Apr 28, 2023 Print This Article

Fritsche accepts call to join Seminary faculty

Bilingual missionary brings experience to campus

Rev. Joel Fritsche photo

Rev. Joel P. Fritsche has accepted a call to serve as director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships and assistant professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis beginning July 1. He will be formally installed Aug. 25 during the Opening Service of the 2023-24 academic year.

For more than two decades, Fritsche has served The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as a pastor, church planter, missionary and theological educator in the United States and in the Dominican Republic. 

Fritsche will succeed Dr. Glenn Nielsen who will conclude 33 years of service as director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

“As Dr. Nielsen retires from his many years of excellent service overseeing vicarages and deaconess internships, Rev. Fritsche is the ideal person to carry on directing this vital piece of our students’ formation for ministry,” said Seminary President Dr. Thomas J. Egger. “Joel is highly relational, fair-minded, hardworking, cheerful and direct. He loves the church and her mission, and he loves students. As a professor, he brings a robust commitment to confessional Lutheran theology and to the study of the Scriptures. Plus, he can teach in Spanish! His gifts will benefit multiple Seminary programs, and he and his family will be a great addition to our Seminary community.”

Since 2014, Fritsche has served as a missionary pastor and church planter in the Dominican Republic. Since 2017, he also has been serving as the director and professor of biblical languages at Concordia Seminary the Reformer, where he helps form Lutheran pastors and deaconesses for partner churches and mission fields throughout Latin America.

Before starting his missionary service, Fritsche served as associate pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyo. (2000-02); assistant pastor at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas (2002-05); and senior pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Staunton, Ill. (2009-14). He was a guest instructor of biblical languages at Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward (1995), and a guest instructor at Concordia Seminary (2008), where he also worked as an admissions counselor (2005-09).

Since 2007, Fritsche has served on the Board of Directors for Higher Things, an LCMS Recognized Service Organization (RSO).

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in music from Concordia University, Nebraska, Seward (1996), Fritsche earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Concordia Seminary (2000). He is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Old Testament from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo.

“It has been an amazing privilege these past several years to be part of the formation of confessional Lutheran pastors and deaconesses for service in Christ’s church in Latin America,” Fritsche said. “I am humbled and thrilled to return to Concordia Seminary and continue this vital work back home in North America.”

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.