On-site research by appointment recommended

LCMS, Board for Higher Education, Conference of College and Seminary Faculties of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1897-1961.

  • Collection Number: A-0006
  • Collection Size: 0.8 linear feet


The collection is open for research under the normal access policies of the Institute.


Conferences of the professors from the colleges and seminaries operated by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod were held beginning in the late 19th century. A resolution adopted at the Synod’s 1893 convention (Verhandlungen, 1893, p. 79) called for annual conferences of the teachers at the Synod’s “Gymnasien und Seminarien,” with the synodical president also taking part. The purpose was to establish uniformity in instruction among the schools. Travel costs were to be covered from the synodical treasury. The first conference apparently met on 5-6 July 1893 in Chicago (“Professoren-Conferenz,” Der Lutheraner 49 [20 June 1893]: 102). In 1896 the Synod changed the frequency of the conference from annual to biennial (Verhandlungen, 1896, p. 131) and stipulated that the meeting should last three days.

The earliest conference represented by material in the collection took place in 1897 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1908 the Synod resolved that the conference should meet every three years in the year prior to general conventions of the Synod (Verhandlungen, 1908, p. 76). The Synod added a stipulation in 1923 that the presidents of the educational institutions meet with the synodical president prior to the professors’ conferences (Verhandlungen, 1923, p. 28). No reports have been found for conferences in 1913, 1922, 1931 or 1937.

When the synodical Board for Higher Education was established in 1938, program planning and arrangement services for the conferences were handled through its staff. The 1940 conference was the first held under the auspices of the BHE. The conference became an advisory body to the Board for Higher Education, and the conferences were joint meetings of the board and the professors. In 1943, for example, the conference program dealt primarily with a survey of the synodical colleges relating to ministerial training and provided for an exchange of opinion between the professors and the board. Findings and conclusions of the discussion were then forwarded to the synodical convention the next year.

No conference was held in 1949. The Board for Higher Education canceled it at the urging of the synodical Board of Directors because of the financial condition of the Synod. Despite an appeal from the faculty of Concordia College, St. Paul, the 1950 convention amended the bylaws to allow the BHE to call the conferences at its discretion rather than holding to a rigid three-year schedule (Handbook of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1949, Bylaw 6.11; Proceedings, 1950, pp. 262-64, 329). Regional and departmental conferences were also authorized.

In 1952 the conference asked its Continuation Committee to draw up a statement of organization for the conference. In 1955 this statement, specifying purposes, membership, attendance, officers and committees of the conference, was adopted. The conference name was designated as “Conference of College and Seminary Faculties of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.”

Although the 1962 synodical convention encouraged that the “traditional conference of synodical college and seminary faculties” continue to be held (Proceedings, 1962, p. 70), it appears that the last of these conferences was held in 1961. The bylaw (6.11) pertaining to meetings of synodical faculties was deleted from the Handbook in 1969 on the grounds that “current practices make certain synodical Handbook regulations obsolete, inapplicable, or impracticable” (Proceedings, 1969, p. 129).


Folders are organized by dates when the conferences were held. Through 1928 the materials consist merely of printed programs of the meetings. Minutes of the conference are first available for 1934. Beginning with 1940 the files contain pre-conference schedules and copies or outlines of papers to be presented and discussed. Minutes and proceedings of the conferences are also included.

The programs through 1928 are in German. The 1934 minutes contain a mixture of German and English. All materials from 1940 on are in English.

Summaries of the conference proceedings and selected papers were published in Lutheran Education in 1952 and 1955. See the bibliography for references.


f.1 Professoren-Conferenz (1897: Milwaukee)
f.2 Professoren-Conferenz (1901)
f.3 Professoren-Conferenz (1908: St. Paul)
f.4 Professoren Konferenz (1910: Maywood, Ill.)
f.5 Professorenkonferenz (1916: Chicago)
f.6 Professorenkonferenz (1922: LaGrange, Ill.)
f.7 Professorenkonferenz (1925: Lombard, Ill.)
f.8 Professorenkonferenz (1928: Hinsdale, Ill.)
f.9 Professors’ Conference (1934: Milwaukee)
f.10 Professors’ Conference – Pre-Conference Material (1940: River Forest, Ill.)
f.11 Professors’ Conference – Minutes (1940: River Forest, Ill.)
f.12 Professors’ Conference (1943: Milwaukee)
f.13 Professors’ Conference (1946: Milwaukee)
f.14 Professors’ Conference – Lewis W. Spitz Copy (1946: Milwaukee)
f.15 Conference of Professors and Instructors (1952: Fort Wayne)
f.16 Conference of Professors and Instructors (1955: River Forest, Ill.)
f.17 Conference of College and Seminary Faculties (1961: Fort Wayne)


