You are currently viewing The Sovereignty of Nebulous Ethos at Concordia Texas

The Sovereignty of Nebulous Ethos at Concordia Texas


On or about November 8, 2022, a majority of the Board of Regents of Concordia University Texas (CTX) purportedly made that board self-governing and self-perpetuating in complete independence from the Concordia University System (CUS) and The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS). CTX delivered unauthorized and newly adopted governance documents to the Texas Secretary of State.[1]

This causes controversy, division, and grief. How does CTX justify this action? What is the true nature of the action?

In this essay, we will consider these questions based on two sources of explanations by key actors at CTX. The two sources are:

  • A video titled “‘A Conversational Response from CTX’ with Pres. Don Christian and Provost Kristi Kirk,” June 13, 2023,[2] on the YouTube channel of Unite Leadership Collective, which also is a podcast propagated on many platforms.[3]
  • Kristi K. Kirk, The Changing Nature of Church College Relations: A History and Case Study of Concordia University Texas, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-3034-8365-3.[4]

Dr. Kirk is the Provost and Executive Vice President. She is the right-hand woman to President & Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Donald Christian. At the time of the research for the dissertation, Dr. Kirk had worked at CTX for more than 20 years.[5]

Many more sources in which representatives of CTX state their justification exist. This controversy has generated a deluge of information. We cannot manage all that in a single essay. These two are selected because:

  • The video is the most recent source.
  • The video specifically responds to reports in the workbook for the upcoming convention of the LCMS this summer.
  • It approaches the justification after-the-fact.
  • The dissertation represents the thinking of Dr. Kirk who has played a defining role in the action. It was submitted 10 years ago and approaches the justification from beforehand.

Executive Summary

Drs. Christian and Kirk justify their action by asserting that they are actuated by Lutheran identity, Lutheran ethos, or higher educational ethos. Their claims are problematic because:

  • Ethos is set up as a source of authority alien and contrary to the authority of Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and obligations within the human arrangement of synod and synod’s universities. Ethos exercises sovereignty over the university.
  • Ethos is nebulous. It invites as many definitions as there are people and suborns autocracy of the regents and administration.
  • Ethos is gnostic. Everyone who does not work full time in higher education is marginalized as know-nothings about the Lutheran identity and Lutheran ethos of the university. Only they, the professionals with their special knowledge, should have anything to say about the university. This claim of exclusive knowledge exists side-by-side with findings in the dissertation research of stunning confusion and ignorance about ownership, control, and purpose of the university.[6]
  • The sovereignty of ethos is based upon a purported analogy of synodical universities to congregations. The analogy presupposes ignorance of what a congregation is in Lutheran theology and how that differs from synods and synodical schools. As an exercise in higher education, it is an incompetent teaching of what an analogy is.
  • The claim of upholding Lutheran identity is made side-by-side with an erroneous definition of the term “Lutheran.” The definition used is essentially what the 16th century adversaries of Lutherans used as a propaganda technique to undermine the Reformation.
  • The action violates the Fourth, Seventh, and Ninth Commandments.

This is only the beginning of problems with the justification. More essays should be written exploring additional problems with the action of the CTX regents and administration.

Essential Lutheran Background

Miscommunication often is caused by a lack of shared background assumptions. Participants in a communication assume a shared background understanding, and then in their comments, jump in at the middle and work toward a conclusion. With different background understandings, that begin-at-the-middle approach miscommunicates.

The issues involved in the November 2022 action of the CTX regents are quite ripe for that cause of miscommunicatioin. To avoid it, this essay will lay out the author’s background assumptions so that, once we get into the middle of the analysis, what is being said can be understood clearly for what is intended. The relevance of some of this background might not immediately appear, but please bear with me.

