Speakers

 

J. Budziszewski, Ph.D.

Dr. Budziszewski earned a B.A. in Political Science (1975) from University of South Florida, Tampa; a M.A. in Political Science (1977) from the University of Florida, Gainesville; and Ph.D. in Political Science (1981) from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.

As a professor in the Department of Government, The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas, Austin, Budziszewski specializes in ethical and political philosophy and the relation of both fields with theology. He is an authority on the natural moral law, and is particularly interested in moral self-deception: What happens when we pretend to ourselves that we don't know what we really do know about right and wrong? He is the author of a many books for both general and scholarly audiences, including What We Can't Not Know: A Guide and On the Meaning of Sex, and has also written three books for Christian college students, including the best-selling How to Stay Christian in College. His latest book is Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law , and his website, which includes a daily blog, is www.UndergroundThomist.org.

Adam S. Francisco, Ph.D.

Dr. Francisco is associate professor of History and Political Thought at Concordia University, Irvine, California.

He earned his M.A. in Theology (2001) from Concordia University, Irvine, California; M.St. (2003) and Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Oxford where he studied Arabic and Islamic theology at the Centre for Islamic Studies and wrote Martin Luther and Islam (Brill, 2007) as a member of Wycliffe Hall.

He served as Albin Salton Fellow at the University of London's Warburg Institute, assistant professor of History at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York and visiting professor of Historical Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Dr. Charles A. Gieschen, Ph.D.

Dr. Gieschen joined the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS) in 1996 and now serves as Academic Dean and professor of Exegetical Theology. Following his graduation from CTS (1984), he studied New Testament and Early Judaism at Princeton Theological Seminary where he received his Th.M. (1985). He was ordained as a pastor in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in 1985. He served as associate and then senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Traverse City, Michigan, from 1985-1996. He received his Ph.D. (1995) from the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. During his doctoral studies, he took a brief sabbatical from his parish and was a research student at the University of Oxford (1994).

He has written a book and several articles dealing with early Christology. He also serves as the associate editor of the Concordia Theological Quarterly and the Archaeological Dig Coordinator for CTS. He has been one of the seminary faculty representatives on the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations since 2007. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Enoch Seminar, and the Chief Academic Officers Society of the Association of Theological Schools.

Gifford A. Grobien, Ph.D.

Dr. Grobien joined the faculty in 2012 as assistant professor of Systematic Theology and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Indiana.

Prior to serving at CTS, he was Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his Ph.D. in Moral Theology from Notre Dame in 2011, defending the dissertation, "Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Minds: Christian Worship as the Root of Righteousness and Ethical Formation." His research interests include the relationship between soteriology, worship and ethics, virtue, the natural law, the proper distinction between Law and Gospel, theological anthropology and some topics in sacramental and liturgical studies. He earned his M.Div. in Exegetical Theology from CTS in 2005 and his B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, Washington D.C., in 1995.

Recent publications include, “Marriage and So-Called Civil Unions in Light of Natural Law,” Concordia Theological Quarterly 77, no. 3-4: 257-270, “Righteousness, Mystical Union, and Moral Formation in Christian Worship,” Concordia Theological Quarterly, Volume 77, Number 1-2, (January-April 2013) and “What is the Natural Law? Medieval Foundations and Luther’s Appropriation” in Natural Law: A Lutheran Reappraisal, ed. Robert Baker (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011).

Rev. John P. Hellwege Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Hellwege has served as sole pastor of Emmaus Lutheran Church in St. Louis, Missouri, since 2008, having previously served the dual parish of Grace Lutheran Church in Platte Center, Nebraska, and St. Peter Lutheran Church in Humphrey, Nebraska.

He received a B.A. (1993) in Theology from Concordia University, Seward Nebraska. He went on to receive his M.Div. (1999) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis as well as an S.T.M. (2000) also from Concordia Seminary majoring in Historical Theology and minoring in Systematic Theology. He later returned to Concordia Seminary to earn a Ph.D. (2009) in Historical Theology with an emphasis in the Modern World.

Hellwege has served as an adjunct professor of Theology at Concordia University, Nebraska, and is presently serving as adjunct faculty for Concordia University, Wisconsin–St. Louis Center and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has taught classes in both theology and philosophy. His areas of expertise include the interaction between theology and philosophy throughout the history of the Christian Church and church history in the 19th and 20th centuries particularly focusing on American Lutheranism as well as Nazism and the Kirchenkampf. He has published a couple of articles on church history as well as contributed to several books.

Charles E. Hill, Ph.D.

Dr. Charles Hill joined Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS), Orlando in 1994 and serves as John R. Richardson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity. He earned a B.A. from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, a M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary, Escondido, California, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

He teaches core courses on Hebrews-Revelation and New Testament Greek. Hill has significant research interest in the Johannine Corpus, New Testament books associated with the Apostle John (Gospel of John, 1-3 John and Revelation). He also has researched and written extensively on several issues related to the early church fathers, particularly early Christian views of the end times, the canon of the New Testament and the traditions of New Testament manuscripts. Dr. Hill's most recent publications include Who Chose the Gospels? Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Early Text of the New Testament (Oxford University Press, 2012), edited with RTS Professor Michael J. Kruger.

