Summer continuing education workshops from Concordia Seminary

Summer Workshop Series

Upcoming Workshops

Continuing Education workshops offered by Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provide an opportunity for exploration of contemporary topics that influence the practice of ministry. They are designed for pastors, church workers and laypeople. Unless otherwise noted, all workshops begin at 1 p.m. Monday and conclude at noon Wednesday. There are no evening sessions.

Summer Workshops Brochure

There are no upcoming workshops at this time.

Completed Workshops

Dr. Peter Nafzger

The Barna Group recently reported that 59 percent of people ages 18-29, with a Christian background, have dropped out of church. This confirms a disturbing trend that many pastors and congregations have experienced firsthand. Young people — often confirmed young people — are quickly abandoning their confirmation vows in our increasingly post-church culture. How shall we respond? One response is to take another look at how we are raising Christian children to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. In this workshop, we’ll explore a restructured, expanded, holistic and intergenerational model for confirmation that was developed over the course of several years by an LCMS congregation. Through a careful and intentional process, we took the best of what had been done in the past and introduced substantial congregation-wide revisions. The result was a new process of incorporating young people into the fullness of the Christian life. As part of this workshop, we’ll discuss the current state of confirmation in the LCMS, and we’ll consider the process this particular congregation used to make a significant congregational change.

Camp Okoboji
1531 Edgewood Drive, Milford, IA 51351
Contact: Lori Gamble
Click here to register.

Dr. David Adams

For many Christians, the theological value of the Old Testament is limited to messianic prophecies and the comforting assurances of the psalms. Such a perspective runs the risk of impoverishing our teaching and preaching by failing to recognize the foundational role of the Old Testament for the Christian faith and the rich variety of ways in which its theology is communicated. This workshop will explore the major theological motif of the presence of God and show how it shapes the faith of the Old Testament and the fulfillment of that faith in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.

Glory of Christ Lutheran Church
4040 County Road 101, North Plymouth, MN 55446
Contact: Rev. Jeremiah Johnson
Click here to register.

Dr. Anthony Cook

Join fellow pastors and leaders of LCMS churches to discuss ways to better prepare the baptized in your parish for lives of discipleship and connection with their friends and family who are not part of a church family. This workshop will help you consider the shift in thinking among your members and those who drive by your church in regard to the Christian life, while also providing various benchmarks and key performance indicators for planning and evaluating ministry. Nonordained staff and leaders are invited to join this important discussion.

St. John’s Lutheran Church
809 S. Sixth Ave., West Bend, WI 53095
Contact: Rev. Jeff Dorth
Click here to register.

Dr. Robert Weise

Transgenderism within the LBGTQQIA agenda continues to make inroads into the 21st century through the use of bathrooms. While this seems a bit unusual, this is their entrance to “governmental and societal approval” as co-equal to heterosexuals and finally marriage and reproduction (the latter two have already occurred). Weise will present a historical overview from pre-Civil War times to the present as to how the transgender agenda has been added to the new normal of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. In addition, he will discuss how Hollywood and social and printed media has perpetuated the LBGTQQIA agenda in support of transgender acceptance and tolerance within society. How should Christians respond and witness in the public square to transgender individuals in light of what it means to be human according to the Bible and the confessions? How should the laity and pastors serving Lutheran grade schools and high schools respond? Case studies and PowerPoint presentations with time for discussion are built into Weise’s presentation on this important matter and the Christian response and witness for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

St. John’s Lutheran Church of Orange
154 S. Shaffer, Orange, CA 92866
Contact: Christina Meadows

It might be said that many pastors don’t know enough about science. But what non-scientist does? Of course, most of us could be better informed about science, but this won’t help much unless our theology also is adequate to deal with the assumptions, methods and findings of modern science. In this workshop, we will explore theological topics that a scientific age make important for pastors and their ministries, including God, creation, human creatures and the Scriptures.

King of Kings Lutheran Church
3275 N. Center Point, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411
Contact: Rev. Rich Balvanz

Dr. Rick Marrs

Many LCMS pastors and church leaders realize that much of what passes for Christian counseling is based in the Law and not the Gospel of Christ. Dr. C.F.W. Walther said that properly dividing Law and Gospel in private ministrations with people is more difficult than in preaching and teaching. How can Lutheran pastors and other counselors better learn to properly distinguish Law and Gospel in counseling situations, and apply the Gospel as antidote where it is needed? How can Lutheran pastors better equip the non-Lutheran Christian counselors to whom they refer parishioners with these critically important concepts? When should a Lutheran pastor refer a parishioner to a mental health specialist, perhaps even a non-Christian one, when the expertise needed falls into the left hand kingdom? These and other complicated pastoral care questions will be addressed in hopes that the participants will become more confident and effective in their care of the souls entrusted to them.

Pacific Hills Lutheran Church
1110 S. 90th, Omaha, NE 68124
Contact: Rev. Bryan Drebes
Click here to register.

