The Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr., who has served as president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), since 2011, has been called as the 11th president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL). The call was issued May 16 following interviews of the final slate of six candidates and a unanimous vote, on the first ballot, by the electors.
Rast has 15 days to deliberate the call. If he accepts, he will assume the presidency on July 1, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, who retires June 30 after 15 years as CSL president.
Upon receiving news of the call, Rast recorded a videotaped response, asking for prayers as he deliberates.
“We have two of the finest seminaries among the Lutheran churches in the world,” Rast said. “We are incredibly blessed. And we need two strong seminaries within the Missouri Synod as we go forward in challenging circumstances as the church militant. But we do so knowing that we live by grace and that, indeed, the promises of Christ are assuring us and guiding us into a bright future, for the future is His. Why? Because Christ is risen; He is risen, indeed; alleluia!”
Also on videotape, the Rev. Todd A. Peperkorn, chairman of CSL’s Board of Regents, said, “Dr. Rast has come to us with a lifetime of service to the church, and nearly all of that time has been in the work of training and forming pastors. God is good and merciful and continues to care for His church and our seminary.”
Both Peperkorn’s announcement and Rast’s response, as well as additional information about CSL’s presidential search, are available at csl.edu/president-search.
LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said, “The story of Concordia Seminary, like that of the Synod itself, is one of profound, unexpected, unearned and humbling blessings. Through imperfect people, and imperfect institutions, the Lord issues His divine call to carry out the office of seminary president.
“Dr. Rast is the Lord’s man for this time at Concordia Seminary. Please join with me and the whole Synod in praying for Dr. Rast and for both our seminaries. ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest’ (Matthew 9:37–38).”
Posted on May 20, 2020