The Board of Governors of Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Dr. Michael Nel as Acting President of the seminary, effective 15 July 2015. His term will run for two years.
“God’s call to serve the church often comes as a surprise,” Dr. Nel wrote upon receiving news of his appointment, “and this call to serve as Acting President of Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon is no exception. I am deeply grateful to God and the Church for this opportunity to serve. This seminary has a long and distinguished history, and I believe that it has a very important future in preparing women and men for pastoral and diaconal ministry and lay leadership. I am excited to be at the Seminary during this period in which the church is redefining itself and its ministry in the context of societal changes and transition.”
Dr. Nel succeeds Rev. Dr. Kevin A. Ogilvie, who resigned as LTS President after nine-and-a-half years of service. Dr. Ogilvie will return to parish ministry and has accepted a call to St. James Lutheran (Lexington, SC), a member congregation of the ELCA.
An alumnus of LTS (MDiv ’71, STM ’77), Dr. Nel holds an earned research doctorate (Doctor of Theology) in Pastoral Theology from the University of South Africa. He completed an internship in Pastoral Counseling and served as a pastoral counselor with the Living Systems Counseling Centre (West Vancouver, BC). Currently, he is a fellow member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a Registered Clinical Counsellor with the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors.
Dr. Nel’s parish experience includes having served three congregations in British Columbia:
• Redeemer Lutheran (Kitimat)
• First Lutheran (Vancouver)
• Good Shepherd Lutheran (Coquitlam, as interim)
Before moving to BC, he had served at Hodgeville Lutheran Parish in Saskatchewan.
In recent years, his course “Using Systems Theory in Your Ministry” has proven popular among clergy of many denominations. He earlier taught a course on pastoral counseling in South Africa and led workshops on ministry there and in Seattle, WA. He has also served as Director of Consultation to Clergy, a support service of four synods of Region 1 of the ELCA and the NW District of the LCMS that provided support and consultation to Lutheran Clergy and congregations in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.
Lutheran Theological Seminary Saskatoon is owned by the four Western Synods of the ELCIC. Founded in 1913, the Seminary has trained over 1200 pastors, diaconal ministers, bishops, chaplains, missionaries, and lay leaders, sending alumni/ae to parishes in Western Canada and around the world.
Dr. Nel will be installed and celebrated at the seminary’s Opening Worship service, 15 September 2015, beginning at 7 p.m. Bishop Sid Haugen of the Saskatchewan synod will preach at the service.