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Formerly known as Spencer Theological Conference, the aim of the Christianity & Culture Conference is to help teach and inform our laity, pastors, congregations, and neighbors where they live at the intersection of faith and culture.

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Previous Speakers

July 7-8, 2023

Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller

Competing Stories: God and the World

About the speaker: From the website – 

Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller is pastor of St. Paul and Jesus Deaf Lutheran Churches in Austin, TX. He is the author of Take They Our Life: Martin Luther’s Theology of Martyrdom (2019), A Martyr’s Faith for a Faithless World (CPH, 2019), Has American Christianity Failed? (CPH, 2016) and Final Victory: Contemplating the Death and Funeral of a Christian (CPH, 2010). He is host of What-Not, The Podcast, posts videos on YouTube at wolfmueller1, and has a number of other theological projects that all end up on his blog, Bryan is a member of the Doxology Collegium. He and his wife Keri live with their four children in Round Rock, TX.

 More about Rev. Wolfmueller:

Rev. Bryan Wolfmueller graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1999, Concordia Theological Seminary – Ft. Wayne in 2005, and received an honorary doctorate from Concordia University – Irvine in 2022. Along with hosting Table Talk Radio and previously mentioned podcasts, he is also an extensive traveler and is scheduled to host a trip to Germany with Rev. Dr. Carl Fickenscher from May 31-June 12, 2023. Information about the trip and his other speaking engagements can be found here:


Information and photo taken from:



Mr. Joshua Pauling

From Schoolhouse to Sanctuary: Reuniting Education, Faith, and Family

Synopsis: We are witnessing massive cultural shifts take place right before our eyes, Foundational questions about education and truth, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, technology and media, and so much more are on the table. Come join us for a conference exploring these topics and many others as we consider how we can equip ourselves, our families, and our congregations to recover a vision of Christian fidelity that strengthens the bonds between education, faith and family in a way that sustains meaningful living and preserves us in the faith until life everlasting.

Audio for the 2022 Conference is available for a donation. Call Christ the King Lutheran Church for details.

About the speakerJoshua Pauling worked in public education for thirteen years as a high school history teacher and coach. Both of his parents and his wife were also public educators, which has given him an insider’s perspective on the challenges teachers, parents, and students face. He is now a classical educator who writes and speaks at the intersections of Christianity and culture, and runs a family business building custom furniture. He is a frequent guest on Issues, Etc. Radio Show, and his writings have been featured in AreoFORMA JournalFront Porch RepublicMere OrthodoxyModern ReformationPublic DiscourseQuilletteReal Clear EducationSalvo MagazineThe Imaginative ConservativeTouchstone Magazine, among others. He studied at Messiah College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Winthrop University. He is head elder at All Saints Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Charlotte, NC, while he and his wife Kristi have two children who are being classically homeschooled.


Rev. Dr. Wallace Schultz

The Crisis We Face: God's 100% Solution

About the speaker: The Rev. Wallace Schulz served as associate Lutheran Hour speaker from 1977 to 2002. Born and raised in Parkston, South Dakota, he attended Concordia Teachers College, Seward, Nebraska, and Concordia Seminary in Springfield, Illinois.

Before becoming associate speaker for The Lutheran Hour, Schulz served on the faculty of Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was assistant pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa, and was on the staff of Concordia College, River Forest, Illinois. Schulz has participated in several World Congresses on Evangelism, and in 1986 he received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his distinguished service to humanity.

Information taken from:


Rev. Dr. John Oberdeck

Bridging the Generation Gaps: Connecting Through Intergenerational Ministry

About the speaker: I retired from CUW in 2017. I occasionally teach courses online for the Director of Church Ministry Degree program. I’m active as a member of the CUW Alumni Council, participate at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, support the Parish Pros (non-teaching commissioned ministers of the LCMS), work with The Lutheran Youth Room website, and fill-in for area pastors as needed. My wife and I do a lot of traveling.

Information taken from:


Rev. Brent Kuhlman, STM

The Lutheran Reformation - Dr. Luther Nailed It!

About the speaker: Rev. Kuhlman is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, NE, as well as co-editor of LOGIA Forum and co-host of the “Table Talk” broadcast from KNGN McCook, NE.


Rev. Dr. John Pless


About the speakerJohn T. Pless was born in Hickory, North Carolina, to John A. and Betty Pless. He is a graduate of Texas Lutheran College in Seguin, Texas (B.A in Theology and Philosophy) and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio (Master of Divinity). He entered the ministry of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod by colloquy in 1983. From 1979-1983 he was on the pastoral staff at the Chapel of the Resurrection at Valparaiso University. He served as campus pastor at University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis from 1983-2000 when he was called to the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne where he still serves as assistant professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions and the director of Field Education. He was awarded an honorary doctorate (D.Litt.) by Concordia University – Chicago in 2018.