Arthur A. Just Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Just has been on the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, since 1984. He is Professor and chairman of Exegetical Theology and director of Spanish-Speaking Pastoral and Diakonal Formation at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He is now working with churches and seminaries in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, as well as Spanish-speaking groups in the United States. He teaches New Testament, liturgics, homiletics, catechetics and pastoral theology.

He earned a B.A. in History and English Literature (1975) from Union College, Schenectady, New York, the M.Div. (1980) from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, a S.T.M. in New Testament and Liturgics (1984) from Yale University, New Haven Connecticut, and a Ph.D. (1990) in New Testament form University of Durham, Durham, England.

He is author of The Ongoing Feast, the Concordia Publishing House (CPH) Commentary on Luke, the Lukan volume of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture for InterVarsity Press, a book from CPH for pastors, deaconesses, and lay people for the visitation of the sick and dying entitled Visitation, and a book from CPH on the liturgy of the church entitled Heaven on Earth: The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service.

Jeffrey J. Kloha, Ph.D.

Dr. Kloha serves as professor of Exegetical Theology and as provost at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. He earned a B.A. (1988) from Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Michigan; a M.Div. (1992) and S.T.M. (1999) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis and a Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Leeds, U.K.

His areas of research include the formation of the New Testament, specifically its text and canonical development within the context of early church history. He has published on the text of the Pauline Letters, ancient Gnosticism and early Christianity, and Pauline theology in Novum Testamentum, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Concordia Journal, and chapters in several books of collected essays. He is co-editor of Texts and Traditions: Essays in Honour of J. Keith Elliott and is currently completing a book on the manuscripts of 1 Corinthians.

Lawrence R. Rast, Jr., Ph.D.

Dr. Rast is the president at Concordia Theological Seminary and professor of American Christianity and American Lutheranism. Dr. Rast joined the Department of Historical Theology in the fall of 1996 after serving as pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church, Madison, Tennessee (1992-96). He received his B.A. (1986) from Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois, and his M.Div. (1990) and S.T.M. (1995) from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2003, he earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Rast is a member of the Board of Directors for the journal Lutheran Quarterly. He has served on The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (2006-present ) and has served as the commission’s chairman from2010-present .

David P. Scaer, Th.D.

Dr. Scaer has been a member of the faculty at Concordia Theological Seminary since 1966. He is the David P. Scaer Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology and Chairman of the Department of Systematic Theology.

He is the author of Christology, Baptism and Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace in the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics Series and Infant Baptism in Nineteenth Century Lutheran Theology. His exegetical writings include James: The Apostle of Faith, The Sermon on the Mount: The Church's First Statement of the Gospel and Discourses in Matthew (CPH, 2004). His sermons and popular articles were collected in the two volume In Christ (Sussex, Wisconsin: Concordia Catechetical Academy, 2004). First appointed editor of the Concordia Theological Quarterly in 1969, the numerous essays can be found there and in other periodicals. His theology has been the topic of two doctoral dissertations.

Peter J. Scaer, Ph.D.

Dr. Peter Scaer has been a member of the Concordia Theological Seminary faculty since 2000. He currently serves as associate professor of Exegetical Theology and director of the Master of Arts Program.

Scaer completed his undergraduate work in the Classics at Indiana University Bloomington, graduating in 1988. From there he went on to Concordia Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1992), and to Notre Dame, where he earned his M.A. (1995), and completed his doctoral dissertation on the Lukan Passion Narrative (Ph.D., 2001). From 1996 to 2000 Dr. Scaer served as the pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Arcadia, Indiana.

Alvin J. Schmidt, Ph.D.

Dr. Schmidt earned his B.A. (1962) from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, a M.Div. (1963) degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, M.A. in Sociology (1967) and Ph.D. Sociology (1970) from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. After 36 years of teaching sociology and theology courses on the college and seminary level at four institutions of higher learning, he opted to become professor emeritus, enabling him to speak to numerous church-related and college groups in various parts of the country.

He is the author of nine books. One, Fraternal Organizations (1980) received an award from the American Library Association. His book The Menace of Multiculturalism: Trojan Horse in America (1997) was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. This book was also selected by the Conservative Book Club as its “Book of the Month” for July 1997. Another book, How Christianity Changed the World (2004), has been translated into seven foreign languages, including Russian (2014). His most recent book is The American Muhammad: Joseph Smith, the Founder of Mormonism (2013).

Dean O. Wenthe, Ph.D.

Dr. Wenthe served as president of Concordia Theological Seminary, 1996-2011, and is currently professor of Exegetical Theology. He also serves as the president of the Concordia University System for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).

He is a graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (M.Div., 1971), received his M.A. of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey (1975), a M.A. (1985) and a Ph.D. (1991) from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

Wenthe is the general editor of the Concordia Commentary series (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House) and associate editor of the Concordia Self-Study Bible (CPH). He edited the volume on Jeremiah/Lamentations in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 2009).

Dr. Roland F. Ziegler, Dr.theol.

Dr. Ziegler serves as the Robert D. Preus Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Confessional Lutheran Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Born in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, he studied at the Universities of Tübingen, Erlangen, and at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel. During his studies, he joined the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church. A scholarship enabled him to study as an exchange student at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. After finishing his studies, he served as a teaching assistant at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Oberursel, a vicar in Berlin and a pastor in Konstanz. He received his Dr.theol. from the Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen in 2011.