Feb 06, 2021 Print This Article

Egger called as 11th Seminary president

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis has extended a call to Dr. Thomas J. Egger, the Gustav and Sophie Butterbach Professor of Exegetical Theology and chairman of the Department of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, to serve as the 11th president in the school’s 182-year history.

The call was extended Saturday after a unanimous vote on the first ballot by the electors, and following interviews with the final slate of two candidates. Egger was originally nominated for the presidency by all three sources that Synod Bylaws allow to submit nominations:  the faculty of Concordia Seminary, the Board of Regents of Concordia Seminary and numerous LCMS congregations.

Egger, who would assume the presidency later this spring upon formal acceptance of the call, was elected to succeed President Emeritus Dr. Dale A. Meyer, who retired June 30, 2020, after serving 15 years as president. Dr. Daniel Preus has been serving as interim president of the Seminary since July 1. Egger has 15 days to deliberate the call.

“Dr. Egger comes to us as one of our own,” said Board of Regents Chairman Rev. Todd A. Peperkorn. “He has been a respected member of our faculty for many years, and his service has been exemplary. We pray God’s blessings upon him, and look forward to working with him in the years to come.”

Peperkorn made the announcement in a live-streamed ceremony in the Chapel of Ss. Timothy and Titus, which included a statement from President-elect Egger.

“It is a great honor to be asked to serve and to lead this Seminary that I love,” Egger said. “Concordia is an institution with a rich past and a strong present, and a future that will unfold under our Lord’s provision and grace.”

Dr. Thomas Egger photo

Photo: Courtesy Jill Gray

Egger, an associate professor of Exegetical Theology and the academic adviser for first-year students at the Seminary, has been a faculty member since 2005, having been installed at the same service at which Meyer was installed as president. He earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at Concordia Seminary (1997), and received his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and German from Central College in Pella, Iowa (1993). He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) at Concordia Seminary in 2019. His dissertation focused on the phrase “visiting iniquity of fathers upon sons” from the book of Exodus.

Before being called to Concordia Seminary, Egger served as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Storm Lake, Iowa (2000–05).

In addition to his Seminary duties, Egger currently serves on the Board of Regents for Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., where he was elected by his fellow board members to serve as a member of the executive committee, and on the Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) Awards Committee. He served three terms on the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations and was part of the seven-member LCMS Catechism Revision Committee, which prepared the 2017 revision of the Synod’s explanation of Luther’s Small Catechism. He has a strong interest in classical education, having served for 10 years on the Board of Directors of Providence Classical Christian Academy, a K–12 school in St. Louis, Mo.

Egger and his wife, Victoria, have been blessed with six children.

The electors who voted to issue the call during their meeting Saturday are:

  • The members of the Seminary’s Board of Regents, who voted collectively with one vote
  • The LCMS district president elected to the Seminary’s Board of Regents, Dr. John Wille of the LCMS South Wisconsin District
  • LCMS President Dr. Matthew C. Harrison
  • Chairman of the LCMS Board of Directors Dr. Michael Kumm

The Seminary’s presidential search committee prepared research and recommendations from the original list of 42 nominees, which was released in September.

The committee included:

  • Professor of Exegetical Theology and Dean of Ministerial Formation Dr. Timothy Saleska, co-chairman
  • Louis A. Fincke and Anna B. Shine Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean of Chapel Dr. Kent Burreson
  • Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Professor of Systematic Theology and Chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology Dr. Joel Okamoto
  • Werner R.H. Krause and Elizabeth Ringger Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries, Professor of Systematic Theology and Director of the Center for Hispanic Studies Dr. Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.
  • Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Student Life Dr. Peter Nafzger
  • Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology and Chairman of the Department of Exegetical Theology Dr. Jeffrey Oschwald
  • Gregg H. Benidt Memorial Professor of Homiletics and Literature and Chairman of the Department of Practical Theology Dr. David Schmitt

Also included on the committee are the following members from the Seminary’s Board of Regents:

  • Vice Chairman Rev. W. Max Mons, co-chairman
  • Paul Hegland
  • Rev. Bruce Keseman
  • Dr. John Lang

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.