Joint Seminary Board Meeting Builds on Collegial Efforts

The chairmen of the joint BORs. Dr. Rast and Dr. Meyer stand on the bottom right.FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CTSFW)—The Rev. Dr. Ron Garwood and the Rev. Todd Peperkorn, chairmen of the Boards of Regents of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL), respectively, celebrated the conclusion of a productive joint meeting of the seminary boards, held August 8–9 in Fort Wayne. They spoke highly of both schools and seminary presidents, the Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr. of CTSFW and the Rev. Dr. Dale A. Meyer of CSL. 

“I want to commend Dr. Dale Meyer and Dr. Lawrence Rast for their leadership, which has helped the two seminaries work together even more closely over the last triennium,” said Chairman Garwood. “The seminaries collaborated to host a joint reception and a joint welcome booth at the Synod Convention this summer. Our faculties and boards, through ongoing dialogue, jointly submitted a number of overtures this year as well, and we look forward to continuing close cooperation as our seminaries work to prepare faithful and loving pastors for our Synod.”

“As an alum of CTSFW while serving on the CSL board,” continued Chairman Peperkorn, “it is a particular joy for me to be on campus in Fort Wayne, seeing my new friends and colleagues working so closely with the school that formed me as a pastor. We have an almost unprecedented opportunity to shape the Church of the future with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We hear in Proverbs that ‘Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another’ (Prov. 27:17). It is my prayer that our work together will continue to strengthen both schools, and that more men will be formed as pastors in the years to come.”

Among the actions approved, the joint boards agreed to establish a formal process for the leadership of each board to meet regularly, in addition to the bylaw-established annual joint meeting of the full board. This leadership group will help increase dialogue and coordination between the seminaries, and will assist in setting the agenda for the annual joint board meeting.

During the joint board meeting, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Chief Mission Officer, the Rev. Kevin Robson, presented to the boards on matters before the Pastoral Formation Committee, including the comprehensive church worker recruitment initiative being planned by the Synod, seminaries, Concordia University System, and districts. The boards also engaged on cultural changes facing the Church and how they are affecting the work of the seminaries. Additional reports included a presentation by President Rast on “Sustainable Futures: Recognizing and Confronting the Challenges Facing Christian Colleges and Universities” while the Mid-South District President, the Rev. Dr. Roger Paavola, spoke on “The 10 Tsunamis Impacting Ministries: How Do we Survive What’s Coming?”

Together, Presidents Rast and Meyer presented on the state of the seminaries. They completed their presentation with frank truth and in the hope we have in Christ: “The challenges facing our seminaries and our Church are many, but our Lord is faithful and He will see us through these current and future challenges just as He has in the past.”