Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Concordia Seminary is closely monitoring developments relative to the coronavirus pandemic. Our students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read carefully the information provided here and to follow these guidelines for the sake of the safety, health and well-being of our Concordia Seminary family and surrounding community.

Campus Case Status

Last updated: April 6, 2021

Tests since
Sept. 1, 2020
Positive cases since
Sept. 1, 2020
Positive cases
(Last 10 days)
Positivity rate
(10-day average)
Campus community members in quarantine






Tests since
Sept. 1, 2020

Positive cases since
Sept. 1, 2020

Positive cases (Last 10 days)2

Positivity rate (10-day average)33%

Campus members in quarantine6

The Welcome Back to Campus Plan
2020-21 Academic Year
Guidance for students, faculty and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Download the Plan

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, Lord of the church! Welcome, and for some of you, welcome back, to the 2020-21 academic year at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, our 182nd year, with the theme “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” — the perfect theme for these turbulent times.

These past few months have presented us with new challenges almost daily, and things are yet changing. We are closely monitoring developments relative to the coronavirus pandemic as we begin our new academic year. Concordia Seminary is committed to creating a safe learning and working environment for our students, faculty and staff. For our distance students, our online courses will progress as normal. For our residential students, the Seminary intends to offer in-person courses with some modified operating procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The Seminary is following current best practices, guidelines and regulations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Missouri Department of Health and the St. Louis County department of public health. Our students, faculty and staff are encouraged to read carefully the information provided here and to follow these guidelines for the sake of the safety, health and well-being of our Concordia Seminary family and surrounding community.

While we recognize that the Seminary may have to operate a little differently this academic year, we know that God our Father is in control and has us in His care — always. What a blessing it is to know that our Savior Jesus is still the Lord of the church! The current circumstances of our world demonstrate the eternal significance of what we do here at Concordia Seminary, and the exceedingly important consequences of the ministry of the Gospel.

Please continue to pray for all of those who have been affected by this terrible disease and for all those serving on the front lines who are caring for the sick and providing essential services. We pray in earnest for an end to this worldwide pandemic, and we thank God for sending His Son for our eternal salvation.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
(Ps. 46:1-3 ESV)

Because COVID-19 information is ever changing, any updates to this plan will be posted here. Please bookmark this page and visit it often for the most current information.

Campus Updates

Current Information

Dear members of the Seminary community,

I am very happy to write and share the news that we are planning to hold our spring 2021 Call Day and Commencement exercises in person! This good news is on the heels of the improvements we are seeing across the country relative to the pandemic.

Of course, we are not out of the woods and as such, these events will be conducted with the health and well-being of our students, staff, faculty and guests uppermost. As we finalize the plans for these two major events, we will continue to follow St. Louis County’s recommendations for group size, masks and social distancing.

Regarding Call Day, we have already communicated directly with the students who will be participating in the Assignment of Vicarages and Internships Service and the Assignment of Calls Service to let them know that they should plan to attend in person and that they may each invite one guest to also attend in person.

In addition, the faculty and staff who must be present to conduct the services will attend in person. Also, we are planning for a processional but will need to limit participation to active faculty and teaching staff – these faculty and staff members are asked to watch for a separate communication to confirm these details. All other faculty, staff and students are invited to watch the services via livestream at Likewise, friends and family beyond the one guest allowed per participating student should be invited to watch the livestream, too.

Regarding Commencement and that day’s Theological Diploma Service, as mentioned above, we also are planning for these events to be held in person. However, we are still fine-tuning the plans for the day’s events, so please watch for additional information soon.

I pray this is welcome news after the dramatic impact of the pandemic on these beloved traditions last year. I know this is not a complete return to normal, but it certainly seems a welcome move forward.

I know that this email reaches you now in the midst of your Lenten reflections. May God bless you during this time of introspection and prepare your heart for the joyful celebration of our Savior’s resurrection on Easter Sunday!

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

Dear students,

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Light of the world!

It is with eager anticipation that we look forward to welcoming our residential students back to campus and all students to the spring semester, which starts Feb. 1, 2021.

As a reminder, the return to in-person classes comes with some admonitions. They are as follows:

  • All faculty, staff and students are asked to significantly limit their interactions with others in the 14 days prior to the start of in-person classes. Students who are living elsewhere at present do not need to return to campus for this two weeks of careful quarantine; instead, it may be conducted over the 14 days before you return to the St. Louis campus.
  • Continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 through the daily use of the #CampusClear app. If you are experiencing symptoms, the app will advise you as to whether to remain at home. Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, also will be notified by the app and she will be in touch regarding next steps. Once classes begin, if you don’t feel well, please do not come to class – this is not the time to “wait and see” whether you will feel better. Rather, take advantage of the virtual option for your class until it is safe to return to the classroom.
  • Continue to register your travel plans via our travel registry form. Anyone who travels to and/or from the St. Louis area must complete the online form before you travel.

In preparation for the return to in-person classes, we encourage you to review our “Welcome Back to Campus” plan above, which outlines the operational protocols in place regarding health and safety, academics, campus life and student services.

Please keep in mind that if conditions warrant a return to virtual classes for all programs, we will be prepared to make the necessary adjustments. We will, of course, be in close conversation with you to let you know of any such changes if they become necessary.

Thank you once again for your patience and flexibility through these most unusual circumstances. May God bless you in your preparations for ministry, and may this New Year be a harbinger of restored health and vitality as, God-willing, the pandemic loosens its grip on people the world over.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

Campus Community,

As we look ahead to the start of the spring semester, please know that St. Louis County’s “Safer At Home” guidelines are still in effect. However, while these guidelines remain in place, as an “essential organization,” we are clear to implement our plan to return to in-person classes Feb. 1.

With the return of our residential students to campus, those employees whose work involves directly serving students also are asked to return to campus to work so that day-to-day operations in service to students may function smoothly. Those who will be returning to work on campus should plan to do so beginning Feb. 1.

For guidance as to whether this expectation applies to you, please speak directly with your supervisor. Supervisors are asked to confirm to me by Friday, Jan. 22, those staff members who will be returning to work on campus.

Of course, all our current health and safety precautions remain in effect, and everyone is asked to continue adhering to the guidelines for social distancing, mask wearing, and office and personal hygiene. For up-to-date detailed information on these guidelines, please review the updated “Welcome Back to Campus” plan available on this webpage.

Thank you very much for your patience, flexibility and commitment to your service to this community as we continue to navigate these most unusual circumstances. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

God’s peace,


Thomas C. Myers
Director, Human Resources
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Previous Updates

Greetings to you in the name of our Advent King!

As the days countdown to Christmas and we are wrapping up classes and office work, I wanted to write to share our early plans for the spring semester. At this time, we are planning to hold classes in person beginning with the spring semester, which starts Feb. 1, 2021.

Our approach to the return to in-person classes in the spring comes with some admonitions. They are as follows:

  • All faculty, staff and students are asked to significantly limit their interactions with others in the 14 days prior to the start of in-person classes. Basic protocols include staying at home as much as possible, washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask if you must be in contact with anyone outside your home and keeping at least six feet of distance between yourself and others outside of your family. Students who are living elsewhere at present do not need to return to campus for this two weeks of careful quarantine; instead, it may be conducted over the 14 days before you return to the St. Louis campus.
  • Continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 through the daily use of the #CampusClear app. If you are experiencing symptoms, the app will advise you as to whether to remain at home. Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, also will be notified by the app and she will be in touch regarding next steps.
  • Continue to register your travel plans via our travel registry form. Anyone – faculty, staff and students – who travels to and/or from the St. Louis area must complete the online form before you travel.