The materials in this record group were assembled from several sources within the Institute’s holdings. Some were removed from the files of the Board for Higher Education. Others were deposited at the Institute by seminary professors who participated in the conferences.


A.G[raebner]., “Die Conferenz der Lehrer an den höheren Lehranstalten,” Der Lutheraner 51 (10 September 1895): 155. This conference met 25-27 August in Chicago.

A. L. Graebner, “Professoren-Conferenz,” Der Lutheraner 53 (15 June 1897): 101. The conference was to meet 7-9 July in Milwaukee.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die Conferenz der Lehrer an unsern höheren Lehranstalten,” Der Lutheraner 55 (25 July 1899): 132. The conference met 6-8 July in Milwaukee.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die sogenannte Professorenconferenz,” Der Lutheraner 57 (23 July 1901): 230. Met 29 June-2 July in Milwaukee.

A.G[raebner]., “Die Professorenconferenz,” Der Lutheraner 59 (21 July 1903): 230-31. Met 30 June-2 July at Addison, Ill.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die Conferenz der Professoren an unsern höheren Lehranstalten,” Der Lutheraner 61 (18 July 1905): 229. Met in Detroit during the synodical convention.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die Konferenz der Lehrer an unsern höheren Lehranstalten,” Der Lutheraner 63 (16 July 1907): 229-30. Met 1-3 July at Springfield, Ill.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die sogenannte Professorenkonferenz,” Der Lutheraner 66 (12 July 1910): 219-20. Met 28-30 June at Maywood, Ill.

G.E., “Die Professorenkonferenz,” Der Lutheraner 72 (12 Sept. 1916): 351. Met 28-30 June at Chicago.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die Konferenz der Professoren an unsern höheren Lehranstalten,” Der Lutheraner 75 (15 July 1919): 217-18. Met 1-3 July at Evanston, Ill.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die sogenannte Professorenkonferenz,” Der Lutheraner 81 (4 Aug. 1925): 256. Met 1-3 July at Lombard, Ill.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Unsere Professorenkonferenz,” Der Lutheraner 84 (17 July 1928): 254-55. Met at Hinsdale, Ill.

L.F[uerbringer]., “Die Professorenkonferenz,” Der Lutheraner 90 (7 Aug. 1934): 264-65. Met 17-19 July at Milwaukee.

L. Heinrichsmeyer, “Unsere Professorenkonferenz,” Der Lutheraner 96 (27 Aug. 1940): 293. Met 29 July-1 Aug. at River Forest, Ill.

Martin J. Neeb, “Professors’ Conference,” Lutheran Witness 59 (3 Sept. 1940): 309.

[Theodore]G[raebner]., “Convention of Seminary and College Professors,” Lutheran Witness 62 (31 August 1943): 294. Met 10-13 August at Milwaukee.

“Professors’ Conference,” Lutheran Education 79 (September 1943): 43.

“Professors’ Conference,” Lutheran Education 82 (October 1946): 87. Met 20-23 August at Milwaukee.

Arthur C. Repp, “Professors’ Conference,” Lutheran Witness 65 (5 November 1946): 379-80.

Allan Nauss, “Professors Hold Conference,” Lutheran Witness 71 (no. 19, 16 September 1952): 10-11. Met 17-20 August at Fort Wayne.

“1952 Conference of Professors and Instructors,” Lutheran Education 88 (October 1952): 91-92.

Proceedings of the 1952 Professors’ Conference, Lutheran Education 88 (November 1952): 97-156.

Corr., “Synodical Faculties Meet,” Lutheran Witness 74 (13 September 1955): 334-35. Met 14-17 August at River Forest, Ill.

Proceedings of the 1955 Professors’ Conference, Lutheran Education 91 (November 1955): 97-160.

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