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Poehler Lecture

The Poehler Lecture Series is an annual event designed to explore how students and faculty in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Education, College of Business & Technology and College of Health & Science have connected their Christian faith with their academic discipline. Speakers are selected based on excellence in their academic discipline and the maturity of their Christian faith.

Poehler Lecture

    Keith J. Williams has been an artist and educator since the late 1970s. He taught four years holding a University of Wisconsin, Madison B.S. in Art Education before earning his M.F.A. in Ceramics from the University of Iowa. As a dedicated teacher and administrator, he has helped shape the growth of the Department of Art and Design at Concordia University, St. Paul, serving as the Chair of the department 23 of the last 28 years. Williams served the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts as Director at Large, in the six-year presidential cycle, and as Conference Planner for the 2019 Twin Cities conference. He is now a Fellow of the Council. He is also a golfer and church musician who loves to play jazz on vintage saxes, but primarily he loves teaching.

    An accomplished and highly respected member of the faculty since 1994, Dr. Mark Schuler’s passion for Biblical Greek, the New Testament, and archaeology, have inspired a generation of students. Dr. Schuler is the co-founder of the university’s Honors Program, in litteris fidique, and between 2001 and 2016 led annual trips to the Hippos Excavations, allowing students, faculty, staff, and community members to work alongside partners from the University of Haifa to uncover the ancient city of Hippos. He also pioneered classroom and other educational uses of information technologies.

    Among his publications is Called by the Gospel: An Introduction to the New Testament, with Michael Middendorf. Dr. Schuler is a member of the American Schools of Oriental Research, the American Institute of Archaeology, and the Society of Biblical Literature. His transition to collegiate education came after eight years of experience as a pastor at Lutheran congregations in Iowa and Missouri.

  • About Professor Hanson

    Professor Thomas Hanson has more than 30 years of teaching experience at Concordia, helping to develop the University’s first accelerated adult undergraduate and graduate business programs. He served as the chair of the MBA program at Concordia for several years and also has served as Dean of Enrollment Management, Associate College Dean, College Dean and Executive Director of University Marketing.

    Establishing his first business at the age of 16, he went on to earn advanced degrees in his field and has spent decades guiding future entrepreneurs. He has earned certification as a Christian Reconciler to help congregations and other church entities manage times of crisis. He served six years in the US Air Force, flying as a navigator on KC-135 airplanes.

  • About Dr. Barb Schoenbeck

    Since her arrival at Concordia in 1978, Professor Emerita of Education Dr. Barbara Schoenbeck established a well-deserved reputation as an outstanding educator, a compassionate and influential mentor, a cherished colleague, and a humble, inspirational servant-leader passionately driven to promote positive, inclusive social change.

    Dr. Schoenbeck served Concordia St. Paul with distinction for twenty-seven years before her retirement in 2005, but has continued playing an essential role in Concordia’s graduate program and as supervisor of practicum students and student teachers.

     Her unparalleled dedication to the church, community, and to social justice, has been an inspiration to generations of students, staff, and faculty.

  • About Dr. Cheryl Chatman

    Dr. Cheryl Chatman has served for 16 years as Concordia’s Executive Vice President and Dean of Diversity.

    Colleagues and students describe Dr. Chatman as the “heart” of the campus because of her warm, welcoming, and inclusive spirit and her invariably affirming words or actions. Students are at the center of all she does. Her work and optimism are rooted in a deep spirituality and in the call to bring the light of Christ wherever she goes.

    Dr. Chatman is a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education, the board of ARTS US, and the Lutheran Education Foundation of Minnesota. Her contributions have been recognized through such honors as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Governor’s Commission for the Martin Luther King Statewide Celebration and the Iowa State University’s Alumni Achievement Award.

    Dr. Chatman works closely with the president to connect the administration, the Concordia campus, and the larger community; and she provides vision and leadership for all of the university’s diversity efforts.

    The title of Dr. Chatman’s presentation is “We are All God’s Poiema:  Can You See His Masterpiece in Me?

  • About Dr. Paul Hillmer

    Since joining the faculty of Concordia in 1991, Dr. Paul Hillmer has distinguished himself in the classroom, in his broad service to the university, and in his historical scholarship. The latter in particular has won him wide and well-deserved acclaim, giving not only Paul but also Concordia University visibility and added credibility with diverse Twin Cities communities.