Let us remember:

  • The difference between things set in order by divine law versus things set in order by human arrangement.
  • The Fourth Commandment
  • The Seventh Commandment
  • The Ninth Commandment
  • The name “Lutheran”

Divine Law and Human Arrangement

In Lutheran theology, we distinguish between things that are set in order by divine law and hence exist by divine right, on the one hand, and things that are set in order by human arrangement on the other. Those things that exist by divine law we are not free to change. They are God’s word, command, order, and institution. Outside of those things, we have Christian freedom to set things in order by human arrangement, and we ought to do things in good order.

A major illustration of this distinction is in a foundational writing of the Lutheran confessions in the Book of Concord, the Treatise Against the Power and Primacy of the Pope. There we recognize that by divine law, Christ has instituted for the Church a single congregational office of pastor-elder-bishop. In Christ’s institution, all pastors are equal. No bishop has, as a matter of divine law, superiority over any pastor-elder. At the same time, as a matter of Christian freedom, we may, by way of human arrangement, provide for superintendence of pastors by some office. It is an unfortunate historical fact that when the Church chose to make such human arrangements, instead of using some name for the supervising office other than the names in the single and equal office of pastor-elder-bishop, it used one of those terms, bishop. Over time, that produced some confusion about the distinction between offices of divine law and right and offices by human arrangement. The confusion suborned the claims of papal authority and practices of bishop tyranny. Against this, the Treatise Against the Power and Primacy of the Pope with outstanding clarity and Scriptural fidelity confesses and teaches the true doctrine about offices by divine law and offices by human arrangement.[7]

Besides the office of pastor-elder-bishop existing by divine law and Christ’s own institution, the congregation exists by divine law and divine right.[8] The congregation does not need a bishop or any other human office or authority to grant it permission to exist. A congregation exists when the Holy Spirit, by the means of grace, calls together believers in a locality and gathers them around Christ in the Word and Sacraments. There, Christ is in their midst.

These two divine institutions by Christ coordinate with each other. In the Treatise, we see that the pope and bishops were refusing to ordain pastors for churches. What is the scriptural, apostolic, and Christian resolution of that conflict? After entreaties pleading for pastors, and the relentless deprivation of pastors to congregations by the bishops, congregations retain the authority to ordain qualified men into the congregational office of pastor-elder-bishop, and those pastors then stand in equality with all other pastors.

Synods, on the other hand, do not exist by divine law or divine right.[9] Synodical schools do not exist by divine law or divine right. Synods exist solely by human arrangement. Synodical schools exist solely by human arrangement. Nothing in divine law requires synods to even exist. Nothing in divine law requires synodical schools to exist.

But both congregations and pastors must exist by the command of Christ. Therefore we see that everywhere the Apostles go, they practice Word and Sacrament ministry to call congregations of believers together and then, everywhere, appoint pastor-elders.[10]

We see no command of Christ to establish synods and no command of Christ to establish schools. We see no practice of the Apostles to establish synods and none to establish schools. This is not an argument against having synods or synodical schools, but a clarification of where they come from. They come from human arrangement. Insofar as authority and governance, therefore, there is hardly any analogy between congregations and synodical schools.

Fourth Commandment

Lutheran theology sees the Fourth Commandment as the epitome of divine law about authority. Human authority begins with fathers and mothers. Fathers and mothers constitute the type of other authorities. Luther teaches the Fourth Commandment in the Small Catechism as follows:

We should fear and love God so that we may not despise or anger our parents and masters, but give them honor, serve them, obey them, and hold them in love and esteem.[11]

Here, Luther joins “parents and masters.” Today, the language of masters is seen as odious. It is short, we think, for “master and slave.” That is a reductionist understanding. It also covers master and servant, owner and manager, employer and employee, and many other relationships. In modern secular jurisprudence, for Christians, the Fourth Commandment applies to relationships of principal and agent.

Christ speaks often of masters and those under their authority. In the case of the owner of the vineyard and his stewards, there is no slavery. It is a case of business management. This case Christ also brings under the Fourth Commandment. A steward is obligated, for the fear and love of God, to serve and obey his master. The unjust stewards killed the master’s ambassadors and stole his vineyard.

