Frank and Valerie Fuerst Professor of Historical Theology

Supporters commit to scholarly excellence in praise of God

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Ps. 111:10 ESV).

In October 1994, a quiet and faithful Christian couple made a commitment to the students of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Guided by God’s word in Ps. 111:10, Frank and Valerie Fuerst sought His wisdom, followed His leading and through good understanding made a significant stewardship decision that almost 30 years later began supporting generations of church leaders and those whom they serve.

The Fuersts established the Frank and Valerie Fuerst Chair of Historical Theology to support a sustained high level of scholarly commitment. Professors named to the chair “shall give evidence of outstanding intellectual gifts, academic training, pedagogical skill, writing ability, and churchmanship,” according to the agreement.

Frank Fuerst (1930-2013) grew up in Richmond and El Sobrante, Calif., and moved to Lake City, Calif., in 1976 and then to El Dorado Hills in 2004. He married Valerie Monday (1944-2017) in the 1970s and the couple attended Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Folsom, Calif.

Frank and Valerie lived a pleasant and well-ordered life together, with Frank eventually retiring from his successful career as a real estate broker. He wholly believed in endowments, which provide gifts for the future. The couple was able to plan and manage the blessings God had given them for just that purpose, to the benefit of Concordia Seminary and its mission to prepare future pastors, deaconesses, missionaries and other leaders for the church.

After her husband died, Valerie remained committed to the plan she and her husband had made for their estate. “We included the Seminary in our trust together, and nothing about that has changed,” noted Valerie.

Even after both these faithful servants were called home to be with their Savior, their praise for God resounds in the generous legacy they left behind.

“In praise of God and His Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life,” their endowment papers begin.

“We thank God for the Fuersts’ generosity and foresight in planning this estate gift to Concordia Seminary. It is such an encouragement to us as we carry out our Gospel mission,” said Dr. Thomas J. Egger, Concordia Seminary president. “This is our first endowed faculty chair in the area of historical theology. In these days of rapid cultural change, it is essential that future church workers be resourced with the wisdom and perspective that comes from the study of history. We are delighted to name Dr. Joel Elowsky in 2022 as the first occupant of this endowed chair. Dr. Elowsky is a prominent scholar of early church history and patristics, a sought-after professor by our students, and a highly regarded peer among our faculty.”