Feb 01, 2024 Print This Article

Dear alumni,

Dr. Thomas J. Egger photo

“From all nations.” It is a joy to have students from various ethnic backgrounds, from “all nations,” at our Seminary. I like to joke that I am the Seminary’s first Irish president — one-quarter Irish, anyway. (Irish-ish.) And it is true that our historically German-American church body is increasingly comprised of members from varied national and ethnic heritages. The Lord has redeemed us all, and for that, we will praise Him forever. We are all one family, one body in Christ and we need one another.

“To all nations.” We also seek to instill in our students a joyous commitment to bringing the Gospel to people from all ethnic backgrounds. In the United States today, people from all nations are moving into small towns and big cities alike. This is the task our Lord has given:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20 ESV).

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son (John 3:16). Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Christ died for all (2 Cor. 5:14-15). And, just as He promised, by being raised up from the earth in crucifixion, Jesus is drawing all men to Himself (John 12:32). All people will stand before God on the great day of judgment. God is now calling all people everywhere to repent and to trust in the crucified and risen Savior of the world (Acts 17:30-31).

Therefore, as we go about our work of identifying and encouraging future pastors, deaconesses and missionaries, we are giving focused attention to recruiting students from multiple ethnic backgrounds.

In our current Strategic Plan, our ninth strategic initiative is “A Well-Prepared Ministerium from ‘All Nations.’” Under this initiative, we are: working intentionally with our Center for Hispanic Studies (CHS), Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology (EIIT) and Cross-cultural Ministry (CMC) students and the ethnic worshiping communities where they serve to recruit second-generation immigrant students for our residential Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Program, and using our vicarage visitation staff to identify and encourage prospective future students from those communities; collaborating with Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind., and the Concordia University System to offer our campuses as venues for events supporting ministry among various ethnic groups, including our annual Multiethnic Symposium; and collaborating with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) ministry leaders at all levels to find the best ways to encourage people of varied ethnic backgrounds to consider ministry.

Jesus’s love is immense. His atoning work for sinners is finished and sure. He is such a good and gracious Lord and the life He brings endures forever. He has come to reveal God’s glory and salvation to all peoples — including you and me. Thanks be to God!

Let ev’ry race and ev’ry language tell
Of Him who saves our lives from death and hell.
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore His sacred name! (LSB 837, v.5).

In Christ’s love,

Dr. Thomas J. Egger