Seminary Opening-2019

Seminary Opening-2019

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began the new academic year on August 19, 2019 with the opening service at Good Shepherd Chapel. Prof. Nick Proksch preached the sermon on Ezekiel 47:1–9, which is Ezekiel’s vision of a supernatural temple with waters flowing out of it. These waters flow into the Dead Sea and are able to transform even the saltiest and deadest of waters into fresh water with an abundance of life. Likewise, God recreates us, his fallen creatures. He takes us out of our salt waters of sin and death by connecting us to the fresh waters of life, flowing from God himself as depicted by the temple. It is no wonder that Jesus spoke of himself as the true temple and offered “living water” in his ministry (John 2:19, 4:10, 7:37–39). With his sacrifice for sins on the cross and conquest of death in his resurrection, we have every quenching of spiritual thirst we need. In a world surrounded by spiritual salt water, incapable of satisfying or sustaining our lives, pastors have the joy and privilege to offer the only thing that truly quenches and satisfies in the means of grace. Studying for this ministry is our task at seminary.

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

The seminary enrollment this year numbers nineteen. There are four vicars, five seniors, five middlers, three juniors, and two special students. The vicars are Patrick Ernst at Faith Lutheran Church (San Antonio, Texas), Jacob Kempfert at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church (Mankato, Minnesota), Ethan Urtel at Hartland and Manchester Lutheran Churches (Hartland and Manchester, Minnesota), and Karim Yaghleji at Bethany Lutheran Church (Port Orchard, Washington).

Reformation Lectures-2019

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary is pleased to announce this year’s Bjarne W. Teigen Reformation Lectures, October 31–November 1, 2019.

You can register online here!  This link also includes a downloadable Reformation Lecture poster.

This year’s theme is:

Lutheran Preaching Through the Centuries

  • Preaching in the Reformation—Dr. Paul Robinson
  • Preaching in the Nineteenth Century—Dr. Thomas Kuster
  • Preaching Today—Prof. Paul Wendland

The lectures will take place at Bethany Lutheran College, S. C. Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, beginning October 31 at 10:30 a.m.

2019 Commencement

2019 Commencement

The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included the assignment of calls, occurred on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Daniel Basel served as preacher, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as liturgist, and Mr. John Baumann was the organist. The sermon was based on Matthew 10:16 with the theme “Wise Yet Gentle Servants.” In the sermon, Pastor Basel explained that those in the public ministry should be wise as serpents and gentle and harmless as doves. The public servant will be shrewd, properly using the good things of this world for the kingdom, and gentle and harmless, causing no offense to the Gospel. They will use every effort to proclaim the full forgiveness of sins in our crucified and risen Savior.

Jacob Kempfert was assigned as vicar of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church (Mankato, Minnesota), Ethan Urtel was assigned as vicar of Hartland Lutheran Church (Hartland, Minnesota) and Manchester Lutheran Church (Manchester, Minnesota), and Karim Yaghleji was assigned as vicar of Bethany Lutheran Church (Port Orchard, Washington).

Reformation Lecture Report-2018

Reformation Lecture Report-2018

Reformation Lectures 2018The fifty-first annual Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures were held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, on October 25–26, 2018. These lectures are sponsored jointly by Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. This year there were three presenters. The first presenter was the Rev. Dr. John M. Brenner of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wisconsin. The second presenter was the Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr. who is the sixteenth president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and professor of American Christianity and American Lutheranism. The third presenter was the Rev. Craig A. Ferkenstad, secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

This year the theme of the Reformation Lectures was “Evangelical Lutheran Synod: Three Perspectives.” The first lecture, given by Dr. John Brenner, was entitled “ELS: A WELS Perspective.” The second lecture, given by Dr. Lawrence Rast, was entitled, “ELS: A LCMS Perspective.” The third lecture, given by the Rev. Craig Ferkenstad, was entitled, “ELS: An Introspective.”

This year the theme of the Reformation Lectures was “Evangelical Lutheran Synod: Three Perspectives.” This theme centered in the one hundredth anniversary celebration of the reorganization of the ELS in 1918, and its relationship with the other church bodies in the Synodical Conference. The first lecture, given by Dr. Brenner, was entitled, “ELS: A WELS Perspective.” In this essay there was a discussion of the relationship between the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), a sibling relationship. The mutual counsel and advice between the synods has been advantageous for both synods. This fellowship is a wonderful blessing. The second lecture, presented by Dr. Rast, was entitled, “ELS: A LCMS Perspective.” This essay points out that the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) was an important big sister to the ELS in its early years. Both the Norwegian Synod and the reorganized synod received considerable support in their infant years from the LCMS. The break in fellowship with the LCMS was tragic for the ELS. The third lecture, given by the Rev. Ferkenstad, was entitled, “ELS: An Introspective.” As a native son the essayist indicated the synod’s positive contributions to the world, and at the same time, pointed out its weaknesses. He showed the unique flavor of the ELS.

