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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

-- Alumni --
Rev. Dr. Duane Larson '75 named president of Wartburg Theological Seminary

By Linda Elliott, special to Scene

Rev. Dr. Duane Larson
Rev. Dr. Duane Larson '75
The Rev. Dr. Duane Larson '75 thinks back to the rebellious '70s when he was at PLU and had issues with some members of the campus administration much like many of his peers across the country.

If people had told him he'd be president of anything in the future, he would not have believed them.

"It is rather amusing to think about it now," said Larson with a chuckle. "I was a critic of some matters regarding the administration ... and now I'm in administration."

In July, Larson was named the 12th president of Wartburg Theological Seminary, which is located in Dubuque, Iowa. A seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wartburg was founded in 1854 and boasts more than 2,000 graduates.

"Throughout the intensive interview process and campus visit, it became clear that Dr. Larson has the vision, knowledge, skills and strong spiritual foundation to lead Wartburg Seminary into the 21st century," said Lynn C. Smith, member of the seminary board of directors and search committee.

Larson said his training at PLU served him well for this position, although he had no idea at the time that he would use it in quite this capacity. "Wartburg is much like PLU was when I experienced it. The institution has a keen interest in meeting the world and serving all its needs in joy, and doing so in the Christian tradition," he said.

After graduating from PLU, Larson earned a master of divinity divinity from Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He then earned a Ph.D. in systematic theology at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and seved as pastor at several churches in California.

Before accepting the job at Wartburg, Larson was professor of systematic theology at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg since 1993. He also is a prolific writer and speaker, and has served in numerous community and church organizations. He and his wife, Kathy Lane Larson, have two grown sons.

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