Dr. Schulz at the Nagercoil Seminary

First up in our faculty travel highlight week is Dr. Detlev Schulz, whose credentials include many of CTSFW’s international and mission departments. He is Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions, Dean of Graduate Studies, Director of the PhD in Missiology Program, and Co-director of International Studies. This summer Dr. Schulz visited the India Evangelical Lutheran Church (IELC) from August 11–16.

He spoke at the Pastors’ Refresher Course, a retreat hosted by Concordia Theological Seminary, Nagercoil, under the theme: “The Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace (Eph. 4:3).” The retreat itself took place over two days, from the 14th to the 15th, while the rest of his time in India was spent consulting with the faculty on curricula and colloquy matters. Dr. Schulz was asked to assist in their theological education by helping to map out the Lutheran emphasis in their Bachelor of Divinity program, as well as to discuss the role of the Nagercoil seminary in the IELC colloquy process.

President Suviseshamuthu and Principle Christudas (here pictured standing on either side of Dr. Schulz) extend their warmest greetings to CTSFW. Founded in 1932, the seminary of the IELC is also currently being beautifully restored to its original self.

Faculty Addition and Advancements

Opening Service begins in less than a week, on Monday, September 9, at 10 a.m. in Kramer Chapel. The start of the 174th academic year at CTSFW will include the installation of a new faculty member: the Rev. Prof. Adam Koontz, who began his service as Assistant Professor of Exegetical Theology on August 1st. Prof. Koontz attended school as an undergrad in his home state of Pennsylvania before receiving his Master of Divinity from CTSFW. He served as pastor at Mount Calvary in Lititz, Pennsylvania, during which he planted Concordia Lutheran Mission in Myerstown. A doctoral candidate in New Testament and Early Christianity in the Department of Religion at Temple University, Philadelphia, he and his wife Jen have returned to his alma mater in Fort Wayne with their six children.

“It’s honestly completely different coming here as a professor instead of a student—except that in both cases I arrived in the middle of summer and spent a lot of time in the library as soon as I got to campus,” Prof. Koontz explained. “As a student, I was excited but didn’t fully understand the importance of the teaching that happens at the Seminary. As a faculty member, I’m excited again but know full well that what we teach here matters more than anything.”

Prof. Koontz will teach courses related to the New Testament, beginning with Gospels 1 and Greek readings. In the winter and spring quarters, he will teach lecture courses on Paul, his specialty. “The faculty is very excited to welcome Rev. Koontz to our midst,” said Academic Dean, the Rev. Dr. Charles A. Gieschen. “He brings both expertise in the Pauline Epistles and fine recent pastoral experience that will be a blessing to our students. He’ll also,” he added, “bring down the average age of the faculty.”

Additional changes were made to the faculty earlier this summer, when the Board of Regents took action at their May meeting to advance both the Rev. Dr. Peter J. Scaer and the Rev. Dr. Naomichi Masaki from the rank of Associate Professor to the rank of full Professor. “It’s nice to have my title shortened by four syllables,” Dr. Peter Scaer pronounced. “But, more seriously, it’s a time to reflect on my service, and to offer thanks for such a wonderful place as CTSFW. There isn’t a better place to study and teach theology. And at a time when the world so desperately needs Christ, it’s an honor to be a part of what’s happening here in Fort Wayne.”

“I am truly humbled by this advancement, deeply thankful to the board and the administration for their trust and recognition,” said Dr. Masaki. “Still, far greater confidence comes from the Lord who has called me to this beloved seminary. It remains my utmost joy and privilege to serve Him alongside my dear colleagues He brought together as a team.”

Both professors have distinguished their teaching with service here as well as abroad in many countries and across continents, traveling overseas to teach at seminaries and theological schools partnered with CTSFW. You can learn more about the service and accomplishments of our faculty at www.ctsfw.edu/faculty. To watch Opening Service on September 9 at 10 a.m. (EDT), go to www.ctsfw.edu/Daily-Chapel or www.facebook.com/CTSFW where it will be streamed live.