Seventh and Ninth Commandments

That brings us to the Seventh and Ninth Commandments. Not only are we prohibited from stealing in a way that is obvious to everyone as stealing. God condemns gaining another’s property by a respectable, apparently legal and upright show of right. Luther says in the Small Catechism:

Wir sollen Gott fürchten und lieben, daß wir unserm Nächsten nicht mit List nach seinem Erbe oder Hause trachten und mit einem Schein des Rechts an uns bringen, sondern ihm dasselbe zu behalten förderlich und dienlich sein.

The phrase, “Schein des Rechts” has been translated variously in our American catechisms as a “show of right,” a “pretense of justice,” “by pretending to have a right to it,” “though we seem to have some right thereto,” or “by a semblance of justice.”

In the Large Catechism, Luther speaks extensively about how this evil is done while looking good. He says,

For above, in the Seventh Commandment, the vice is forbidden where one takes for himself the possessions of others or withholds them from his neighbor. A person cannot rightly do these things. But here it is also forbidden for you to alienate anything from your neighbor, even though you could do so with honor in the eyes of the world, so that no one could accuse or blame you as though you had gotten it wrongfully.[12]

Luther gives no comfort for winning in court. “Lawyers and jurists [judges] assist in this”[13] violation of the Ninth Commandment.

They dress and adorn everything so that the law must favor their side. They keep the property with such title that no one can complain or lay claim to it. … [The property] is awarded … and confirmed with deed and seal and declared to have been acquired by princely title and honesty.”[14]

Go ahead and win in court. Nevertheless, Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum. The Ninth Commandment stands.

The Name “Lutheran”

Luther did not call himself a Lutheran. Those who agreed with Luther in the 16th century did not call themselves Lutherans. The theologians who agreed with Luther called themselves “theologians of the Augsburg Confession.” While Luther approved the Augsburg Confession he did not write it. Philip Melanchthon wrote it.

The adversaries of the theologians of the Augsburg Confession tagged them with the name “Lutheran” as an insult and as part of accusing them of being in a cult with a cult leader. In was a tactic of reductionism to reduce them to the identity of a single man and then discredit them by the foibles of one man’s personality or slanders about him. In other words, it was the logical fallacy and propaganda technique of ad hominem. But the name stuck, and now we bear it proudly, but not in the sense of the adversaries who accuse us of just following Luther, but in the confessional sense.

Lutheranism is not the theology of Luther. It is the theology of the confessors of the Lutheran confessions in the Book of Concord. Luther worked scripturally, in catholicity, evangelically, and conservatively in a collegial way. Those things agreed upon among his colleagues and confessed in the Book of Concord are Lutheran.

Luther, being as prolific as he was, said and taught many things that are not confessed in the Lutheran confessions. Many of those things might be true.  But they are not part of what defines Lutheranism. The confessors all subscribed to the confessions. Today, confessional subscription still requires a proper subscription to the confessions, but it does not require any sort of subscription to anything else taught by Luther not addressed by and in agreement with the confessions.

Anyone who defines the name “Lutheran” without any reference to the Lutheran confessions in the Book of Concord gives an incompetent definition. If they define “Lutheran” as following Luther, they have in essence mimicked the adversaries of the conservative evangelical Reformation.

Analogy to Congregations

With that essential Lutheran background in place, now we can assess in a Lutheran way the justification for the separation action of the CTX board of regents offered by Dr. Christian and Dr. Kirk. We begin with their analogy between the university and a congregation.

