Four Seminary Professors Celebrate 25 Years in the Ministry

At a special chapel service on October 20, family, students, and faculty celebrated the 25th anniversary in the ministry of Professor Jonathan Micheel, Professor Steven Pagels, Professor Paul Waldschmidt, and Professor Robert Wendland.

Professor Jonathan A. Micheel

Jonathan Andrew Micheel was born September 23, 1972, in Seward, NE, to Virgil and Mary Micheel. He was born again through the waters of Holy Baptism at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Gresham, NE, on October 1, 1972. He was confirmed in the Christian faith at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Watertown, WI, in 1986. He received his training for the pastoral ministry at Northwestern Preparatory School (1986–90), Northwestern College (1990–94), and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (1994–98). He served his vicar year at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Benton Harbor, MI.

After his ordination, Prof. Micheel served as pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Modesto, CA, and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Salt Lake City, UT. He has also served as district worship coordinator for the Nebraska District of WELS, circuit pastor for the Western Slope Circuit of that district, on the Hymnal Project Executive Committee, and as chairman of the Hymnal Project Rites Committee.

On July 6, 1996, Prof. Micheel married Cheryl Leach of Milwaukee. Cheryl, a graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College, currently teaches core math and English classes at Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School. The Micheels have been blessed with four children: Emma, who is married to Preston Pflaum and lives in Midvale, UT; Sophia, married to Seth Jones of West Valley City, UT; Ezekiel, a senior at Wisconsin Lutheran College; and Noah, a sophomore at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Professor Steven J. Pagels

Steven John Pagels, the son of Pastor Richard Pagels and Carol née Kerth, was born in Cibecue, AZ, on August 13, 1972. He became a member of the Savior’s family when he was baptized by his father at Gethsemane Lutheran Church of Cibecue on August 20. After his father accepted a call to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Johnson Creek, WI, he attended St. Peter Lutheran School in nearby Helenville. He confessed his Christian faith in the rite of confirmation at Immanuel in 1986. He attended Northwestern Preparatory School in Watertown, WI, being graduated in 1990. After a semester at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he returned to Watertown and was graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern College in 1994. He began his studies at the seminary the following fall. After serving as a vicar at King of Kings Lutheran Church, Clifton Park, NY, and as an emergency instructor at Huron Valley Lutheran High School, Westland, MI, he was graduated from the seminary in 1999 with the Master of Divinity degree. He was assigned to serve at St. John Lutheran Church, Wauwatosa, WI, and in 2012 accepted the call from St.

Matthew Lutheran Church, Oconomowoc, WI. He was called to the seminary in 2019 to serve as a professor of systematic theology and homiletics. In addition to his teaching duties, Prof. Pagels is pursuing a PhD in systematic theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

Much of Prof. Pagels’ pastoral work included work in evangelism, serving as outreach pastor at both St. John and St. Matthew. He was also a member and chairman of the Southeastern Wisconsin District Commission on Evangelism and conducted workshops around the synod on the role of the preschool in outreach. While in Wauwatosa, he taught for several years at Wisconsin Lutheran College and Wisconsin Lutheran High School. He currently serves on the board of Northwestern Publishing House and on the national board of Christian Life Resources.

Prof. Pagels married Shannon Marie Roe at Immanuel Church in Johnson Creek on August 17, 1996. Shannon works as a senior product owner for Zywave Inc. in Wauwatosa, WI. The Pagels have two daughters: Claire, 23, who is married to David Hirsch and teaches first grade at St. Matthew Lutheran School in Oconomowoc, and Margaret (Greta), 21, a junior at UW-La Crosse.

Professor Paul S. Waldschmidt

Paul Steven Waldschmidt was born as the youngest of six children to Delbert and Lorraine Waldschmidt on October 1, 1972, in Fond du Lac, WI. He was reborn through Holy Baptism two weeks later, on October 15, at his home. He attended elementary school and was confirmed in the Christian faith in 1986 at Faith Lutheran Church and School. He attended Winnebago Lutheran Academy in Fond du Lac (1986–1990) and received his pastoral training at Northwestern College, Watertown, WI (1990–1994) and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, graduating in 1999. He served his vicar year at Trinity Lutheran Church, Caledonia, WI, and served as an emergency instructor at Manitowoc Lutheran High School immediately following his vicar year. Over the course of his ministry, Prof. Waldschmidt pursued continuing education at WLS and received a Master of Sacred Theology (STM) in 2020, as well as a Master of Science in Education from Martin Luther College (2023).

Prof. Waldschmidt was assigned to St. Mark Lutheran Church, Normal, IL, where he served for the first 13 years of his ministry. In 2012, he accepted a call to Peace Lutheran Church, Hartford, WI, and served there until beginning his ministry at WLS in 2022. In addition to his parish work, Prof. Waldschmidt served as a circuit pastor and member of the Nominating Committee for the Southeastern Wisconsin District as well as a circuit pastor and coordinator for adult discipleship in the Western Wisconsin District.

On August 16, 1997, Prof. Waldschmidt married Beth Ann Marsden of Kaukauna, WI. Beth works as a kitchen and bath designer. The Lord has blessed Paul and Beth with two daughters: Grace, who is married to Josiah Winkel of Port Washington, and Nora, an 8th grader at Peace Lutheran School, Hartford.

Professor Robert E. Wendland

Robert Ernst Wendland, the son of Dr. Ernst R. Wendland and Margaret née Westendorf, was born in Lusaka, Zambia, Africa, on August 17, 1972. He was born again as a child of God on September 24, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lusaka. Prof. Wendland grew up in Lusaka, where his father served on the faculty of the Lutheran Seminary, the seminary of the Lutheran Church in Central Africa. He attended the International School of Lusaka and was confirmed in the Lutheran faith at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. He attended Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw and Northwestern College in Watertown, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1994. After serving as a vicar at Christ Lutheran Church, Eagle River, WI, and St. John Lutheran Church, Phelps, WI, he graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1998 with a Master of Divinity degree and was assigned to Redemption Lutheran Church, Milwaukee.

In 2003, Prof. Wendland accepted a call to return to Africa as a missionary living in Blantyre, Malawi. There he served as the circuit-riding pastor for up to 14 rural congregations. He also served as the chairman of the Mission Board of the Lutheran Church of Central Africa – Malawi Synod (2004–2007), chairman of the Board of Control for the Lutheran Bible Institute (2009–2016), recording secretary for the Lutheran Mission in Malawi (2009–2017), and director of operations for the One Africa Team (2016–2017). In 2017, he was called to serve as a professor of church history and homiletics at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

On August 3, 1996, Prof. Wendland married Rebecca Staude at First Lutheran Church, La Crosse, WI. Mrs. Wendland authored Bloom Where God Plants You, a 2013 publication that tells the story of life in Africa from a missionary wife’s perspective. The Wendlands have four children. Hannah serves as a tutor at Luther Preparatory School and is married to Abel Bain, a middler at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Nathanael, a junior, and Caleb, a freshman, both attend Martin Luther College. Bethany is a freshman at Luther Preparatory School.