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

Reformation Lectures 2019

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary is pleased to announce this year’s Bjarne W. Teigen Reformation Lectures, October 31–November 1, 2019.

You can register online here!  This link also includes a downloadable Reformation Lecture poster.

This year’s theme is:

Lutheran Preaching Through the Centuries

  • Preaching in the Reformation—Dr. Paul Robinson
  • Preaching in the Nineteenth Century—Dr. Thomas Kuster
  • Preaching Today—Prof. Paul Wendland

The lectures will take place at Bethany Lutheran College, S. C. Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, beginning October 31 at 10:30 a.m.

 

New School Year—New Professor at Bethany

New School Year—New Professor at Bethany

Proksch-InstallationBethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service in Good Shepherd Chapel on August 27, 2018. Prof. Timothy Schmeling conducted the liturgy and the Rev. Larry Wentzlaff delivered the homily on 2 Corinthians 5:14–21, focusing on the doctrine of justification and the public ministry, the ministry of reconciliation. On the basis of Christ’s redemptive work the whole world has been justified or declared righteous in Christ. The Rev. Wentzlaff pointed out that this message is brought to all people through the means of grace by the ministry of reconciliation. This is the purpose of the God-given office of the public ministry. Those in this office will proclaim the message of salvation in Jesus Christ our Savior. Also at this service, the Rev. Nicholas Proksch was installed as professor at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. He will teach the New Testament courses at the seminary and the Greek courses at the college. Pres. John Moldstad conducted the rite of installation.

The teaching staff for the seminary this semester is as follows: Adolph Harstad, Brian Klebig, Nicholas Proksch, Timothy Schmeling, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Harstad is teaching homiletics; Professor Klebig is teaching communication; Professor Proksch is teaching in the areas of New Testament and hermeneutics; Professor Timothy Schmeling is teaching Old Testament and homiletics; and Professor Gaylin Schmeling is teaching courses in dogmatics and homiletics.

Student_Body_2018-2019The seminary enrollment this year numbers seventeen. There are five seniors, six middlers, five juniors, and one special student.

Prof. Nicholas Proksch Joins Faculty

nicholas-prokschBethany Lutheran Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that the Rev. Nicholas D. Proksch has accepted the divine call to serve as Professor of New Testament at the seminary. He will assume his new role at the seminary in Fall 2018.

Prof. Proksch brings unique experience to the seminary faculty, having served as a pastor at an historical ELS congregation (River Heights Lutheran Church, East Grand Forks, Minnesota), a home mission congregation (Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Holland, Michigan), and as a college professor (Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota). In addition, he is a published translator, having contributed to the expansion of Luther’s Works: American Edition.

He holds an M.Div. from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary; and a B.A. in German from Christ College of Valparaiso University. He and his wife, Becky, live in Mankato with their four children. God bless his work among us teaching the next generation of pastors for the ELS.

2018 Commencement

2018 Commencement

Sem_Graduation-2018The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included both the assignment of calls and graduation of students, occurred on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. David Thompson 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 Hebrews 12:1–3 with the theme “The Joy and Cross of Christ.” In the sermon, Pastor Thompson spoke of the crosses through which the called servant is driven to the means of grace, Word and Sacrament. These means of grace strengthen one to carry out the Lord’s ministry. Then Pastor Thompson pointed out the wonderful joy of the ministry, offering comfort for this life and hope for the life to come.

At the seminary commencement service, Dr. Michael Smith was honored for his sixteen years of service at the seminary. He has accepted a call to teach at Asia Lutheran Seminary, Hong Kong. Dr. Smith has distinguished himself as a New Testament professor and has received his Ph.D. in biblical studies. He has taught the Greek New Testament classes at Bethany Lutheran College, the New Testament courses at the seminary, and has served as guest lecturer in international seminaries of our fellowship. We thank the Lord for the wonderful blessings He has bestowed upon our seminary through Dr. Smith.

Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Noah Thompson and Christian Walz. Noah Thompson was assigned as pastor of River Heights Lutheran Church (East Grand Forks, Minnesota), and Christian Walz was assigned as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (Indianola, Iowa).

2017 Reformation Lecture Recap

2017 Reformation Lecture Recap

Reformation lectures 2017-2The fiftieth annual Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures were held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, on October 26–27, 2017. These lectures are sponsored jointly by Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary.

