WTS President Announces Retirement

Wartburg Seminary President Announces Retirement

DUBUQUE, IA – October 9, 2014 – Wartburg Theological Seminary President Stanley N. Olson has announced his intent to retire at the end of this academic year. Olson has served as Wartburg Seminary’s 13th President since January 2011. Under his leadership Wartburg has been strengthened both financially and academically and is prepared to continue to excel in the formation of valued leaders.

“It is a wonderful privilege to serve as president of Wartburg Theological Seminary. It has been a particular joy to be a partner with the Wartburg community as this seminary has moved from crisis to strength, ready to face new challenges and opportunities, confidently engaging God’s future. I’m convinced that this is the right time for me to retire, and I’m convinced that it’s a great time for Wartburg to call a new president. It will, of course, be difficult to leave this wonderful community, the challenging and inspiring work, and the fine people I’ve gotten to know here and across the country, but Wartburg is healthy and well poised to move forward with a new leader,” said President Olson.

The Wartburg Seminary Boards of Directors and Trustees as well as the campus-community were notified of President Olson’s retirement plans on Wednesday, October 8.

“President Stan Olson leaves office the end of this academic year and at that time the Wartburg community world-wide will commemorate the invaluable servant leadership which he and his wife Nancy have unstintingly provided our beloved seminary while carefully leading us through a time of peril to a place of strength. As we move into this transition we will leverage Stan’s loyal and loving leadership in the successful completion of this academic year and in garnering generous financial support for our Engaging God’s Future Campaign, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to sustain, enhance and ensure endurance of Wartburg Theological Seminary’s distinctive mission of forming valued leaders for God’s Church. We are grateful for your ongoing prayers and partnership in Wartburg’s vital mission,” said Rev. Dr. Stephen Cornils, Chair of the Wartburg Seminary Board of Directors.

The Executive Committee of the Board of Directors is currently establishing a strategic timeline for a search process that will prayerfully select the 14th President for Wartburg Theological Seminary. A search committee will be appointed at the Board of Directors meeting to be held on campus on October 28, 2014.

In a letter to the campus community President Olson said, “As I often tell people, I’m not a Wartburg graduate but I am a convert! Nancy and I will continue to be a strong advocates for Wartburg. The mission of theological education is vital work and I am confident that Wartburg Seminary has a distinctive role in the ELCA for forming servant leaders. I’ll be here for several months, I’ll be working hard as part of this great team, and I’ll be enjoying it! The transition will be another part of Wartburg’s long story of welcoming opportunities and moving forward to engage God’s future.”

Wartburg Theological Seminary is one of eight theological schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Wartburg is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and educates women and men to serve the church’s mission as ordained and lay leaders. Established in Dubuque, Iowa in 1854, Wartburg Seminary has now begun its 161st academic year.