Synod Convention: Impact on CTSFW

The 67th Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) came to a close in Tampa, Florida, on July 25, 2019, but not before the committees and representatives from congregations across Synod made an impact on both Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), and our sister seminary, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL). This year, CSL joined CTSFW to create a joint booth in the convention hall, demonstrating the collegiality between the seminaries and reflecting the reality that, though we are two distinct institutions, sharpening each other as iron sharpens iron, we exist for the same Church and mission: that the Lord of the harvest may send more laborers into His harvest.

A number of resolutions passed at the 2019 LCMS Convention in regards to the seminaries and pastoral formation. Of specific note are:

6-01 To Support and Participate in the Comprehensive Church Worker Recruitment Initiative
A collaborative effort between Synod, seminaries, Concordia Universities, and district presidents to encourage all to identify and foster future workers for the Church.

6-02 To Promote Residential Seminary Education as the Preferred Option for the Preparation of Men for Pastoral Ministry
Besides recognizing residential seminary education as the preferred path for pastoral formation, the resolution commended the recommendations of the 13-03 Task Force to the Pastoral Formation Committee (PFC) for evaluation and appropriate follow up.

6-03A To Enhance the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) Program
This directs the PFC to enhance the curriculum and standards of the SMP Program, review the program for optimal timing for vicarage and ordination, and report to the joint seminary boards of regents in 2020, who will then prepare an overture to Synod regarding timing. In addition, the Council of Presidents will draft guidelines and training to enhance the mentoring and supervision of SMP pastors in coordination with the PFC. Finally, all districts are encouraged to provide funding for SMP students as needed.

6-04 To Support, Encourage, and Expect Continuing Education for all LCMS Pastors
That the PFC, in addition to providing this encouragement, should consider the establishment of a method to certify post-seminary continuing education programs and resources, and that these recommendations be reported to the 2022 Synod Convention.

The convention also passed Resolution 6-06, “To Give God Praise and Glory for Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne’s 175th Anniversary,” calling for the Synod to recognize and celebrate our 175th academic year, coming up in September 2020. The resolution recognized that CTSFW “was specifically founded to address two needs: a clear Lutheran confession coupled with a vigorous missionary effort,” that we are a “vibrant, Christ-centered theological community that engages and resources the church and world, domestically and internationally, with distinctively Lutheran teaching, practice, and worship,” and that we have continued to grow and thrive, “privileged to provide the church with nearly 10,000 pastors and missionaries who have served the Lord of the Church throughout the United States and world.”

The resolution also commended the seminary for the 100% tuition grant provided through the gifts God granted through His people, resolving that “the people of the church be commended for their support and encouraged to continue partnering with Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne in its mission to form servants in Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all.” The adoption of the resolution concluded with the delegates rising and singing the common doxology. You can read the full overture HERE.

“The Synod loves its seminaries, and we are blessed to have two robust, healthy, and sound seminaries,” the Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr., President of CTSFW, said in response to the passing of the resolution. “We have established the 100% tuition guarantee for our residential students because of your generosity. And while we continue to need your financial support and your help in raising up students, the future is exceptionally bright.

“And that’s truly what this resolution is about—the future. As difficult as it is for me as an historian to admit it, anniversaries are really about the future. For while they recognize what God has done, they are actually about what God will do.

“And what God will do is be faithful to His beloved children. He will strengthen and preserve them, for the Gospel promise is clear: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and He has promised to be with us always, to the very end of the age.”

Finally, the body elected two new board members along with the re-election of two incumbents. The Board members elected at convention are (with select quotes from their election bios):

Elected: The Rev. Dr. Korey D. Maas
Associate Professor of History, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, MI
“Greatly appreciating the church’s continual need for servants deeply grounded in Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, and who are especially ‘apt to teach’ and to ‘contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints,’ I would happily and humbly serve in support of the seminary’s mission to form such servants of Christ and His Church.”

