Commencement 2015

Sem Graduation 2015The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included both the assignment of calls and graduation of students, occurred on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Gene Lilienthal (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Brownsburg, Indiana) served as preacher, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as liturgist, the Rev. Dr. J. Kincaid Smith represented the Board of Regents, and Mr. John Baumann was the organist. The sermon was based on John 21:15–17 with the theme “Pastor, Feed Jesus’ Sheep.” In the sermon, Pastor Lilienthal explains that Lutheran pastors are to feed the lambs and sheep of our gracious Savior on the green pastures of the means of grace, Holy Word and Blessed Sacraments. They are to shepherd the flock of God.

The following graduated from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Michael Lilienthal. He was assigned as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Iola, Wisconsin and Messiah Lutheran Church, Omro, Wisconsin. Matthew Behmer was assigned as vicar of Peace Lutheran Church, North Mankato, Minnesota and Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota; Jeffrey Hendrix was assigned as vicar of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Indianola, Iowa; Joshua Mayer was assigned as vicar of Redeeming Grace Lutheran Church, Rogers, Minnesota; Daniel Ruiz was assigned as vicar of Hope Lutheran Church, Leander, Texas; and Andrew Soule was assigned as vicar of Norseland Lutheran Church, Saint Peter, Minnesota and Norwegian Grove Lutheran Church, Gaylord, Minnesota.

Pastor’s Institute-2015

IMG_2254The annual Pastors’ 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 Trinity in Okauchee, Wisconsin, on March 9, 2015.

The first portion of the institute was a presentation entitled “Concordia, Discordia, Et Irenicum: The Reception of the Book of Concord in Seventeenth Century Braunschweig Lutheranism.” This presentation demonstrated how the Book of Concord was received in the northern German states. It explains some of the conflicts involved in the acceptance of the Book of Concord in Lutheran lands, which would be a factor in the Syncretistic Controversy of the seventeenth century. It was given by Dr. Timothy Schmeling of Bethany Lutheran College.

The second segment of the institute was entitled “Church of the Lutheran Confession: Then and Now,” centering on the origin and recent history of the CLC. This presentation was given by President Gaylin Schmeling.

Spring Recruitment Night, 2015

recruitment night poster-Spring 2015The seminary is once again hosted a Spring Recruitment Night on Sunday, February 22, 2015. Dinner was provided and the students and interested potential students enjoyed a stimulating lecture by Pres. Gaylin Schmeling, who answered the important question, “What Is The Ministry All About?” Pres. Schmeling emphasized that the ministry is all about feeding God’s sheeps and lambs with the Means of Grace–God’s Word and Sacraments.

Commencement Service-2015 (New Time – 4:00pm )

The seminary commencement service will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 2015, at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Gene Lilienthal will be the preacher, President Gaylin Schmeling will serve as liturgist, and the Rev. Dr. J. Kincaid Smith will represent the Board of Regents. The following will graduate from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Michael Lilienthal. The following will receive vicarage assignments: Matthew Behmer, Jeff Hendrix, Josh Mayer, Daniel Ruiz, and Andrew Soule.

Reformation Lectures 2014

Reformation_Lectures_2014The forty-seventh annual Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures were held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, on October 30–31, 2014. 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 Prof. Allen Quist of St. Peter, Minnesota. Prof. Quist holds a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College, an M.A. from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and B.D. from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. He currently serves as a member of the Doctrine Committee of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Prof. Quist was Professor of Psychology at Bethany Lutheran College from 1968 to 1982. He served three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988. While in the Legislature, he served as Chair of the Social Services Subcommittee and as Vice-Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Prof. Quist was the author of numerous bills including the bill that created Minnesota’s Department of Jobs and Training. In 1994 he won the Republican party endorsement as a candidate for governor of Minnesota. Prof. Quist is the author of seven books, one of them being an unofficial best-seller with sales of over 10,000 copies. He is also the author of numerous articles in a wide variety of publications, and has been a frequent speaker at national conferences dealing with education policy. His recent publications include: Ten Truths About Evolution that Everyone Should Know, and Proclaiming the Truth of Jesus to a Post-modern World. Prof. Quist and his wife, Julie, live in rural St. Peter. They have 10 children and 42 grandchildren.

The second presenter was Dr. Daniel van Voorhis.Dr. van Voorhis received his B.A. in Theology from Concordia University, Irvine and earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is currently the chair of the department of History and Political Thought at Concordia University, Irvine. He is the author of numerous articles in fields ranging from Reformation polemics to contemporary issues in Religion and Politics. He is the co-host of the Virtue in the Wasteland podcast (a production of the League of Faithful Masks) as well as a speaking fellow for both the League of Faithful Masks and the 1517 Project. Dr. van Voorhis is currently co-writing a book with colleague Dr. Jeffrey Mallinson on Christianity and culture. His article “Who’s Afraid of the Enlightenment?” was accepted as a chapter in an upcoming work on the legacy of Western Civilization. Dr. van Voorhis, and his wife, Beth Anne, have been married for 11 years, and are blessed with two sons. He is a native of southern California.

