NOTE CAREFULLY!!! You may register and pay online!  Or you can print out a registration form and mail it along with payment to Wartburg Theological Seminary.

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LifeLong Learners Events

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Luther Academy of the Rockies
June 22 - July 2, 2015
Meeker Park Lodge  - 
Allenspark, CO

Wartburg Theological Seminary invites YOU to join with us for 10 days of learning, recreation, and renewal for ministry at our annual LUTHER ACADEMY OF THE ROCKIES. The theme for this year's event is "The Promise of the Gospel for the Life of the World: Where Theology Leads to Practice." Speakers leading participants in discussions during morning sessions include: Professor Martin Lohrmann, Rev. Jan Schnell Rippentrop, and Professor Robert "Bob" Albers. Afternoons will be free time for participants to enjoy the many recreational opportunities awaiting them in the beautiful Estes Park area.  Evenings will be filled with optional social and/or educational activities for individuals and families. 

In keeping with Wartburg Theological Seminary's emphasis on daily worship, each day begins with opening devotions.  In addition to educational programs for the adults, age-appropriate daily programs are provided for children and teens (age 4 - 19), as well as childcare for children 3 and under. 

LAR adults hiking

Come join us for 10 days in the beautiful Rockies with renowned speakers sharing their wisdom at an incredibly reasonable price!  This opportunity is too great to miss!! 




This Year's Faculty


Tex Sample"Lutheran Confessions, Evangelical Mission: The Promise of the Book of Concord for Today"

The Reformation-era documents that make up the Book of Concord remain lively resources for Christian ministry and mission today. The catechisms present the faith for daily life, including social- and multi-media elements from the beginning. The Augsburg Confession and its Apology provide an adaptable foundation for preaching, teaching, church organization and dialogue that is rooted in the promise of Christ for us, received through faith. The later works of the Book of Concord show how early generations of Lutherans continued to wrestle with important themes of faith and life, taking care to keep Christ and the wellbeing of Christian communities at the center. Far from being historical relics, the Lutheran Confessions continue to give a strong witness and useful insights for proclamation today.

A native of Walla Walla, Washington, Lohrmann joined the Wartburg faculty in 2014. He lives in Dubuque with his wife Carrie and three children. They moved to Iowa from Philadelphia, PA, where Lohrmann served as pastor of Christ Ascension Lutheran Church, was active in neighborhood, interfaith and clergy groups, and taught courses at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Reformed Episcopal Seminary, La Salle University and Gwynned Mercy University. In addition to his work in religious history, Lohrmann enjoys spending time with family and friends, making music, traveling and reading. 


Tex Sample"The Practice of Realizing Eschatology: Preaching the Promise for the Life of the World"

Preaching in the United States is in a critical state; it is caught between proponents of “realized eschatology” on the one side who abandon a sense of future hope and those arguing about pre- vs. post-millennialism on the other side who restrict hope to merely a future time, the mainstream pulpit has become rather silent on the topic of eschatology. However, we are heirs of solid theological resources that navigate this complex landscape and leave us neither bewildered nor bemused, but, rather, equipped with the living word of Christian hope for the life of the world.

In these lectures, Rippentrop will explore a critically amended form of Jürgen Moltmann’s eschatology in order to restore a more sufficient eschatological theology for preaching that will counteract both the lack of eschatology and the deficient use of eschatology in homiletics. The group will work with this amended form of “Realizing eschatology,” which insists on God as agent of eschatological fulfillment while, at the same time, celebrating that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, human beings are increasingly aware and become active participants in the in-breaking of God’s future—in this sense, people are also “realizing eschatology.” Realizing eschatology necessitates a restoration of dialectical tensions in eschatological time and material. It affirms a deep confidence and sense of awe in the power of proclamation. A community steeped in eschatological imagination and preaching can become involved in dangerous expectation that anticipates the significance of God’s now and future redemptive work.

Rippentrop has taught as Visiting Professor in homiletics at Wartburg Theological Seminary and in worship at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. She is completing her Ph.D. in practical theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, with emphases in preaching and liturgies. Her neighboring scholarly interests include ethnography and art history, especially the work of the early modern, German printmaker, Albrecht Dürer. She earned the B.A. degree from Luther College and M.Div. degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary. Following ordination, she delighted in serving the people of Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City as pastor for five years. Not accustomed to free time in the lifestyle of parenting young children and working full-time, she takes deep pleasure in the quotidian—the leaves changing from green to burnt orange, the pandemonium of five-year-olds playing soccer, the invigorating ride of commuter bicycling, and the song that erupts in the midst of it all.


Tex Sample"The Hermeneutical Circle: How Theology Informs Ministry and How Ministry Informs Theology in Pastoral Practice"

Practical theology is the discipline of relating a theological tradition to the existential exigencies and ecstasies experienced in life and how those same life experiences in turn inform an ever-evolving theology of ministry that completes the hermeneutical circle.  Practical theology is anchored in the conviction that the gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is at work in the crises that are encountered in the heights and the depths of human experience.  Consideration will be given to the dynamics operative in a variety of common crises that challenge the parish pastor in her or his ministry, such as confronting: addiction, depression, dementia and death as well as addressing the personal pastoral identity issues that are elicited in fulfilling one’s vocation as a servant leader among the people of God.

