WTS 2014 Commencement

Wartburg Theological Seminary 2014 Commencement
Honors Graduates and Servant Leaders

DUBUQUE, IA – May 15, 2014 – Wartburg Theological Seminary (WTS) will honor forty-six degree and certificate candidates at commencement exercises on Sunday, May 18th, at St. Joseph the Worker Church, 2001 Saint Joseph St, Dubuque, Iowa.

President Stanley N. Olson said of the students being honored, “We on the faculty and staff have the privilege of watching God renew the church by calling women and men into servant leadership, forming them, and sending them into the church for the world. This year’s graduating group is an exceptional gift. We’ll miss them on campus—and we rejoice that they are ready for new ministries.”

Graduates of Wartburg Theological Seminary will serve the church and world providing leadership to congregations and other ministry settings as pastors, teachers, youth leaders, diaconal ministers, chaplains, associates in ministry, and a variety of other positions.

Rev. Susan Briehl, a Lutheran pastor (ELCA), rostered in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod and called to serve as the Associate Director of the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People of Faith, will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctor of Divinity. Previously, Rev. Briehl served with her husband, Martin Wells, as Executive Director of Holden Village, as campus pastor at Pacific Lutheran University, and as pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Bellingham, WA. She has taught preaching and parish worship at Wartburg Seminary. Rev. Briehl holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English and a Master of Divinity from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. She has written liturgical and hymn texts, articles, and book chapters. She coedited On Our Way: Christian Practices for Living a Whole Life with Dorothy Bass, wrote Holden Prayer Around the Cross with Tom Witt, and, with Marty Haugen, Turn My Heart: A Sacred Journey; Unfailing Light: An Evening Setting of Holy Communion.

The Living Loehe Award, which was established by Wartburg Seminary in 1973 as a way of honoring individuals who have given distinguished service to and through the church and exemplify Christ’s call to be disciples in the context of their own daily lives and professional commitments, will be given at commencement this year to Rev. Dr. Wolf Dietrich Knappe. Dr. Knappe exemplifies the Loehe tradition of service to church and world. Raised in Germany, Dr. Knappe received his initial theological training at the University of Erlangen. He holds a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary at Maywood (1949) and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (1977). He was ordained in the Bavarian Lutheran Church (1949) and has served congregations in Germany and the United States. Dr. Knappe taught New Testament for a year at Trinity Seminary, Blair, Nebraska, a constituent of present day Wartburg Seminary. Dr. Knappe has served as one of the most significant translators of works by and about Wilhelm Loehe, the founder of Wartburg Seminary, in the English language. He translated Loehe’s “Der Evangelische Geistliche.” He also translated Erika Geiger’s book on Loehe and other historic documents. Knappe is one of the founding members of the International Loehe Society and has attended all its meetings—2005, 2008, and 2011. His grandfather and his great-grandfather knew Pastor Wilhelm Loehe. There are several other family connections.

The public is invited to attend the Wartburg Theological Seminary commencement exercises which will begin at 3:00 pm at St. Joseph the Worker Church, Dubuque, Iowa.

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 is in its 160th academic year.