Archives by date

You are browsing the site archives by date.

2017 Reformation Lectures

The registration for this year’s annual Bjarne W. Teigen Reformation Lectures is up and running.

To Register Online, Click Here.

For more information about this year’s theme, Click Here.

To download the flyer and register by mail, Click Here.

72nd Academic Year Begins (2017-2018)

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its 72nd academic year with an opening service in Good Shepherd Chapel on August 21, 2017. Dr. Timothy Schmeling delivered the homily on Genesis 12:1–8, focusing on Father Abraham as a Model for Seminarians. Drawing on the life of Abraham, Prof. Schmeling illuminated the temptations to pride and doubt in the holy ministry. He noted that the continual swing of the pendulum between hubris and self-loathing marks human life ever after the fall. This spiritual disorder comes from our repeated attempts to anchor our being in the shifting sands of our own character and accomplishments. Only Christ and his righteousness, credited to us through his holy life and death, can bring calm and stillness. Not only that, only he can give us true confidence in the Lord and the power to do all things through him. Prof. Schmeling then explained that just as the Promised Messiah guided Abraham through his sojourn, Christ will do the same for us. He will be with us in all the trials of the public ministry and in the burdens of life. He, who alone could offer himself on the holy mount so that we might have life for all eternity, could never leave us nor forsake us in this present sin-stricken reality. Now, as in Abraham’s day, God claims you and me as his own so that other people may experience his blessings through us. As we go about our daily lives, we find people who are hurting. At such times, God calls us to pray on their behalf like Abraham prayed for Sodom and Gomorrah. He wants us to plant our altars in their midst and comfort them with the Gospel of forgiveness. The God of Abraham wants to befriend them and serve them through us. Abraham was indeed a blessing for all nations through the promised Messiah.

The teaching staff for the seminary this semester is as follows:

  • Thomas Kuster (communication)
  • Nathan Nass (multi-cultural studies)
  • Timothy Schmeling (Old Testament, symbolics, homiletics)
  • Michael Smith (New Testament, hermeneutics, homiletics)
  • Gaylin Schmeling (dogmatics, homiletics)

The seminary enrollment this year numbers fourteen. There are two vicars, one senior, five middlers, five juniors, and one special student. The vicars are Noah Thompson at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) and Christian Walz at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Indianola, Iowa).

Commencement Service Video, 2017

Graduation Service Recap, 2017

Graduation Service Recap, 2017

Student Body, 2016-2017The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included both the assignment of calls and graduation of students, occurred on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. Prof. Adolph Harstad served as preacher, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as liturgist, the Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch represented the Board of Regents, and Mr. John Baumann was the organist. The sermon was based on Romans 10:5–15 with the theme “It’s Better than Rocket Science and Brain Surgery, But Much Less Complicated.” Prof. Harstad explained from the words of Paul and Moses that both the Law and the Gospel are very clear and accessible to everyone. No one has to search above, below, or across the oceans to find either of them and learn what they mean. They are as close as our mouths and hearts when we speak and believe them. But Law and Gospel are also completely different from each other. Only one of them can bring God’s own righteousness to sinners condemned by the Law of Moses. The Ministry of the Gospel is not complicated. It consists of four things: God’s clear message of righteousness freely given through Jesus, a messenger with “beautiful feet” to deliver the message, an audience to hear it, and a “call” to proclaim it publicly. That’s not rocket science or brain surgery. It’s better and less complicated. The four men being assigned have the privilege of carrying out this wonderful work. They have “beautiful feet” as they run with God’s Gospel.

In this service, Professor Adolph Harstad was recognized for 26 years of faithful service to the seminary upon his retirement. He has led our seminary Old Testament studies and has distinguished himself as an author of several excellent commentaries.

Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Aaron Ferkenstad and Kurtis Freimuth. Aaron Ferkenstad was assigned as pastor of King of Grace Lutheran Church (Golden Valley, Minesota) and Kurtis Freimuth was assigned as pastor of Peace Lutheran Church (Kissimmee, Florida). Noah Thompson was assigned as vicar of St. John’s Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) and Christian Walz was assigned as vicar of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Indianola, Iowa).

Call List, 2017

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary held its annual Commencement Service on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. This annual service features both the Graduation of the students who have completed the seminary program, and the Assignment of Calls for pastoral candidates and vicars. This year two men graduated with M.Div. degrees: Aaron Ferkenstad and Kurtis Freimuth.

The assignments were as follows:

Pastoral Assignments:

  • Aaron Ferkenstad—King of Grace Lutheran Church, Golden Valley, Minnesota
  • Kurtis Freimuth—Peace Lutheran Church, Kissimmee, Florida

Vicarage Assignments

  • Noah Thompson—St. John’s Lutheran Church Frankenmuth, Michigan (under Rev. Jeff Luplow)
  • Christian Walz—Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Indianola, Iowa (under Rev. Robert Harting)

We pray for God’s blessings on these men as they preach the Gospel to His flocks.

Commencement 2017

The seminary commencement service will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Adolph Harstad will be the preacher, President Gaylin Schmeling will serve as liturgist, and the Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch will represent the Board of Regents. The following will graduate from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Aaron Ferkenstad and Kurtis Freimuth.

Following the commencement service, there will be a reception in Honsey Hall honoring the graduates and Prof. Adolph Harstad for his 26 years of faithful service at Bethany Seminary on his retirement.