Wartburg e-Life Together December 2018

Annual President’s Dinner and Advent Lessons & Carols 2018
Life Together Award honoring Steve and Lynne Benz
At this year’s President’s Dinner, Steven and Lynne Benz were honored as recipients of the “Life Together” award in recognition of their extreme generosity toward the mission of Wartburg Seminary. This award is presented to donors in the highest level of the Loehe Lifetime Giving Society. The support from the Benz’s has surpassed $1 million. Steve and Lynne are members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

We also recognized Steve for his deep personal commitment to leadership for Wartburg Seminary. Steve was a founding member of the Wartburg Seminary Foundation Board of Trustees in 2007 and served faithfully until 2017. Steve grew up on the Wartburg campus as the son of the late Professor Frank Benz who taught here for 33 years and the late Joyce Benz `95. The Benz family initiated the Rev. Dr. Frank L. & Joyce S. Benz Professorship in Scripture, currently held by the Rev. Dr. Ann Fritschel.

Steve is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and Stanford Law School.  He is a partner at the Kellogg Hansen Law Firm in Washington, DC where he represents corporations as plaintiffs in antitrust and complex litigation matters in the US and Europe.

We thank God for Steve and Lynne whose faithful service to Wartburg Seminary has impacted many lives.


Photo below by Nichole Lyons, 2nd year MDiv student from Advent Lessons and Carols 2018

Wartburg Seminary Increases Generous Scholarships

Wartburg Seminary’s Board of Directors supported an increase in scholarships for students who plan to begin a Wartburg Seminary degree program in the next year. This financial support will make seminary more affordable, and make it possible for prospective students to choose Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Considering Your Call Weekend: Come and See

March 1 – 3, 2019
For me, the invitation from God to “come and see” grew like a clever weed in my gut. It started small, but slowly wound itself around my insides, forcing me to pay attention. I didn’t want to. My calling to serve the church stood in sharp relief against the backdrop of my life. I was a pastor’s daughter, which meant I knew too much. I was a fighter, like Jonah, resistant to do what God was calling me to do. There were a million reasons I was not fit for this calling to serve and lead in the church. There still are. But the nagging, longing, aching, discomforting weed of a call grew. And grew. And grew. I responded (or maybe relented is a better word), not knowing where the road would take me, but sure God was calling me to “come and see.” That was 23 years ago and I’m glad I buckled in for the ride. It is an extraordinary privilege to be part of how God is at work bringing healing, justice, grace and forgiveness to a hurting world.

If you are still reading this, chances are you are wrestling with your own version of this story – or you know someone who is. We’ve found that its best not to do that work alone. Partners in discernment are a gift. Together we help each other – we listen, we pray, we share, we bear one another’s burdens when they are too great to bear alone. So come and see. See the seminary, of course. But more than that, come and see the ways in which God is calling you to serve. Respond (or relent!) to Jesus’ invitation and meet others on the discernment road, too!

We look forward to welcoming you to Considering Your Call Weekend in March. 


     Yours in Christ,

     Rev. Louise N. Johnson

     President, Wartburg Theological Seminary


Do YOU have a story to share?

Do you have a story to share with the greater Wartburg Seminary community? Let us know! Send an email to stories@wartburgseminary.edu. We just might use it in an upcoming social media post, e-LifeTogether newsletter, or LifeTogether publication.
We can’t wait to hear from you!