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Concordia Theological Seminary


Concordia Theological Seminary

Concordia Theological Seminary
Established 1846
Type Seminary
Affiliation Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
President Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast, Jr.[1]
Students 321 (2011)[2]
Location Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA
Website .edu.ctsfwwww

The Concordia Theological Seminary is an institution of theological higher education of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), located in Fort Wayne, Indiana and dedicated primarily to the preparation of pastors for the congregations and missions of the LCMS and its partner churches.

It offers professional, master's and doctoral degrees affiliated with training clergy and deaconesses for the LCMS.


  • History 1
  • Musical Groups 2
  • Publications 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


In 1844,

  • The Schola Cantorum is a mixed voice choir drawn from students, faculty members, spouses of students and faculty, and members of the community. The choir has frequently performed major choral works with an orchestra of professional musicians, as well as professional solosits, and participated in special choral services several times each year in Kramer Chapel, the seminary's on-campus worship facility. The chapel is a large, concrete, A-frame structure with a renowned pipe organ.

The primary musical organizations in recent years have been the Schola Cantorum and the Seminary Kantorei.[5]

Throughout its history, the seminary has had a variety of musical groups to participate in special services on the campus and to serve as an outreach to surrounding areas.

Musical Groups

Concordia Theological Seminary is theologically conservative, emphasizing study of the Bible and the Book of Concord. The seminary is a liturgical community following the practice of praying the divine offices each day, including Matins, Vespers and Compline, as well as celebrating the Lord's Supper each week.

The campus suffered some damage, mostly to trees, from an F2 tornado that struck Fort Wayne in May 2001.[4]

The seminary remained in Springfield until the synod reorganized its system of pastoral training and merged the program of Concordia Senior College of Fort Wayne with Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 1976, the seminary returned to Fort Wayne, where it inherited the Senior College's award-winning campus, designed by Eero Saarinen.

Starting in 1941, all entering students had to be high school graduates, allowing the seminary to discontinue all high school classes. Academic requirements were further strengthened in subsequent years. Entrance requirements were again raised, first to completion of two years of college, and again to prefer college graduates. Expectations for the faculty were also increased with the aim that all professors would have doctoral degrees. The American Association of Theological Schools accepted the seminary as a member in the fall of 1968. The Bachelor of Divinity degree which the seminary had awarded its graduates become fully accredited, and was replaced by the Master of Divinity degree in 1973.[3]

In view of the relatively low level of academic training provided by the seminary, resolutions to close the seminary were introduced in the 1932 and 1935 synodical conventions; the one in 1935 initially passed by a 266 to 265 vote, but was then reconsidered and defeated, 283 to 256. Nevertheless, the seminary began making changes: Greek was made a required course; new students had to have had at least two years of high school, and accreditation by the state of Illinois was sought.[3]

At that time there were no particular entrance requirements. It was not until 1918 that completion of eighth grade was required of prospective students, the same year that an additional year of instruction was added to the pre-seminary course of study. The additional courses made it possible for pastors to obtain teaching certificates in states where pastors were not automatically eligible to teach in parochial schools. However, even in the 1920's the pastors graduating from the seminary generally had, except for the pastoral training, only the equivalent of a high school education.[3]

In 1874 the 29 pre-seminary students of the practical seminary, along with one instructor, were moved to the campus of the former Illinois State University in Springfield, Illinois. The next year, 1875, the practical seminary itself moved to the Springfield campus, with president F. A. Craemer and the pre-seminary instructor serving as the faculty. A third faculty member joined the staff in 1876.[3]

To protect its students from the draft during the American Civil War, the seminary moved, in 1861, to the campus of the synod's academic seminary, Concordia Seminary, in St. Louis, Missouri. C. F. W. Walther, who was already the president of the St. Louis seminary, became president of the practical seminary as well. However, there was friction between the two institutions, both faculty and students, in part due to the differences in academic rigor and purposes. In addition, the growth in enrollment in both seminaries led to overcrowding of the campus.[3]

Within the synod the seminary was referred to as the "practical seminary" because its purpose was to quickly provide pastors for congregations. It provided both pre-seminary and seminary instruction. The pre-seminary course of work was similar to that of a high school, and the seminary classes provided enough theological training to enable the graduates to serve the congregations. However, the seminary did not require knowledge of the Biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew), nor did it offer courses in them.

[3] The


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