Albers is a native of rural Minnesota, educated at Wartburg College, Wartburg Seminary and earned a PhD in pastoral theology at the Claremont School of Theology.  He is currently retired after serving in parish ministry for several years, teaching at Luther Seminary for more than two decades where he developed and directed the doctoral program in pastoral care and counseling.  He most recently served as Distinguished Visiting Professor of pastoral care at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities from 2006-2013.  Publications include Shame: A Faith Perspective and more recently he was a contributing author and editor of Ministry With Persons with Mental Illness and Their Families. For seven years he edited The Journal of Ministry in Addiction and Recovery as well as authoring numerous articles, reviews and writing curricular materials.  Bob continues to do teaching in various venues, depending upon availability given the fact that the five grandchildren in his life live in close geographical proximity. 



Director: Dr. Kristine Stache, Director of Learning for Life, Wartburg Theological Seminary
Dean: Dr. Frank Benz, Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, Wartburg Theological Seminary
Co-Coordinators: Revs. Kristi and Scott Beebe

Morning lectures, designed for adults, feature theologians from diverse backgrounds and create an academic atmosphere.  25 Contact Hours or 2.5 Continuing Education Units are available. 

LAR groupA Biblically-based morning program for children and teens (ages 4-19) while adults are in lectures, provides an exciting team building experience, incorporating music, crafts, recreation and environmental awareness. Child care is provided for children ages 3 and under. Children and teens are welcome at all evening programs and events. Teens should come prepared to spend $40 - $45 for horseback riding or other activities during one of the morning sessions.

LAR hikingAfternoons are free for hiking, sightseeing, picture taking, horseback riding, or just quietly enjoying the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Nearby Estes Park offers golfing, shopping, swimming, and other diversions. Evenings bring many surprises! There may be additional lectures, music, square dancing, potlucks, talent night, or other group participation events.

LARkidsSetting & Housing
Home to the Academy for over 45 years, Meeker Lodge's natural setting lends itself well to outdoor recreation and relaxation, as well as to spiritual and intellectual renewal.  Housing options for the Academy include: Meeker Park Lodge; housekeeping cabins; or nearby camping facilities. For more information, please visit the Meeker Park Lodge website:

Meeker Park Lodge, an old time, rustic, mountain lodge contains a limited number of sleeping rooms, up a short, but winding staircase, each with a bed(s), desk, dresser, and closet.  Lodge room guests share a central bath and shower.  No cooking facilities are available in the lodge, but guests are welcome to take advantage of the stone fireplace, piano, small library and seating area on the main floor.  Meals (breakfast and lunch) are available for purchase in the Lodge.  Lodge room guests, faculty, and staff generally take advantage of these meals, but they are available for others as well (as space is available).  There are also restaurants several miles down the road. five

Cabins, both on and off Meeker Park grounds, can sleep up to 9 people and are fully equipped with kitchens with basic cooking utensils, bedding, linens, and bathrooms. Camping sites are available at Olive Ridge Campground, maintained by the National Forest Service, as well as in the Estes Park area. A primitive campsite is available one mile north of Meeker Park Lodge. For more information regarding camping facilities, please contact the Estes Park Chamber of Commerce.


Are you considering attending Luther Academy of the Rockies for the first time? Hurry and secure your spot now!

Registration Fees  





Individual (First time participant, if registered by 3/1/15)  $240



Couple (First time participant, if registered by 3/1/15)  $305


 $95 each



Housing Deposit






Cabin Housing Costs



Total Cost


$ 75.00 /
$ 37.50

$ 750.00


$ 32.50

$ 975.00


$ 28.50

$ 1140.00


$ 25.10

$ 1255.00

6 or more

$ 23.00

$ 1380.00

Lodge Room Costs (limited availability)

No kitchen facilities available for cooking in lodge rooms



Total Cost

Room with Central Bath


$ 27.00

$ 270.00


$ 15.25

$ 305.00







Registration is Now Open!


There will be a $50 processing fee for all cancellations. if the cancellation is received less than 21 days before the opening of the Academy, we cannot guarantee that the housing deposit will be fully refunded. Extended family (e.g., adult children, grandparents) staying for part or all of the Academy must pay housing for the full 10 days. If extended family members will be participating in the program of the LAR, they will also ned to pay the registration fee. Generally, no part-time registration is possible. There is no housing charge for children ages 2 and under. A limited number of cribs are available for $15 each. Please indicate any need for a crib on the housing request. Pets are not allowed.

If there is any change in your housing request, please notify us no later than May 15, 2015. Participants will be notified of their housing assignment in early June.

There are two ways to register!
You may both register and pay online!

1. Complete the registration form online and pay online.

2. Download and complete the printable registration form and mail with payment to Wartburg Theological Seminary.

LAR FoundersHistory
Modeled after similar continuing education events for pastors and spouses in Germany, Dr. J. Michael Reu designed and directed the first academy  in 1937 at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA. It was the first Lutheran continuing education event in this country, with an original registration fee of $5.00 for the 10 days. The academy remained an annual event in Dubuque for the next 31 years, with a brief respite during World War II. Before it was moved to Colorado in 1969, Dr.William Streng, Professor of Christian Education at Wartburg, expanded the format of the academy to include pastors, spouses, and families in a setting that focused on a blend of theological education and relaxation. Today the Luther Academy of the Rockies may be the only LifeLong Learners event in the country that includes education for the entire family.


Contact 563-589-0327 or 

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Wartburg Theological Seminary
333 Wartburg Place, PO Box 5004, Dubuque, IA 52004-5004
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