Dr. David Peter

The title of the last book of the Bible is translated as “Revelation,” but its original title was “Apocalypse.” This word literally means “the unveiling.” The purpose of this book of the Bible is to unveil the purposes of God in human history. For many people, however, it remains seemingly veiled, as an obscure, mysterious and confusing book. The reason many people do not understand this book is because it is written in coded language that can only be interpreted by decoding its symbolism. This study will look at the most significant coded symbols of the book and the keys to their interpretation. It will provide a broad sweep of the major themes and message of Revelation so that you can better understand this often misunderstood book of the Bible. This “unveiling” will enable you to see Christ, His Church and history (past, present and future) in a whole new light.

Resurrection Lutheran Church
100 West Lochmere Drive, Cary, NC 27518
Contact: Rev. Dave Schleusener
Click here to register.

Dr. Timothy Saleska

In this workshop, we approach the psalms with the assumption that reading them is more like having a conversation with other people than analyzing an object or mining for jewels. The shift of perspective makes it more difficult to keep the psalms at arm’s length and opens us up to being influenced and changed by the voices we hear speaking to us. During the workshop, we will have the opportunity to read and meditate on individual psalms and we will discuss questions such as: “Why is there poetry in the Bible?” “How do we read the poetry of the psalms?” “What am I doing as I read and listen to the speakers in the psalms?” “What is the speaker doing to me as I listen to him?” “How do we meditate on the psalms?” “How can we teach others to use the psalms for their own spiritual growth?” It is hoped that our time together will bring us closer to each other as well as closer to our Lord, who speaks to us in and through the psalms.

Immanuel Lutheran
2416 Jefferson Park Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22903
Contact: Rev. Benjamin Maton
Click here to register.

Dr. Charles Arand

As we move into a post-Christian age, the task of catechesis becomes an ever more urgent and vital task of the church. Fewer and fewer people standing on the doorstep of the church have any Christian memory from childhood regarding the Gospel, the Trinity, prayer, worship or the Christian life. More needs to be done and yet there is less time in which to do it. In some ways, this new situation is ideal for recovering the purpose and goal of Luther’s catechisms that seek to form people in the basics of the Christian faith. As such, they function as handbooks, even field manuals, for the Christian life. After looking at the overarching coherence of the catechisms, we will explore selected themes from their texts.

Faith Lutheran Church
8125 Mentor Ave., Mentor, Ohio 44060
Contact: Dr. Kevin Guynn
Click here to register.

Cancelled / Postponed Events

Dr. Robert Weise

Transgenderism within the LBGTQQIA agenda continues to make inroads into the 21st century through the use of bathrooms. While this seems a bit unusual, this is their entrance to “governmental and societal approval” as co-equal to heterosexuals and finally marriage and reproduction (the latter two have already occurred). Weise will present a historical overview from pre-Civil War times to the present as to how the transgender agenda has been added to the new normal of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. In addition, he will discuss how Hollywood and social and printed media has perpetuated the LBGTQQIA agenda in support of transgender acceptance and tolerance within society. How should Christians respond and witness in the public square to transgender individuals in light of what it means to be human according to the Bible and the confessions? How should the laity and pastors serving Lutheran grade schools and high schools respond? Case studies and PowerPoint presentations with time for discussion are built into Weise’s presentation on this important matter and the Christian response and witness for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Charles Arand

As we move into a post-Christian age, the task of catechesis becomes an ever more urgent and vital task of the church. Fewer and fewer people standing on the doorstep of the church have any Christian memory from childhood regarding the Gospel, the Trinity, prayer, worship or the Christian life. More needs to be done and yet there is less time in which to do it. In some ways, this new situation is ideal for recovering the purpose and goal of Luther’s catechisms that seek to form people in the basics of the Christian faith. As such, they function as handbooks, even field manuals, for the Christian life. After looking at the overarching coherence of the catechisms, we will explore selected themes from their texts.

Dr. Peter Nafzger

The Barna Group recently reported that 59 percent of people ages 18-29, with a Christian background, have dropped out of church. This confirms a disturbing trend that many pastors and congregations have experienced firsthand. Young people — often confirmed young people — are quickly abandoning their confirmation vows in our increasingly post-church culture. How shall we respond? One response is to take another look at how we are raising Christian children to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. In this workshop, we’ll explore a restructured, expanded, holistic and intergenerational model for confirmation that was developed over the course of several years by an LCMS congregation. Through a careful and intentional process, we took the best of what had been done in the past and introduced substantial congregation-wide revisions. The result was a new process of incorporating young people into the fullness of the Christian life. As part of this workshop, we’ll discuss the current state of confirmation in the LCMS, and we’ll consider the process this particular congregation used to make a significant congregational change.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
600 S. Enota Drive NE, Gainesville, GA 30501
Contact: Rev. Zach Hoffman

1 Corinthians describes Christians encountering first-century cultural attitudes and situations that are remarkably similar to our own: a cult of personality, climbing the social ladder, religious pluralism, shifting roles of men and women, and even something like “new age” spirituality. As the church in Corinth struggled to find its identity in Christ, the apostolic word served to bring about unity in the midst of conflict and to call the church away from compromise to the present age. Far from a mere collection of moral opinions, 1 Corinthians shows the depth of the power of the Cross to create new people and a new community in Christ.

