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New School Year at the Sem

New School Year at the Sem

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began the new academic year on August 24, 2020 with the opening service at Good Shepherd  Chapel. For the opening service, Dr. Timothy Schmeling preached on 1 Samuel 3:1–10, with the theme “Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.” Beginning with the famous stoic proverb: “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we speak,” Prof. Schmeling preached about how failing to listen to the Word of the LORD and the needs of the neighbor resulted in the rarity of God’s Word in Samuel’s day. Pointing out ways we often do the same, he called for us to repent of our neglect of God’s Word and our spiritual deafness to others. Since we cannot initiate God’s Word by anything that we do, the LORD comes to us through Christ and says, “Ephphata, that is, be opened” (Mark 7:34, ESV). Only Christ can heal the spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind. Lest we put off repentance and stop listening to God’s Word, Dr. Schmeling exhorted us to make Samuel’s prayer, our daily prayer: “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.” Finally, he acknowledged COVID and other reasons for feeling unready to receive a pastoral call. And yet, it was pointed out that God didn’t wait for Samuel to feel ready before he called him. Instead God recreated him, justified him, and equipped him to take up the prophetic office. God made Samuel ready because he could not make himself ready. Grounded in God’s Word then, we too can confidently say, “Here I am, for you called me.”

The teaching staff for the seminary this semester is as follows: Brian Klebig, Joshua Mears, Nicholas Proksch, Timothy Schmeling, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Brian Klebig is teaching communication; Dr. Joshua Mears is teaching counseling; Professor Nicholas Proksch is teaching in the areas of New Testament, homiletics, and hermeneutics; Professor Timothy Schmeling is teaching Lutheran Confessions and homiletics; and Professor Gaylin Schmeling is teaching courses in church history and homiletics.

The seminary enrollment this year numbers seventeen. There are five vicars, five seniors, three middlers, three juniors, and one special student. The vicars are Adam Brasich at Resurrection Lutheran Church (Winter Haven, Florida) and Our Savior Lutheran Church (Lakeland, Florida), David Choi at Reformation Lutheran Church (San Diego, California), Roger Emmons at Grace Lutheran Church (Redmond, Oregon), Samuel Johnson at Our Saviour Lutheran Church (Lake Havasu City, Arizona), and Sean Scheele at Pilgrim Lutheran Church (Waterloo, Iowa) and Faith Lutheran Church (Parkersburg, Iowa).

Cancelled-Reformation Lectures 2020

We regret to inform you that the current conditions caused by the global pandemic compel us to cancel the 2020 Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures scheduled to meet in Mankato, Minnesota October 29–30, 2020.

I am sure this comes as little surprise given the many cancellations of academic conferences throughout the country this fall. Nevertheless, we are very sorry about this. That said, we were so looking forward to this year’s topic that we have retained it for next year. So please join us again for the 2021 Reformation Lectures, entitled “We Confess Jesus Christ,” to be held on the campus of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary and College on October 28–29, 2021.

The individual lectures will be:

  • Early Church Christology
  • Early Modern Lutheran Christology
  • Modern Lutheran Christology

Seminary Commencement Service

The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included the assignment of calls, occurred on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. in Good Shepherd Chapel. Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as preacher, and Mr. Samuel Johnson was the pianist. The sermon was based on Ephesians 3:8 with the theme “The Pearl of Salvation.” In the sermon, Pres. Schmeling explained that the pearl of salvation is found in the Gospel of Christ’s redemptive work for the salvation of all people. This pearl of salvation is the greatest treasure there is. It alone can give peace and security in this life and hope for the life to come. Those called into the public ministry are given the privilege to dispense this pearl of salvation through the means of grace, the Word and Sacraments.

Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Jacob Kempfert, Ethan Urtel, and Karim Yaghleji. Jacob Kempfert was assigned as pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Saginaw, Michigan) and Karim Yaghleji was assigned as Arabic outreach missionary and pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church (Lombard, Illinois). Ethan Urtel will pursue further education. Adam Brasich was assigned as vicar of Resurrection Lutheran Church (Winter Haven, Florida) and Our Savior Lutheran Church (Lakeland, Florida), David Choi was assigned as vicar of Seoul Lutheran Church (Seoul, South Korea), Roger Emmons was assigned as vicar of Grace Lutheran Church (Redmond, Oregon), Samuel Johnson was assigned as vicar of Our Saviour Lutheran Church (Lake Havasu City, Arizona) and Sean Scheele was assigned as vicar of Pilgrim Lutheran Church (Waterloo, Iowa) and Faith Lutheran Church (Parkersburg, Iowa).

A recording of the service is available at

Seminary Call Service Live Stream

The Seminary’s call service will be live streamed at the following link: