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Siikavirta Accepts Call to CTSFW Faculty
FORT WAYNE, January 26, 2024—Dr. Samuli Siikavirta of Helsinki, Finland, has accepted a call to join the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), as an assistant professor of exegetical theology. The CTSFW Board of Regents extended the call to Siikavirta at its November 2023 meeting.
“The news of Dr. Siikavirta's acceptance of the call to our faculty brings our seminary community great joy,” said Dr. Charles Gieschen, CTSFW provost. “His fine academic credentials as a young New Testament scholar, his ten years of faithful pastoral experience in a challenging context for confessional Lutheranism, and his international perspective will be a great blessing to our seminary and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS).”
Siikavirta holds a PhD in New Testament exegetics (2015), an MA (2012), an MPhil in theology and religious studies (2010), and a BA in theology and religious studies (2008) from the University of Cambridge, UK. His dissertation was revised and published as Baptism and Cognition in Romans 6–8: Paul's Ethics beyond ‘Indicative’ and ‘Imperative’ by Mohr Siebeck of Tübingen, Germany, in 2015 as volume 407 in their distinguished series Wissenschafliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe.
He has published several articles in theology journals and given lectures and presentations at a variety of conferences and meetings in the US and Europe. His teaching experience includes serving as a visiting scholar at CTSFW in 2013 and teaching New Testament Greek at Cambridge colleges and at Westfield House in Cambridge, which for many years has served as a study abroad option for CTSFW students.
Siikavirta was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF) in 2014 and was called to serve as associate pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Helsinki. In 2016, he was called as head pastor of St. Mark’s, where he is presently serving. During this time, Siikavirta has served the church as the head of ELMDF’s Young Adults’ Ministry (2019–2022), managing editor of Pyhäkön Lamppu (ELMDF’s newspaper; 2015–2019), notary of the ELMDF Consistory (2015–the present), and board chair of the international Corpus Christi Association, an independent evangelical Lutheran association promoting churchly and biblical renewal among young adults in Europe (2016–the present).
“Rev. Dr. Siikavirta is a trustworthy pastor, who tends his flock with love and care,” said Dr. Juhana Pohjola, Bishop of the ELMDF. “He has preached and taught according to the Holy Scriptures and our Lutheran Confessional writings, and his life has been exemplary to his congregation, St. Mark’s in Helsinki, where he has served ten years.”
Pohjola added: “It is a blessing for us in the ELMDF, and I pray also for the LCMS, that Rev. Dr. Siikavirta now has an opportunity to share his theological expertise and pastoral experience with future pastors in the LCMS. We are glad that this call strengthens the good relations the ELMDF has with CTSFW and our sister church, the LCMS.”
Siikavirta is expected to arrive in Fort Wayne in November. He will start teaching New Testament courses in CTSFW’s winter quarter, which begins December 2.
“In my doctorate, I dealt with the issue of identity in Paul’s baptismal theology. Although being a pastor has over the past decade entered into the core of my own identity, I have always dreamt of the opportunity to teach at a confessional seminary. The Lord has now answered this longing,” commented Siikavirta.
“I pray that I can give back something valuable from my parish experience, contribute faithfully to the formation of future shepherds of Christ’s flock, and grow as a theologian in the process. I and my wife Māra look forward to this new and exciting phase in our lives and request your prayers for our transition across the pond.”
About Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne
Founded in 1846, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, forms servants of Jesus Christ in a vibrant, Christ-centered theological community that engages and resources the church and the world, domestically and internationally, with distinctively Lutheran teaching, practice, and worship. To learn more, visit ctsfw.edu.