Commencement Speakers

Dean O. Wenthe

The Rev. Dean O. Wenthe was born in Effingham, Illinois.  He attended and graduated from Concordia College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1965; from Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in 1967; and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in l971.  His first call was to teach Hebrew and Old Testament on the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois.  While teaching at the seminary, he earned a Th.M. degree in Old Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1975.  In 1977, he accepted a call to serve as pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Atlantic, Iowa.  In 1980, he was called back to the seminary as Associate Professor of Old Testament and earned degrees (M.A., 1985; Ph.D., 1991) in the Hebrew Scriptures with minors in Judaica and ethics from the University of Notre Dame.   He also served as pastoral assistant at Emanuel Lutheran Church, New Haven, Indiana, from 1990 to 1996.

In 1996, Dr. Wenthe was elected president of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  After serving three five-year terms during which a large library addition was built and a studio for the production of “Worship for Shut-Ins,” Dr. Wenthe retired in 2011.  In the same year, the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary bestowed the Doctor of Divinity-Honoris Causa on Dr. Wenthe.  In 2012, he was called to serve as President of the Concordia University System and continues in that office currently.  He was an associate editor of the Concordia Self-Study Bible (1986) and General Editor of the Concordia Commentary Series (1996-2016).  He also edited the volume on Jeremiah and Lamentations in the Ancient Christian Commentary, InterVarsity Press, 2009.

Dr. Wenthe married Linda Marie Arnholt on July 26, 1969.  They have been blessed with four sons and eight grandchildren.  Linda Wenthe is a registered nurse and practiced for thirty years at the Townehouse Retirement Home, adjacent to the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary.