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.

Dr. Schmeling Joins Faculty

Dr. Schmeling Joins Faculty

Timothy-SchmelingBethany Lutheran Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Timothy R. Schmeling has accepted the divine call to serve as Professor of Old Testament, Symbolics, and Church History. He will assume his new role at the seminary in Fall 2017.

He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Theology and History at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, Minnesota. Prior to that he was a parish pastor in Sebastian, Florida and served his vicarage in Ukiah, California. He holds a Ph.D. from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri; an M.Div. from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary; and a B.A. from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota. He and his wife, Annette, live in Mankato with their two children. God bless his work among us teaching the next generation of pastors for the ELS.

Expanded Biography

Reformation Lecture Recap

Reformation Lecture Recap

Reformation-Lectures-2016The forty-ninth annual Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures were held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Mankato, Minnesota, on October 27–28, 2016. These lectures are sponsored jointly by Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. This year there were three presenters: Dr. Roland Ziegler, Dr. Charles Cortright, and Dr. David Lumpp.

The theme of the lectures was “The Cost of Confessing: Luther and the Three Princes.” The first lecture, given by Dr. Ziegler, was entitled “Luther and Frederick the Wise.” The second lecture, presented by Dr. Cortright, was entitled “Luther and John the Constant.” The third lecture, given by Dr. Lumpp, was entitled “Luther and John Frederick.”

The Reformation Lectures presented the life and work of the three princes who ruled during Luther’s lifetime. God, through these men, provided the environment and political situation which made the restoration of the Gospel possible. They defended and protected the Reformation movement in its infancy. Great Lutheran confessors they were to a man.

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

2016 Reformation Lectures

2016 Reformation Lectures

We are pleased to announce this year’s B.W.Teigen Reformation Lectures presented by Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary and Bethany Lutheran College.

To register, click here!

Click here to download the information and registration form.


2016-17 Academic Year Begins

2016-17 Academic Year Begins

[caption id="attachment_1606" align="alignright" width="150"]Sem Opening 2016 Pictured from left to right: (back) John Spivey, Noah Thompson, Ethan Urtel, Christian Walz (front) Patrick Ernst, Karim Yaghleji, Jacob Kempfert[/caption]

Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service on August 22, 2016, in the Good Shepherd Chapel. The Rev. John Moldstad, president of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, delivered the devotional message for the occasion, centering his remarks on Matthew 20:20–28. In his message he urged all to assess our motives for service to the Lord, whether in the classroom as ones privileged to study for the ministry, as professors and administrators, or as dedicated Christians in our various vocations of life. In the text cited, Jesus speaks a strong message on how greatness in his kingdom does not come by way of the world’s standards in judging merit. It comes only through faithful service to other fellow sinners, done fully out love and thanks to the Savior, without any thought of reward. While we sinners fail in upholding this pure motive, we are spurred on to greater commitment to help others—which the ministry is all about—through the Savior himself who “came not to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” In conclusion, reference was made to the familiar citation from Dr. Luther in his 1 Peter commentary: “God could easily take away our breath and have us die as soon as we are baptized and have begun to believe, but he leaves us here so that we may do for others what he has done for us.” We pray that God fills our seminarians, our professors, and our administrators—all of us—with the attitude of gratitude as we are moved with humility in all of our activity.

The teaching staff for the seminary this semester is as follows: Adolph Harstad, Thomas Kuster, Allen Quist, Michael Smith, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Harstad is teaching in the areas of Old Testament and homiletics; Professor Kuster is teaching communication; Professor Quist is teaching apologetics; Professor Smith is teaching in the areas of New Testament, hermeneutics, and homiletics; and Professor Schmeling is teaching courses in church history and homiletics.

The seminary enrollment this year numbers nine. There are two vicars, two seniors, one middler, and four juniors. The vicars are Aaron Ferkenstad at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Frankenmuth, Michigan) and Kurtis Freimuth at Grace Lutheran Church (Vero Beach, Florida).