CANADA – Sunday, September 8 marked the opening of the new academic year for Lutheran Church–Canada’s (LCC) two seminaries.
In St. Catharines, Ontario, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (CLTS) held its opening worship service the afternoon of September 8 in the seminary’s chapel, with President Thomas Winger preaching. At CLTS’ opening service, Rev. Ronald Towriss (Port Moody, British Columbia) was named as this year’s recipient of the Emeritus Crucis (Veteran of the Cross) award. The Emeritus Crucis is bestowed upon parish pastors for faithful service as recommended by their districts. Rev. Towriss was unable to be present for the service, but his biography was read as an inspiration for the students of CLTS. Academic awards were presented to Milton Lam, Andrew Cottrill, John Nieminen, Jeremy Richert, and Andrew Preus (in abstentia). Following the service, refreshments were provided by the Seminary Guild.
Edmonton’s Concordia Lutheran Seminary (CLS) similarly held its opening service the afternoon of September 8, holding the event at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Leduc, Alberta. Rev. Rudy Pastucha, Third Vice-President of LCC, was guest preacher for the event. He preached on “Christ, our Cornerstone” drawing on Ephesians 2:20, a passage which serves as the theme verse for both LCC’s seminaries this year. President Winger at CLTS similarly preached a sermon entitled “Christ is our Cornerstone.”
Studying at CLTS this year are eleven students in the pastoral program (M.Div/Diploma), three of which are first year students; two Master of Theological Studies students; and one Brock University undergrad. At CLS, there are six students studying in the ordination track, including one first year student; five students in Open Studies and Non-ordination track; and four non-credit students. In total, then, 29 students are studying through LCC’s seminaries this fall.
Other special events related to the beginning of the school year include CLTS’ student barbeque September 4, and the annual student-faculty retreat at Mount Carmel Spiritual Retreat Centre (Niagara Falls, Ontario) beginning September 5. At CLS, September 10 was the 30th annual Founders’ Day. The event featured a special worship service where Rev. Mark Ruf of Grace Lutheran Church (Calgary, Alberta) was guest preacher, with a lunch following the service.