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority in every decision we make. Especially in light of the recent increase in cases nationwide, we give thanks for the good news of viable vaccines beginning to be distributed. There is still is a way to go before we are out of the woods, but we are grateful that, at least for our community, throughout the fall semester we have been largely successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 on our campus. Based on what we have learned about how to keep our community healthy, we are taking a similarly cautious approach to and have confidence in our plans for spring.

As we look to the spring semester, we also are reviewing the protocols currently in place regarding our campus venues and activities that contribute to a robust campus life and will share in the coming weeks any adjustments to current operations. Meanwhile, please continue to visit our webpage for the latest information on the Seminary’s response to the pandemic.

Please keep in mind that if the local or national situation is such that our plans for returning to in-person classes come February must be changed, we will be prepared to make adjustments to our plans. We will, of course, be in close conversation with you to let you know of any such adjustments if they become necessary.

In closing, dear members of our Seminary community, I remind you that we are blessed at Christmas and always. During this particularly dark time in our world’s history, we are blessed with the gift of light – the Son of God, the light of the world, who was born to save us from sorrow, tears, suffering and even death. The joy we have in Him is never diminished by the darkness because He is the light!

I pray that you and your loved ones have a merry and bright Christmas!

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

Dear Campus Community,

As I am sure you have heard, St. Louis County has issued new regulations under the banner “Safer at Home” in an effort to help stem the recent rapid spread of the coronavirus. These regulations took effect yesterday and will be in place for at least the next four weeks.

In reviewing the regulations and in light of our ongoing commitment to making this campus a safe and healthy place for our students, faculty and staff, we are implementing a number of changes to our operations. This is in the wake of some seriously changed times already. As we look to what the coming weeks hold, I want to first express my deepest appreciation to each and every one of you for your unwavering commitment to our Lord’s mission through your work or study here at Concordia Seminary.

Virtual classes beginning Monday, Nov. 30
Beginning Monday, Nov. 30, all classes in all programs will be moved online for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester. Additionally, so everyone may make plans accordingly, we also have made the difficult decision to move all Winterim Term 2021 courses online as well.

We recognize this is not ideal by any means, but this is a necessary step to safeguard the health of our entire community. Please know that our faculty and staff are prepared for this transition and stand ready to assist every student as this change goes into effect.

Quarantine after Thanksgiving travel
Any student, faculty or staff person who travels for Thanksgiving or who hosts guests from out of town is required to self-quarantine for two weeks following his or her return to St. Louis. As a reminder, anyone who plans to travel must complete our travel registry form.

Students who are traveling and have a place to stay are encouraged not to return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday. However, students who do not otherwise have shelter will be able to return to their dorms or campus apartments. All students are asked to contact Residential Services at Ext. 7324 or to confirm their plans to stay away or return to campus and to receive instructions, if necessary, about quarantining on campus.

Faculty and staff who must self-quarantine as a result of their Thanksgiving plans are advised to notify their supervisors as soon as possible of those arrangements.

Refunds for room and board
Students who will not be returning to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday will be eligible for a refund of their room and board expense for the last three weeks of the semester. If you have questions about your account balance, please contact Accounting at

Work from home
With the exception of those positions whose functions must be conducted in person on campus and in accordance with these latest St. Louis County regulations, we are encouraging faculty and staff who are able to work from home to do so. In order that Seminary operations continue smoothly, those who believe they can effectively work from home should consult with their supervisor and jointly establish a plan for communication and documenting expectations and results. These work plans should be forwarded to Tom Myers, director of Human Resources, for retention. This allowance will take effect Monday, Nov. 30, and remain in effect at least through the end of Winterim, which is Jan. 22, 2021. Supervisors are invited to be in touch with Tom at Ext. 7329 if they have any questions.

Commitment to building community
We recognize that a vital element of the ministerial formation process is the community that’s built through our endeavors together here on our beautiful campus. It could seem that the forces of this pandemic would serve to tear apart the precious binding of our community – but we have a not-so-secret weapon against that, which is, of course, the never-failing promises and faithfulness of our unchanging Savior Jesus Christ. There is no path we must walk without Him alongside to support and sustain us.

As such, these changes come with our wholehearted commitment to help ensure our sense of community. This includes a commitment to continuing our Student Association-sponsored events and certainly our chapel and worship opportunities – all to the extent possible in these uncertain times. If you cannot make it to chapel, we encourage you to participate by watching the livestream available via SemNet. Please keep an eye out for invitations and updates in the usual places including the Daily Announcements.

If you have any questions specifically about the “Safer At Home” order, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, at Ext. 7332 or You also can find additional information above, including our campus dashboard.

God bless you in all your endeavors, and may joy and gratitude be yours as you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebrations!

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

As a result of the latest public health orders issued by St. Louis County’s Health Department, there will be changes to dining service effective Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Lunch and dinner meals will only be available by pick up or delivery. Also, meals may no longer be eaten inside Wartburg or Koburg Halls.

Please see the attached memo for additional information.

Fresh Ideas
Food Service Management

Fresh Ideas Food Service

Fresh Ideas is committed to the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty.

Therefore, effective tomorrow, November 17, 2020, we will still be providing buffet service for Lunch and dinner.

All food will be packaged in to go containers by a Fresh Ideas employee.

Student/Faculty will be able to go thru the line and pick from the menu options of the day.

The menu will include a Hot Entrée, Starch, Side Salad or Hot Vegetable.

The Ala cart Menu will be available with limited selections:

Ala cart Menu:

  • Regular Hamburger or Cheese Burger with Fries
  • 7’’ Pizza with your Choice of Toppings
  • Chicken or Cheese Quesadilla
  • Chicken Tenders with Fries

Please indicate your choice of salad dressing: Ranch, Italian, Caesar or Catalina.

Assorted Beverages:
Milk, Juice, Fountain Soft Drinks Pepsi Products.

All students are to Enter through Wartburg Hall and Exit through Koburg Hall. We will enforce the social-distance policy of 6 feet apart from each other as you line up to go thru the line.

Faculty & Staff: Please proceed to the register for payment.

Please check the Daily Announcements for the Special of the Day and any updates from the culinary team.

Hours of Operation: Monday thru Saturday

  • Lunch: 11:30 am-1 pm
  • Dinner: 4:30-6 pm
  • Saturday Brunch: 11:30am -1:30pm

Dear members of the seminary community,

Greetings in the name of Christ Jesus!

As part of our comprehensive strategy for controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus, we are deploying #CampusClear, a daily self-screening app. Each faculty and staff member as well as each member of the student body is required to use #CampusClear daily beginning Monday, Nov. 2, before coming to campus for work or class.

#CampusClear is a free mobile app built to help higher education institutions improve campus safety in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will streamline the amount of information being received by our Health and Wellness office and allow for quicker response time if you have questions or concerns regarding symptoms.

To get started, please search and then download the #CampusClear app from your app store (Apple or Google Play) and please be sure to enable notifications from the app. There will only be one notification each day to prompt you to take the self-screening survey.

Once you’ve downloaded #CampusClear, log in by entering your Concordia Seminary email address. You will receive an email confirmation, and after clicking the confirmation link, you will have access to the app.

If you do not have a mobile device for downloading the app, you can use a computer and log in at

It only takes a few seconds – truly, fewer than 10 seconds – to self-screen, and your participation helps to keep our campus safe for everyone. You must self-screen daily, even if you have no symptoms. Your responses will be kept confidential.

