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Story Magazine

Fourth Quarter 2004

David Tiede Announces Retirement

Dr. David Tiede announced Oct. 18 that he will retire from the Office of the President, Luther Seminary on June 30, 2005. The date will mark his 34th anniversary as a Luther Seminary professor of New Testament, his 18th year as president and the conclusion of his current five-year term linked to the seminary's strategic plan. It will also be the day following his 65th birthday.

"I am blessed," said Dr. Tiede. "The boards have worked carefully with me to discern the best moment for the succession in the seminary's life and mine. Luther Seminary is ready to call a new leader to help fulfill its promise for the church's future. I am looking forward to time for renewal of my vocations--a student of the New Testament, husband, grandfather, and a friend of the callings of the institutions of the church and their leaders."

"We are deeply grateful to Dr. Tiede for his outstanding service to the seminary," said Dr. Susan Jenkins, chair of Luther Seminary's board of directors. "He has led the seminary through years of significant change within the seminary and the larger church, always adhering to the seminary's mission to prepare leaders to serve Christian communities. He has seen to the strengthening of the seminary's financial position and has articulated a visionary understanding of how seminary education must change to meet the changing needs of the church."

During Dr. Tiede's tenure, Luther Seminary accomplished a major curriculum reform; adopted its distinctive mission statement; graduated thousands of able leaders for the ELCA and 28 other national and international churches; grew its endowment from $14.8 million (1987) to $53.6 million; inaugurated a Ph.D. program; called superb faculty, staff, and boards; networked directly and electronically with many other institutions in and beyond the ELCA; strengthened its ties with Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in serving the regions of the western U.S.; and implemented its current strategic plan focused on five areas of excellence: Biblical Preaching and Worship; Lifelong Learning for Leadership; Congregational Mission and Leadership; Children, Youth and Family Ministry; and World Christianity and Islam. From 2002-04, he served as president of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. He was only the second Lutheran to be elected to that office.

A search committee has already begun a nationwide search. The committee is chaired by Dr. Paul Dovre, vice-chair of the Luther Seminary Board of Directors and president emeritus of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn. "We invite the constituencies of Luther Seminary, including students, faculty, staff, congregational representatives and church leaders to share their insights about the future leadership needs of the Seminary with the Committee as we prepare for the search," said Dovre. "We solicit the prayers and counsel of all as we look for a leader with a deep commitment to Luther Seminary's mission, strategic direction and theological tradition."

To nominate an individual for the position of President of Luther Seminary, please contact Dr. Paul Dovre, Search Committee Chair at or c/o Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108, or visit the presidential search Web site at