During seminary orientation nearly four years ago former dean, Rev. Rockemann, joked that we had four years to be heritics. What my classmates and I laughed at then, is quickly becoming a reality.
As I look back at my time here at Concordia Seminary, I marvel at the growth which has taken place. While sitting in class, I am amazed at continued maturation of my classmates, especially upon their return from vicarage. That being said, there has always remained a sense that we still have time to "rock the boat." Most of the time this happens over a healthy conversation during lunch, which springs from our reading or class discussion. Even while the baseketball team warms up for practice, you can hear the theological inquiry taking place with the "swish" of the net in the background.
On Dec. 1st, however, theological theories were forced into practical application as all the candidates from both seminaries filled out their SET (Self Evaluation Tool), and sent them to the Council of Presidents. It was time to voice our convictions, to make a statement, to answer 36 questions that would be looked at by the District Presidents during the placement process.
The temptation to shape my answers in a way that might influence potential readers showed its ugly face. Thankfully, I was reminded of Isaiah's words, "Here am I, send me." So, I simply answered as clearly as I could, letting them know "Where I am." What a healthy challenge it was to state forthrightly what I believe, teach, and confess, and hope to practice in some congregation in the name of Christ.
May the Lord bless and keep all my classmates, and those candidates at Fort Wayne who are looking forward to call day in April. May we be given a spirit of boldness, and the confidence to answer questions openly during this process. May our faithful heavenly Father guide and direct the placement process, and those involved.
Until that time, I look forward to continued learning from reading, classroom discussions, and conversations with my classmates.