In the video, Dr. Christian says, “It is a question of where authority and control should lie.”[15] Developing that statement by Dr. Christian, Dr. Kirk then justifies the self-declared independence of CTX from the LCMS by a purported analogy between the university and local congregations.[16] The two of them, Christian and Kirk, recur to this theme, such as when Dr. Christian says closer to the end of the video:

Again, Kristi made the point, compare your congregation to what is being expected of us. No congregation would allow themselves to be governed the way the Concordia Universities today are being asked to be governed. And that takes us back to the beginning, why did our board make this decision.[17]

So, the basic argument is: The question is about authority. Your congregation has its own authority, therefore the university should be separate and have its own authority.

The trouble is, there is no analogy about governance between a congregation and a university. They speak as if they do not know that congregations exist by divine law and by divine right[18] whereas synods and synodical schools exist only as a matter of human arrangement.[19] As such, synodical schools are bound by the human arrangement.

It is astounding that two university educated doctors and one seminary educated and ordained pastor can video themselves in a conversation where they all agree to such an analogy and offer it as proof of their Lutheran identity. On one level, it is profoundly incompetent on Lutheran theology. On another level about higher education, it is profoundly incompetent on how a university should teach what an analogy is.

Distorting the nature of congregations and synods by a faulty analogy between them is not Lutheran ethos or Lutheran identity.

Definition of “Lutheran”

In her dissertation, Dr. Kirk defines the term “Lutheran.” She says:

The term Lutheran must also be properly understood. That term is used for a variety of Protestant church bodies that have descended from the theological understanding of Martin Luther in the 16th century.[20]

She then goes on to say that there are many branches of the Lutheran church, that three primary branches in the United States are the LCMS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). She then says that thereafter in the dissertation, unless expressly stated otherwise, the term Lutheran will refer to the LCMS.

That is not what Lutheran means. For Dr. Kirk to define Lutheran in essentially the same way as the papists, Radical Reformation, Anabaptists, Zwinglians, and others did is profoundly incompetent. It provides an insight into what she means by “Lutheran identity” at CTX.

That definition of “Lutheran” is the sort of thing her dissertation reviewers at Cappella University would approve, having no special facility with Lutheranism. Let us hope this Capella University idea of “Lutheran” is not what we are teaching at Concordia University Texas.

It astounds me, though I am no longer surprised, how many graduates of various Concordia universities and colleges do not know why their schools are called Concordia. They see no reference to the Book of Concord or the Formula of Concord in the names of their schools. And yet, we say we are maintaining Lutheran ethos and Lutheran identity.

Defining Lutheran as our adversaries do is not Lutheran ethos or Lutheran identity.

Fourth Commandment

The synod created the university by human arrangement to serve purposes of the synod. In Fourth Commandment terms, the synod is master and the university is servant. The university owes Fourth Commandment obligations to the synod.

If we want to use secular terms of Anglo-American jurisprudence, we might call the synod a principal and the university its agent. Dr. Kirk herself has done that. In her dissertation, Dr. Kirk acknowledged that in 1949, the boards of regents “acts only as an agent of the Synod and is ultimately responsible to the Board for Higher Education.”[21] The Handbook of that year said:

Each Board of Control [now, board of regents] shall operate and manage its institution as an agent of Synod, in which ownership is primarily vested and which exercises its control through the Board of Director as custodians of Synod’s property, the Board for Higher Education, and the respective Board of Control.[22]

As an element of that principal-and-agent relationship, “regulation and approval of changes to institutional charters, articles of incorporation, constitution, and bylaws” was under the specific direction of the Board for Higher Education,[23] whose successor today is the board of CUS.

The result does not change with changing the terminology from master-servant to principal-agent. Agency falls just as much under the Fourth Commandment as does servanthood. Even secularly, an agent owes duties of obedience, loyalty, etc. to his principal. Be the secular effect as it may, under the Fourth Commandment, for a servant to simply declare governance emancipation from its master is rebellion.

Rebellion of a servant against her master is not Lutheran ethos or Lutheran identity.

