Pastors With Advanced Degrees Who Choose to Stay in the Parish
Rev. Dr. Scott Murray
Rev. Dr. Richard Stuckwish
Rev. Dr. Burnell Eckardt
Rev. Dr. Frank Senn
As I thought about the many well-credentialed pastors in my denomination I often wondered if many of them had aspirations of positions in academia. Undoubted some do. Possibly many tried and could not secure a place for any number of reasons. Yet there are many who would be great assets to the universities and seminaries, yet who choose to remain in the parish. I am certainly not aware of all who possess advanced degrees and doctorates on the clergy roster, but the ones I know of seem content to be pastors. Dr. Stuckwisch, who I noted in the last post is one. Another is Dr. Burnell Eckardt, or Dr. Karl Fabrizius. All three of these men, by the way, are associated with the worship journal Gottesdienst. Still, there are others out there who have taken the time and energy to earn these terminal degrees, men from a variety of backgrounds and interests. One in my district would be Dr. Timothy Roser, recently elected as the first vice president. He holds the degrees STM and the Ph.D from Concordia, St. Louis, and teaches part-time for the SMP program. Two others would include Dr. Scott Murray, fifth vice president of the LCMS and a published author among other achievements, and Dr. Frank Senn, a noted liturgiologist and accomplished author (and the only one listed here who is from outside of my synod). I am currently using his magnus opus, Christian Liturgy - Catholic and Evangelical as part of my research. Obviously many of these men use their academic achievements for the greater good of the church by teaching (sometimes overseas at partner church bodies) and by writing. Yet what fascinates me are why these men remain in that first call, the humble call as a local spiritual shepherd. How highly they must view this sacred trust. I'd love to interview some of these men on this very topic; pick their brains and see what moved them to stay where they are. Maybe someday. Someday when I'm not overwhelmed with my own graduate work.....