The email notification from the app will deploy at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

In the event you are experiencing symptoms, the app will advise you as to whether to remain at home. Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, also will be notified by the app and she will be in touch with you regarding next steps. Using the app to report your symptoms alleviates the need for you to reach out directly to Dr. Gary and will certainly enhance her ability to respond to the most urgent questions and concerns.

You can find more details about our response to the pandemic on our website at, which also includes links to our travel registry, campus updates, resources and health guidance. Please note: We soon will add a dashboard to our coronavirus webpage that reports the number of cases on campus and other important, related information.

Thank you for your cooperation and participation in doing all that we can to make sure our campus is safe and healthy.

If you have any questions about the app, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Gary at 314-505-7332 or If you need help downloading the app, please contact our Technology Services Help Desk at 314-505-7231 or

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

Dear members of the Concordia Seminary community,

As we count down to the final days ahead of Orientation and the opening of the Seminary’s 182nd academic year, I want to share a new resource with you. The Seminary’s “Welcome Back to Campus Plan,” offering guidelines for students, faculty and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now available above.

Many precautions have been put in place to ensure that our campus will be safe for our students, faculty and staff. Thank you to everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this happen. I know that it has not been easy as things have been ever changing, but I have seen how you are keeping the safety of our campus community while forming the next generation of church leaders at the forefront of your decisions and planning.

And, I want to thank each of you for doing your part to observe the campus and local guidelines for social distancing and face coverings. You are helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus and are demonstrating each day what it looks like to “count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil. 2: 3 ESV). If you need a refresher about the current guidelines, I encourage you to read the most recent order from St. Louis County and our coronavirus page on this site.

Again, I encourage each of you to read through the plan and return to this coronavirus page often to find and review the guidelines offered there.

May God bless you richly as our new academic year gets underway!

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

Dear members of the Concordia Seminary community,

Despite the challenging times in which we find ourselves living right now, I, like you, am looking forward to the start of a new academic year — our 182nd thanks to God’s grace — and to welcoming all students to campus. It is such an exciting time of year, even now in these less than ideal conditions. While we anticipate the fall semester, as more people fill our campus, it will be even more important to maintain safe distances, to wear masks when we cannot be more than 6 feet apart and to avoid gathering in large groups. Please watch for an email soon with a link to our “Welcome Back to Campus” guidelines, which will give more information on these important precautions.

Meanwhile, final preparations for Orientation are being made. Orientation for our new residential students will take place on campus Aug. 25-28 while our new distance and Graduate School students will participate in these activities online. Fall semester courses begin Aug. 31. I pray God blesses this time of new experiences, introductions and learning.

Our 2020-21 academic year will officially begin with Opening Service at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, in the chapel. Because of social distancing guidelines, the number of people allowed in the chapel for the service will, unfortunately, be limited this year. So that we may ensure that attendance is in compliance with St Louis County’s social distancing regulations, only the following people will be attending the service in person:

  • Service participants
  • New students and their spouses and children
  • Faculty and staff who are either being installed or ordained
  • Processing faculty members (restricted to deans, department chairs and program directors – you will be notified separately about participating in the procession)

All Opening Service participants on the list above will be asked to sign up to attend and will receive separately a link to an online registration form. Participants must wear masks and observe social distancing throughout the service.

I look forward with great anticipation and hope to the time when we can all be together again. I pray that it is soon. I am sure that many of you are disappointed about being unable to attend Opening Service. I know you want to welcome our new students face to face. Please know that I appreciate your patience and understanding about the restrictions we must adhere to for the service. While some of you may not be able to attend the service in person, I encourage you to watch it via livestream at

Throughout the coming days and weeks, as you pass others on campus, I hope you continue to greet one another with big smiles and waves. As you go to work, go to class, teach and preach, attend meetings and classes online, may you continue sharing and showing the love of Christ with others.

Our academic year theme this year is a constant reminder of the eternal hope we have: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” from Heb. 13:8. Indeed our Savior and the forgiveness that He offers and His love for us are constant. The salvation offered in Jesus is proclaimed still today, every day, by God’s people. I pray this truth guides, comforts and sustains you during the coming new academic year.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Daniel Preus
Interim President

Dear Campus Community,

As you may know, St. Louis County has issued a new order for the wearing of face coverings that went into effect July 3, 2020. In this order, the guidelines say that, in general, you must wear a face covering when you are within 6 feet of people with whom you do not live. As an organization located within the county of St. Louis, it is imperative that we be in compliance with this order.

This order applies to all individuals over the age of 9 who do not have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

Examples of when you MUST wear a face covering:

  • Entering and exiting campus buildings
  • If your workspace is within a cubicle and you cannot be 6 feet away from a co-worker or other person
  • When indoors and walking from office to office or in common spaces such as hallways, stairwells, break rooms and restrooms
  • Whether indoors or outdoors when you cannot be physically distant from another person

Examples of when a face covering is NOT required:
When indoors and working within an enclosed office space by yourself (but if someone approaches your office, you must put your mask on)

Types of masks:
While surgical and N95 masks are in short supply and must be reserved for health care providers, cloth masks are effective, inexpensive, easy to find or make, and can be washed and reused. Asking everyone to wear cloth masks can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Masks can be made from common materials, such as sheets made of tightly woven cotton. Cloth masks should include multiple layers of fabric and cover the nose and mouth. You should wash your mask with soap and water in the washing machine on a daily basis.

For additional information about the benefits of facial coverings, please see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines. The CDC website also provides directions for sew AND no-sew masks made from bandanas and T-shirts.

You can read more about the St. Louis County order here. This order replaces all previous guidelines on the use of masks.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, or me.

God’s peace!

Thomas C. Myers
Director, Human Resources

Dear summer language students,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, Lord of the Church! Welcome, and for some of you, welcome back, as we prepare for onsite face-to-face classes on our campus.

First and foremost, let me begin by thanking you for your patience, flexibility and understanding. These past few months have presented us with new challenges almost daily, it seems, and things are yet changing. Especially, I want to thank you for your willingness to answer the calling of the Lord of the harvest and to prepare yourselves for service in His kingdom, and I respect the fact that you have made many sacrifices to come to the Seminary in this trying time of uncertainty and testing.

Yet what a blessing it is to know that our Savior Jesus is still the Lord of the Church! He has promised to be with us always. Moreover, the present circumstances demonstrate the eternal significance of what we do here at Concordia Seminary, and the exceedingly important consequences of the ministry of the gospel, for which you are preparing.

As you prepare for your language courses to begin on Monday, I also want to communicate to you that the Seminary is doing all it can to assure the health and safety of our students and the entire Seminary community. To that end, here are some procedures for our upcoming Greek and Hebrew classes:

  • Please be advised that facemasks are required in the buildings, including the classroom. This is not ideal, but we have no choice on the matter as we need to follow the order of the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. If you forget or need a facemask, we will have some for you on a table by the entrance to the classrooms. (If you cannot wear a facemask for medical reasons, a note from your doctor will be necessary, which should be communicated to Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, at
  • By order of the Department of Public Health, facemasks are required outside any time 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer regularly. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in Sieck Hall for your convenience.
  • Make every effort not to touch your face, mouth or eyes.
  • Please observe signage indicating entries and exits for all of the buildings.
  • If your class is in Sieck 101, please plan to enter via the lower door on the north side of the building.
  • If your class is in Sieck 201, please use the doors on the south side, the second level of the building.
  • If you are sick, please do not come to class. You should report your symptoms to Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, at You will want to notify your instructor that you will be absent and he will do all he can to help you keep up with the class.