Seventh and Ninth Commandments

In her dissertation, Dr. Kirk acknowledged that,

According to the Articles and [sic] Incorporation and the Bylaws, Concordia is owned and governed as a non-profit corporation by the Board of Regents, with a reversionary clause back to the Synod. Per the Bylaws, “Upon dissolution of the University or the winding up of its affairs, the assets of the University shall be transferred, conveyed, and distributed to The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.[24]

She reports that interviews of 17 people at CTX and the synod with influential roles for the university showed that there was nearly no understanding of that ownership.[25]

It is easy to get down into the weeds when analyzing interests in real property in Anglo-American jurisprudence. There are automatic reversions, rights of reentry, possibilities of reverter, defeasible estates, etc. Add to that a possible layer of Spanish legal influence owing to the history of Texas. While I have read about $300.00 worth of copies of land title records from Travis County and corporation records from the Secretary of State of Texas, I have not yet decided what I think about how that litigation would turn out in the courts of Texas.

But I have enough information to apply the Seventh and Ninth Commandments as Luther teaches them in his Small Catechism and Large Catechism. In the battle of the lawyers, the CTX regents’ attorneys might prevail coram mundum. They might be able to

dress and adorn everything so that the law must favor their side. They keep the property with such title that no one can complain or lay claim to it. … [The property] is awarded … and confirmed with deed and seal and declared to have been acquired by princely title and honesty.”[26]

Show, semblance, and pretense can be based on amended articles of incorporation, revised bylaws, and deed language or silence, particularly when those amendments, revisions, and omissions are not authorized by the principal’s directions. Well does Luther call this “swivel-chair robbery.” He says under the Seventh Commandment in the Large Catechism:

Some are also called swivel-chair robbers, not picklocks and burglars [who] snatch away easy money, but they sit on the chair at home and are styled great noblemen and honorable, pious citizens. They rob and steal in a way assumed to be good [or, under a good pretext].[27]

But that would not be Lutheran ethos or Lutheran identity.

Lutheran Ethos?

In Dr. Kirk’s dissertation, the notion of ethos is prominent. The literal word appears 65 times. In 34 instances, it appears as part of the phrase “Lutheran ethos.” Other times the reference seems to be to an ethos of higher education or the academy per se, not necessarily a Lutheran ethos. The notion also is discussed albeit without the literal word “ethos” frequently.

To the extent that ethos references something that arises independently in the academy, it functions as a source of authority rivaling Scripture, the Lutheran confessions, and the synod as master or principal in the human arrangement of the synod and the synod’s universities. The dissertation acknowledges that a tension between the ethos of the academy and the doctrine or practice of the Church always has existed.[28] Shall the ethos of the academy have hegemony in a university created by a synod to do the synod’s business?

To the extent that ethos references a so-called “Lutheran ethos,” what we have seen earlier is not confidence inspiring. We have seen Dr. Christian’s and Dr. Kirk’s treatment of divine law and human arrangement, analogy of universities to congregations, the definition of the name “Lutheran,” the application of the Fourth Commandment, and the application of the Seventh and Ninth Commandments. That does not look like an ethos that is Lutheran.

One should have thought that ethos in a Christian sense would mean what Jesus portrays when He speaks about stewards and stewardship. The ethic of the steward is to be faithful, to give an account, and to be about the master’s business, not the steward’s own business, interest, or values. Usurpation is not an ethic.

The dissertation acknowledged that CTX described itself in its 1982 catalog as “owned and operated by the LCMS and undergirded by a Christian Theology.”[29] The action of the regents on or about November 8, 2022 purports to terminate synod’s ownership (theft) and operation (rebellion). In America today, theft and rebellion do sometimes look like educational ethos. Theft and rebellion are taught in academies. So-called academic freedom gets a black eye from this.

But that ethos is not Lutheran ethos or Lutheran identity.

