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Missuse of the term ecumenical. If you look at the term, "ecumenical," as it is in use in the LCMS, you will see that "ecumenical moves" should actually be termed "movements of false-ecumenism." For this issues with the ALC, ect. were not ones of true is clear to that doctrinal agreement was just an illusion. When ever this takes place, false-ecumenism is the correct term. The LCMS recognized this by declaring a conditional fellowship with the ALC when they ordained women. They knew that if real agreement existed, the ALC wouldn't have ordained women that close after making a theological "agreement" with the LCMS-- 22:28, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

"Moderate" vs. "Liberal"[edit]

In response to the 25 July 2005 changes by anonymous user The change was made from "moderate" to "liberal" in describing the AELC. I feel the label should remain as "moderate" for two reasons: 1.) This wing of the LCMS would in no way match what is meant in broader American society, or even what is mean in American Protestantism, by the word "liberal." The wing of the LCMS that the anonymous user calls "liberal" would, in fact, appear quite conservative on the general U.S. social and political spectrum; and it is also to the Right of, for example, the Episcopalian or UCC churches. Thus, "moderate" seems to be a label that will be most easily understood by general readers in describing its social and theological values. 2.) This wing of the LCMS, during the 1970s battles, did not identify itself with the label "liberal," preferring instead the term "moderate." Indeed, the term "liberal" was used exclusively as a derogatory term for this wing by its conservative opponents. Since this article should remain NPOV, it seems to make sense to refer to each LCMS wing by its own designation, rather than by the designations affixed by its opponents. As an NPOV alternative, the dissident wing of the Synod could be termed "the self-styled moderate wing (which was labeled the liberal wing by its more conservative opponents)...". However, I don't think the article should uncritically substitute the "liberal" label affixed by conservative opponents as a substitute for the "moderate" label used by the dissident wing itself. Ropcat 5:15, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I think the anon. user was right. Liberal is the correct term. Those in the AELC became the ELCA. Members in the ELCA today recognize that their denomination is one of modern liberal protestantism. These are the same guys, by and large that did the seminex thing.-- 22:29, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

You are not "moderate" simply because you adopt the term. The entire discussion surrounding the Seminex episode had to do with internal LCMS affairs. Within that context there were two factions: liberals and conservatives. For the dissidents to call themselves moderate would infer that there are others to the left of them and there were no others. You can't have a "moderate" without having both a "conservative" and a "liberal" against which to make the comparisons. I believe the liberals knew they weren't getting anywhere and tried to cloak themselves in what they thought was a more palatable framework of moderation. In appropriating the name "moderate" they were trying to create the image that the conservatives were the more extreme. There was no discernable moderate position in the debate and everyone who was around knows it. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and in the 70’s a liberal in LCMS by any other name was still a liberal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Truthchaser (talkcontribs) 15:55, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I missed the part about using tildes to sign off Truthchaser (talk) 20:11, 8 November 2008 (UTC)Truthseeker

New Orleans Resolution Quote[edit]

This quote is not cited. I will put this on my to do list to look up if no one has the citation at hand.--RoninVII 20:05, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

NPOV problems[edit]

I am concerned by several changes by, which I've since reverted. There seems to be a practice lately of going to Lutheranism pages and using words like "extreme left," "political machine," etc., to describe opponents of the editors. These changes are all coming from a small handful of anonymous IP addresses. (See, for instance, the Gerald B. Kieschnick article and related Talk Page. (One of these anonymous editors simply deleted all my NPOV concerns from the Kieschnick Talk Page.))

I believe the Seminex article was reasonably neutral before arrived. The views of both sides are represented. Neither side is characterized with labels like "extreme left," "radical right," etc. The article does not pass judgment on the theological or political stances of the LCMS leadership, the ELCA, the Seminex faculty, and so on. That said, I'd be happy to work with anyone who wants to elaborate on these themes, or who believes there are neutrality problems. That's what the Talk Page is for: discussion of these issues. Please use the Talk Page for this, rather than inserting loaded terminology presenting one side in a debate as extremist or devious. And please refer to the NPOV policy which states, "In a neutral representation, the differing points of view are presented as such, not as facts."

Ropcat 00:48, 27 March 2005 (UTC)

Well I don't know what you are talking about. I haven't followed this discussion regarding "extreme left" "political machine" but they were not part of my edits.

The info about Piepkorn is historically accurate. As is the info that the seminex project was planned during the fall of 1973 rather than the spontanious response by "outraged" students in January of 1974. Research by seminex students have documented this. The Seminex community may find these facts embarrasing but they are none-the-less part of the history.

The article implies that there were no doctrinal errors enumerated against the Seminary majority therefore the suspension of the facutly was motivated for other purposes. However, the historical reality of the AELC's attitude toward's women's ordination documents the tendancy's that the Faculty Majority sought to hide.