Elected: Dr. Mark W. Meehl
Professor of Theology, Faculty Marshal, Concordia University Nebraska (CUNE)
“CTS in Fort Wayne has faithfully educated many of my pre-seminary and pre-deaconess students for parish ministry and other service in the church. I look forward, if this church body agrees, to serving as a CTS Fort Wayne regent, bringing to bear experiences in churches throughout the US, Nigeria, and Jerusalem…and my nearly three decades of teaching undergraduate students at CUNE for the good of CTS Fort Wayne and the church at large.”

Re-elected: The Rev. William M. Cwirla
Senior Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hacienda Heights, CA
“The stewardship of our two seminaries is among the most important tasks of the Synod as it supports the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world…CTSFW [is] a leading center of orthodox doctrine and evangelical pastoral practice.”

Re-elected: Mr. David L. Daniels
Business Owner, Daniels Woodcarving Co., Inc., Taylorsville, NC
“Over the years, I have seen firsthand and benefited from the seminary’s mission put into action—servants in Jesus Christ who teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all. I have had both a son and a daughter-in-law graduate from CTSFW. And I have received the gifts of God weekly from my pastors who were also students at CTSFW…As our culture becomes increasingly hostile to the Christian faith, it is important that our seminaries are well supported to continue their crucial work.”

To learn more about the convention, visit lcms.org/convention. This site contains video archives, online reports by the Reporter, along with more specific details, such as the Convention Workbook and all resolutions, minutes, and elections. You can read more about all the resolutions passed related to pastoral formation by going to lcms.org/conventions/resolutions and selecting the drop-down menu for #06 — Pastoral Ministry and Seminaries.

Pless at Seminário Concórdia in São Leopoldo, Brazil

Early in July, Professor John Pless gave a lecture on Law and Gospel in Confession and Absolution at the 8th International Luther Symposium at our sister seminary, Seminário Concórdia in São Leopoldo, Brazil. The seminary train ministers in one of our partner churches in Latin America, the Igreja Evangélica Luterana do Brasil, or Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil. Prof. Pless taught a course on “The Catechism: A Field Manual for Discipleship.” Two of his books, translated into Portuguese, were also featured at the symposium: “Manejando Bem a Palavra da Verdade” and “Palavra: Deus fala conosco” (“Handling the Word of the Truth” and “Word: God Speaks to Us”).

Like many of our faculty, Professor Pless has a full travel schedule, especially in the summer months. He attended this symposium in Brazil, returned in time to travel south to Tampa, Florida, for Synod Convention (where he also signed copies of his books—though in English this time—at the CPH booth close by the Seminary booth), and left from there to go to South Africa.

Prof. Pless spoke highly of the seminary in São Leopoldo (which is part of one of our partner churches in Latin America, ), from the depth of its theological education to the warm community of faculty and students. As always, we thank God for the partnerships we have with our sister seminaries across the world, and for our brothers and sisters from all nations.

Photos courtesy Filipe Schuambach Lopes of Concordia Seminary of São Leopoldo.

Call and Assignment Services: More Quotes

Here’s a behind-the-scenes insight into the news release that went out this morning: as social media manager for the CTSFW Facebook page, I took a lot of notes during both services to gather quotes. However, to keep the release at a manageable length, I ended up only quoting President Rast—but the rest are too good not to share. God has clearly and richly blessed our Synod with faithful pastors and leadership.


