After 25 years of teaching as a professor at Wartburg Theological Seminary, the Rev. Dr. Ann L. Fritschel plans to retire this month. Please join us in expressing gratitude to God and to Dr. Fritschel for her gifts which have blessed and shaped so many church leaders.

Why do I support Wartburg Theological Seminary?

As a student at Wartburg in 1982, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew I could handle the academic work, but the difficult job of being a pastor seemed daunting. The Wartburg community challenged, loved, and encouraged me to grow into the person God had called me to be. I left with a pastor’s heart and a deeper love for God, for God’s people and God’s creation. At Wartburg I received an excellent theological education and strong leadership and ministerial skills. But most importantly, I was formed as a leader grounded in God’s grace eager to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I am deeply grateful for my formation at Wartburg. Throughout my 25 years of teaching at Wartburg, I have continued to be grateful for my faculty colleagues. They are a group of gifted theologians, leading thinkers about theological education, and caring human beings, united in Wartburg’s mission and vision. We have continued the work of formation and education that I experienced as a student.

I am very thankful for you, the friends, alumni, and supporters of WTS. It is a joy meeting people who discover that the vision of mission which God is calling them to support is to be found at Wartburg. It is powerful to see people who see the need for bold leadership and support our students with scholarships. It is awesome to talk with people who see the need to reach out in new ways, through new programs and different languages to support God’s work in the world and find it being done at Wartburg. Thank you.

If asked, “What is your hope for Wartburg Seminary?” I would probably say that it continue to be a place that asks “What type of leader is needed today for God’s mission and God’s church?” That Wartburg continue to be a community that forms bold leaders centered in Christ to bear the Gospel to a world in need of healing. That grounded in its past, Wartburg will move boldly into the future. This is not so much a hope, but a realistic expectation based on my experience of Wartburg. I invite you to join me in continuing to support Wartburg’s vision and mission.

In closing I would like to share Paul’s words from Philippians. “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.” 1:3

Rev. Dr. Ann L. Fritschel
Professor of Hebrew Bible
Joyce S. Benz Professor in Scripture
Director, Center for Theology and Land