Likewise the fact that the students who walked into exile also returned for lunch in the cafeteria is historically accurate. If it reflects negatively on the students, the fact remains. I am an individual who lived through these events and knew many of the principal's personally on both sides of the fence. These additions were simply made in the quest for balance. If I had been motivated by a negative POV toward Seminex, there are large parts of this article that would need to be changed.


Please sign your posts on the talk page. Also please use "its" rather than "it's" for the possessive pronoun in your edits of this article.

My remark about "extreme left" was in reference to the new edit in description of the ELCA in this article. Maybe it was someone else's addition though. I think this might be confusing to readers because "extreme left" implies that they are left-wing compared with American society as a whole, or at least compared with American Protestantism. I grant that they might be viewed as "extreme left" from the vantage point of a conservative LCMS member, but this terminology is likely to confuse anyone else reading it.

Could you document the additions about the 1973 walkout plans and about the students (was it ALL of them?) returning to the cafeteria? I also don't think "spin" is the best substitution for "explain" in the part about Operation Outreach, unless we're going to be using similar words for the LCMS leadership too. I don't know if the sarcastic tone about the cafeteria lunch fits the tone of the rest of the article, either.

I propose changing "...thus validating the conservatives' concerns regarding the faculty majority of Concordia Seminary" to this: "To conservatives in the LCMS, this and other moves by the fledgling AELC seemed to validate their earlier concerns about the faculty majority at Concordia Seminary."

In response to your comment, "The Seminex community may find these facts embarrasing but they are none-the-less part of the history" -- just to let you know, I'm not part of the Seminex community. In fact, I wasn't born until years after these events. (But I do think you're wrong to say that the Seminex community would be embarrassed by people learning that they made tentative preparations earlier; Tietjen, after all, discusses this in his book!)

Thanks for your participation.

Ropcat 21:53, 27 March 2005 (UTC)


P.S. In your changes, you've got Piepkorn dying in December 1974. Are you sure it wasn't 1973? Also, could you move your article on Piepkorn to a page titled with his full name, as per usual wikipedia practice? Thanks. Ropcat 21:53, 27 March 2005 (UTC)


Yes, I also wonder about the section immediately after "validation": "Many wondered why the AELC dissidents had been unwilling to note, as did Roland Wiederanders, that they in fact were changing the theology of the church while trying to hide the fact. Why, they wondered, if the AELC dissidents were so unhappy, did they not just leave Missouri and form their new organization years earlier thereby sparing so many so much heartbreak." First of all, there's no citation for this. Second, while it ostensibly seems to be reporting on a position, it certainly comes across as polemical. It's quite possible that the other side might have answers, which are not addressed. My suggestion: leave such questions to the reader, or at least cite the source. By focusing on "such heartbreak" it highlights the negative results of the movement. I think a lot of this could possibly be resolved if citations indicated who this "many" are. My experience is that statements like this are often merely vehicles to dress the author's beliefs in a mask of objectivity. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

FYI on edits from section 6 "The end of" to end[edit]

I have been trying to clean up the article a bit. There were several duplicated sections towards the end of the article. Unfortunately, I may have removed a duplicated section where a more neural POV was to be found. I'm going back through to correct any mistakes on my part. I don't think this is that big of a deal, but I'm mentioning it lest anyone attribute my edits to malice should they look at my organizational affiliation on my talk page.Jonathan Auer 20:10, 2005 Mar 27 (UTC)

On second look, this entire article is full of copy-paste duplications. I'm going through each apparent dupe and trying to do a line-by-line comparison. If equal, I'll remove the second occurance of a duplicated section. Jonathan Auer 21:00, 2005 Mar 27 (UTC)

Thanks for fixing this, Jda. Ropcat 22:03, 27 March 2005 (UTC)

To: Ropcat, I really don't have much interest in the whole thing to continue with the project. So I'll leave it to you. I think that calling the students "outraged" was an editorial comment. What about bewildered, frustrated, deceived, etc. Since I was one of those students, I don't think that outraged applied to anyone that I knew. The entire project on the faculty majority and student leadership side was one of manipulation. Of course all the students didn't know of the behind the seens planning until more than a year after the event. A seminex student asked me in the fall of 74 (sorry about my carelessness, Piepkorn died in the fall of 73, I had been in his class in the fall quarter I was summarizing an article printed in the December 24, 1973 Issue of Missouri In Prespective and of course all they had was the month and the day of his death)if my actions of January 74 would have been different had I known that it was planned in the fall of 73. I was in the auditorium and voted for the moritorium. We were led to believe that this was a spontaneous activity as a result of the "evil" actions of the Board of Control. The whole "Operation Outreach" was intended to happen over the Christmas break but when Piepkorn died it threw their time table into chaos. This is all pertinent history of seminex and a thorough article like the one that grew out of the seed I planted should have had this info. I also started the John Teitjen article. I'm glad that others have taken up the task of fleshing things out.

