By letter today to the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis Board of Regents, President of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. (CTSFW) Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr. declined the call to serve as Concordia Seminary’s 11th president and will continue to serve as president at CTSFW.
In his letter, Rast said: “The call to serve as the 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis is one of the greatest honors I have received during the years of my service to the Christ and His church. … Needless to say, then, deliberating on the call that you have extended to me has been extremely challenging, comparable only to when I received the call to leave Ascension Lutheran Church in Madison, Tennessee to serve at CTSFW. In short, this was a decision to be made between two great opportunities, given that I believe that God has blessed me with the gifts to serve CSL or CTSFW. In the end, I have decided to remain at CTSFW and am therefore, with great reluctance, returning the call to serve as president of CSL.”
The Seminary extended the call May 16 and Rast’s decision was made within the 15-day window allowing for deliberation of the call.
In accordance with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Bylaws, the Seminary’s regents now shall promptly call a meeting of the electors and, as prescribed in the Bylaws, determine whether to reissue the call, elect another person from the remaining five finalists or issue a new call for candidates.
Board of Regents Chairman Rev. Todd A. Peperkorn is currently scheduling the meeting.
The Seminary’s next president will succeed Dr. Dale A. Meyer, who retires June 30.
“Christ is Lord of the Church. He knows what and who we need at Concordia Seminary, and it will happen in His time and way. Dr. Meyer has built up a wonderful team of people at Concordia Seminary, and we will continue to be in good hands,” said Peperkorn. “We thank God for Dr. Rast. I know this was an extremely difficult decision for him, but Christ continues to be Lord of the Church, and it will all be well in His time and way.”
Updates related to the presidential election are available at csl.edu/president-search.
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.