Nebulous Ethos

In the dissertation, ethos is nebulous. Dr. Kirk says:

Dovre (2011) wrote that an institution’s Lutheran ethos is alive and well when an institution is actively and purposefully wrestling with it. Ethos is defined as “a prominent social fact, which is often held to explain things which can be explained by no individual action or state of mind.” It is used to “denote the characteristic ‘spirit’ or ‘tone’ of an association, institution, society, culture, or people” (Ethos, 2007). Since an ethos is often an indefinable, intractable thing, an institution is hard pressed to specifically define its own. Therefore, as Dovre (2011) posited, it is the very discussion about that topic that keeps the ethos alive and well, even if no specific distinguishing characteristic can ever be fully defined. This study, then, will help Concordia Texas to keep alive the ethos by contributing to the discussion.[30]

This is a descent into Existentialism and an absolutism of “dialogue” and “conversation.”

The dissertation tracks changes in the statement of purpose for CTX over time. The purpose statement, later called a mission statement, was washed out and nebulized. “There is almost nothing about the original purpose statement that is still true today for this institution.”[31]

Unsurprisingly, interviews of 17 people at CTX and the synod with influential roles for the university showed that while every one of them “could easily rattle off the short version of the mission statement, developing Christian leaders,” none of them could unpack those three words to say what the university was aiming to do.[32] One interviewee candidly admitted that the mission statement was “an attempt to become all things to all people.”[33]

Thus, there is a disconnect between what CTX says today in outward facing statements about its commitment to Lutheran identity and these dissertation statements that are inward facing within the academy. Outwardly, CTX parades its commitment to Lutheran identity as if that were a clearly defined and generally shared concept at the university. Inwardly, it is admitted that there is little consensus about the purpose or mission. That inwardly admitted state of affairs allows exploitation by administrators of a nebulous ethos to steer the university in an arbitrary and anchorless direction. A nebulous ethos suborns autocracy by those forceful or skilled in organizational manipulation.

A nebulous ethos is not Lutheran ethos or Lutheran identity.

Dissertation or Design?

In her dissertation, under her Research Question 4, Dr. Kirk wrote:

At the December 1976 meeting of the Board of Regents questions were posed as to the future relationship between Concordia and the Synod: “Could Concordia function as a school of the Texas District, perhaps with a self-perpetuating Board, responsible to meet the needs of those most immediately served by the College?” and also “Are there any options for Concordia’s future other than carrying on within the Synodical system?” (p. 8). So while this discussion seems timely once again in the 2010s, it is most certainly not a new conversation.

When interview participants were asked to describe the future relationship of Concordia to the Synod, opinions varied greatly. Two specific questions were asked to understand how the respondents felt about these issues. First, they were asked to think ahead 20 years and describe the relationship they see between Concordia and the Synod. Secondly, they were asked what Concordia’s moral or ethical responsibility to the Synod might be as the institution moves into the future.[34]

Among the responses, Dr. Kirk notes:

Others see a tenser scenario in the near future, one where the legal relationship between the institution and the Synod will be tested. They were quick to point out the difference between remaining a vibrant Lutheran institution (which everyone interviewed still favored) and the specific legal relationship with the corporate church body. Who really owns the property? Who has ultimate authority over who can serve as President or Board member at Concordia? They [sic] answers to these questions are found in the various legal documents of the Synod, Concordia and the CUS. However, what would happen should any of these entities attempt to change their bylaws or articles of incorporation in a way that adversely affected the others?[35]

In her Discussion of the Findings, Dr. Kirk says, “People recognize that the institution and the Synod are at a critical juncture in their relationship and they express an obvious passion for finding a way for the two entities to remain connected and relevant, although perhaps in a way that has not been true in the past.”[36]

As Dr. Kirk passed from the sections of the dissertation where she reported the evidence gathered from documents, interviews, etc. and moved into her own conclusions, her first recommendation is about changing the relationship between the synod and the university.

