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Seminary begins 183rd academic year

Egger installed as 11th president; new students welcomed

The 183rd academic year for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis began Friday, Aug. 27,  with the Opening Service in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus.

During the Opening Service, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod President Dr. Matthew C. Harrison preached on the 2021-22 academic theme “Your Word is a Lamp to my Feet” from Psalm 119:105.

“The seed is the Word of God, the Sower, God Himself, casts the Word with apparent indiscriminate behavior,” Harrison said in his sermon. “Dr. Egger, faculty, students, dear brothers and sisters, the Word is near you. It’s in your mouth. It’s in your heart. That is the Word of faith which we proclaim … To you they are the Words of God, the power of salvation to all who believe. And there are many more who shall believe.”

Dr. Thomas Egger photo
Dr. Thomas J. Egger, 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Dr. Thomas J. Egger was installed as the Seminary’s 11th president. Additionally, three new professors were installed: Dr. Kevin Golden as associate professor of Exegetical Theology; Dr. Ely Prieto as associate professor of Practical Theology, associate dean of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry and the Lutheran Foundation Professor of Urban and Cross-Cultural Ministry; and Dr. Jon Vieker as associate professor of Practical Theology and dean of chapel. In addition to Egger, four professors were installed in new positions: Dr. Joel Elowsky as dean of Advanced Studies; Dr. Erik Herrmann as dean of Theological Research and Publication; Dr. David Lewis as director of the Master of Divinity and Residential Alternate Route programs; and Dr. Glenn Nielsen as director of certification. One new staff member was installed: Deaconess Rebekah Lukas as communications specialist. In addition, eight new staff were recognized, and nine faculty and staff were recognized for new positions.

Among students recognized were 39 distance students who received their vicarage and internship assignments. Anticipated new students for the fall term include 99 residential and distance Ministerial Formation students: 51 residential Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students; three Residential Alternate Route (RAR) students; five residential Deaconess Studies students; four Online Deaconess Studies (ODS) students; 13 Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students; 16 Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program students; three Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) students; and four General Pastor Certification (GPC) Program students.

Concordia Seminary’s Advanced Studies department also anticipates 35 new students: 13 Master of Arts students; 11 Doctor of Philosophy students; three Doctor of Ministry students; and eight Master of Sacred Theology students.

The following Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) students were assigned as vicars:

  • Todd Bentz, Emanuel Lutheran Church, Hamburg, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Brady Betten, GraceHill Lutheran Church, Omaha, Neb., LCMS Nebraska District
  • David Blajeski, Shepherd of the Prairie Lutheran Church, Franklin, Texas, LCMS Texas District
  • Joshua Britton, Trinity Lutheran Church, Utica, Mich., LCMS Michigan District
  • Steven Garrabrant, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Nassau Bay, Texas, LCMS Texas District
  • Joseph Haggas, River of Life Lutheran Church, Omaha, Neb., LCMS Nebraska District
  • Jacob Koehler, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Ind., LCMS Indiana District
  • Luke Kunze, Trinity Lutheran Church and School, Greeley, Colo., LCMS Rocky Mountain District
  • Jeremy Lamont, Grace Lutheran Church, Sandy, Utah, LCMS Rocky Mountain District
  • James Lavender, Point of Grace Lutheran Church, Pflugerville, Texas, LCMS Texas District
  • Richard Lewis, St. John Lutheran Church, Marion Springs, Mich., LCMS Michigan District
  • Daryl Lohmeyer, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Lake Arrowhead, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • Bruce Maul, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Vergas, Minn., LCMS Minnesota North District
  • Daniel McMahan, Faith Lutheran Church, Lincoln, Neb., LCMS Nebraska District
  • David “Adam” Moore, The Point Lutheran Church, Knoxville, Tenn., LCMS Mid-South District
  • Randall “Craig” Sanders, Zion Lutheran Church, Abilene, Texas, LCMS Texas District

The following Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) students were assigned as vicars:

  • Amanuel Abdalla, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Phoenix, Ariz., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • Kenna Aga, LINC Twin Cities, St. Paul, Minn., LCMS Minnesota South District
  • Luther Ashkaba, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Phoenix, Ariz., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • James Both, Sudanese Mission Lutheran Church, Ankeny, Iowa, LCMS Iowa District West
  • Dawa Dawa, Oromo Lutheran Christian Fellowship, San Diego, Calif., LCMS Pacific Southwest District
  • Rochenel Jean Jacques, Peace Lutheran Church, Naples, Fla., LCMS Florida-Georgia District
  • Vincent Mroz, Christ Lutheran Church, Forest Hills, Penn., LCMS Eastern District
  • Abisalom Nasuwa, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Dallas, Texas, LCMS Texas District
  • Robert Ngoyi, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Appleton, Wis., LCMS North Wisconsin District
  • Jonas Ntagawa, Bethel Lutheran Church, Dallas, Texas, LCMS Texas District
  • Joseph Runezerwa, Bethel Lutheran Church, Dallas, Texas, LCMS Texas District
  • Emmanuel Tshikala, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Appleton, Wis., LCMS North Wisconsin District
  • Daniel Wallis, Holy Cross Lutheran Church for the Deaf, Maplewood, Mo., LCMS Missouri District

The following Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS) students were assigned as vicars:

  • Luis Gonzalez, Iglesia Evangelica Luterana San Pablo, Aurora, Ill., LCMS Northern Illinois District
  • Cruz Guerrero Aguilera, Iglesia Evangelica Luterana San Pablo, Aurora, Ill., LCMS Northern Illinois District
  • Walker Nery, Bethel Lutheran Church, Dallas, Texas, LCMS Texas District

The following Cross-cultural Ministry Center (CMC) students were assigned as vicars:

  • Kevin Kong, Church of All Nations, Hong Kong, LCMS Northwest District
  • Nathan Schmidt, Christ the Vine Lutheran Church, Damascus, Ore., LCMS Northwest District
  • Anthony Suarez-Abraham, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Soquel, Calif., LCMS California-Nevada-Hawaii District

The following Online Deaconess Studies (ODS) Program students were assigned as interns:

  • Laura Bauer, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Interlochen, Mich., LCMS Michigan District
  • Stephenie Hovland, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Portage, Wis., LCMS South Wisconsin District; and LCMS Office of International Mission, St. Louis, Mo., LCMS Missouri District
  • Hana Laughton, Lutheran Latino Ministries, Woodburn, Ore., LCMS Northwest District
  • Naomi Moon, Zion Lutheran Church, Bismarck, N.D., LCMS North Dakota District

The Seminary recognizes and celebrates calls throughout the year for students enrolled in programs such as SMP, EIIT, CHS and ODS; however, the majority of students receive their first calls to ministry at the annual Call Day celebration. Call Day is set for April 26, 2022.

“May God uphold us and preserve us in the coming year and deal mercifully with us for the sake of the Son,” said Egger, addressing the students as he opened the new academic year. “May God illumine the year ahead with the bright light of Christ and the bright light of Christ’s Word.”

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.

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