Seminex logo and title "experience the legacy"

About Christ- Seminary Seminex

A man holds a cross in a crowd at the beginning of the Seminex walkout
Exiled on doors of seminary, Seminex walkout, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

Seminex, short for “Seminary in Exile,” was a significant and transformative movement in American Lutheran theological education that took place during the late 20th century. It emerged as a response to theological and ideological conflicts within some of the major Lutheran denominations in the United States, particularly the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the American Lutheran Church (ALC).

Seminex began in the early 1970s when a group of faculty and students from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, affiliated with the LCMS, faced conflicts over issues related to theology, biblical interpretation, and seminary governance. These theological tensions led to the suspension of faculty members who held progressive theological views. In response to this action, a substantial number of students and faculty chose to leave Concordia Seminary and establish a new institution in 1974, which they named “Seminary in Exile” or Seminex. They sought a more open and inclusive approach to theological education, emphasizing academic freedom and a broader range of theological perspectives.

Seminex operated in an alternative capacity, providing theological education that was more in line with progressive and inclusive values. It was characterized by its commitment to academic freedom, social justice, and open dialogue on theological issues.

Over time, some of the denominations, such as the ALC and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), provided support and accreditation to Seminex, allowing it to grant degrees to its students. This was a crucial step in legitimizing the institution.

The legacy of Seminex is significant in the history of American Lutheranism. It played a role in the eventual merger of several Lutheran denominations into what is now known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which officially formed in 1988. The ELCA emerged from the merger of the ALC, the LCA, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC).

Seminex remains a symbol of the struggle for theological diversity and academic freedom within American Lutheranism and is remembered as a turning point in the evolution of the church.

Christ Seminary-Seminex Faculty Members

Conference Committee

LSTC expresses gratitude to the Seminex/Homecoming Celebration oversight committee for their devoted efforts and valuable guidance in shaping the programmatic aspects of our celebration. We truly appreciate their unwavering commitment to making this celebratory event a success.

Chair: Larry Tietjen

George Detweiler

Robert Farlee

Michael Fick

Kurt Hendel

David Krause

Rick Mueller

Martin Seltz

Jason Wahlstrom

In Loving Memory: Jackie Mize-Baker

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