First, in terms of the association between Concordia and the LCMS, it seems apparent that there is a need to redefine the relationship in a way that is practical and relevant for the modern educational context. This is, of course, a complex recommendation, which will involve significant financial implications around things like property ownership and better legal understanding of how the various corporations (the LCMS, the CUS, CTX and various other Synodical agencies) co-exist.[37]

So, someone who had been working at the university for more than 20 years produced this doctoral dissertation about the same university, became Provost and right-hand woman to the President of the same university, and in half the horizon that she suggested to interviewees (10 years in actual time from 2013 to 2023 instead of the 20 years suggested in her question) led it to throw off synodical control and the synod’s beneficial ownership of the property. “How Long” by Ace (1974) pops into my head, not only because of the superficial sense of the lyrics, but because like most rock and roll fans, I know the back story.

How long has this been going on?
How long has this been going on?

Oh, your friends with their fancy persuasion
Don’t admit that it’s part of a scheme
But I can’t help but have my suspicions
‘Cause I ain’t quite as dumb as I seem

Oh, you said you was never intending
To break up our scene this way
But there ain’t any use in pretending
It could happen to us any day

While superficially, people thought the song was about romance and adultery, it was about business management and personnel estrangement. Lead singer Paul Carrack wrote the song when he discovered that bassist Terry Comer had been secretly working with the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. The lyric “friends with their fancy persuasion” is about the management of the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver and their estrangement of Comer from Ace. Naturally, Carrak wondered how long that had been going on.

[1] “The CUS board regrets to inform the delegates to the 2023 Synod convention of an unprecedented action that was taken by the board majority of Concordia University Texas (CTX) though a significant minority voted against such an action on or about Nov. 8, 2022. Without the approval of the CUS board, the board majority purportedly adopted a governance model in an attempt to transform its governance into a self-governing and self-perpetuating board completely independent of the CUS and the LCMS and delivered its newly adopted governance documents to the Texas Secretary of State.” Report 14, “Concordia University System,” Convention Workbook: Reports and Overtures 2023, 68th Regular Convention, The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, p. 67. At the end of the report, Concordia University System President, Rev. Dr. Dean O. Wenthe, concludes, “The preceding analyses should demonstrate that any suggestion of separation from the LCMS is without fiduciary clarity and theological merit.” Ibid., p. 69.



[4] ERIC abstract at Full text available at ProQuest:

[5] Kristi K. Kirk, The Changing Nature of Church College Relations: A History and Case Study of Concordia University Texas, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University, 2013, 56.

[6] Kirk, Changing Nature, 7, 69. 75, 76, 84, 94, 100.

[7] Treatise Against the Power and Primacy of the Pope, ¶¶ 60-82, Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, 2nd ed., Paul T. McCain, ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), pp. 302-305.

[8] Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), III.420-422.

[9] Pieper, op. cit.

[10] E.g., Acts 14:23.

[11] Concordia, 320.

[12] Concordia, 393.

[13] Concordia, 393.

[14] Concordia, 393-394.

[15] Video at 7:24.

[16] Video beginning at 9:28.

[17] Video at 51:44.

[18] Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), III.420-422.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Kirk, Changing Nature, 15.

[21] Kirk, Changing Nature, 72.

[22] Handbook. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, 1949, p. 88.

[23] Kirk, Changing Nature, 72.

[24] Kirk, Changing Nature, 76.

[25] Kirk, Changing Nature, 75.

[26] Concordia, 393-394.

[27] Concordia, 385, slightly altered in accord with Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, trans. F. Bente and W.H.T. Dau.

[28] Kirk, Changing Nature, 90.

[29] Kirk, Changing Nature, 66.

[30] Kirk, Changing Nature, 11.

[31] Kirk, Changing Nature, 67.

[32] Kirk, Changing Nature, 68-70.

[33] Kirk, Changing Nature, 69-70.

[34] Kirk, Changing Nature, 88.

[35] Kirk, Changing Nature, 90.

[36] Kirk, Changing Nature, 96.

[37] Kirk, Changing Nature, 99-100.