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LCMS ThD Student Teaches at SELK Seminary

Wed, Jul 24, 2013

Germany, News

Jacob Corzine teaching

Here Jacob Corzine teaches an elective course on the Erlangen Theology at the SELK Seminary in Oberursel, Germany.

Jacob Corzine is earning his doctoral degree at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. He is a member of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and a pastoral candidate for the LCMS who has deferred his ordination until his studies are complete. Jacob graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2008. In Germany to finish his degree, Jacob worked with Regional Director of Eurasia, Rev. Dr. Brent Smith, in order to offer a course at the seminary of our partner church, the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church (SELK).

“The  summer semester at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule, the seminary of the SELK in Oberursel, Germany, began in April and concluded in July,” says Jacob. During that time, Jacob taught an elective course on the Erlangen Theology, a topic closely related to his doctoral research. The six students in the class included not only this year’s LCMS exchange student, but also students from the Free Evangeleical Lutheran Synod in South Africa (FELSISA)  and the SELK in Germany. Jacob writes that “over the course of the semester, the students have had the opportunity to study texts from a period of Confessional Lutheran revival in 19th-century Germany and consider carefully the efforts of these theologians to remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures and the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.”

The Erlangen Theology was an attempt to work with the expectations of modern Western thinking while preserving the foundations of the Lutheran Confessions during a time when much of the church’s teaching and influence was waning or being called into question. The history and theology of this crucial time period greatly influence the context into which these future pastors will be called to proclaim the Gospel and hold fast to the faith. The class helped the students to critically examine their own time and how to speak the Gospel into it. Jacob writes, “In our last session, we had a long discussion about the importance not only of understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but also about being aware of the ideas and movements within our day, so that we are better able to communicate the gospel. A look back at what we studied brought us to a reminder of the importance of not beginning to preach about ourselves or our own faith. Rather it must always be Jesus Christ who is proclaimed. That all Christians share this faith is definitely common ground, but the students are studying to learn to preach Christ. For me, this was a very satisfying conclusion to the semester.”

One of the main priorities of LCMS mission work at this time is to assist our partner churches with offering or enhancing Theological Education in their seminaries, as well as in continuing education for pastors currently in a Call. Jacob’s class is just one example of simple ways in which the LCMS can contribute. Jacob says that “quality theological education includes the study of distinctive historical efforts to proclaim the Gospel, in order to see what we can learn from them and what we must hold over against them. This semester gave the students a good opportunity to delve into a particular branch of Confessional Lutheran theology and begin to understand it more closely. It also – because of the time period (19th century), helped to bolster their knowledge of the historical period that in many ways laid the foundation for major theological movements in Germany today. In other words: It also helped prepare them to engage their environment in a responsible theological manner.”
As these students prepare for ordination and proclamation in the future, this class will be one stepping stone in the path which helped them to be formed as pastors who can speak into an ever-changing world with the never-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified for the life of the world.
  • Pray for Jacob Corzine as he works toward his doctoral degree.
  • Pray for the students of the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule that their studies may go well, and they may stay firm in the faith.
  • Learn more about our partner church’s seminary by following this link.
  • Learn more about Theological Education around the Eurasia region at this link.

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