Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service on August 27 in Good Shepherd Chapel. Prof. Michael K. Smith based his message for the opening service on John 10:1–5. He explained that of all the voices we may hear in our heads, the voice of Jesus deserves our utmost attention. Even though we may periodically listen to the voice of Satan, who tries to mislead us into sin, Jesus is our true Shepherd who assures us of the forgiveness of our sins and guides us with His comforting voice. We hear His voice in our Baptism, in His Word, and in His Holy Supper. Prof. Smith encouraged the future pastors to serve as the voice of Jesus for the flocks they will serve because His voice is the only one that leads people to heaven.
The teaching staff for the seminary this year is as follows: Thomas Flunker, Adolph Harstad, Thomas Kuster, Dennis Marzolf, 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 Marzolf is teaching hymnology; Professor Smith is teaching in the areas of New Testament and homiletics; and Professor Schmeling is teaching dogmatics, church history, and homiletics.
The seminary enrollment this year numbers eleven. There are two vicars, one senior, two middlers, and six juniors. The vicars are Ben Wiechmann at King of Grace Lutheran (Golden Valley, Minnesota) and Michael Willitz at Christ Lutheran (Sutherlin, Oregon).