PREACHER: Rev. Steven Turner, President of the Iowa West District

“You see, as church workers—as deaconesses and pastors—there are times when you will fail. There are times when you will fall. And there are times when you will sin. And when you do, please remember this sermon, because Christ died to take away your sins. When you feel inadequate, when the words you say are misunderstood, when people react in unkind ways toward you, remember Christ has died. And this means the sacrifice was complete to cover all sins and that means it covers your sins and mine. That Christ was buried, that he was truly dead, and so are you. Because you died in the water of holy baptism. You were drowned and the new man has come alive. That old sinful person has been put to death, and the new person comes forth…”

“He’s alive today and he’s called us to be his servants and to live our lives every day in his grace and his mercy. Now I have no expectations that you will remember me tonight or even remember this sermon that was preached when you received your deaconess internship or your vicarage. But I am positive that you will remember the content of this sermon. Why? Because you’ll speak the content of this sermon every time you gather together in worship; every time you confess the creeds of the Church, because Jesus He died for your sins. And He was truly dead and buried. And He has been raised and He is really alive, which is why at Easter we can say, ‘Christ is risen!'”

Congregation: “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

DISTRIBUTION OF VICARAGE ASSIGNMENTS: Dr. Gary Zieroth, Director of Vicarage

107 of 122 applications–“15 congregations were available to receive a vicar but this year did not. And so we pray that the Lord of the harvest will send workers into his harvest field, as those needs within our Synod are met, not only for vicarage but also for calls as well.”

Note: Holy Cross in Moline, IL received their fiftieth vicar: Paul Marks.

At the conclusion: “And so there is no reneging or trading. What is said is done and what is done is said and so the Lord’s continued blessings as you go forth and serve the Lord.”

DISTRIBUTION OF DEACONESS INTERNSHIPS: Dr. James Bushur, Director of Deaconess Studies

“It is, of course, my privilege as Director of Deaconess Formation to announce internship assignments for our deaconess students. In my eight years serving as director of the program, I have learned at least one thing about my job: that is, the secret is finding good people to do your work for you. I have certainly been richly blessed in that regard…I want to certainly express my great appreciation to those who have made my burden a little bit lighter, my yoke a bit easier.”

“I certainly am deeply appreciative of Deaconess Rast’s persistence in bringing these internships to fruition. And finally I want to express my deep gratitude to the congregations, the pastors, and supervisors who are now receiving our interns and collaborating with us in the formation of our students. We certainly give thanks to God for their partnership with us in the Gospel, and pray that the Lord blesses their work.”

GREETINGS: Dr. Lawrence Rast, President of CTSFW

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to share this particular point in preparation for these future pastors and deaconesses as they prepare for their vicarages and internships. The vicars-elect and deaconess interns-elect now, we look forward to continuing to partner with you in your formation. It is just a delight to be a part of your lives.”

“As a historian my job is remembering, so that resonated well.”

“I continue to be amazed at the grace of God and the mercy that He demonstrates in concrete ways through our Lord Jesus Christ in continuing to raise up pastoral leaders and deaconess leaders for the congregations in mission of our Church…here’s the next generation. God is faithful and He keeps His promises.”


PREACHER: Rev. Terry Forke, President of the Montana District

“For all the fine education that you received in this place, these wonderful men could not make you shepherds; Jesus does that. Jesus does it. It is His work in you. Even now He is at work to prepare you to be the shepherd for the flock to whom you are sent. He will feed you. He will carry you. He will tend to all your needs. And He will speak through you. By the gift of His Holy Spirit your lips will be enabled to speak the holy Word of God in such a way that you never imagined it could be done by you. Of that you can be assured. The Shepherd heralds the Good News through you.”

DISTRIBUTION OF CALLS: Dr. Jeffrey Pulse, Director of Certification and Placement

“Greetings in the name of our risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. First I’d like to thank President Forke for his words of encouragement and wisdom for these men prepared to go out into the harvest field to a place where there are many sheep without shepherds.”

“We see the One who is guiding the whole process. The Lord remains in control. And as we look out upon the whole Church we give Him thanks that we are part of this great and wonderful thing called the work of the Kingdom.”

“147 applicants made for candidates, which means there are currently 22 applications unused at this time. We do still have need in our Church for more men to enroll in our seminaries, prepare to be shepherds. Please keep this challenge in your prayers, as well as those congregations not receiving a candidate at this time.”


“Go then, take heed unto thyself and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made thee an overseer, to feed the Church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood.”

