Registration opens for the 27th annual Theological Symposium

Symposium 2016 bannerRegistration is now open for the 27th annual Theological Symposium, “From Font to Grave: Catechesis for the Lifelong Disciple,” set for Sept. 20-21 on the Seminary’s campus.

This year’s symposium will explore how now, more than ever, the church needs to recover and renew its catechetical tradition, discovering anew what it means to be Christ’s own and to live under Him in His kingdom today.

“We live in a culture that increasingly has a negative view of Christianity and rejects Christian values,” said Dr. Charles Arand, director of the Seminary’s Center for the Care of Creation and the Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke Graduate Professor of Theology. “It is also an age when biblical literacy among Christians is declining.

“For these reasons, this year’s symposium focuses on the process and means by which the church forms people in the faith, namely catechesis,” Arand said. “The time is especially ripe as it takes place on the eve of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the age which saw a revolution take place in teaching and forming people in the faith through the great Reformation catechisms.”

This symposium will bring together today’s top researchers and theologians to explore how the church forms disciples of Christ not only during eighth grade confirmation but throughout their entire lives, from font to grave.

The plenaries will address the need for catechesis in an age in which people claim to be spiritual but know next to nothing about religion. The plenary speakers include:

  • Dr. Mary Jane Haemig, professor of church history at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., will discuss what the church might learn from Martin Luther’s 16th-century approach. Instead of rejecting the catechetical tradition that he inherited as outdated, Luther recovered it and appropriated it for the 16th century in a way that it became a powerful means for forming Christians for generations to come.
  • Dr. Charles Arand and Rev. Jason Broge, director of curriculum design and development at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, will discuss ways the catechisms shapes people into a certain type of person by cultivating the art of living by faith.
  • Dr. Anthony Cook, director of U.S. ministries for Lutheran Hour Ministries, will discuss a proposal incorporating a threefold process of narrative induction in Lutheran catechesis. He will discuss the use of nonparticipant narratives as a tool for reproducing collective Christian memory for the induction of confirmands into the Christian community.

Three special tracks will be offered Wednesday, Sept. 21: “Expressing Theological Insights from Luther’s Catechism,” “Best Practices in Catechesis” and “Faith Formation: Propelling us into the Community.”

Early registration for the Symposium is $130 per person through Sept. 2 after which time the fee increases to $140. Online registration closes Sept. 9. Registration options include full, single-day or single-session registration, and live stream access. A buffet dinner Tuesday evening is included in the cost of full registration. Additional meals and on-campus lodging may be available for additional charge. Visit the registration page for more details.

For more information or to register, contact the continuing education office at 314-505-7286 or at [email protected], or visit





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