Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Collins, Peter M.

Second Advisor

Augenstein, Jack

Third Advisor

Sohn, Lawrence E.


The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod has developed the largest Protestant system of church-related schools in the United States. For 150 years, this system of schools has continued to succeed and grow. Today, the Missouri Synod educational system includes day care centers, early childhood programs, elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, and seminaries. In spite of the massive cultural changes which have occurred in the past 150 years, the LCMS schools have managed to maintain their unique identity. To understand the unique identity and philosophy of the Missouri Synod schools, one must understand the theological foundations which have I supported and sustained the Missouri Synod educational system. These theological foundations were championed by Q. F. W. Walther, the first President of The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. Much of Walther's legacy remains in the schools of the Missouri Synod. To gain a better understanding of the schools of the Missouri Synod, one must understand Walther. In order to understand Walther, one must understand his doctrine. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the life of Walther and the theological and philosophical principles which became the basis for his educational thought. This investigation includes how Walther proposed and implemented his theological beliefs in the Missouri Synod educational system. Finally, this study involves an investigation of the influence Walther continues to have in the schools of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.



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