Jul 27, 2006 Print This Article

Concordia Seminary Faculty Members Receive Doctorates

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, is pleased to announce that four of its faculty members received their doctorate degrees during the 2005-2006 academic year. They are Gerhard Bode, David Schmitt, William Utech and David Wollenburg.

Gerhard Bode, instructor in historical theology, received the doctor of philosophy degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His dissertation, “Conrad Dietrich (1575-1639) and the Instruction of Luther’s Small Catechism,” concerns the history of Lutheran catechetical instruction in the period of Lutheran orthodoxy. It looks at how one Lutheran pastor and professor, Conrad Dieterich, used Luther’s Small Catechism to instruct the young people of his day—about 100 years after the beginning of the Reformation.

David Schmitt, associate professor of practical theology, received the doctor of philosophy degree from Washington University, St. Louis. His dissertation, “Restoration Spiritualities: The Public Voice of Private Conscience,” examines the literature of the late 17th century (including Milton’s Paradise Regained) in order to examine how such works use “conscience” to communicate religious thought.

William Utech, associate professor of practical theology received the doctor of ministry degree from Covenant Seminary, St. Louis. His dissertation, “Assessing Seminary Effectiveness,” employs a mixed-methods approach to research in order to assess how effectively Concordia Seminary is fulfilling its stated institutional mission.

David Wollenburg, associate professor of practical theology, received the doctor of ministry degree from George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, Ore. His dissertation, “Re-Envisioning Theological Formation for Mission, In-Context, Using Distance Education,” responds to three common objections to distance education: that it is an inferior approach to theological education, that a significant theological community cannot be formed in this kind of program and that faculty is not able to know the students well enough to certify them.

“We congratulate these colleagues not only on their professional development as theologians, scholars and churchmen, but also on the important contributions that this research provides,” commented Dr. Andrew Bartelt, vice president for academic affairs at Concordia Seminary. “Our faculty will continue to engage and contribute to theological scholarship, research and publication as we serve church and world through theological education and leadership that brings the very best of our Lutheran heritage to bear on issues of theology and mission for today’s and tomorrow’s church.”

Of Concordia Seminary’s 45 faculty members, 86 percent have advanced degrees and they average more than 11 years of pastoral ministry experience prior to service at the Seminary.

For more information, contact Academic Affairs, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105, (314) 505-7012, or visit the Seminary’s Web site at www.csl.edu.