At the opening worship on Monday evening, Rev. Steven Pagels was installed as a professor of dogmatics and homiletics and Prof. Earle Treptow was installed as the thirteenth president of the seminary.
Professor Steven Pagels served on the seminary’s governing board for a year before joining the faculty. “When I was a member of the WLS board, we were constantly repeating this mantra to remind ourselves of the seminary’s primary mission: pastors training pastors to be pastors,” he says. “Serving for the last twenty years in parish ministry has equipped me to do that, to share with students the many blessings I have received and the many lessons I have learned, to play a small role in equipping the next generation of WELS pastors. For me, the thought is both exciting and humbling.”
Treptow is looking forward to helping lead the seminary’s mission. “The men the Lord has called to serve on the faculty are tremendously talented and eager to serve. They are committed to the work entrusted to us and to working together in a brotherly way,” he says.
President Treptow is a 1993 graduate of the seminary and was assigned to an exploratory mission in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In 1997 he accepted a call to serve as Director of Admissions for Pastoral Studies at Martin Luther College. He then served as pastor at Zion, Denver, Colorado, from 2002-2016. While at Zion he also for taught for three years at Rocky Mountain Lutheran High School as a part-time instructor.
President Treptow has also served as a member of the Commission on Parish Schools, circuit pastor, contributing editor to Forward in Christ, chairman of the WELS Compensation Review Committee, advisor to the WELS Human Resources Committee, and on the Hymnal Project Scripture Committee. He served as a Pastor-at-Large member of the WELS Synodical Council after 2007. In 2010 he was elected President of the Nebraska District and represented the Conference of Presidents on the Synodical Council. He accepted a call to the seminary to serve as a professor in 2016. He and his wife, Jeanne, have three children.
Professor Pagels was born in Cibecue, Arizona, where his dad, Richard, served as a missionary on the Apache Indian reservation. He spent his vicar year at King of Kings in Clifton Park, New York and, after graduating from the seminary in 1999, he was assigned to St. John, Wauwatosa, Wis. In 2012, he accepted a call to St. Matthew, Oconomowoc, Wis.
He has served as an adjunct religion professor for two years at Wisconsin Lutheran College and taught one year at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. He served as the chairman of the Southeastern Wisconsin District’s Commission on Evangelism, presented around the districts on using preschools for outreach, contributed devotions for six years for Forward in Christ, served as a consultant for the Commission on Congregational Consulting, and is on the national board for Christian Life Resources.
He and his wife, Shannon, have two daughters.