On-site research by appointment recommended

Concordia Historical Institute remembers Walkout 50 years later

Concordia Historical Institute remembers the Concordia Seminary St. Louis Walkout 50 years later

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—February 19, 2024 will mark 50 years since the majority of the faculty and students at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis left campus in a dramatic event that is now known in Lutheran circles simply as “the Walkout.” At odds with The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s confession of faith on Scripture, Law and Gospel, creation, and more, these individuals left the seminary—and eventually the LCMS—going on to found Concordia Seminary in Exile (“Seminex”) and join what would become the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). During the 68th Regular Convention of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, conducted at the Baird Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 29–August 3, 2023, Synod in convention passed Resolution 4-07, which included the following entreaty to Concordia Historical Institute to produce Walkout resources for Synod and its members:

WHEREAS, Concordia Historical Institute (CHI) and Concordia Publishing House (CPH) have initiated projects to advance the study and understanding of the historical and theological factors that culminated in the events of February 1974, including Seminex in Print and Rediscovering the Issues, along with two forthcoming books: Walkout or Exile? and The Bad Boll Conferences;…

Resolved, That members of Synod would study this period in our history and avail themselves of the resources made available for us by CHI, CPH, and the seminaries, as well as A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles…

Proceedings of the 2023 (68th) LCMS Convention

With this in mind, Concordia Historical Institute is making a number of resources available as we mark this important anniversary. Learn about CHI’s publications and events that will help you, your family, and your parish understand the Walkout. 50 years later, it is more important than ever that we mourn this sad division within Christ’s Church and its widely-felt repercussions, while also giving thanks that God sustained the right preaching and teaching of His Word in the midst of great strife.


As part of our Monograph Series, CHI has already published two works relating to the Walkout. One is a scholarly tool and the other a Bible study.

Seminex in Print: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Published Material and Selected Archival Resources for Historical Research

Nothing has shaken American Lutheranism more than the conflict within the Missouri Synod in the early 1970s. Faced with conflicting views on the inspiration, inerrancy, and interpretation of the Scriptures, a majority of faculty and students left Concordia Seminary, walking out to form their own “seminary in exile”, Seminex. The Concordia Historical Institute’s Seminex in Print is the definitive collection of the history, politics, and theology of the walkout. Compiled by David Berger, professor emeritus and longtime director of Library Services at Concordia Seminary, Seminex in Print organizes major printed works, book reviews, Lutheran periodicals, general periodicals, and other media and archival content relevant to the Seminary walkout of 1974.

Seminex in Print is the first volume of Concordia Historical Institute’s Monograph Series, dedicated not only to preserving Lutheran history but also stimulating new scholarship on the same.

Seminex in Print is available in the CHI lobby shop (in-person only) and through CPH and Amazon.

Rediscovering the Issues Surrounding the 1974 Concordia Seminary Walkout

Book cover of Rediscovering the Issues Surrounding the 1974 Concordia Seminary Walkout, featuring a photo from the Walkout: the doors underneath Luther Tower are boarded up, with "EXILED" written across them in white paint.

The Walkout and the creation of Christ Seminary—Seminex was the culmination of theological conflicts that had been brewing for decades. Rediscovering the Issues Surrounding the 1974 Concordia Seminary Walkout presents the important doctrinal issues that contributed to the conflict and, ultimately, the shattering of a church body.

In this book from Concordia Historical Institute, twelve theological scholars examine the causes and issues involved during this tumultuous time. Was it a battle for the Bible? Or was it primarily a contest between two men—Jacob A. O. Preus and John H. Tietjen—revolving around the historical-critical method’s approach to biblical interpretation and the understanding of what constituted unionism? Was it primarily a political institutional power struggle? Or was there more to it?

Each chapter addresses a different doctrinal issue and explores the historical and theological background of it.

Rediscovering the Issues is available in the CHI lobby shop (in-person only) and through CPH and Amazon.


The Spring 2024 issue of Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly deals exclusively with the Walkout, featuring full-color photos never-before published and four articles written by men who were seminarians at the time of the Walkout. Learn more and order a copy today here.


A Community in Crisis: Personal Reflections on the Concordia Seminary Walkout

Join Concordia Historical Institute on February 19, 2024 from 4:00–5:30pm for “A Community in Crisis: Personal Reflections on the Concordia Seminary Walkout.”

This moderated discussion features eyewitnesses and family members of individuals involved in the 1974 Concordia Seminary Walkout and the subsequent formation of Christ Seminary in Exile (Seminex). We’ll be exploring the effect of this fateful day on the community and families on campus in this special event.

Admission to this talk is free, though donations are always appreciated! Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited and an RSVP is required for this event. This event will not be livestreamed.

To secure your seat at this special event, please contact us by email, online contact form, or phone at 314-505-7900.

Fifty Years of Perspective: The 1974 Concordia Seminary Walkout

March 14 at 1:30pm, join the Concordia Historical Institute Auxiliary for “Fifty Years of Perspective: The 1974 Concordia Seminary Walkout.” Rev. Dr. Gerhard Bode, professor and department chair of historical theology at Concordia Seminary will lead this talk. More information forthcoming.

Please RSVP for the event by March 7 by email, online contact form, or phone at 314-505-7900.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email