, which raised more than $200 million and provided for a transformation of the Seminary’s library into a state-of-the-art learning center. He was at the helm of the Seminary’s previous campaign, How Will They Hear?, from 2005-10, which raised $80 million. At present, Meyer is leading the Generations 20/20 Campaign, which has a $66 million goal — all for the sake of the church and the Gospel.
As part of the Seminary’s 2018-20 Strategic Plan, Meyer is leading the effort to create a culture of recruitment across the campus and cultivating awareness of the entire church’s role in recruiting pastors and other church workers.
The Seminary earned top marks from its most recent accreditation visits in 2014 by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Theological Schools, and has received several civic awards, including being named among the 100 Top Workplaces in metropolitan St. Louis in 2015.
“Dr. Meyer is the longest tenured president in over 50 years. His dedication to Concordia Seminary and his contribution to its stability has our Seminary well poised for a robust and bright future,” said Rev. Todd Peperkorn, chairman of the Seminary’s Board of Regents. “We pray God’s richest blessings to Dale and Diane as they prepare to begin this new chapter. I, for one, can’t wait to see how God will continue to use them for the good of the church and Concordia Seminary. To God alone be the glory!”
In addition, Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of the LCMS, said, “Each of the extraordinary men called to serve as president of Concordia Seminary leaves an enduring legacy. Dr. Meyer’s tenure has been marked by a tremendous and successful effort to place the institution on firm financial foundations, while preparing the physical plant to endure the generations ahead. The curriculum review accomplished during Dr. Meyer’s tenure aimed at providing the best possible training for future pastors facing the eternal task of proclaiming the Gospel, but in these postmodern times. We thank Dale for the tireless service to Christ and His Gospel at Concordia Seminary. The institution is poised for a healthy and seamless transition to future blessings. Pray the Lord of the harvest send workers.”
The Board of Regents and the faculty will form a committee to search for Meyer’s replacement. The board also will issue a call for nominations through the appropriate LCMS channels. For questions about the search process, please contact Vicki Biggs, chief communications officer, at 314-505-7266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.