Please know that in order to protect ourselves as much as possible, the following other steps are being taken by our campus:

  • Classrooms will be disinfected at 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day. All touch points will be wiped at Chapel break.
  • Cleaning supplies will be in each room if any student wishes to clean his or her own space.
  • The restrooms will be cleaned three times per day.

I am excited that classes on campus are resuming again, albeit under less-than-ideal conditions. I am confident that your study of the biblical languages will be a real blessing to you personally as well as to those to whom you minister.

We hoped that the reopening of the county would be further along by this time, but it was not to be. When my family and I first moved to Central America more than 35 years ago to serve as missionaries, we soon learned that we had to be flexible because the best-laid plans will change daily. One missiologist stated tongue-in-cheek the missionary beatitude like this: “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.” This is not to make light of the challenges of our return to classes, but to remind us that life and ministry will always present trials and testing, but God is with us. As Luther said, “If you dedicate yourself to God’s Word, the holy cross will soon follow.” Yet the Apostle Paul could say with confidence, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

God bless you in your studies, and please stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely in Christ,
Provost Dr. Douglas L. Rutt

Dear Campus Community,

As the campus has reopened this week and the health and safety of those in our community remain a top priority, we want to remind you of the current requirements for businesses operating within St. Louis County. If you are a student or employee on our campus, you must follow these guidelines.

  • You must wear a facial mask or covering unless you are working alone in an enclosed space or an office cubicle where you are at least 6 feet away from others. This requirement is in place for when you are outside on campus, as well.
  • You must maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others not in your family at all times.
  • As a good practice, please remember to limit in-person meetings and to use virtual meeting applications such as Microsoft Teams and Adobe Connect instead to the greatest extent possible.
  • In meeting spaces, we are restricted to 25% of the County’s occupancy limit for that space. This limitation will increase to 50% effective Monday, June 29.
  • The current limit on all nonbusiness, individually hosted gatherings — whether indoor or outdoor — is 10 people; however, the number of people who may take part in outdoor gatherings will become unrestricted effective Monday, June 29.

If you have questions or need clarification, please reach out to Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, at Ext. 7332 or

God’s peace!

Thomas C. Myers
Director, Human Resources

Dear members of the Concordia Seminary campus community,

Greetings in Christ’s name!

I write with important updates regarding Concordia Seminary’s campus reopening plan. In assembling the guidelines below, the Seminary’s leadership team has continued to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and the recommendations from local, state and federal public health agencies — all to ensure that we are making the right decisions for the health and safety of all those within our community. Based on St. Louis County’s reopening guidelines for all businesses this week, we will be opening many areas of our campus effective June 22.

Please read the following information carefully. All of these steps are effective Monday, June 22, unless otherwise stated:

  • Masks and social distancing: As described in the county’s guidelines, we will continue to adhere to social distancing and mask requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For those who need them, masks are available in our Health and Wellness office. This is important: If you are feeling sick or are part of a vulnerable population, you should remain at home and report any symptoms to Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness, at 314-505-7332 or
  • Campus offices: All Seminary offices will be open. Faculty and staff should watch for an email from Human Resources with more information about returning to campus.
  • Welcome Center: The Welcome Center will be open.
  • Visitors: The campus will be reopened to visitors, but they will be required to adhere to social distancing and mask requirements.
  • Occupancy of campus classrooms and meeting spaces: The current guidelines allowing for 25% capacity of indoor meeting spaces with masks and social distancing required remain in effect until June 29. After that date, the capacity maximum will increase to 50%.
  • Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library: Due to low traffic during this time of year and the requirements for use of these facilities, the library will remain closed until the start of fall classes. Faculty and students can still request materials, which will be pulled and provided for pick-up at an arranged time. Please refer to previous communications about that process or contact Donna Church, public services librarian, at 314-505-7034 or
  • Food Service: Any changes to food-service operations will be communicated separately by our Campus Services staff.
  • Food Bank: Any changes to Food Bank operations will be communicated separately by our Campus Services staff.
  • Campus Store: The Campus Store will remain closed until further notice.
  • Pederson Field House: Pederson Field House will remain closed until the start of the fall semester.
  • Seminary events: We will continue to make case-by-case decisions relative to events based on social distancing and occupancy restrictions. Visit the Seminary’s website and search the calendar to find up-to-date notices about public events.
  • Cleaning protocols: Our Campus Facilities/Environmental Services team continues to follow the CDC’s cleaning protocols throughout the campus buildings.
  • Travel registration: Students, faculty and staff who are traveling should continue to complete our travel form before traveling and must check in with Dr. Julie Gary upon returning to campus.
  • Disease FAQs and prevention guidelines: Please read and follow the guidelines prepared by the CDC. As mentioned above, if you are sick, please stay home and away from others until you are feeling better. Use handwashing and cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of disease. If you have any COVID-19-related questions, please reach out to Dr. Julie Gary at 314-505-7332 or

These decisions have been informed by expert advice and relevant information. Our team is continually monitoring the situation and working through plans for managing our operations moving forward. We will continue to provide you with updates as new information becomes available and make updates to our webpage as appropriate.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

COVID-19 Phased Campus Reopening Plan: Phase 1

Beginning Monday, May 18, 2020

Dear members of our Concordia Seminary community,

This communication gives you practical information about Phase I of our campus reopening. To put this in a theological frame of reference, in the Fifth Commandment God says, “You shall not murder.” That’s obviously negative but each commandment also has a positive aspect, how we as God’s dear children in Jesus Christ are to act toward one another. Martin Luther describes the positive this way: “We do not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body but help and support him in every physical need.” That’s what these guidelines do. They present the practical ways we will follow in Phase I to care for the life of one another.

As organizations throughout St. Louis County begin to return to more “normal” operations, Concordia Seminary has developed the following processes and procedures to guide the reopening of the campus. The complete reopening of campus will occur in phases; this document addresses Phase 1 only. This approach takes into account guidelines provided by the St. Louis County Department of Health, which are designed to continue to try to minimize the spread of the coronavirus and ensure the ongoing health and safety of all students, staff and faculty and the surrounding community.

If you have questions about information contained within, please contact your supervisor or reach out to Dr. Julie Gary, coordinator of Health and Wellness.

