Theological Symposium

29th Annual Theological Symposium

The Cross Alone is Our Theology!

“The cross of Christ is the only way of instruction in the Word of God, and the only true theology.” — Martin Luther, 1519

The cross has always stood at the center of the Christian faith, but what does it really mean to have a cross-centered theology, cross-centered pastoral care or a cross-centered life? Neither a morbid obsession with death nor a dispirited resignation to suffering, to preach “nothing but Christ crucified” (St. Paul) or to be a “theologian of the cross” (Luther) is to set forth the central vision and lens by which we see our life and witness in the world. Through Christ’s death and by the strength of His resurrection, we are placed into a new relationship to both our sin and our piety, to God and our neighbor, to blessings and sufferings, to hope, happiness, joy and peace. Come learn about the many ways in which the cross and resurrection change everything!

Schedule Speakers


Jeffrey Kloha

Dr. Jeff Kloha

Chief Curatorial Officer, Museum of the Bible
Former Provost, Concordia Seminary

“The Cross” and the victory achieved by the resurrection are the decisive events of the New Testament. They not only accomplish salvation, they also define a new way of being in the world for those who have been saved. This plenary seeks to describe the relationship between Jesus’ cross and the cross that all those who are in Christ are called to carry — persecution, humiliation, weakness, self-denial, putting off the flesh, power and victory — all characterize those who have be “co-crucified with Christ.” What does it look like in the midst of our own crooked and perverse generation for the church to carry the cross?

Dr. Kent J. Burreson

Dr. Kent Burreson

Louis A. Fincke and Anna B. Shine Professor of Systematic Theology and Dean of Chapel, Concordia Seminary

In Gal. 6:14, Paul says, “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” For Paul the cross is substantially more than a sign. It is a way of life for those who live under the rule and reign of the Crucified and Risen One. The cross should never degenerate into mere sign. As an effective symbol it should do something to those who receive it. It should form the lives of those upon whom it has been inscribed, as it did for Paul. In this plenary, we will trace this formative power of the cross as a visual, auditory, physical and ritual symbol, shaping the lives of Christian disciples from the New Testament to the present era.

Dr. Joel P. Okamoto

Dr. Joel Okamoto

Waldemar and Mary Griesbach Professor of Systematic Theology, Concordia Seminary

When Christians think of the “word of the cross,” they usually think of the message about Christ’s death on the cross reconciling God and sinners. But Christ’s death on the cross matters to more than how to think of atonement. It bears on how to think of God and creation, that is, everything. Today Christians find themselves in situations where everything they believe, teach and confess is subject to questions, doubts, suspicions, alternatives and indifference. So it is vital that Christians today understand how Christ crucified matters in their story of everything, and also learn to speak the word of the cross in its fullness.

Fourth Annual Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Lecture

7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, Werner Auditorium

“The Death of Jesus and its Aftermath in the Gospel According to Mark”
Annual lecture by Dr. James W. Voelz, the Dr. Jack Dean Kingsbury Professor of New Testament Theology

The death of Jesus is the place in the Gospel of Mark where our Lord’s mission reaches its climax. This is confirmed by Jesus’ final moments and by the aftermath of His atoning act, including the tearing of the veil of the temple and the confession of the centurion. These events provide a bookend, as it were, to Mark’s narrative, which corresponds to the beginning of Jesus’ mission in 1:10-11.

Come and stay for the Alumni Reunion Sept. 20-21.

A limited amount of on-campus housing is available.

More information or questions? or 314-505-7286

Local Hotels

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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Summer Workshop Series

Hosted by congregations across the country May through August, and led by Seminary faculty, these workshops offer an opportunity to delve deeply into topics ranging from the teachings of Martin Luther to pastoral tools, such as preaching, responding to conflict and teaching confirmation.

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