Jun 11, 2024 Print This Article

Teaching All Nations

Faculty give focused attention internationally

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age”

Matt. 28:19-20 ESV

While Concordia Seminary may be physically located in the middle of the country, in a suburban community in the St. Louis region, its reach extends around the world. One important way the Seminary’s footprint is felt globally is through the work of its faculty members, who regularly teach and lecture in far-flung places. Some are gone for days, weeks and even months at a time as they share their theological expertise with the church’s future leaders in places like Latvia, Germany, Argentina, Kenya, Ethiopia and Brazil. A few professors recently shared some highlights of their international experiences providing theological leadership to all nations for the glory of Jesus Christ. Learn more about why their international involvement is an important aspect of their teaching and hear their advice for those who are considering a career working internationally.

Dr. Abjar Bahkou

Associate Professor of Practical Theology

Paris, France:

International Symposium of Arabic and Syriac studies speaker in July 2022

Beiruit, Lebanon:

Studios of the International Christian Satellite Sat7 film segments in July 2022


“Here in America, we live in a melting pot; the world is in our backyard. We cannot afford to preach and minister to one particular ethnic population any longer. We need to learn how to clearly communicate the Gospel in a multiethnic society.”


“Seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Learn as much as you can about the culture and country you will be sent to. Learn, appreciate, respect and love the culture you will be teaching.”

Dr. Joel Biermann

Professor of Systematic Theology

São Leopoldo, Brazil:

Seminario Concordia graduate seminar course in July 2024

Jūrmala, Latvia:

Eurasia regional retreat in August 2024


“It is rewarding to see how God’s truth transcends all borders and unites God’s people. My call is faithfully to teach God’s doctrine. I strive to do that in every available place, here and abroad.”


“Traveling and teaching in international settings is always far more enjoyable and usually more successful when you embrace the realities of the situation at hand without trying to impose your usual expectations on classroom settings or students.”

Dr. Joel Elowsky

Professor of Historical Theology, Dean of Advanced Studies, Director of the Center for the Study of Early Christian Texts, Coordinator of International Seminary Exchange Programs, and the Frank and Valerie Fuerst Professor of Historical Theology

Rome, Italy:

International Lutheran Council (ILC) and the Vatican study group in February 2024

Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Concordia Seminary in Argentina ecumenical council in March 2024


“I see our international involvement as an integral part of our mission and ministry. We have the goods theologically, but this should be coupled with the humility of recognizing we have much to learn from the larger church throughout the world — lessons we can share with our students here in St. Louis.”


“Just do it! Seriously, there is a need. Our theology is a gift that can and should be shared with the wider church here and scattered abroad.”

Dr. Thomas J. Egger

President and Professorof Exegetical Theology

Dr. Thomas J. Egger photo

Wittenberg, Germany:

Pastoral formation meetings in January 2024

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

Mekane Yesus Seminary Commencement ceremony in June 2024


“God has sent His Son as the world’s only Savior, as a ‘light for the Gentiles.’ What we have freely received, we are called to freely share with others — the hope we have in Christ and the bright light of His sacred Word. Concordia Seminary has a rich history in working together with our sister churches and sister seminaries throughout the world.”


“Friendships formed through international involvements are a special blessing, as we learn from one another that, as different as our cultures and customs and languages might be, we have the same living hope in Jesus Christ — one Lord, one faith, one Baptism. It is encouraging and invigorating to share such a joyous hope and such a mighty Savior. We are brothers and sisters together, truly and forever.”

Dr. Robert Kolb

Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology

Dr. Robert Kolb photo

Wittenberg, Germany:

Reformation Studies presenter, preacher and writing a book in summer 2024


“Working abroad helps us exercise a more critical stance in relationship to practices that we have taken for granted but that the Holy Spirit has not set in stone. It helps us appreciate the blessings God has given us in our own settings. It helps us enjoy the community of believers who differ from us in many ways but who share our faith in the Lord Jesus.”


“When we leave our own cultural surroundings, we will be confronted with the need to reexamine our own perceptions, but we will be rewarded with rich perspectives from those whose experiences have given them gifts from the Lord that seem strange to us but that reflect the magnificence of our God.”

Dr. Ron Mudge

Provost, Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Exegetical Theology

Dr. Ron Mudge photo

Buenos Aires, Argentina:

Pastoral formation meetings in January 2024


“Concordia Seminary strives to be a positive influence on international Lutheranism and to give excellent theological education to Lutherans around the world.”


“Learn as much of the language and culture of the people you are teaching and working with as possible and ask them about how to apply what you are teaching in their culture. International work is full of things that make you think, ‘That is not the way we do things.’ Ask about those things and see that as an opportunity for you to appreciate another culture.”

Dr. Peter Nafzger

Associate Professor of Practical Theology

Dr. Peter Nafzger photo

Nairobi, Kenya:

LCMS Regional Missionary Office intensive Master of Arts course in January 2024


“Preaching is always done in a specific context for the benefit of specific hearers. To have a full understanding of the preaching of the church on earth, it is necessary to listen and learn from people who preach in a variety of situations. Each time I’ve taught or studied in a culture different from my own, I learned more about Jesus and His commission to preach the Gospel to all nations.”


“When we listen to Christians around the world we understand more fully the scope of the mission Jesus has given us, which ultimately helps us grow in our understanding of God and His Word. Experiences like this help us see ourselves in proper perspective and recognize that we are a small part of the much larger body of Christ on earth.”

Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez

Professor of Systematic Theology, Director of the Center for Hispanic Studies, and the Werner R.H. and Elizabeth R. Krause Professor of Hispanic Ministries

Dr. Leopoldo Sánchez photo

Auckland and Dunedin, New Zealand:

Laidlaw College and University of Otago teaching in September 2022


“Intercultural theological exchanges foster a truly global picture of the church, in which we both give instruction to and receive instruction from friends in Christ. We bring many of those lessons back into the classroom, workshops and conferences. By sharing in each other’s gifts and struggles, we grow together into a stronger, more faithful and theologically enriched church.”


“Think not only in terms of what you will teach others, but also in terms of what you will learn from them. And if you cannot go overseas, remember theological exchanges are ripe for the picking among ethnically diverse brothers and sisters in Christ right here in the United States!”

Christie Hampton is a communications specialist at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.