The theme of the lectures was “Apologetics in Lutheranism.” The first lecture, given by Prof. Quist, was entitled “The Doctrine of Creation in Lutheran Apologetics.” The second lecture, presented by Dr. van Voorhis, was entitled “Lutherans and the Defense of the Faith.”

The Reformation Lectures were a study of biblical apologetics. There is a considerable amount of discussion among Christians today concerning apologetics. The term “apologetics” refers to the defense of the Christian faith. Defending the Christian faith may include an explanation of the basic beliefs of Christianity. It may also include giving grounds or reasons for accepting the Christian Gospel message as true or a refutation of criticisms of the faith, as well as exposing inadequacies in alternative religions and worldviews.

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

(left to right) Pres. Gaylin Schmeling, Prof. Erling Teigen, Prof. Allen Quist, Dr. Daniel van Voorhis, Prof. Lyle Lange, Rev. Don Moldstad


New School Year 2014-2015

2014-2015 StudentsBethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service on August 25 in Good Shepherd Chapel. Because St. Bartholomew Day is celebrated on that date, Prof. Adolph Harstad based his message on texts concerning the disciple Bartholomew and made applications to the lives of seminarians. The St. Bartholomew Day Massacre of 1572, when Catholic Christians slaughtered Hugenot Christians in France, should cause us to shudder in repentant embarrassment if we harbor a self-righteous superior attitude when thinking about Moslems killing Moslems today.

“Bartholomew” means “son of Tholomaos” and also “son of the furrow” (= plowman). The two names remind students of the help of parents and relatives who contributed to their ability to become seminarians and also of the “humble plowmen” they are training to be. The other name of Bartholomew is Nathanael. His full name was thus Nathanael Bartholomew. Now we know more about the man because of the account in John 1 of the calling of early disciples. Jesus called Philip, and Philip in turn invited his friend Nahtanael (=Bartholomew) to “come and see.” The importance of serving as good brothers and friends at the seminary is a natural application of Philip encouraging Nathanael. Bartholomew/Nathanel was at first an arrogant skeptic. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” He came and saw the Savior, sat at his feet, and witnessed the perfect life and redeeming death that lead to redemption. Seminarians who want to grow in grace and in humble service to God’s people have only one place to go—to Jesus and his means of grace. A personal devotional life is therefore encouraged at the seminary along with a rigorous academic life. Tradition says that after Easter and Pentecost, Bartholomew boldly spread the saving message in India as well as in the regions around Armenia. Finally, he was martyred for the faith and lives forever as “St. Bartholomew” in the presence of his Savior. Praise to God for that saint and all the others who have gone before as humble servants of Jesus.

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, counseling, and homiletics; Professor Kuster is teaching communication; Professor Smith is teaching in the areas of New Testament, hermeneutics, and homiletics; and Professor Schmeling is teaching courses in church history, dogmatics, and homiletics.


2014 Reformation Lecture Announcement

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the annual B.W. Teigen Reformation Lectures, to be held Thursday, Oct. 30-31, 2014 on the campus of Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota. This year’s theme will be Apologetics in Lutheranism. The program will consist of the following:

  •  Lecture One: A Proper Lutheran Use of Apologetics
    by Rod Rosenbladt (Concordia, Irvine)                    
  •  Lecture Two: The Doctrine of Creation in Lutheran Apologetics
    by Al Quist 

The reactors to the lectures will be Lyle Lange of Martin Luther College and Erling Teigen of Bethany Lutheran College.

More information and registration materials will be published soon.

We hope you will join us for this year’s B.W. Teigen Reformation Lectures at Bethany.

Graduation Video, 2014

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Graduation 2014 from ELSLutheran on Vimeo.

Seminary Commencement-2014

The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included both the assignment of calls and graduation of students, occurred on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 7 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. Prof. Lyle Lange (Martin Lutheran College, New Ulm [WELS]) served as preacher, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as liturgist, the Rev. Dr. J. Kincaid Smith represented the Board of Regents, and Mr. John Baumann was the organist. The sermon was based on Ephesians 3:7–8 with the theme “Go and Proclaim Christ with Confidence!” In the sermon, Prof. Lange explained that God has called these men to the ministry, God has equipped them for this ministry, and God has promised to bless their ministry.

 Paul Lange was assigned as pastor of Abiding Word Lutheran Church in Bowling Green, Ohio, and Michael Lilienthal was assigned as vicar of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Iola, Wisconsin. The following graduated from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Paul Lange.Seminary Graduation 2014

Commencement for 2013-2014

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary Commencement will occur on Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. This service will include both the graduation of the students and the assignment of calls. Prof. Lyle Lange (Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota) will serve as the guest speaker with the Rev. Gaylin Schmeling conducting the liturgy and the Rev. Dr. J. Kincaid Smith representing the Board of Regents. There will be a fellowship time after the service in the Great Room. The seminary graduate will be Paul Lange. The vicar will be Michael Lilienthal.