Regarding returning to the Cafeteria for lunch after the EXILED media event. It is documented in the Board of Control's report on the Walk Out. It just seems to me that this Seminex article has some good facts in it, but facts carefully selected to perpetuate Seminex mythology.

A summary of this myth is that the Faculty Majority, student majority and Seminex were rightous loving people who were oppressed by an evil empire headed by J.A.O Prues who motives were simply power, ignorance and meanness.

A balanced approach would recognize nobleness of spirit on both sides as well as meanness of spirit.

== To I'm sorry you won't be continuing work on this. I appreciate your comments above. Since there is not a good summary of this affair on the web yet, I feel like it's important to make this article as thorough and balanced as possible. For that reason, your comments above will be very useful to me and any other people who will be working on the article. One of the challenges has been that most available published sources are by Seminex participants (including Tietjen's book). You mentioned a report by the Board of Control. This sounds like a useful source for fleshing out the article and making it more balanced. Do you have any idea where one might obtain a copy? If I seemed to be emphasizing "meanness of spirit" on the part of one set of partisans in the conflict, I apologize. This wasn't my intention. I hope you will continue the dialogue here and the edits in order to make this article more detailed and balanced. My suggestion for a new phrasing of a sentence above (on AELC ordination of women) was merely geared toward attributing the view to a set of people, rather than stating it as the opinion of "the article." As I said, I wasn't there (nor alive) then, so I understand the limitations of my knowledge about these events. In any case, thanks for opening up this discussion, which will only improve the article itself, whether or not you continue to work on it. Ropcat 17:57, 28 March 2005 (UTC)


To Ropcat: I have a couple copies of the Board of Control Report in my library. One was given to me recently and is falling apart. I enjoy looking at it mainly for the pictures. I'm sure that there must be copies in pastors' libraries and maybe seminary libraries as well as CHI. I am also aware of an article by Dr. Martin Scharlemann in an early issue of the Concordia Journal that outlines the events leading to Seminex from the other perspective. I'm pretty sure I have a copy somewhere but I haven't seen it in many a year. I should be more organized. I hope someone does an article on Dr. Scharlemann and J.A.O Preus. I thought about it but since I don't have any data at hand it seemed best left for someone else.

If anyone were to do a scholarly study on the whole thing, one area of interest would be the use of language to control an event and the way people think about the event for example calling Concordia Seminary, 801, post Seminex. Or the use of pejoratives such as calling the Seminary Board of Control "morally bankrupt". Likewise examining how the Watergate scandal affected thinking concerning the events at the Seminary. Certainly the seminex organizers were masters of symbolism and language control. For example, I attended the first Seminex graduation that at what the article describes as the "neo-gothic quadrangle of Washington University in St. Louis." Anyone who was there would have been amazed at how closely it parallels the setting of the graduation at Concordia Seminary and the architecture there. I also had (and may still have) copies of the programs from both. They clearly are cut from the same cloth.

Another area of study might be: Why did the faculty majority so over estimate their church wide support? The 60/40 votes at the convention surely must have had something to do with it but I would not be surprised if it goes deeper. Certainly, there were towering theological and academic figures at Concordia Seminary. Did this lead to over confidence? The biblical motif of exile and remnant were certainly strong. If I had to guess, there was a strong martyr attitude among the leadership. Likewise, one has to remember the immortal words of the "Blues Brothers": "We're on a mission from God."

Another area of study would be to examine what happened to the players. It's generally assumed that Martin Scharlemann had a nervous break down because of the phone calls and letters berating him. But my observation is that the major players were well taken care of. It was the little guys, particularly classmates of mine who were hung out to dry. (Though probably not intentionally.)

As you can guess, I am a casual visitor to wikipedia. I am not sure how to sign these posts.

Sincerely yours,


Thanks for these interesting observations. I agree that it would be valuable to investigate why the ELIM members and the Seminex faculty thought that more congregations would leave the LCMS -- obviously something of a miscalculation. I'm also intrigued by your comment on how the transpiring Watergate affair affected the ways that people were thinking about the Seminex battle at the time.

Another area where I felt my writing on this article is inadequate is on the legacy of Seminex, which is the last section of the article. It would be interesting to hear where the majority of Seminex students ended up (AELC/ELCA or LCMS), and how that experience has influenced their later work, whether ministerial or not. And it could be interesting to hear what effect the core Seminex group had within the two church bodies in subsequent years. (Just speculating here, but I'd guess the most tangible influence of Seminex was the AELC forming and then prodding the LCA and ALC to unite.) The Legacy section could also include the competing "myths" surrounding the affair -- one of which might be the "Preus evil empire" interpretation that you mention, and another of which might be the conspiratorial-tinged interpretations of today's LCMS moderate groups.

