Franz Pieper

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Franz Pieper
Franz Pieper at the LCMS convention of 1923 in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Born(1852-06-27)June 27, 1852
DiedJune 3, 1931(1931-06-03) (aged 78)
EducationNorthwestern College
Concordia Seminary
ChurchLutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS)
OrdainedJuly 11, 1875 Centerville, Wisconsin[1]
WritingsChristian Dogmatics, Der Lutheraner (periodical)
Offices held
President, LCMS (1899-1911)
President, Concordia Seminary

Franz August Otto Pieper (June 27, 1852 – June 3, 1931) was a Confessional Lutheran theologian who also served as the fourth president of what was known at that time as the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States (Missouri Synod).

Pieper was born at Karwitz, Pomerania, (85 miles (137 km) west of Danzig) and died in St. Louis, Missouri.[1] After studying at the gymnasium of Kolberg, Pomerania, he emigrated to the United States in 1870.[1] He graduated from Northwestern College in Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1872 and from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1875. He was a Lutheran pastor from 1875 to 1878, serving first at Centerville, Wisconsin, and then at Manitowoc, Wisconsin. He became a professor of theology at Concordia Seminary in 1878, and in 1887 he became president of the same institution. He also served as editor of Lehre und Wehre,[2] the faculty journal of Concordia Seminary.

From 1882 to 1899, Pieper served on the Board of Colored Missions for the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America. He then served as the fourth president of the Missouri Synod from 1899 to 1911.[1]

As a systematic theologian, Franz Pieper's magnum opus, Christliche Dogmatik (1917–1924), provided the modern world with a learned and extensive presentation of orthodox Lutheran theology.[3] Translated into English as Christian Dogmatics (1950–1953), it continues to be the basic textbook of doctrinal theology in the Missouri Synod.[4] He was also the main author of A Brief Statement of 1932, an authoritative presentation of the synod's doctrinal stance.


  • Christliche Dogmatik. 4 vols. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1917–1924) [English translation: Christian Dogmatics. 4 vols. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950–1953)]
    (In German, public domain) Vol I Vol II Vol III
Title of Christliche Dogmatik.JPG
Title of Christliche Dogmatik.JPG
  • The Synodical Conference, an essay in The Distinctive Doctrines and Usages of the General Bodies of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States (Philadelphia, 1892), 119-166.
  • Gesetz und Evangelium (1892)
  • Das Grundbekenntnis der evangelisch-lutherischen Kirche (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1880).
  • Lehre von der Rechtfertigung (1889)
  • Unsere Stellung in Lehre und Praxis (St. Louis, 1896)
  • Lehrstellung der Missouri-Synode (1897)
  • Christ's Work (1898).
  • Das Wesen des Christentums (1903)
  • Conversion and Election : a Plea for a United Lutheranism (1913, HathiTrust Digital Library)
  • What Is Christianity and Other Essays. John Theodore Mueller, tr. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1933)


  1. ^ a b c d "Franz August Otto Pieper: Fourth President of the Missouri Synod: 1899-1911". Lutheran History. Concordia Historical Institute.
  2. ^ Public Domain One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainJackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1914). "Pieper, Franz August Otto". New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. Vol. IX (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls. p. 52.
  3. ^ Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 4 vols., (St Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950-1953), 1:v.
  4. ^ Robert D. Preus, ed., Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics, 13 vols. (St. Louis: The Luther Academy, 1989-2008), 6:viii.

External links[edit]

Religious titles
Preceded by President
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod

Succeeded by