President Rast (own words): “The Easter season is one of great celebration and joy and no day is more joyful for us as a community than call night as we prepare to send these marvelous servants of Christ out into His harvest field.”

GREETINGS: Rev. David Maier, President of the Michigan District and Chairman of the Council of Presidents

Ephesians 2:8-10: “Talks about grace and salvation; it says, ‘for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ God saw this night. God saw you. God has brought you to this point. He has never left you or forsaken you, and He is not about to do that even now. And as we live in this Easter season, brothers, you are going to be able to take a particular message out to your people that is one of hope.”

GREETINGS: Rev. Matthew Harrison, President of the LCMS

“Let’s pray: we need pastors. And church workers. We’re so proud of all of you and so thankful for you. You are the answer to our prayers. You are the answer to a thousand prayers tonight. You. And the Lord has gone before you. He is already there. He knew full well you’d be coming there from eternity. He’s already got the folks lined up to hear your blessed words. He’s got them lined up for you to meet, to visit, to love, to share the Gospel with. To proclaim Jesus’ blessed resurrection. The Lord be with you.”


“But He does promise to be with you always; never to leave you or forsake you. And for that be thankful, as we are thankful for you and your commitment which you have shown over these years, now preparing to go forth. It is an honor to be your colleague.”

“It is a great thing to be a part of a community like this. There are few places like this in the world. I would say perhaps two: one in Fort Wayne and one in St. Louis. But what a blessing the seminaries of our church are as they commit themselves to their mission of preparing pastors and deaconesses, lay leaders and missionaries, for our Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and its partner churches and missions throughout the world. The work that is done touches the entire globe. And though we recognize that we need more pastors, we know at the same time, God the Holy Spirit is currently calling, gathering, enlightening, and sanctifying future workers for his harvest field and we look forward to welcoming them to the campuses of our church.”

Finally, one of the best things about having such a late Easter this year? Almost every single pastor that had the opportunity to speak in the services declared that beloved refrain: “Christ is risen!”

“He is risen indeed!” the congregation answered every time. “Alleluia!”

Oberursel Visitors

L-R: Dr. Zieroth, Dr. Neddens, Dr. Barnbrock, Prof. Pless

Last week we had two professors from our sister seminary in Oberursel visiting our campus. From left to right: our own Dr. Gary Zieroth, visitor Dr. Christian Neddens, visitor Dr. Christoph Barnbrock, and our own Professor Pless. Dr. Neddens guest-taught Theological Ethics while Dr. Barnbrock guest-taught Catechetics. Dr. Barnbrock also preached in chapel on April 1.

Lutherische Theologische Hochschule (LthH) in Oberursel, Germany, is an LCMS partner seminary. We’ve had quite a number of seminarians study abroad in Oberursel, and our CTSFW faculty include LThH graduates as well–Dr. Detlev Schulz (you saw him in a post earlier this afternoon) received his MDiv from this seminary, as did Dr. Roland Ziegler.

After the visit, Professor Pless had this message to share with the CTSFW community:

“Our colleagues from Oberursel, Dr. Christian Neddens and Dr. Christoph Barnbrock, asked me to convey to you their appreciation and gratitude for your hospitality and conversation during their visit to CTSFW earlier this week. Their impressions of our seminary were very positive and they are eager to find ways to enhance the relationship between our two seminaries.”

Dr. Schulz: LCEA

On March 5, Dr. K. Detlev Schulz (Director of PhD in Missiology Program and Co-director of International Studies here at CTSFW) was in Himo, Tanzania, visiting St. Peter’s Seminary there together with the Bishop of the Lutheran Church of East Africa (LCEA).

Dr. Schulz is third to the right, standing to the left of Bishop Angowi of the LCEA (in purple). On the far left is missionary Rev. Jonathan Clausing, who teaches at the seminary. He and his wife Anita have nine children, and live in Moshi, Tanzania.