Whether one agrees with the Seminex faculty or the LCMS leadership on the theological issues, it does seem that many of the students were hung out to dry (whoever one chooses to blame for that). It sounds like this was your experience, and I'm sorry to hear it. Perhaps a sentence should explain what happened to students who chose to return to CS. Did many leave Seminex for CS? What did they need to do to be "repatriated" (i.e. recanting use of historical criticism?)? Did they receive transfer credit for courses taken at Seminex?

Finally, there is not much description of how things ran at Seminex itself. Tietjen's book describes the place as wonderfully free-flowing and democratically run in its early years (which was always seemingly a goal of the student protest movement in that period, anyway); but then getting bogged down and growing more rigid, which proved annoying to students who had hoped to establish a more democratic institution than Seminex ended up being. That's just his perspective, obviously, but it seems like the school itself was an experiment that would be interesting to discuss.

I'll try to get a copy of the Board of Control's report. I'm sure it will help flesh out the story. If you have a chance to go back through your copy, or the Missouri in Perspective newsletters, that would most likely result in more great detail for this piece. I hope that this article will continue to grow.

Ropcat 04:01, 29 March 2005 (UTC)


You have gotten me more interested in this project.

Regarding returning to Concordia Seminary from Seminex(Or the other way for that matter) it would have been almost impossible and I don't know of anyone who did switch after the start of Seminex, but there may have been some. The rhetoric was so intense and the issues were discussed as black and white that it would have been easier to change sides in the cold war than switch from one seminary to the other.

As to what happened to the students. The students that were in the best position were those on vicarage in 73-74. They had time to reflect and were not caught up in the white hot emotion of the moment. Several that I know of extended their vicarge assignments by one year to let things cool down and then returned to Concordia Seminary upon more sober reflection.

Four of my friends simply dropped out of school altogether and went on to other careers.

Some stayed at Concordia Seminary and helped run things there.

I'm not sure but one or two may have gone to seminary in Canada. I don't know how many may have switched synods or gone to Springfield.

The ones who went to Seminex had to find housing. Many lived in the poorer neighborhoods in the inner city. As the article states there were way too many students for the number of congregations willing to issue them calls. One of the reasons was a synodical rule that congregations of synod must be served by rostered pastors and the only way to be rostered as a Candidate was to be certified by one of the seminaries. So that left the Seminex grads out. The irony of the rule is that it was passed to deal with Trinity, New Haven MO being served by H. Otten who never was certified. But they were grandfathered in. So the rule only came back to bite those who initially had purshed for it.

After a short time it became possible for those who had graduated from Seminex to come into the LCMS clergy roster through the Colloquy program. I know that many did. I don't think that anything extraordinary was asked of the Seminex grads. I think that they had to get 2 recomendations from LCMS pastors and then be interviewed by a special committee.

The problem for many was that they had graduated from seminex. This often made them suspect on call lists so that it was hard for them to move after their initial placement.

I know that Seminex was a defining moment for many students, professors and synodical officials. A sad note in the history of the church. I talked to a recent LSTC grad and she mentioned that she had a former Seminex prof (I can't remember which one) who regularly told his students that they could never understand what the Seminex people went through and they would never have it that hard. Needless to say this student didn't appreciate it. It was like being lectured by war vet.

Finally, if you are interested I have page 127 from Exodus From Concordia A Report on the 1974 Walkout. Printed in 1977 by the Board of Control of Concorida Seminary. It has two pictures the first one is titled "11:50 A.M. Students and faculty march off Concordia campus into "exile" after conducting the Seminary's "funeral." The second one is captioned "12:10 P.M. "Exiled" students and facutly return to campus to eat lunch in the Seminary cafeteria."

I was planning upload it but now I'm wondering if doing so would violate copyright.

I also have decided to become a registered user of wikipedia.

Sincerely yours, --SemperUbi 18:05, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC) SemperUbi

SemperUbi- Thanks for these remarks. I haven't had time to look over them carefully yet, but I will soon. In the meantime, I've added some new books to the "Further Reading" section (a few from each perspective). It seems like far more has been written about this than I initially knew about! I hope to check them out. I also tweaked one sentence in accordance with my suggestion on 27 March 2005. If that version does not seem to convey substantially the same meaning as the initial version, please leave me a comment. I'm looking forward to reading your earlier comment more thoroughly soon. Ropcat 06:58, 02 April 2005 (UTC)


Is the Jacob Preus mentioned Jacob Aall Ottesen Preus, or someone else? Charles Matthews 13:56, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Per the Wikipedia article, Jacob Aall Ottesen Preus, former Governor of Minnesota, died in 1961, long before these events. I believe the Jacob Preus in the article is his son. -Martin Scharlemann 04:52, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

J. A. O. Preus II. MisfitToys 22:27, 18 August 2006 (UTC)