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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Don't call Pieper to be a teacher in old Missouri Synod

     Ah, the old (German) Missouri Synod... so long ago, so far away.  But Franz Pieper brings it to life again in his writings in Lehre und Wehre and the first two years of Concordia Theological Monthly.  Pieper revealed how teachers were selected in the following brief article in August, 1930  (CTM volume 1, page 620):
A list of Lutheran teachers for Lutheran schools has been sent to us by the treasurer of the National Lutheran Educational Conference. The letter reads: "Since the directory was last published of Lutheran teachers, more Lutheran teachers have asked to have their names listed.  Mr. Dorner Keyser has compiled this additional list, and I am pleased to enclose a copy herewith.  I trust that it will be of some service to you.  As you know, the conference has voted to discontinue the publication of a directory.  We hope however, to continue a bulletin service announcing from time to time the names of Lutheran teachers who are available for positions in Lutheran institutions.”  The list includes 46 names. The applicants specify their degree in most cases and name the institutions of which they were awarded.  The titles range from A.B. to Ph.D. inclusive. More examples of those titles registered are B.S., M.S., B.D. S.T.M.  The applicants indicate the salary they expect in almost all cases.  The salary varies between 1,500 and 3,000 dollars.  From this information, it follows that the list doesn't fit our circumstances.  The candidates for permanent employment in our Synodical higher institutions do not even contact us, but are nominated by the congregations. The election is performed by an electoral college appointed by the Synod, in which the local supervisory authority has only one vote. The appointment of assistant teachers from the local supervisory authorities is also limited by synodical regulations. The electoral college maintains a very responsible office. It's decision on the election is not based on academic qualifications, but on the basis of known or researched teaching ability in the relevant disciplines.  Above all things besides the gift of teaching, consistently Christian character and a particular youth-loving attitude will be considered. It is the nature of things that candidates are generally preferred who have proven themselves at least a few years in the ministry and in pastoral care.      F. P. 
Can the reader see Pieper's attitude toward those "Lutheran" teachers with high degrees?  They mean nothing to him without the other qualifications he outlines in his writing – consistent Christian character, love for the youth, and pastoral care.
     Walter A. Maier (WAM), a professor at Concordia Seminary (see my earlier blog posts), had received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1929.  There was a celebration of this event when he came home to St. Louis.  A report of this was given by his son Paul L. Maier in his book A Man Spoke, A World Listened: The Story of Walther A. Maier:, page 93:
Seminary President Franz Pieper embraced him cordially...
It was a cordial embrace, not like the celebration that C.F.W. Walther gave Pieper when he first arrived in St. Louis to be a professor there.  For Pieper was not so much impressed by WAM's Harvard degree.

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