  1. Vulnerable individuals: Vulnerable individuals (see definition below) should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where social distancing is not practical, they could carry the virus back home. Employees who believe they are vulnerable are encouraged to self-identify as employers are discouraged from making medical inquiries. Vulnerable individuals are:
    • Individuals over the age of 65.
    • Individuals with serious underlying health conditions, including, but not limited to, pregnancy, chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, high blood pressure, severe heart conditions, weakened immunity, severe obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic kidney disease that requires dialysis.
  2. Telecommute: Decisions about returning to work will be made on a department-by-department basis. Most employees still will be encouraged to telecommute (work from home) during this phase of the reopening; however, supervisors will be in contact with their direct reports to discuss each individual’s status and work plan. Employees who return to work on campus will have workspaces at least 6 feet apart and must adhere to mask usage and social distancing guidelines (see items 3 and 4 below).
  3. Mask usage: As required by the St. Louis County order relative to Phase 1, all individuals must wear masks or cloth face coverings on campus (inside buildings and outside) unless the individual is working or studying alone in an enclosed area or has a medical reason not to wear a face covering. The Seminary will provide masks to employees and students on campus as required by the county order; to receive one, please contact Dr. Gary in Health and Wellness. Please note: Individuals may wear their own masks or face coverings if preferred. Personal masks must be laundered on a daily basis.
  4. Social distance: All individuals, when in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas, etc.), should maximize physical distance from others. On campus, all work spaces in offices will allow employees to be 6 feet apart or supervisors may stagger shifts or hours to accomplish this requirement.
  5. Hygiene: All individuals must remain vigilant with regard to hygiene practices. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with more than 60% alcohol, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces. Avoid touching your face. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  6. People who feel sick should stay home. Do not go to work or school if you are feeling sick at all. Contact and follow the advice of Dr. Gary in Health and Wellness.
  7. Meetings: In all situations in which it is possible to do so, employees should avoid holding or attending meetings in person. Instead, they are encouraged to continue to hold meetings virtually on platforms such as Adobe Connect or Microsoft Teams, or via phone or email so as to minimize personal interaction between employees.
  8. Paper documents/deliveries: Employees are strongly encouraged to scan and email documents to the intended recipient versus printing and hand delivering them. Again, this minimizes interactions between campus personnel at this point.
  9. Travel: Essential travel for business may resume in Phase 1, but nonessential travel should be minimized. Anyone who needs to travel must complete a travel registry form before traveling to any location outside the St. Louis metropolitan area. Travelers must contact Dr. Gary in Health and Wellness before returning to campus to receive guidelines on any precautionary measures that should be taken.
  1. Visitors: The campus remains closed at this time to visitors except those required for essential business operations. Sandwich boards with appropriate signage will remain at all entrances to campus, the Welcome Center will remain closed, signs will remain on all campus building doors, and badges or keys will be required for entrance to campus buildings.
  2. Common areas:
    • Common meeting areas remain closed during this phase. These areas include Pederson Field House, sports fields, playgrounds, the Campus Store, the Re-Sell It Shop, the faculty lounge, Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library, the fish pond in the Main Quad, Wartburg Hall (except for food pickup) and dorm lounges (unless social distancing or shifts can be observed).
    • Those who wish to use the Benidt Center community kitchen must follow all social distance guidelines while in that space.
  3. Office protocols: Appointments are required for any and all visits to offices on campus; no walk-ins will be allowed during this phase. Individuals participating in such office visits must wear masks and observe social distance guidelines. Each office will place a sign outside the door addressing these requirements and brightly colored tape will be placed on the floor at the proper social distance indicating where employees or students must stand while awaiting their meeting appointment time. These signs will be provided to offices by the Health and Wellness staff.
  4. Shared equipment: In spaces where employees must share equipment (copiers, microwaves, etc.), usage will be limited to one person at a time. Individuals waiting to use shared equipment must adhere to social distance. Individuals who use shared equipment must wipe down the equipment after each use. Cleaning supplies will be provided by the Campus Facilities/Environmental Services team.
  5. Cleaning protocols: Cleaning protocols for common, high-traffic, dorm and office spaces will follow the CDC’s reopening guidelines. Dr. Gary will provide these protocols in writing to the Campus Facilities/Environmental Services team, which will include:
    • The Environmental Services team will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, etc.) and shared objects (copiers, microwaves, etc.).
    • The Environmental Services team will routinely deep-clean high-traffic areas, including classrooms, hallways, restrooms and the cafeteria.
    • The Environmental Services team will ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors or by using fans or other methods.

    In addition to these protocols, employees also are encouraged regularly to use the provided cleaning supplies to help maintain their personal workspaces in a clean manner.

  1. Classes: Spring semester classes will be completed by the time Phase 1 goes into effect. All summer term classes will be conducted online. The decision about whether this summer’s Greek and Hebrew courses will be conducted in person will be revisited May 18 as communicated previously.
  2. Gatherings: Please see the guidelines below for gatherings during this phase:
    • A person shall not attend or organize a gathering of more than 10 people in a single space or room, indoors or outdoors.
    • All gatherings, events and extracurricular activities should be limited to those where social distancing and proper hand hygiene can be maintained. Attendance by those individuals who have been in higher-transmission areas should be restricted.
    • Seating will be spaced at least 6 feet apart.
  1. Chapel: In-person services will resume when all those attending can safely social distance. Please watch for more information to come as soon as possible.
  2. Other Religious Events/Services: Social distancing guidelines come into play for other religious services and events. As such, decisions about other gatherings such as funerals, weddings, religious education classes, youth events and support groups will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  1. Pick-up service only: The cafeteria will remain open for call-in and pickup service only.
  2. Process: All interactions between food-service staff and customers (students, faculty and staff) must maintain social distancing standards. Food orders will continue to be placed on tables for pickup, and customers must continue to observe the tape marks on the floor when awaiting their turn to pick up their orders.
  1. Travel registry: Any student, member of the faculty or staff member who travels outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area must complete a travel registry form. Dr. Gary will continue to monitor travel registries and communicate with those employees or students who need to take precautions.
  2. Health screenings/temperature checks: All employees and students on campus will be required to check in with Dr. Gary in Health and Wellness on a daily basis to report any symptoms they are experiencing. Employees working off campus also should report their symptoms. Dr. Gary will randomly conduct temperature checks of employees working on campus.
  3. Contact tracing: Dr. Gary will conduct contact tracing for any suspected or true COVID+ test as she has done since this pandemic was identified.
  4. Confidentiality: Confidentiality has been and will continue to be maintained on all information that is provided to Dr. Gary through all modes of communication (travel registry, phone, email and in person).

In closing, let me repeat what I’ve written before. Being a community that loves Latin, we couldn’t have a better word to describe us than Concordia. “Cor” in the middle means “heart” and “Con” means “with heart and with one another.” That’s how we’re facing this continuing trial. Harmoniously together in spirit, prayer and hope for deliverance, we put our confidence in God — and together we also take these active measures for one another’s physical safety. Affirm life. Be well. Enjoy the Diploma Service and Commencement online. The Lord be with you.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Dear members of our Seminary community,

I’m writing to you about the reopening of the state of Missouri and the timeline for Concordia Seminary. As you likely know, Gov. Parson has announced that the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan will commence May 4. However, as Concordia Seminary falls under the jurisdiction of St. Louis County, where a shelter-in-place order remains in effect, we must await the county’s determination for a reopening date. At this time, it is our understanding that County Executive Page will revisit the shelter-in-place order May 15.

Meanwhile, planning for the Seminary’s reopening has begun. Our plan will take into account federal guidelines for a phased approach where the highest priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty and the surrounding community.

You are to be commended for your commitment to helping to “flatten the curve.” We thank our most merciful Lord that the drastic measures implemented appear to have made a difference. We rejoice in that good news while we also lift up in prayer the sick and those who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus. We have heart and ceaseless prayers for those on the front lines. I implore you to remain vigilant in helping to prevent the spread of this disease and to follow these important guidelines provided by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.

I will keep you informed as the planning team works out the way forward to the eventual reopening of the campus. Please know how much I am anticipating the day when we can all be together again not just virtually, but physically.

Sincerely in Christ,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Dear Seminary community,

Thanks so much for your support and cooperation as we have managed and responded to the COVID-19 outbreak. As you may have heard this afternoon, the St. Louis City and County orders have been extended until mid-May. These are extraordinary times that are challenging us on so many levels, and while the Seminary's Health and Wellness team has been focused mostly on our initial response, I wanted to shift for a moment to providing some tips as we adjust to our new normal. I am hoping that these resources will help you to relieve stress and stay healthy during the coming weeks.

Routine. Keep to your normal routine as much as possible: your wake-up time, your shower/hygiene time, your meals, your exercise, your bedtime. The more you keep to your pre-COVID-19 routine, the better for your mental health and, as a result, the better your physical health.

Work from home/school from home environment. Maintain a set space for work or school that is separate from home space. This makes it easier to separate work from off time, which often is an issue for those working from home for the first time. Ideally, your work/school space would be a space with minimal distractions and where you can be productive. If at all possible, keep set work hours. When it is time to end your work day, unplug and do not go back to it for the night. It is even more important to keep a work/life balance during this time.

