The LCA/NZ’s Assistant Bishop, Rev Dr Andrew Pfeiffer, has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne (CTSFW) in the United States.
Dr Pfeiffer, who also lectures in pastoral theology and coordinates the vicarage program at Australian Lutheran College (ALC) in North Adelaide, was honoured by the US seminary on 22 May for ‘his years of faithful service in the Lutheran Church of Australia’.
LCA/NZ Bishop John Henderson said Dr Pfeiffer, who has served as assistant bishop since 2015, was a great support to him in his churchwide role and that the recognition was well-deserved.
‘He is a long-serving, reliable and faithful servant of the church’, Bishop Henderson said. ‘He is a strong contributor to the work of the LCA/NZ and is very generous and attentive in his support for the role of bishop.’
ALC Principal James Winderlich said the college community celebrated the honour with Dr Pfeiffer.
‘It is a fitting recognition of his service, which extends beyond Australia, as a teacher and theologian of the church’, Pastor Winderlich said. ‘We thank God for his clear witness of the gospel through that service and for the fruit that it produces in the lives of people. Dr Pfeiffer is a valued member of the ALC community, a community of people who find their joy through the service in which we all share, no matter what that service asks of us. We applaud this honour.’
Rev Dr John Kleinig, a long-term colleague of Dr Pfeiffer’s at ALC, was quoted in the award citation at CTSFW: ‘He has been a much-loved parish pastor, a devout teacher of pastoral theology with a passion for the care of souls, a wise bishop with a concern for the implementation of sound confessional theology, an effective contributor to the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Australia and an influential contributor to many different Lutheran churches around the world. And all of that with much modesty and winsome grace. This honour is indeed well deserved.’
The award citation also noted that Dr Pfeiffer ‘has authored several scholarly theological articles known for combining substantive biblical and confessional Lutheran theology with a passion for mission outreach. He is a widely respected lecturer and writer in the Lutheran Church of Australia’.
Dr Pfeiffer said he was ‘thankful, honoured and humbled’ at receiving the award. ‘The integration of confessing the faith, pastoral care and mission is something I seek to practise and pass on to others’, he said.
Already with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Adelaide, Dr Pfeiffer graduated from the then Luther Seminary (now ALC) with a Bachelor of Theology degree in 1983. He was ordained as a pastor in the LCA the same year at St Peter Moorook in South Australia’s Riverland and then served as a parish pastor at Hampstead in suburban Adelaide.
Dr Pfeiffer completed a Master of Sacred Theology degree in 1991 at CTSFW and began lecturing at Luther Seminary in 1992, where he has served in a variety of roles, including Director of Field Education and Head of the School of Pastoral Theology. In 2002, he earned a PhD in Missiology from CTSFW.
Dr Pfeiffer is married to Sue and they have three married children and eight grandchildren.