Trinity Lutheran Church
2194 SE Minter Bridge, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Contact: Rev. Bruce Rumsch

In this workshop, we will examine passages and concepts from Luther that are useful for parish ministry. Some issues to be explored include the two kinds of righteousness, justification by grace through faith, the relationship between Holy Scripture and the Word and the two kingdoms, and anfechtungen (bad stuff and feelings) with special attention paid to passages of Luther useful to the parish pastor. In addition, passages from the letters and table talk, as well as presentations of accounts of Luther’s life and problems he faced, will highlight issues for the parish pastor today.

St. Andrew Lutheran Church
1005 First St., West Fargo, ND 58078
Contact: Rev. Clark Jahnke

We live in a sinful world where we are often faced with conflicted situations. How we respond to conflict sometimes does not always give a good witness to our faith in Christ. This workshop will equip, engage and encourage Christians to live lives of reconciliation. Participants will be able to understand conflict from a biblical viewpoint and learn skills to help them respond to conflict in a God-pleasing way.

Trinity Lutheran Church
122 West Wesley, Jackson, MI 49201
Contact: Rev. Eric Ekong

Isaiah the prophet announces God’s judgment against the nations and condemns Zion for becoming like the nations. There also is a third message that he emphasizes: He promises the coming day when the nations will come to Zion. This workshop will examine how all three messages need to be heard today.

St. John’s Lutheran Church
205 East 5th, Stuttgart, AR 72160
Contact: Rev. Don White

Listening to a sermon is a challenge for people today. Our world has moved from a print-dominated culture to one where people communicate in a digital world of text messages and computer screens. Messages are brief or visually rich or narratively devised or highly emotive or, well, the list goes on. How do we preach in such an environment where listening to one person speak for 15 to 20 minutes or longer is rarely done outside of classroom lectures? This workshop will not advocate merely adapting current cultural communication techniques, although many of those techniques are helpful. Instead, it will build upon our rich tradition of preaching by recognizing how God has created us with “eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses.” It takes seriously how God Himself communicates with sight, sound and touch (1 John 1:1-4). It will focus on making a sermon more listenable through using variety in preaching the metaphors for the Gospel, becoming more visual in our preaching, making use of story in a way that promotes remembering the goal of the sermon and not just the story, incorporating interactive moments in the sermon, using screens judiciously and other creative means that flow out of our doctrine of creation. Numerous sermon samples will be supplied as well as creative possibilities for selected pericopes for the weeks following the workshop.

Fountain of Life Lutheran Church
710 S. Kolb, Tucson, AZ 85710
Contact: Rev. Gregory Rachuy

It might be said that many pastors don’t know enough about science. But what non-scientist does? Of course, most of us could be better informed about science, but this won’t help much unless our theology also is adequate to deal with the assumptions, methods and findings of modern science. In this workshop, we will explore theological topics that a scientific age make important for pastors and their ministries, including God, creation, human creatures and the Scriptures.

King of Kings Lutheran Church
3275 N. Center Point, Cedar Rapids, IA 52411
Contact: Rev. Rich Balvanz

Dr. Charles Arand

Martin Luther once lamented that we fail to see and appreciate the daily miracles of God because they are so common. How can we recover that sense of wonder, and with it gratitude and contentment for our lives on earth? This workshop will explore how the theme of creation shapes the entire Christian story and Christian theology. In particular, it will focus on issues related to what it means to be human, the relationship between creation and redemption, and creation as a starting point for community participation as well as conversations with non-Christians. Texts studied will include Gen. 1-2, Ps. 104 and Job 38-41.

Additional Continuing Education Opportunities

Faith and Writing Workshop

Concordia Seminary’s “Faith and Writing” workshop explores various forms of creative writing — starting a blog, creating a sermon or devotion, “traditional” forms of creative writing (story, nonfiction, drama, poetry) — and everything in between.

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Lay Bible Institute

Calling lay people, students involved in homiletical education, pastors and others interested in the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world: the Lay Bible Institute is for you!

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Multiethnic Symposium

The Seminary’s annual Multiethnic Symposium brings together Lutherans and mission leaders of various ethnicities from across the country for workshops, discussions and worship.

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Pre-Lenten Workshop

The Pre-Lenten Workshop includes sermon manuscripts, textual notes, orders of service for midweek services and also suggestions for the Sundays of Lent to help pastors in developing their own worship resources.

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Theological Symposium

Parish pastors, district and synodical officials, Seminary and Concordia University students and faculty and interested laypersons attend each year to delve into some of the most pressing issues of our time. One CEU is available for attending the Symposium.

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