Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service on August 26 in Good Shepherd Chapel. Dr. Thomas Kuster based his message on Isaiah 40:1–5, which he called “the Great Commission of the Old Testament,” addressed to all preachers. By referencing the six chief parts of Luther’s Small Catechism, he found in God’s call to “comfort ye My people” whispers of the whole counsel of God: a God who cares for his people, who redeems them, sends them a Comforter, welcomes their prayers as the Lord taught them to pray, calls them to repentance and forgives their sin, urges the message be made known to all nations/all flesh through baptism, and proclaims the “glory of the Lord” most clearly seen on the cross and brought to each of us through the Holy Supper. This is God’s message we are to bring to comfort his people.
The teaching staff for the seminary this year is as follows: Thomas Flunker, Adolph Harstad, Thomas Kuster, Michael Smith, Erling Teigen, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Flunker is teaching Hispanic outreach; Professor Harstad is teaching in the areas of Old Testament, world religions, and homiletics; Professor Kuster is teaching communication; Professor Smith is teaching in the areas of New Testament, hermeneutics, and homiletics; Professor Teigen is teaching dogmatics; and Professor Schmeling is teaching courses in church history and homiletics.
The seminary enrollment this year numbers twelve. There is one vicar, three seniors, five middlers, and three juniors. The vicar is Paul Webber at Mt. Olive Lutheran (Mankato, Minnesota). Also we have one student in the Master of Arts in Lutheran Theological Studies program.