Ways to Maintain Your Overall Health

Taking time out of your work/school day or quarantine time to do some of the following things can serve to help you maintain your health and relieve stress. Actually scheduling some of them into your day via a phone or calendar reminder will ensure that you take time for a mental break from your work or routine.

Meditation/devotion/prayer. Whether you begin your morning or end your day with them, practice daily devotions. Keep a short devotional book on your desk for use during your work day, or use a phone app. Such short mental breaks to focus on God and concentrate on being present and mindful of how we are feeling can be awesome ways to renew our spirit.

Go outside! Go for a walk or run. Step outside to see the grass and flowers, the fountain on campus, or the sunrise or sunset. Eat a meal or have coffee outside. These all are ways to soothe your mind and provide some relief from stress or anxiety over the current world situation, and will allow you to lower stress and refocus.

Exercise. With the gyms on campus and in our community closed, we must be more creative with our exercise routines, but it is absolutely critical that you are moving every day for both your physical and mental health. This can include doing chores at home, yard work, walking, running, working out in your home gym, doing body weight exercises or yoga, using exercise apps on your phone, playing sports outside with your kids and so much more. Find an activity that works for you and get moving.

Read. Books and e-books provide a great way to escape from reality for a while. With so much down time right now, this is a great opportunity to pick up a book and read. This can be a family activity, too. Many libraries and online reading services are offering free access to e-books for at least 30 days during this time. However, reading as a stress reliever does not include reading information about the COVID-19 outbreak! Although it is important to stay informed, reading too much of that information, especially from sources that are not reputable, can cause more stress. Get away from the news and escape for a bit in fiction, nonfiction or the Bible.

Music. Music also provides a great escape from reality. Whether you play an instrument, watch videos online, listen to your local radio station, or have a music streaming service like Apple or Amazon, there are so many ways for music to positively influence your life right now. There are online concerts from famous artists, online groups that allow you to play an instrument or watch other local artists perform, or you could even have fun making a TikTok dance video with the fam!

Movies/Netflix/TV. Many families are using this at-home time to watch movies; a series on Netflix, Hulu or Apple; or to just watch TV together. This is a great way to relax both for individuals and as a family. However, like reading, watching too much COVID-19 news can add stress, so do that in small doses and balance it with feel-good shows and movies.

Write. Journaling has been recognized as a great way to deal with emotions around COVID-19. Many psychologists and writers are providing daily prompts for journaling online to help us write about our feelings related to different aspects of the COVID-19 health crisis. Since we cannot be around our friends right now, this is often a helpful way to acknowledge those feelings.

Healthy eating habits/recipes. It is important to maintain a healthy diet during this time at home. Here is an article from the American Society of Nutrition that provides great tips for healthy eating: Use this time to spend quality time with your family in the kitchen.

Medical resources. Concordia Plan Services may cover 100% of "Doctor on Demand" visits at this time for those on its health plan, and other insurance providers also may be cover or reimburse for this service. "Doctor on Demand" is a way for you to speak with a doctor from your home. Reach out to me if you need assistance navigating this service.

Mental health resources. Concordia Plan Services and other insurance companies may be covering some or all of the expense for mental health sessions through telemedicine at this time. In addition, Cigna, our Employee Assistance Program provider, is doubling the number of free virtual counseling sessions available to covered students and employees. If you are struggling, please reach out to me and I will help you get connected to resources. In addition, the Seminary has a mental health grant from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod that provides $30 per such appointment. If you have recent counseling appointments for which you need to be reimbursed, please reach out to me and I will explain the process.

Free health and wellness phone apps. Many companies have made their phone apps free to help us maintain our health during this time. Nike Training Club has free premium workouts available for all fitness levels that require equipment you likely already have in your home. Check out others such as Headspace for free counseling; Meditopia for meditation exercises; and Yummly, Food Network and Epicurious for great recipe apps with cooking videos included. Take advantage of these great health and wellness ideas while you have this at-home time. Your body and mind will thank you.

I hope these tips provide you with resources that give you some good opportunities for staying healthy and stress-free at this challenging time. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions about COVID-19 or any other health and wellness needs. We are here to support you in any way that we can.

Yours in Christ,

Julie J. Gary, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Coordinator, Health and Wellness

Dear Members of the Concordia Seminary community,

We have come through the "Triduum," Latin for three days, the three days that began Maundy Thursday evening and through Good Friday to Easter. Amid the global crisis impacting our lives, I pray our meditations upon the suffering and death of Jesus have fortified us for the challenges we continue to face. God continues to be present in our suffering, present through the cross of His Son, and the season now is Easter!

Many decisions are being made almost each day as we continue to confront the realities of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our activities as a seminary community. I thank God for the dedication, flexibility and diligence of everyone — students, faculty, staff — for doing what it takes so that we can continue our mission of preparing men and women for service in Christ's kingdom.

After prayerful consideration and based on expert advice that we seek daily, we have come to the following decisions as we look forward to the summer:

  1. All 2020 summer classes (except summer Greek and Hebrew) will be moved to an online format. This includes SMP, Advanced Studies intensives, M.Div./RAR, SMP-GPC and ELCE preparatory classes.
  2. Summer Greek and Hebrew classes have been rescheduled to begin July 6 rather than June 22, which means they will end Friday, August 21. At this time, we hope Greek and Hebrew will be conducted on campus in the classroom setting; however, it may yet become necessary to conduct some or all of the class sessions online. We hope to make a firm decision by May 18 about whether to move these classes online, too.
  3. Students coming for summer Greek and Hebrew probably will need to plan to be on campus by June 22 to allow for 14 days of self-quarantine for those who are coming from "hotspots." Dr. Julie Gary will advise. Please check our COVID-19 webpage and fill out travel forms.
  4. The Israel course scheduled for May 2020, EXE595—The Bible in its ANE Context, has been canceled.

In all of this, we are thankful for God's provision and for the people and resources He has given to us so that our mission continues. "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28-29 ESV)  You and I do love God because He has called us to be His dear children, and it's a special grace that He calls us into His mission to this hurting, dying world. Jesus' resurrection empowers our mission, filling us with hope and confidence He's working all for good.

A special note to those graduating this spring: Please be assured that we will do the best we can to make your Commencement day as special as possible. We know it is sorely disappointing not to be able to be with your family, classmates and colleagues nor to be able to spend that special day together. We intend to do all that we can to honor you and your families for the sacrifices you have made and the hard work you have put into achieving this important milestone in your lives and future ministries. It's been decades since I received my last diploma. What do I think of when I look at it? More than anything, that diploma reminds me of all the work, all the sacrifices our family made, and thank God nothing can take away the education we were blessed to receive. Please watch for more information to come regarding the virtual Commencement observance and future opportunities to celebrate together.

Easter has come! Our present suffering will be behind us. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. ... In this you rejoice, though now for a little while ... you have been grieved by various trials." (1 Peter 1:3, 6 ESV)

May it be well with your soul!

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

To the members of our Seminary community,

As our taskforce continues to address needed innovations to Concordia Seminary operations in light of the global effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, we have made some decisions that will help all faculty, staff and students in planning for the remaining weeks of the spring semester.