The LCEA is only 20 years old, the church body having formed in 1999. Much like our own CTSFW, students attend their seminary for four years before ordination. St. Peter’s Seminary’s location in Tanzania allows these men to remain close to their homes and the congregations that they will serve as they enter the ministry.

Called Home: Deborah Moyer

On March 30, God called home a member of our staff, Deborah Moyer, who worked as Housekeeping Supervisor. She had been sick for quite some time, briefly moving to hospice care before passing away this past Saturday.

She worked at CTSFW for 30 some years. “I remember her being here when I was a student,” President Rast said. “She faithfully served for years and years, in a humble way that modeled service for our our future pastors, deaconesses, and our laypersons.”

We will miss our dear sister in Christ. Please keep her husband, her family, and her friends in your prayers.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

Psalm 23

Urban Immersion

The ordination and installation of Rev. Robert Winston as assistant pastor through the SMP-Español/English program, standing in the middle of this group shot. Dr. Wiley is second to the right.

Dr. Don Wiley is another of our faculty members busy over the quarter break. We most recently spoke of him on our Facebook page in relation to his presentation to the women of the Seminary Guild regarding his work with the SMP–Español/English program. And thanks be to God, on Sunday, February 24, the Rev. Robert Winston was ordained and installed as assistant pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church/Iglesia Luterana Nueva Vida in Springfield, VA, the very first man in the SMP-Español/English program here at CTSFW to reach this point. “The Lord of the harvest has added another laborer in the Gospel ministry of Word and Sacrament,” Dr. Wiley wrote on his Facebook page.

The Lutheran Mission Society Compassion Place. From left to right: Rev. Dr. David Maack (Executive Director), Rev. Elliott M. Robertson (pastor at Martini Lutheran Church), Vicar Bob Etheridge, seminarian Chase Lefort, seminarian Daniel Wunderlich, seminarian Austin Meier, seminarian Tim Steele II, and Dr. Don Wiley.

Dr. Don Wiley was near enough to the area to attend the ordination and installation because he and four seminarians were in Baltimore for a nine-day Urban Immersion Experience in the city. Hosted by the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and Martini Lutheran Church, in conjunction with the Wyneken Project, they have immersed themselves in both the work and the city. From Dr. Wiley’s Facebook page:

“Today we learned about the mercy work of Lutheran congregations in Baltimore through the Lutheran Mission Society Compassion Place. It’s one more way that the congregations reach out to their communities with Christ’s love and Gospel. We had the pleasure of meeting the Executive Director, Rev. Dr. David Maack and ran into one of our Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne-CTSFW students currently on vicarage, Bob Etheridge.”

The seminarians also had the opportunity to plan, purchase food, prepare, and finally serve a meal to the needy. In Dr. Wiley’s words: “[They] served it up in style and with great compassion at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer…Great job, men!”

Left to right: Dr. Don Wiley, Chase Lefort, Tim Steele, Daniel Wunderlich, Austim Meier, purchasing food for the meal to the needy. Then serving the need, l-r: Tim Steele II, Daniel Wunderlich, Austin Meier.

Retirement: Linda Scicluna

Friday was the last day before retirement for our dear friend and sister in Christ, Linda Scicluna. She has been with the Seminary since 2013; if you have ever visited the Wayne & Barbara Kroemer Library, you have probably met her. Rev. Professor Robert Roethemeyer (the Wakefield-Kroemer Director of Library and Information Services), said of her:

“Whether providing story time for our youngest patrons, a welcoming presence for the many faculty, students, staff, and visitors to the library, or now caring for her mom, Linda wonderfully embodies our mission of ‘caring for all.'”

Linda was also a familiar face at the Seminary Guild meetings, actively serving the Guild and taking care of many of the small details that keep an organization running smoothly. On a personal note, she was a delight to work with and we will miss her hardworking, warmhearted nature and presence. May God bless and keep you, Linda!

Linda (left) welcomes the ladies to a Seminary Guild meeting.