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).