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September 29, 2021

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

In Memoriam – President Emeritus Dennis A. Anderson

“I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

In sure and certain hope of the resurrection, we share the news of the death on Thursday, September 23, of Trinity Lutheran Seminary President Emeritus Dennis A. Anderson.

Anderson served as Trinity’s president from 1990 – 2000. He presided over a decade of enrollment growth and a significant increase in the seminary endowment.

Beyond the numbers, President Anderson’s leadership was manifested in fruitful relationships with ecumenical and interfaith partners. In 1994, TrinityLutheran Seminary was one of the founding members of the Theological Consortium of Greater Columbus, connecting Trinity with the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and the Pontifical College Josephinum. In 1998, Trinity Lutheran Seminary welcomed Bexley Hall, an Episcopal seminary, onto its campus.

President Anderson’s most visible legacy on Trinity’s campus is the Promise for Life Holocaust Memorial, which stands at the corner of Main Street and College Avenue. Inspired by a lecture by Holocaust survivor and artist Alfred Tibor, President Anderson commissioned Mr. Tibor to create a sculpture embodying this vision:

“The fires of hate and evil produce the ashes of death, overcome by the fires of God’s love for all humankind pulling us forward in life toward God’s ultimate hope and promise. The piece would be a reminder of the vision of God in the face of the Jewish Holocaust and all the other silent holocausts around us – blacks and other “minorities,” women, children, Bosnia, South Africa, South and Central America, Native Americans, etc.”

The plaza surrounding the finished sculpture, which was dedicated in 1999, is paved with over 100 bricks inscribed with the word “Remember” in different languages.

Our prayers are with Barb and the whole Anderson family, as well as all those who have been touched by Denny’s life and ministry.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30pm (Central) on Saturday, October 2, at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Omaha, Nebraska. A livestream will be available via the congregation’s website,

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Dennis. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

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

Trinity Lutheran Seminary forms leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world.