  • All classes will remain online for the rest of the semester. This decision is being made now in light of the 30-day “stay-at-home” order issued by St. Louis County and the recognized uncertainty around whether that stay would be extended. As such, all faculty, staff and students can now plan for the certainty of online classes for the duration of the spring 2020 semester.
  • Commencement will be observed with a virtual ceremony. The decision to continue with online classes throughout the remainder of the semester drives the difficult decision to move to a virtual Commencement ceremony. The virtual ceremony will be held May 15; please watch for more details in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, please understand that the lack of an in-person Commencement ceremony does NOT mean students are not graduating. Information about how diplomas will be delivered will be forthcoming as soon as plans can be finalized.

You are to be commended for adapting so adroitly to the extraordinary changes implemented during these recent, unprecedented days. In making the determination to move to a virtual Call Day celebration and now a virtual Commencement ceremony, please know that these decisions have not been made lightly.

I am reminded of what a sainted district president said when his son, soon to graduate from our Seminary, expressed disappointment with his first call. President Schlecht said, “Be thankful you have a call.” The father knew how the Great Depression ravaged “business as usual.” In those trying times, many graduated from the Seminary but had to go back home since there were very few calls. We know your disappointment with a virtual Call Day and a virtual Commencement. The faculty, staff and administration is disappointed as well. These special days epitomize our mission, our work and our hopes for the future. Acknowledging our disappointment, there indeed will be calls and diplomas, and the Lord of the Church is truly, not virtually, raising you up for His future mission. You will truly be in His service.

We look forward with much anticipation to the day when we can all be together again not just virtually, but physically.

Most cordially, in Christ,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Dear members of the Seminary community,

Imagine standing under a cascade of…government guidelines. That’s where we’re at. I’m thankful for our COVID-19 task force which is meeting every day. This task force represents the main divisions of the Seminary’s administration. Day by day we ask God’s grace to guide us through this unprecedented time.

Here are today’s important updates:

  • Travel Registry: It is vitally important that anyone – faculty, staff and students – who was traveling domestically or internationally as of March 4 or left St. Louis on or after that date complete our Travel Registry Form and then be in contact with Dr. Julie Gary in our Health and Wellness office. Please understand that this requirement is strictly a health precaution and will be kept confidential; there will be no penalty because of anyone’s travel. Travelers should contact Julie at 314-505-7332 or
  • Library Closure: The Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library will close physically to all patrons as of 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 20, until further notice; however, library services still will be available in limited fashion. The library staff will retrieve books for students, staff and faculty as needed and will give limited access to the collection by appointment only for graduate researchers, faculty and approved visiting scholars. During this time, the library will not lend or borrow any physical materials via ILL or MOBIUS. Watch for more information to come very soon from Donna Church.
  • Dining Services: Beginning this Friday, March 20, lunch and dinner meals will only be available by pick up or delivery. Also, meals may no longer be consumed inside Wartburg or Koburg Halls. Please see attached additional information from Fresh Ideas, including menu options and ordering logistics.
  • Call Day 2020: Sadly, we must forego our usual tradition of holding services to announce calls and placements this year; however, be assured that calls will be made and vicarage and deaconess internships will be assigned come April 28. We plan to make a virtual announcement of calls and placements on that date; as soon as the plans are finalized, we will communicate all of the details. Meanwhile, please advise your dear family and friends that in this most unusual year, the announcements will be made virtually and that they should not plan to travel to campus.
  • Retirement Event: Many of you were informed, most kindly on Diane’s and my behalf, of a retirement celebration scheduled for April 27. It likely goes without saying that the events being planned for that day cannot go on, and I’ve been informed that the planning committee intends to reschedule for some time later in the year.

What strange times! These are the right actions to take for the safety and health of our community, but I know that many of us will be left with a feeling of things being somehow incomplete. As we work through these necessary precautions and look forward to the time when things will begin to feel again like “normal,” we continue to pray that our heavenly Father will draw us closer to Him. We’re all living under stress, not just the normal stressors of daily life and work but now the pressures of changed routines and life styles imposed upon us. “Keep me from saying words that later need recalling” (LSB 696, 3). Instead, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5: 22-23)

The COVID-19 task force continues to meet and we will continue to provide regular updates via email. If you have any questions about any of these announcement, please reach out to Dr. Gary at 314-505-7332 or

Most cordially yours, in Christ,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

Dear members of the Seminary community,

As we navigate the proliferating messages and guidelines relative to the coronavirus disease that is sweeping the nation and affecting the entire world, I pledge to continue our open and honest communication about the pandemic and its impact on our community.

We deal with this crisis as faith leaders. For our students: In your present or coming ministry, people will look to you for guidance when major crisis comes upon your congregation. A tornado destroys your sanctuary, flooding destroys the homes of members, your congregation fails financially, scandal rocks the faith of members … These or other crises will come to you as you serve God’s people. A pastoral leader does not have immediate answers for all the questions people will understandably ask, but a pastoral leader is present to model faith in the promises of God and to teach from Scripture how God is present, summoning us all to greater dependence upon Him. I treasure the practical advice another president told me about administration. “Accept chaos, give back calm, provide hope.” And as spiritual leaders, we trust the promises of our loving heavenly Father. “Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; / The clouds ye so much dread /Are big with mercy and shall break / In blessings on your head.” (The Lutheran Hymnal, 514, 3).

Now, please see below some important updates.

  • Potential Timeline for Return to Residential Classes: There have been many questions about the earliest possible date that we might return to residential, in-person classes. The situation is changing very quickly and in such a way that we are unable to predict the date that may happen. However, we are committed to keeping you informed of our decision timeline for that date. We will allow the situation in the United States and the St. Louis area to unfold a little more so that we are fully informed; and no matter what, we pledge to give you two weeks of notice before in-person classes resume. At this point, we plan to revisit the decision concerning this matter April 3, which would mean that the earliest possible date that in-person classes would resume would be April 20. Given the fluidity of the situation and the serious nature of the disease, it is possible that we may not return to holding in-person classes this semester. Again, we will communicate any updates on this determination April 3.
  • Just yesterday, President Trump – in conjunction with the CDC – issued a guideline restricting gatherings to no more than 10 people until further notice. As such, I encourage you wherever you are to heed the caution to keep gatherings to fewer than 10 people and that you practice social distancing and avoid meeting in offices to the extent possible. This includes when dining in Wartburg Hall or other places on campus. Also, please consider using email and conference calls in place of in-person meetings for the duration.

In these most extraordinary of times, I want to lift up the team that is leading the contingency planning in light of the coronavirus pandemic. These coworkers are serving behind the scenes to examine the scientific information and guidelines and make decisions regarding application for the benefit of our community and beyond. The members of the workgroup are:

  • Dr. Douglas L. Rutt, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
  • Michael Louis, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Dr. Ben Haupt, Associate Provost
  • Vicki Biggs, Senior Vice President, Seminary Advancement and Chief Communications Officer
  • Chad Catoor, Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer
  • John Klinger, Chief Information Officer
  • Tom Myers, Director, Human Resources
  • Dr. Julie Gary, Coordinator, Health and Wellness
  • Dr. Alan Borcherding, Director, Research, Assessment and Academic Programming
  • Dr. Glenn Nielsen, Director of Placement and Vicarage and Deaconess Internships
  • Alix-Ann O’Brien, Director, Campus Services
  • Kathy Daniels, Executive Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Pamela Davitz, Executive Assistant to the President

We will continue to provide regular updates via email and make updates to our webpage as appropriate. If you have any questions regarding these updates or about the coronavirus in general, I urge you to reach out to Dr. Gary at 314-505-7332 or

Finally, may the Spirit of God and our Lord Jesus draw us closer to Him through these difficult times. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:16-18 ESV)

May God bless us and keep us all,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis

To the members of the Concordia Seminary Campus Community,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has caused widespread concern and even fear within all sectors of society. The first thing that came to mind when I pondered the current situation were the words of the Psalmist, from which our beloved Reformation hymn is based:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

In the midst of our current troubles, we know that we can confidently seek refuge in our God, who promises to help us in all upsetting situations. He, who was willing to give up His Son for us and for our salvation and who promises to be with us always, will certainly not abandon us now. He is our help. He is our refuge. He is our strength. Let us remember and trust in Him always as we consider the information I want to share with you regarding the Seminary’s response to COVID-19.

