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January 05, 2023

By The Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Ph.D., Dean of Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Celebrating Our Own at the 2023 Trout Lectures

Jesus said: “And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:20)

The annual Nelson W. Trout Lectures in Preaching honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Nelson Wesley Trout (1920-1996), a Trinity alumnus and Trinity faculty member who was the first African American to be elected a Lutheran bishop. We are excited about this year’s program, which draws upon many members of the seminary community to cover the many roles that Dr. Trout himself embodied.

Our keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Kevin Dudley, who followed Dr. Trout’s footsteps as a Trinity alumnus who returned to teach on the faculty of his alma mater. Dr. Dudley teaches a wide variety of courses ranging from Reading the Contexts to Theology of Mission to Liberation Theology to Preaching Dialectically. Look for all these elements to surface in his two lectures on the theme “Word Up: Proclamation and the Promise of God – Micah 5:7; Jeremiah 29:11-14; Nehemiah 1-2.” Dr. Dudley will also preach at the worship service. on Thursday evening.

We are also delighted to host the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Wheeler back on campus. Like Dr. Trout, Pastor Wheeler served both as a congregational pastor and in synodical leadership after graduating from Trinity. The Trout Lectures are one stop on Pastor Wheeler’s book tour celebrating the release of his memoir and cultural critique, US: The Resurrection of American Terror. I had the privilege of reading the book when it was in manuscript form. I found it to be a deeply moving, skillful blend of personal experience, political and theological critique, and important scholarship on racism. It is a call to active repentance for the sin of white supremacy, expressed with a deep pastoral concern.

Since Dr. Trout’s experience of Trinity began as a student, it’s only fitting that this year’s Trout Lectures end with a panel of current students, who will respond to what they have heard from Dr. Dudley and Pastor Wheeler. Who knows where God will call this current generation of students to serve after their time at Trinity?!

We hope you will join us for the 2023 Trout Lectures. The complete schedule for the event is posted online. Registration is free, but we do ask you to register in advance so that we have an accurate headcount for lunch on Friday.

The Rev. Kathryn A. Kleinhans, Ph.D.