Jun 28, 2023 Print This Article

Pietsch to join Seminary faculty

Pastoral care, counseling among areas of special expertise

Dr. Stephen Pietsch, a respected scholar with expertise in pastoral care and counseling from the Australian Lutheran College, has accepted a call to serve as associate professor of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis beginning this fall.

“Dr. Pietsch, coming to us from Australia, is an outstanding addition to our Seminary,” said Dr. Thomas J. Egger, president of Concordia Seminary. “He has served as a pastor in both rural and urban settings. As a Seminary professor in the areas of pastoral care, catechetics and preaching, students have cherished him for his investment in them and for his concern for their personal formation for ministry. His published work on the care of souls leans heavily on the theology and pastoral practice of Martin Luther while faithfully integrating insights from modern psychology. His pastoral demeanor along with crucible-tested theological convictions will be an inspiration to our students.”

After receiving a Bachelor of Theology from Luther Seminary (now ALC) in 1988, Pietsch was ordained in the Lutheran Church of Australia (LCA). He served for 19 years in parish ministry, gaining extensive pastoral care experience in congregational, school and chaplaincy settings.

Since 2008, Pietsch has served at Australian Lutheran College (ALC) in North Adelaide, South Australia (SA), where he has taught undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in the areas of pastoral care and counseling, homiletics, Lutheran Confessions, liturgics, the pastoral theology of Luther and others. He also served as the ALC’s director of pastoral formation (2018-22), dean of chapel (2016-19) and field education coordinator for the School of Pastoral Theology (2009-19).

In 2011, Pietsch completed a Master of Ministry at Adelaide College of Divinity, South Australia, concentrating on interdisciplinary research into Luther’s care for people with depression. He earned a Ph.D. at Flinders University in 2014. His doctoral thesis research brought together Luther’s perspectives on pastoral theology and practice, theology and psychology, which later became the basis for his book, Of Good Comfort: Martin Luther’s Letters to the Depressed and their Significance for Pastoral Care Today (ATF Press, 2016). In 2015, he was awarded the Flinders University “Vice Chancellor Prize for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.” This published research is used for pastoral training at both seminaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), including Concordia Seminary.

Pietsch has contributed to numerous publications including Logia, Concordia Pulpit Resources, Lutheran Forum, Lutheran Theological Journal and many others. He is working on a second monograph with Concordia Publishing House that will focus on Luther’s general approach to pastoral care with those experiencing distress or suffering.

Also notable among Pietsch’s service is his extensive work on the LCA’s Commission for Theology and Inter-Church Relations (CTICR) since 2016. He has been the chairman of CTICR since 2019.

Pietsch will begin service at Concordia Seminary July 1, and will be formally installed Aug. 25 during the Opening Service of the 2023-24 academic year.

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.