    His work as historian and teacher has been an extension and outgrowth of the Christian liberal arts education he received at Concordia more than three decades ago. In 2015, whether it is working with today’s students or yesterday’s archives, Dr. Hillmer embodies what, at its best, a Concordia University education can offer to motivated and curious minds.

    The title of Dr. Hillmer’s presentation is Destroying” Education to Save It.

    2015 Video

  • About Dr. David Mennicke

    Dr. David Mennicke, professor of music at Concordia University since 1989 and a recognized leader in the field of choral music, delivered the annual Poehler Lecture on Faith and Learning, Thursday, March 20, 2014. The title of Mennicke’s presentation is “When in our Music God is Glorified: Trinitarion Reflections on Music, Faith and Learning.” Location: Graebner Memorial Chapel.

    The lecture, at which faculty members of note explore the connections they have made between the Christian faith and their academic disciplines through their careers, is in its 13th year and is named in honor of Concordia’s third President Willy August Poehler, who served the university in that capacity from 1946 through 1970.

    2014 Video

  • About Dr. Jeffrey Burkart

    “The Persistence of Vision: Reflections on Faith and Learning,”

    The Poehler Lecture was held on Tuesday, April 16, 2013.

    The 32-year career of Jeffrey Burkart as a professor at Concordia only begins to reflect his contributions to the lives of people in parishes and classrooms across the church in his more than four decades of ministry. His formal training at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest (B.A.), the University of Nebraska (M.A.), and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.) has complemented an utterly singular set of gifts–as teacher, composer, writer, director, public speaker, and leader in Christian education at multiple levels.

    Burkart has been a resource to the wider Lutheran Christian community, all the while maintaining his full array of duties as one of Concordia’s most popular, versatile, and celebrated faculty members. Those contributions, at Concordia and elsewhere, were recognized by his undergraduate alma mater in 2005 (Litt.D.), and by the Lutheran Education Association’s bestowal of its Christus Magister Award in 2012.

    2013 Video

  • About Dr. Dale Trapp and Rev. Dr. Thomas Trapp

    “Head to Head! Heart to Heart!”

    The Poehler Lecture was held on April 24, 2012 at 7:00pm in the Buetow Auditorium.

    View powerpoint presentation from the event.

    2012 Video

  • About Rev. Dr. Robert Holst

    The speaker for the 10th Annual Poehler Lecture on Faith and Learning was Rev. Dr. Robert Holst. The title of the lecture was Faith, Learning and Jesus? Prayer: Luke 11:2-4. President Holst reflected on his education and career as a missionary, a college theology professor, an administrator, and 20 years as president of Concordia University St. Paul.

    2011 Video

  • About Dr. Loma Meyer

    Loma Meyer’s contributions to higher education in the church and the wider academy are singular and extraordinary. Educated at the University of Minnesota and Oklahoma State University, with doctorates from both the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the University of Minnesota, she was certified for the church’s teaching ministry by colloquy. Her arrival at Concordia Saint Paul in 1967 marked the beginning of a career in higher education as an award-winning professor, director of instruction, dean of the faculty, vice president for academic affairs, and executive vice president?holding several of these positions simultaneously.

    In the higher education of the church, Dr. Meyer has been among the most noteworthy leaders and administrators of her time, perpetually serving on task forces, local and national boards, and commissions. The broader academic community has long sought her expertise as well; and she has been active in various capacities for the Minnesota State Board of Education, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

    Regarded by her students and colleagues with admiration, profound respect, and affection, the years of her tenure at Concordia are often referred to simply as “the Loma Meyer era.”

    2010 Video

  • About Dr. Carl J. Schoenbeck

    Carl Schoenbeck has enjoyed a rich and distinguished career in Lutheran education, from the elementary school classroom to the highest levels of university administration. Dr. Schoenbeck earned both his bachelor and master of arts degrees at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois, and did his doctoral work at the University of Minnesota. Throughout his four decades of teaching and educational leadership, Dr. Schoenbeck has excelled at every level and at every task directed his way. Probably more than any other single individual, Dr. Schoenbeck led Concordia University, Saint Paul, in the transition to its present status as a multifaceted university; and he has done so with an administrative style characterized by openness, collegiality, a selfless disregard for any credit that might have come his way, and an unwavering commitment to the Christian mission of the university. All the while, Dr. Schoenbeck augmented his work at Concordia with equally committed service to his parish and its own school, his immediate and extended community, his peers in the profession, and other colleges and universities who have often sought his expertise and assistance.

