The seminary celebrated 75 years of training shepherds for the church on Sunday, June 20, 2021. Watch the service here.
The Commencement Service for Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, which included the assignment of calls, occurred on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel. The Rev. Kyle Madson served as preacher, Pres. Gaylin Schmeling served as liturgist, and Mr. John Baumann was the organist. The sermon was based on 1 Peter 4:10-11with the theme “Your Charge and Its Payoff.” In the sermon, Pastor Madson explained that there are many questions that arise in a student’s mind on the day of their call, but there are also a few certainties. First, their charge is to be a steward of God’s grace. Remaining a student of grace secures fit stewardship. Second, their payoff for stewarding God’s grace is that God is glorified. God is made known by the gracious gifts of salvation, truth, and life given through His stewards.
Graduates from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree were Adam Brasich, Cui Jinfeng (David Choi), Roger Emmons, Samuel Johnson, and Sean Scheele. Adam Brasich was assigned as pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church (Winter Haven, Florida) and Our Savior Lutheran Church (Lakeland, Florida); Cui Jinfeng (David Choi) was assigned as pastor in Seoul, South Korea; Roger Emmons was assigned as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church (Redmond, Oregon); Samuel Johnson was assigned as pastor of Abiding Word Lutheran Church (Bowling Green, Ohio); and Sean Scheele was assigned as pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church (Waterloo, Iowa) and Faith Lutheran Church (Parkersburg, Iowa). Colin Anderson was assigned as vicar of Saude, Jerico, and Redeemer Lutheran Churches (Lawler and New Hampton, Iowa); Peter Bockoven was assigned as vicar of Parkland Lutheran Church (Tacoma, Washington); Abraham Faugstad was assigned as vicar of King of Grace and Trinity Lutheran Churches (Waukon and Calmar, Iowa); and Nicholas Lilienthal was assigned as vicar of Grace Lutheran Church (Weston, Ohio).
The 2021 Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary commencement service will be held on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at 4:00 p.m. in Trinity Chapel on the Bethany Lutheran College campus. The Rev. Kyle Madson will serve as preacher, President Gaylin Schmeling will serve as the liturgist, and the Rev. Herbert Huhnerkoch will represent the Board of Regents. The following will graduate from the seminary with a Master of Divinity degree: Adam Brasich, David Choi, Roger Emmons, Samuel Johnson, and Sean Scheele. The vicars to be assigned are: Colin Anderson, Peter Bockoven, Abraham Faugstad, and Nicholas Lilienthal.
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began the new academic year on August 24, 2020 with the opening service at Good Shepherd Chapel. For the opening service, Dr. Timothy Schmeling preached on 1 Samuel 3:1–10, with the theme “Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.” Beginning with the famous stoic proverb: “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we speak,” Prof. Schmeling preached about how failing to listen to the Word of the LORD and the needs of the neighbor resulted in the rarity of God’s Word in Samuel’s day. Pointing out ways we often do the same, he called for us to repent of our neglect of God’s Word and our spiritual deafness to others. Since we cannot initiate God’s Word by anything that we do, the LORD comes to us through Christ and says, “Ephphata, that is, be opened” (Mark 7:34, ESV). Only Christ can heal the spiritually deaf, dumb, and blind. Lest we put off repentance and stop listening to God’s Word, Dr. Schmeling exhorted us to make Samuel’s prayer, our daily prayer: “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.” Finally, he acknowledged COVID and other reasons for feeling unready to receive a pastoral call. And yet, it was pointed out that God didn’t wait for Samuel to feel ready before he called him. Instead God recreated him, justified him, and equipped him to take up the prophetic office. God made Samuel ready because he could not make himself ready. Grounded in God’s Word then, we too can confidently say, “Here I am, for you called me.”
The teaching staff for the seminary this semester is as follows: Brian Klebig, Joshua Mears, Nicholas Proksch, Timothy Schmeling, and Gaylin Schmeling. Professor Brian Klebig is teaching communication; Dr. Joshua Mears is teaching counseling; Professor Nicholas Proksch is teaching in the areas of New Testament, homiletics, and hermeneutics; Professor Timothy Schmeling is teaching Lutheran Confessions and homiletics; and Professor Gaylin Schmeling is teaching courses in church history and homiletics.
The seminary enrollment this year numbers seventeen. There are five vicars, five seniors, three middlers, three juniors, and one special student. The vicars are Adam Brasich at Resurrection Lutheran Church (Winter Haven, Florida) and Our Savior Lutheran Church (Lakeland, Florida), David Choi at Reformation Lutheran Church (San Diego, California), Roger Emmons at Grace Lutheran Church (Redmond, Oregon), Samuel Johnson at Our Saviour Lutheran Church (Lake Havasu City, Arizona), and Sean Scheele at Pilgrim Lutheran Church (Waterloo, Iowa) and Faith Lutheran Church (Parkersburg, Iowa).