On Sunday, February 24, 2013, Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mankato, Minnesota, held its regular Spring Open House. The Seminary Open House is held twice a year, once in fall and once in the spring, to let men who may be interested in becoming pastors learn what Bethany Seminary is all about. This fall, the presenter was Pastor Paul Fries, Director of Communication for the ELS, who gave a presentation titled, “From Big City to Small Town: Looking At Ministry Througth A Diferent Lens.”
On Sunday, October 14, 2012 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mankato, Minnesota, held its regular Seminary Open House. The Seminary Open House is held twice a year, once in fall and once in the spring, to let men who may be interested in becoming pastors learn what Bethany Seminary is all about. This fall, the presenter was Pastor Richard Wiechmann who gave a presentation answering the questions, “Could I Be a Pastor?” and “What Skills Do I Need?”
The 2012 annual Reformation Lectures were delivered October 25–26, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. These lectures are sponsored jointly by Bethany Lutheran College and Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary. This was the forty-fifth in the series of annual Reformation Lectures which began in 1967. This year the name of the Reformation Lectures has been changed to the Bjarne Wollan Teigen Reformation Lectures. Dr. B.W. Teigen was instrumental in the establishment of these lectures. The format of the Reformation Lectures has always been that of a free conference and thus participation in these lectures is outside the framework of fellowship.
The theme of the lectures was “Bible Translations for the 21st Century.” The first lecture, given by Dr. Cameron MacKenzie (Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN), was entitled “Battling Over Bibles: Episodes in the History of Translating the Scriptures.” The second lecture, presented by Pres. Paul Wendland (Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, WI), was entitled “Formal and Functional Equivalency in Bible Translation.” The Reformation Lectures consisted of an historical study of certain Bible translations and the principles involved in the proper translation of Holy Scriptures. All faithful translators of the Bible must adhere to a high view of the Scriptures, maintaining the verbal inerrancy of the original autographs. The theory of translation may be seen as a spectrum or a continuum moving from formal equivalency (word for word) to functional equivalency (thought for thought). No translation is purely formal or functional, but each translation tends in one direction or another.
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began its new school year with an opening service on August 27 in Good Shepherd Chapel. Prof. Michael K. Smith based his message for the opening service on John 10:1–5. He explained that of all the voices we may hear in our heads, the voice of Jesus deserves our utmost attention. Even though we may periodically listen to the voice of Satan, who tries to mislead us into sin, Jesus is our true Shepherd who assures us of the forgiveness of our sins and guides us with His comforting voice. We hear His voice in our Baptism, in His Word, and in His Holy Supper. Prof. Smith encouraged the future pastors to serve as the voice of Jesus for the flocks they will serve because His voice is the only one that leads people to heaven.
The teaching staff for the seminary this year is as follows: Thomas Flunker, Adolph Harstad, Thomas Kuster, Dennis Marzolf, Michael Smith, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Flunker is teaching Hispanic outreach; Professor Harstad is teaching in the areas of Old Testament and homiletics; Professor Kuster is teaching communication; Professor Marzolf is teaching hymnology; Professor Smith is teaching in the areas of New Testament and homiletics; and Professor Schmeling is teaching dogmatics, church history, and homiletics.
The seminary enrollment this year numbers eleven. There are two vicars, one senior, two middlers, and six juniors. The vicars are Ben Wiechmann at King of Grace Lutheran (Golden Valley, Minnesota) and Michael Willitz at Christ Lutheran (Sutherlin, Oregon).
The seminary graduation was held on Synod Sunday, June 17, 2012, at 7 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. President Gaylin Schmeling was the preacher, Prof. Adolph Harstad served as liturgist, and Rev. Joel Willitz represented the Board of Regents. The sermon was based on Psalm 121 with the theme “Maintain and Proclaim.” The following graduated from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Nathanael Abrahamson, Timothy Grundmeier, Peter Heyn, Matthew Moldstad, and Luke Willitz.