Jul 20, 2023 Print This Article

Opening Service Aug. 25 to mark beginning of new academic year

Seminary welcomes 130 new students

Updated with final enrollment numbers Sept. 8, 2023.

Set for 10:30 a.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 25, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis will hold the Opening Service for its 185th academic year in the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus. Seminary President Dr. Thomas J. Egger will preach on the new academic year theme, “We Belong to Christ,” based on 1 Cor. 6:19-20 and Rom. 14:8-9.

The service will conclude a week of orientation for the Seminary’s 130 new students, which includes residential and distance students in both the Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies departments.

During the service, distance students enrolled in the Specific Ministry Pastor Program, Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology, Center for Hispanic Studies, Cross-cultural Ministry Center and Online Deaconess Studies Program will be recognized for their vicarage and internship assignments.

“I always look forward to the start of the academic year at Concordia Seminary,” said Dean of Ministerial Formation Dr. Timothy Saleska. “I love the rhythm of the year — the cycle of weekly schedules, classes, semesters, brings predictability and stability to our lives. But I also love the new things that keep the routine from being, well routine — new students and families, new classes, new challenges. It all makes for a stimulating atmosphere of learning and growth. I give thanks to our Lord for all of it. Not only has He redeemed us and made us His own people but He has brought us together in this place for the unique purpose of preparing deaconesses and pastors to serve in His kingdom. As always, I pray that our Lord will be with us in this new year and that He will grant us His wisdom and grace as we share our lives together.”

Associate Professor of Practical Theology Dr. Stephen Pietsch, Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology Dr. Adam Hensley, and Assistant Professor of Exegetical Theology Rev. Joel Fritsche, who also serves as director of Vicarage and Deaconess Internships, will be installed during the service. In addition, two current professors will be installed into new positions; Professor of Historical Theology Dr. Gerhard Bode as director of the Center for Reformation Research, and Associate Professor of Exegetical Theology Dr. Kevin Golden as dean of Theological Research and Publication.

The public is invited to attend this event in person and to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year with new and returning students and their families, as well as with faculty and staff. The service also will be livestreamed.

Everyone is encouraged to help share in the celebration of a new academic year by using #webelongtochrist on social media.

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.