Opening Service 2021
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne Opens Its 176th Academic Year
Welcoming students and celebrating the installation of new faculty and staff
FORT WAYNE, IN, September 14, 2021—By God’s grace and to His glory alone, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), held its Opening Service on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. President Lawrence R. Rast Jr. thanked the faculty, staff, students, families, and friends—gathered both in person and online around the world—and welcomed them “as we begin our 176th academic year, which is really a testimony, not to the people who’ve come before us, but to the faithfulness of God and the manner in which He will continue to love and support you—our new students, our current students, our new staff and faculty. Through the various expressions of pilgrimages in your lives, He is faithful.”
LCMS President Matthew Harrison was on hand to celebrate and offer words of encouragement and support. “I want to thank this Seminary for everything that it means to the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Confessional Lutheranism around the world. There is no seminary in the world, no Lutheran seminary in the world that has a bigger global footprint than this institution, and we are, indeed, very pleased with it.” He went on to say, “Jesus comes to have mercy . . . and whatever you face, both trials and difficulties, crosses and joys . . . He will be blessing you. That’s what He comes to do, and may He bless your work.”
CTSFW was proud and blessed to celebrate new faculty and staff members. LCMS Indiana District President Daniel Brege executed the Commissioning and Installation of Newly Appointed Diaconal Staff, Deaconess Katie Aiello as admission counselor; the Installation of Newly Appointed Ordained Staff, the Rev. Chad Schopp and the Rev. Brian Stark as admission counselors; and the Installation of Newly Appointed Faculty, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions Rev. Todd Peperkorn. They were reminded of what the Bible says concerning service to the Church, that “our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5b) , and “whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave” (Matt. 20:26b–27). May our Seminary and entire Synod pray for God’s guidance as these dedicated servants work to teach the faithful, reach the lost, and care for all.
After the service, all in attendance were invited to come together for a meal in the Katherine Luther Dining Hall.
We ask that our brothers and sisters in Christ from across the country and around the world join Dr. Rast and the entire CTSFW community in our fervent prayer: “O God, through the Holy Spirit, You illuminate the minds and sanctify the lives of those whom You call to the work of pastors and deaconesses. Bless the Seminary and the academic year which we begin in Your name . . . Bless those who teach and those who learn, and so renew and increase in us the gifts of Your Spirit, that we may be built up in our most holy faith, strengthened for every duty, and enabled to render You and our fellow men true acceptable service, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”
As Dr. Rast announced in the Lord’s blessing over His people, “May the true faith flourish among us, the fear of God, and the love of the brethren; may the voice of prayer continually be heard here, the voice of rejoicing and salvation, the voice of praise, and the invocation of the most glorious and honorable name of the triune God, henceforth and forever.”
Soli Deo Gloria