The president of Wartburg Theological Seminary, one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), will resign this summer after about eleven years of service.
The seminary's board of directors had accepted the resignation of Duane Larson earlier this month and on Wednesday appointed Dr. David Tiede to serve as interim president for the seminary starting July 1 – the date Larson's resignation takes effect.
Though Larson was credited by Board Chair Rita Dudley for having given the Wartburg community "the vision to step forward in the world," for having guided the seminary into the electronic age, and for having taken the seminary to national recognition, the "visionary and valued leader" said he was moved to submit his resignation by a "renewed sense of purpose and faith."
"For some time I have discerned that God is calling me to do something new in my pastoral and teaching vocation alongside the welcome new personal life I will begin with my wedding this spring," Larson wrote to the members of the board earlier this month.
"It will be good and right for me to be able to give full attention to the gift of marriage, as well as to enjoy some sabbatical, before moving to whatever God has in mind for the next period of my professional ministry," he added.
"I will leave this position with a sense of completion and peace that together we have done what God called us to do."
A little more than two weeks after Larson's announcement, Wartburg's board of directors decided to tap Dr. David Tiede as interim president, hailing him for his expertise in governance and board empowerment.
"He will serve as an advocate for Wartburg's strengths and continue to build relationships internally and externally for the good of the institution," Board Chair Dudley stated.
"We look forward to working with Dr. Tiede in proactive ways to re-shape Lutheran theological education in the next ten years," she concluded.
Established in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1854, Wartburg Theological Seminary is today one of eight theological schools of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, Wartburg educates women and men to serve the church as ordained and lay leaders.