    2009 Video

    View transcript

    2009 Video

  • About Dr. Herman K. Wentzel

    Dr. Herman K. Wentzel is a professor emeritus of education and psychology at Concordia University, St. Paul. He received his B.A. at Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois, his M.A. from the University of Minnesota, his Ed. D. from Columbia University, New York, and a certificate in college and university administration from the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University. He was awarded the honorary L.L.D. by Concordia College, Bronxville, New York. At Concordia University, St. Paul, Dr. Wentzel taught in the education department and served as interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Executive Vice President, and Acting President. He was active on many committees and in faculty development projects. Prior to coming to St. Paul, he taught and served as academic dean at Concordia College, Bronxville, New York while also leading its development from a two-year institution to a four-year college. He also served as teacher and principal in Lutheran schools in Kansas and Missouri, and as a teacher and dormitory counselor at St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Missouri. In addition, he has served as congregational organist, choir director, president, and committee member.

    Drawing on his experience of 47 years as a Christian educator, in the Seventh Annual Poehler Lecture on Faith and Learning, Dr. Wentzel will set forth the basis in faith for all our activities at a Christian university. He will emphasize the centrality of the University’s mission, noting especially “the context of the Christian Gospel,” while also noting parallels in methodology in achieving the two goals of the University, growth in faith (the spiritual realm) and development of appropriate habits of thought (the rational realm). He will explain how the methodology used in the development of habits of thought may contribute positively to the development of faith as the University carries out its role as Christian educator. He also asserts that the pursuit of freedom and truth which the University fosters in the rational realm is not complete without the accompanying freedom found in the Gospel. Finally, he will discuss how changes in the culture and methodology of the University present challenges in carrying out its mission.

    2008 Video

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    2008 Video

  • About Rev. Dr. Stephen C. Stohlmann

    Rev. Dr. Stephen C. Stohlmann is a professor of theology and biblical languages, director of the colloquy program, coordinator of the pre-deaconess program and CSP coordinator for the Iowa West Lay Leadership Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree at Concordia Sr. College in Ft.Wayne, Indiana, his master of divinity degree at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri and a master of arts and Ph.D. at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He has served as professor at Concordia University, St. Paul since 1976. Prior to coming to Concordia he served as dual parish pastor at Zion, Hampton and Immanuel Lutheran, Polk, Nebraska from 1971-1976. While at Concordia, Dr. Stohlmann has been instrumental in founding the Oswald Hoffman School of Christian Outreach and in the training of countless workers for the church. He has published numerous articles and given many presentations on the Old Testament, Law and Gospel, and has recently published works on the Athanasian Creed and a Bible study on Law and Gospel for lay people.

    In the Sixth Annual Poehler Lecture on Faith and Learning, Dr. Stohlmann explored the impact the multifaceted Word of God can have on the academic enterprise. In recent years, increasing diversity in faculty, student body and curriculum has caused many changes in Lutheran higher education. Yet, he maintains that Lutheran Christian education can still remain a holistic education concerned both with the mind and the spirit. While acknowledging the tensions which increasing diversity brings to Lutheran higher education, he suggests that the relationship of faith and reason can only be examined in the light of the resurrection of our Lord. He proposes that faith in the resurrection does not limit, but rather sets the Christian free to explore God’s creation and the human creature and to engage in a fruitful dialogue between faith and reason. In the process faith can be enlightened and reason can be humbled as students and faculty engage in the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and truth, all in the context of the Gospel and resurrection of our Lord.

    View transcript

    2007 Video

  • About Rev. Dr. David A. Lumpp

    David Lumpp is professor and chairperson of the department of theology at Concordia University. He received his bachelor’s degree at Concordia Senior College; and his master of divinity, master of sacred theology, and doctor of theology degrees at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. His areas of professional expertise are primarily in systematic and historical theology. Prior to coming to Concordia University, St. Paul, he served on the faculty of Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has also worked part-time as an editorial assistant at the Center for Reformation Research and in the editorial department of Concordia Publishing House, both in St. Louis. He was ordained to the pastoral ministry of The Lutheran Church?Missouri Synod in 1983, at which time he was placed at and appointed to the faculty at Concordia, Ann Arbor. Within the Missouri Synod, he has served on the Commission on Worship and, more recently, on the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations (serving for the past four years on its executive committee).