I can assure you that we have been giving a lot of thought to the coronavirus outbreak. I know many of you are closely watching news of the outbreak’s rapid spread and far-reaching impact on travel, public gatherings, sporting events, global business operations, and — this week, especially — higher education.

Your Seminary leadership team has examined the anticipated spread of COVID-19, reached out to medical experts, and closely reviewed recommendations from local, state and federal public health agencies.

As you can imagine, these discussions have been extensive and complex. We walked through multiple scenarios and the potential impact of each. We are appreciative of your patience and understanding as we considered how the Seminary could most effectively deliver academic courses in these rapidly changing circumstances.

Residential colleges like the Seminary face unique challenges in this situation: Our students study, work and often live in close quarters. Students, faculty and staff regularly travel domestically and abroad. Reading Week travel means many of our students and faculty are spending this week in cities across the country. It is impossible to know for certain how many of our community members would return to campus having been exposed to the coronavirus. The health, safety and well-being of everyone on our campus is our priority at all times and especially during times like this one.

The coronavirus is proving to be an unprecedented disruption to our country and the world. The course it will take is uncertain, but the days and weeks ahead likely will be even more challenging.

Please read the following information carefully.

  1. Disease FAQs and Prevention Guidelines: If you are sick, please stay home and away from others until you feel better. Use basic hand washing and cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of disease. Our Campus Facilities team is stepping up cleaning protocols, and additional sanitizing and disinfecting of all hard surfaces will occur during Reading Week.
  2. Visitors to Campus: Visitors to campus housing and offices should be limited until further notice unless you are able to verify that your visitor or guest has not traveled to areas where cases of the coronavirus exist. Also, for now, campus tours will be canceled through April 30; later tours will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Building Access: After classes end March 13, access control to campus buildings will be enforced until further notice. Faculty, staff and students must use their ID badge to access campus buildings. If you need to attend a meeting in a building to which you do not have badge access, you will need to call the person you are meeting and have him or her provide access. If that person cannot be reached, contact the main switchboard at 314-505-7000 or go to the Welcome Center during normal business hours for assistance in contacting that person for access.
  4. Travel during Reading Week and Beyond. All Seminary-sponsored travel outside of the St. Louis metropolitan area is suspended as of March 12 and until further notice. Anyone – faculty, staff or students – who chooses to take personal travel is strongly encouraged to explore and understand any risks prior to making those trips. Those who have already departed for travel should access the Seminary website to complete the travel form for our Health and Wellness Office. The latent period, time between exposure and typical onset of symptoms, for the coronavirus is 14 days. It is important that travelers understand that if they are having symptoms they should not return to campus, and even if they are not experiencing symptoms, they should pay close attention to their bodies for 14 days after returning and watch for appearance of those symptoms.Domestic: Students, staff and faculty planning personal domestic travel should be mindful of the spread of the coronavirus and continually monitor the list of locations with an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, which may include U.S. cities and states. Anyone who travels to locations with an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure is required to contact Dr. Julie Gary, the Seminary’s coordinator of Health and Wellness, for screening and clearance in order to return to the Seminary. You likely will be required to complete a 14-day self-quarantine away from campus.International: Anyone who travels for personal reasons to locations with an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure during this time period will be required to contact Dr. Julie Gary, the Seminary’s coordinator of Health and Wellness, for screening and clearance in order to return to the Seminary. Depending upon your travel destination, you may be required to complete a 14-day self-quarantine away from campus. (See CDC guidance on self-quarantine.)Travel Registration: Students, faculty and staff who are traveling should complete a travel form with Dr. Julie Gary in the Health and Wellness office prior to traveling and must contact Julie before returning to campus. Even if you have already departed for your travel, you are required to complete that form.
  5. Concordia Seminary will move to all online classes effective March 23.
    • Notwithstanding other points covered in this letter regarding travel, students will be expected to participate in their online classes beginning March 23, and may do so from anywhere. Students who have remained in the St. Louis area during Reading Week and live on campus may remain in their campus housing. Students who traveled outside of the St. Louis area during Reading Week should follow the guidelines outlined above before returning to campus. Students who do have an alternate place of residence are encouraged to consider staying there during this time.
    • Chapel: Chapel services will be suspended effective today and until further notice. During this time, Dean of Chapel Dr. Kent Burreson will post videos or daily devotions on SemNet.
    • Dining Services: Dining services will continue for those on campus although there may be modifications in how the service is provided. Please watch for additional information.
    • Campus Store: The Campus Store will be closed following classes on March 13 and until further notice.
    • Food Bank: The Food Bank will be open for its normal shopping day Saturday, March 14. Please watch for additional information regarding future shopping days.
    • Re-Sell It Shop: The Re-Sell It Shop will be closed until further notice.
    • Fitness Center: The Fitness Center will be closed following classes on March 13 and until further notice.
  6. Seminary Events. We are evaluating the need for changes on case-by-case basis to events held both on and off campus. We continue to monitor the situation, and this may change on short notice. For more information, please check the Seminary website.
  7. Seminary Operations. The Seminary offices will remain open. Faculty, staff and student workers should continue to report to work as usual, keeping in mind general precautions to remain healthy (do not report to work if you are ill).

We have made all of these decisions informed by expert advice and relevant information. We are especially grateful to Julie Gary for her diligence and expertise in this matter. We have benefited also from engaging with other universities, including our neighbor Washington University. Our team is continually monitoring the situation and working through plans for managing our operations moving forward.

We’ll share new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Julie at 314-505-7332 or

To conclude, I return to the final words of our Psalm, which reminds us, as it did Dr. Martin Luther during the troubles he faced in his life, that through Jesus Christ we can have peace because God is our place of refuge, our fortress:

“’Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:10-11)

Please join me in prayer at this time, and in the days ahead:

Dear Father in heaven, You have promised to be with us always with Your comfort, strength, peace and protection. We thank and praise You for Your goodness and mercy. We humbly come before You during this time of national and international distress asking You to work mightily to curb the advance of this virus that has already attacked thousands. Be with those here in our community and around the world who are doing what is humanly possible to stop its devastating advance, yet we know that no remedy, measure or treatment will be effective without Your blessing. Therefore, we ask You to bless all those efforts. And grant to us peace, courage and strength of faith, so that we are continually confident of Your love and goodness. We know that Your ways are not our ways, that Your ways are always best, and so we entrust ourselves, our loved ones and this current situation into Your hands, trusting in Your mercy. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen!

In Christ,

Dr. Dale A. Meyer, President
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis


Concordia Seminary acknowledges that we have signed and returned to the Department of Education the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that we have and intend to use, no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide emergency financial aid grants to students.

to Students
of Students
of Students
Receiving Grant
$61,962 $30,981 246 33

Students who had unexpected expenses after the campus closure due to COVID-19 were encouraged to submit an application outlining how they were affected and their subsequent needs. Students were selected to receive the grant based on eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid.

Students who received the grant received information regarding the nature of the emergency grant and were notified that these funds do not need to be repaid and are to be used to cover their unexpected expenses.

View Expenditure Reporting

March 31, 2021
September 30, 2020