This year there were three presenters. The first presenter was Prof. Em. Erling Teigen of Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) in Mankato, Minnesota. Prof. Em. Teigen has served BLC since 1977. He received his A.A. from Bethany Lutheran College (1960), B.A. from the University of Minnesota (1962), B.D. (M.Div) from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary (1966), and M.A. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota (1978). He served Evangelical Lutheran Synod parishes in East Grand Forks and Apple Valley, Minnesota. Since joining the BLC religion faculty, he has taught courses in philosophy, dogmatics, American Lutheran history, Luther, and the Book of Concord. He has served on the Doctrine Committee of the ELS, as well as numerous other boards. He was editor of the Lutheran Sentinel from 1975–82, and a founding editor of Logia for which he remains an editorial advisor and contributing editor. He has presented papers at various pastoral conferences, Lutheran Free Conferences, and has published articles in the Concordia Theological Quarterly, Lutheran Synod Quarterly, the proceedings of the Pieper Lectures and the Congress on the Lutheran Confessions, as well as Logia. Prof. Teigen presently serves as the BLC Archivist and editor of Oak Leaves. Prof. Teigen has been a member of the Reformation Lectures Committee since 1978, and has served as a moderator and reactor for the lectures several times. In 2004, he presented a lecture on J. A. Ottesen of the Norwegian Synod for this lecture series which received an award from the Concordia Historical Society. In 2000, his translation of Letters from Leipzig, Sigurd Christian Ylvisaker’s letters to his family while studying in Leipzig from 1907–10, was published by BLC. He and his wife Linda live in Mankato.

The second presenter was Dr. Erik Herrmann, associate professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, and director of the Center for Reformation Research. He received his Ph.D. from the same institution in 2005 in Renaissance and Reformation Studies. Before being called to the faculty, he was an assistant pastor at Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri. His areas of interest and research include the history of biblical interpretation, with a particular focus on Martin Luther and the Reformation period; history of medieval and Reformation/early modern Europe; twentieth-century interpretations of Martin Luther and his theology; and the history of American Lutheranism. His most recent publications are in The Oxford Handbook of Martin Luther’s Theology, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther, and The Annotated Luther. He is married to Aliesha (née Ave-Lallemant). They are blessed with five children: Augustine, Constansa, Mathias, Tobias, and Elspeth.

The third presenter was the Rev. James Langebartels of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Rib Lake, Wisconsin, and Zion Lutheran Church, Ogema, Wisconsin. Pastor Langebartels was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete, Illinois. He attended Northwestern College (1977) in Watertown, Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (M.Div., 1981) in Mequon, Wisconsin. He also received an S.T.M. in exegetical theology (2008) from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, at the same service in which his son Matt received his M.Div. He and his wife, Shirley (née Marten), were married at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Tomah, Wisconsin, in 1978. Their marriage has been blessed with four children, all of whom attended Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Michigan, and Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota; two also graduated from WLS. John (Julie) owns Cornerstone Roofing in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Peter (Ann) teaches at St. Markus Lutheran School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Matt (Hannah) serves as a WELS pastor in Tucson, Arizona, and Rebekah (Neil) Birkholz supports her husband in Beijing, China. Jim and Shirley have also been blessed with eleven grandchildren. Pastor Langebartels served as a parish pastor from 1981 to 2015 at churches in Morenci, Hopkins, and Imlay City, Michigan. During his time there, he served for sixteen years on the Michigan District Constitution Committee. He translated numerous articles from the Quartalschrift for the anthology volumes of The Wauwatosa Theology (volumes 1–3, NPH, 1997); the first volume of The Complete Timotheus Verinus (NPH, 1998); the third volume (and portions of the first two volumes) of Adolf Hoenecke’s Evangelical Lutheran Dogmatics (NPH, 2003, 2009); Heinrich Schmid’s The History of Pietism (NPH, 2007); Luther’s Church Postils I–V (LW 75–79, CPH, 2013–16); assistant editor of Luther’s Sermons III–IV (LW 56–57, 2016–17); the four volumes of The Apology to the Book of Concord by Martin Chemnitz, Nicolas Selnecker, and Timothy Kirchner (first volume, CPH, 2018); and is currently translating Georg Mentz’s biography of Elector John Frederick the Magnanimous. Pastor Langebartels retired from full-time parish work in 2015 and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to be closer to some of the grandchildren and to put more time into translating, and now serves as the part-time pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Rib Lake, and Zion Lutheran Church, Ogema, Wisconsin. His wife Shirley works as a librarian in South Milwaukee and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

This year the theme of the Reformation Lectures was “Luther’s Three Treatises: The Reformation Platform.” The first lecture, given by Prof. Em. Erling Teigen, was entitled, “Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.” In this treatise Luther demolishes the three walls of the Catholic church: 1. Temporal power has no jurisdiction over the church. 2. Only the pope can interpret Scripture. 3. No one can summon a church council except the pope. The second lecture, presented by Dr. Erik Herrmann, was entitled, “The Babylonian Captivity of the Church.” In this treatise Luther discusses the three captivities of the medieval church: 1. Communion in one kind. 2. Transubstantiation. 3. The sacrifice of the mass. He rejects the seven Roman sacraments and speaks of two: Baptism and the Bread (LW 36:124). The third lecture, given by the Rev. James Langebartels, was entitled, “The Freedom of a Christian.” Here Luther points out that the Christian man is a perfect lord of all, subject to none, and at the same time, the Christian is a perfect dutiful servant of all, subject to all (LW 31:344).

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

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.