In addition to his work at Fort Wayne, Professor Pless has served as a visiting professor of practical theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa. He frequently lectures at seminaries and pastoral conferences in Madagascar, the Philippines, India, Japan, Sweden, Norway and Indonesia. He is also the Luther Academy Fellow for Madagascar.

He was a founding editor of Logia: A Lutheran Journal of Theology in 1992 and continued as a book review editor for that journal until 2017. He is a member of the board of editorial advisers for Lutheran Quarterly. Professor Pless is the author or editor of twelve books, as well as many articles and chapters in theological journals and books. Several of these books have been translated into German, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Turkish, Portuguese and Chinese. Most recently, he contributed fourteen entries to the new Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions, edited by Timothy Wengert (Baker Academic, 2017), and four essays in The Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation, edited by Mark Lamport (Rown & Littefield 2017).

He was on the Agenda Committee for Lutheran Service Book and he served as one of the primary drafters for the Synod’s revision of Martin Luther’s Catechism with Explanation (2017). Over the years he has served on several LCMS boards, committees and task forces. He is currently chairman of the Synod’s Commission on Doctrinal Review and he represents the Synod in official dialogues with the North American Lutheran Church. He served two terms as president of the English-language section of the International Wilhelm Loehe Society. In 2013, his former students recognized his 60th birthday with a festschrift, Theology is Eminently Practical: Essays in Honor of John T. Pless, edited by Jacob Corzine and Bryan Wolfmueller.

This information was taken from:


Rev. Dr. Charles Arand

Living as Americans within the Christian Story

About the speakerDr. Charles P. Arand is the Eugene E. and Nell S. Fincke Graduate Professor of Theology at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

A faculty member since 1989, Arand is professor of Systematic Theology and director of the Center for the Care of Creation.

He previously occupied the Waldemar A. and June Schuette Endowed Chair in Systematic Theology (2003-15).

His areas of interest and expertise include the Lutheran Confessions and theology of creation.

He received his Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) and Doctor of Theology (Th.D.) from Concordia Seminary (1984, 1987, 1989). He also received his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from Concordia College in Milwaukee (now Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon) (1980).

He has translated the Apology of the Augsburg Confession for the Kolb-Wengert edition of the Book of Concord (Fortress). In addition to publishing more than 50 articles, he has written two books: Testing the Boundaries: Windows into Lutheran Identity (Concordia Publishing House, CPH); and That I May Be His Own: A Theological Overview of Luther’s Catechisms (CPH). He has co-authored a book with Robert Kolb, The Genius of Luther’s Theology: The Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church (Baker Books). His latest contribution comes as a joint work with Seminary Professor Emeritus Dr. Robert Kolb and James Nestingen, A Historical and Theological Introduction to the Lutheran Confessions (Fortress Press). His other research interests include the theology of creation to which end he served as the primary drafter for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) document “Together with All Creatures: Caring for God’s Living Earth.”

In addition to his Seminary work, he has served on CTCR (for which he has drafted three documents) and as a drafter on the Synod committee responsible for revising the Explanation to Luther’s Small Catechism.

He and his wife, Betty, have two children, Becky and Benjamin; and one daughter-in-law, Bethany. He is a whooping crane enthusiast and a self-described “craniac.”

This information was taken from:


Dr. Paul Maier

Christ or Caricature

Synopsis: The “Christ or Caricature” seminar will deal with the false versions of Jesus in today’s world, and then show how the Gospels, supported by new findings in archaeology and history, present His true image. This event will not only be informative, but will also help believers defend the faith. Dr. Maier will show how it has never been easier to defend Christianity on the basis of recent historical and archaeological findings!

About the speaker: Dr. Maier is The Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University and a much-published author of both scholarly and popular works. His novels include two historical documentaries: Pontius Pilate and The Flames of Rome, as well as a theological thriller that became #1 national bestseller in religious fiction: A Skeleton in God’s Closet. A sequel, More Than a Skeleton, appeared in 2003.

His non-fiction works include In the Fullness of Time, a book that correlates secular evidence from the ancient world impinging on Jesus and early Christianity; Josephus – The Essential Works, a new translation/commentary on writings of the first- century Jewish historian; and Eusebius — The Church History, a similar book on the first Christian historian. More than seven million Maier books are now in print in seventeen languages, as well as over 250 scholarly articles and reviews in professional journals.

Dr. Maier lectures widely, appears frequently in national radio, television, and newspaper interviews, and has received numerous awards. He has also penned seven children’s books, and produced three four-hour video series dealing with Jesus, St. Paul, and the early church. Detailed descriptions of his books, CDs, and videos may be found by clicking on the tabs at the top of this page.

This information was taken from For additional information, including synopses of Dr. Maier’s books, you can visit his website.

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