    He has spoken and written for both academic and church audiences. He has written chapters for two popular books of Christian instruction, and edited another; and his devotional writings have appeared in two collections. His articles and reviews have appeared in Evangelium, the Concordia Journal, the Concordia Theological Quarterly, Religious Studies Review, Lutheran Quarterly, The Lutheran Witness, Lutheran Education, Lutheran Theological Journal (of Australia), the Metro Lutheran, and Theological Studies, among others. He has presented papers at numerous meetings of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, twice at meetings of the International Congress for Luther Research, and has been a plenary presenter at Concordia Seminary’s annual theological symposium. Currently he is serving both as an author and contributing editor of a projected two-volume work of dogmatic theology, scheduled for release within the next two years.

    View transcript

    2006 Video

  • About Dr. Kay Madson

    Dr. Kay Madson is a “small-town girl” from Central Minnesota whose personal and professional curiosity about people and the systems in which they live and work has carried her to fascinating destinations throughout the world – from India to Mexico to China. Her interests as a sociologist have focused on underrepresented or marginalized individuals in society in such areas as social welfare, ethnic minorities and the criminal justice system. Madson explored these interests first as a public welfare case worker, then as an adjunct instructor at local universities. She began her own “field investigation” of family sociology as an at-home mom during her three children’s elementary school years, later returning to teaching at Concordia University, as an adjunct (1983) and then as tenure track faculty (1989). She was chair of the Social Sciences department (1990-93) and served as executive vice president (1993-2001). She has developed and taught a variety of classes in her discipline, particularly those that address issues of class, ethnicity and legal rights. Her current research project with CSP students is studying the religious beliefs and practices of adult children of Hmong immigrants and the extent to which these are affected by their dual culture.

    2005 Poehler Lecture

    View transcript

    2005 Video

  • Dr. Eleanor Elson Heginbotham

    “The (General) Education of Henri(etta) Adams: Living with the Word”

    View transcript

    2004 Video

  • About Dr. Bruce Corrie

    Associate Vice President for University Relations and International Programs

    2003 Poehler Lecture

  • 2002 Poehler Lecture – Dr. Kathryn Schenk

Heginbotham Lecture Series

The Heginbotham Lecture Series is made possible by private donors who established an endowment to honor Dr. Eleanor Heginbotham and her distinguished record of teaching and scholarship at Concordia University as well as her many contributions to the literary community in the Twin Cities. Heginbotham is a professor emeritus of English and Modern Languages. She retired in 2004.


Bartling Lecture Series

The Bartling Lecture Series, along with the Fred and Ruth Bartling Scholarship award, were launched in 2011 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Fred Bartling’s arrival at Concordia University. The lectures primarily focuses on issues of human and civil rights; both important themes in Dr. Bartling’s distinguished career as a teacher, scholar, and activist.

Reformation Lecture Series

Concordia inaugurated the Reformation Heritage Lecture in 2012 to highlight the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation in 2017.  The purpose of the annual lecture is to inform the CSP community and general public about the life, thought, and influence of Martin Luther and to encourage Lutherans and other Christians to recognize the value of studying our heritage in order to apply the lessons of history to the present and future life of the Church.

2015 – Dr. Daniel A. Siedell: Art and the Lutheran Reformation


Hoffmann Lecture

The annual Hoffmann Lecture seeks to foster CSP’s ongoing Lutheran commitment to Christian mission and outreach. The Hoffmann Lecture Series celebrates the life and ministry of Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann. Ordained a Lutheran minister in 1939, Dr. Hoffmann served The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod as a religious leader and ambassador in a career that included varied roles as an author, pastor, broadcaster, classical and linguistics scholar, and teacher. The Hoffmann Lecture continues the legacy of Hoffmann by equipping students to show Christ’s love in their vocation, service, and care for others. Founded in 1984, the Hoffmann Mentoring Initiative is to prepare students for an active outreach consciousness within the campus community and raise outreach vision, commitment, involvement, and leadership throughout the church.

Concordia Speaker’s Series