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Reformation Lectures 2011

Reformation Lectures 2011

The forty-fourth annual Reformation Lectures were held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, on October 27–28, 2011. These lectures are sponsored jointly by Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary.

This year there were two presenters. The first lecture was given by Rev. Jerome Gernander, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church in Princeton, Minnesota. The second presenter was Dr. David Schroeder, a professor of history at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota. The theme of the lectures was “Lessons from the Laypeople of the Reformation.” The first lecture, given by Rev. Gernander, was entitled “Laypeople of the Reformation.” The second lecture, presented by Dr. Schroeder, was entitled “Civil Leaders of the Reformation.”

The Reformation Lectures were a study of contributions by Christian laypeople in the Reformation era. The history of the men and women around Luther and the Reformation presents a fascinating picture. Throughout his life Luther did not only associate with theologians and churchmen, but he also had many contacts with laypeople of all walks of life. There were relatives and friends in Mansfeld and Eisenach, associates and fellow citizens in Erfurt and Wittenburg, and individuals from other parts of Saxony and the empire. Many of them became ambassadors of the good news who spread the Gospel throughout the land. Each one furthered the Gospel in his own way, in government, in business, and in society, through art and literature, or by various other means.

The complete lectures will be published in the March issue of the Lutheran Synod Quarterly.

2011 Fall Open House

2011 Fall Open House

Attention all men interested in the pastoral ministry,

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary is hosting their semiannual Seminary Open House on Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.

This open house will feature ELS President John Moldstad presenting on “The Pastor’s Relationship To His Synod.” And don’t forget to come hungry: Dinner will be provided!

Don’t miss this great oppertunity to find out more about what it takes to be a pastor in the ELS today!

2011-2012 School Year Begins

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service on August 22 in Good Shepherd Chapel. On the basis of Jeremiah 6:16, Prof. Adolph Harstad spoke on
the theme of “Traveling Through the School Year.” This text says that in choosing “the ancient paths,” travelers find rest for their souls. Ancient roads were chosen for good reasons. They avoided dangers. They kept travelers “high and dry.” Their course took into consideration water and food supplies. They were “tried and true” as they headed for their destination. They afforded security, instead of the troubles and potholes that makeshift, short-cut roads might hold.

Jeremiah tells Jerusalem likewise to “ask for the ancient paths.” By this the prophet was speaking of the “road” that Abraham and the other faithful ancients walked in faith, the road that promised an Offspring that would come to bless all people. As Abraham walked this road, it was said of him that he “believed and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Genesis 5:16).

Seminary students are embarking on a “curriculum,” a term that means literally “a running course.” Students were encouraged to travel through this Scripture-based curriculum by first taking advantage of applying the ancient truths to themselves by personal meditation. Finding personal rest for our souls through the one who is the “Way” because of his perfect life, death, and rising—this comes first. Then the refreshed student-traveler will be in a position to help others find the “Way.”

The teaching staff for the seminary this year is as follows: Thomas Flunker, Adolph Harstad, Thomas Kuster, Michael Smith, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Flunker is teaching Hispanic outreach;
Professor Harstad is teaching in the areas of Old Testament and homiletics; Professor Kuster is teaching communication; Professor Smith is teaching in the areas of New Testament and homiletics; and Professor Schmeling is teaching a course in dogmatics.

The seminary enrollment this year numbers eleven. There are six vicars, three seniors, no middlers, and two juniors. The vicars are Nathanael Abrahamson at Abiding Shepherd Lutheran (Cottage Grove Wisconsin); Jesse DeDeyne at St. Paul’s Lutheran (North Mankato, Minnesota); Timothy Grundmeier at Holy Trinity Lutheran (Okauchee, Wisconsin); Peter Heyn at Christ and Living Word Lutheran Churches (Windsor and Petaluma, California); and Luke Willitz at Bethany Lutheran (Port Orchard, Washington). Matthew Moldstad began his vicarage at Peace Lutheran Church, Kissimmee, Florida, on January 1. This vicarage will continue until December.

2011 Summer Institute

2011 Summer Institute

The annual summer institute of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary has been held in various locations throughout the country in order to make it possible for more of our pastors to attend. This year the institute took place at Holy Cross Lutheran Church & School in Madison, Wisconsin, July 25, 2011.

The first portion of the institute was a presentation entitled “Age of Lutheran Orthodoxy.” This presentation included a general outline of this period, which included the distressing days of the Thirty Years’ War when much of central Europe was ravaged and depopulated. Then there was a study of the Lutheran devotional writers of the period, their devotional literature (Erbauungsliteratur), and Lutheran spirituality. Finally, the presentation included a study of the major seventeenth century dogmaticians and their writings.

The other segment of the institute was a presentation on “Major Themes in Preaching.” Here examples were given of presenting the Gospel using the major redemption themes, including the Christus victor, victim, and vicar themes. These presentations were delivered by Prof. Gaylin Schmeling.

Seminary Call Day, 2011

Seminary Call Day, 2011

On May 12, 2011, after a day of presentations from last year’s vicars and other synodical officials, the Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary community gathered at Bethany Lutheran College’s Trinity Chapel for the annual Call Service to find out where the new Candidates of Theology, vicars, and teachers were assigned. The Rev. Gaylin Schmeling, seminary president, presided over the divine service and the Rev. Thomas Heyn preached the sermon.


  • James Kassera – Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, Minnesota
  • David Locklair – to be assigned
  • Michael Moldstad – to be assigned


  • Nathanael Abrahamson – Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church, Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
  • Jesse DeDeyne – St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, North Mankato, Minnesota (WELS)
  • Timothy Grundmeier – Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Okauchee, Wisconsin
  • Peter Heyn – Christ Lutheran Church, Windsor, California & Living Word Lutheran Church, Petaluma, California
  • Luke Willitz – Bethany Lutheran Church, Port Orchard, Washington

Graduation / Call Day

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary’s annual Call Day and Graduation service will close off the school year. Call Day will occur Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 3:15pm. Graduation will occur Sunday, June 19, 2011 at 7:00pm. Please join us for these important days in the lives of the young men, and in the life of the Church.

Spring Recruitment Night

On Sunday, February 27 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Bethany Lutheran Theological held its annual spring Seminary Recruitment night. This year Prof. Michael Smith was the presenter, lecturing on the theme: “Be a Pastor – See the World!” He focused on opportunities for mission/outreach that the Lutheran pastor has each and every day. The evening was one of many opportunities which BLTS offers to encourage young men to consider the work of the Pastoral ministry.