Story Magazine

First Quarter, 2005

With Gratitude and Confidence: The David L. Tiede presidency, 1987-2005

Meeting parishioners at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madelina, Minn., 2001

David Tiede loves this place. He loves that it is biblical, confessional and missional---a conduit for the Holy Spirit to call and send leaders throughout the world. He loves the passion and strength of the faculty. He loves the hopefulness, the raw faith, even the questioning of the students. In them he sees the future of the church and is gratified. He loves the dedication and enthusiasm of the boards to the mission and well-being of Luther Seminary. And he loves the faithfulness of the donors. "They get what we're doing here," he says.

It's this love, and the love of the gospel, that has fueled Dr. Tiede during his presidency at Luther Seminary. On June 30, he retires after 18 years in office.

Ask Dr. Tiede what has surprised him during his presidency, and he mentions:

  • He uses every skill the Lord has given him---including a short stint in real estate that taught him how to create a business plan--and everything he's ever studied. "I'm a witness that whatever students bring to their calls, they will use," he says.

  • He loves working with donors. They are a constant and unexpected delight to him. He is still amazed that, in his inexperience in fundraising as a new president, "the donors taught me. God was in their lives way before I showed up."

  • While he expected to wear many hats as president, he didn't realize how pastoral the work would be. "Like a pastor you are invited into the sacred ground of people's lives, deep hopes and yearnings," he explains.

And wear many hats, he has: pastor, teacher, leader, fundraiser and more. To adequately tell the whole story of the presidency of David L. Tiede would require more pages than are available in this issue of Story. What follows are memories and heartfelt observations from those who know and love him. They speak volumes.