Announcing the Walter C. Dissen Chair in Confessional Lutheranism

Dear friends in Christ,

Mr. Walter C. Dissen fell asleep in the Lord on August 2, 2023 at the blessed age of 91 years.  Mr. Dissen’s name is well known within the LCMS. Along with a name also come the works attached to that name. Mr. Dissen was an active soldier of Christ (a Miles Christi, as was his fitting award from CTSFW in 2011). He served faithfully on boards and committees of our Synod and seminaries, where he staunchly defended biblical inerrancy during the Battle for the Bible. He remained steadfast in defending conservative, confessional Lutheranism for decades. We thank God for Mr. Dissen’s life and work. And we pray that the ardor of this man of God would remain among us.

In remembrance of such a faithful father in the faith, the Board of Regents of Luther Classical College is honored to announce today a generous gift Mr. Dissen bequeathed upon his death–a $2 million endowment to fund an academic chair at Luther Classical College. With this, the Board of LCC has the unique privilege of establishing the Walter C. Dissen Chair in Confessional Lutheranism.

The holder of this Chair will instruct at Luther Classical College and encourage study of the Lutheran Confessions among the college’s students, faculty, and wider community. A rostered clergyman of the LCMS, the holder of this Chair will be thoroughly committed to the Holy Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, and the heritage and practice of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Mr. Dissen was excited to hear of the founding of Luther Classical College. Based on his many years of experience on boards of the Synod, he gave advice to the Board of Regents and Development Team of LCC on more than one occasion. He believed in the mission of Luther Classical College to raise up conservative Lutherans for the next generations, devoted to home and church and community. Mr. Dissen passed to heavenly glory before we called our first president, but we know he would have been pleased to hear of Rev. Dr. Harold Ristau’s acceptance of the call to serve as President of Luther Classical College.

And now we are pleased to announce the appointment of President Ristau to the Walter C. Dissen Chair in Confessional Lutheranism. Rev. Dr. Ristau’s commitment to Scripture as God’s inerrant Word and his many years teaching the Lutheran Confessions will be a blessing to the students, faculty, and community of LCC for years to come.

Dr. Ristau will be invested with the honors of holding this Chair at our Christian Culture Conference during Vespers on Tuesday, June 4th, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Casper, WY.

Each earthly generation is faced with unique challenges. Mr. Dissen faced head-on the great challenge of rogue theologians parroting the age-old deception, “Did God really say?” during the Battle for the Bible. Our generation is faced with new challenges, yet so much of it is really the same, because the devil’s wiles are ultimately uncreative. Sharp attention to God’s Word, with particular devotion to and bold confession of the same, is tasked to the generation of believers in every age. And so we praise God for the outstanding generosity of the late Mr. Dissen and for President Ristau’s placement into the Walter C. Dissen Chair in Confessional Lutheranism.

 Thank you all for your support and prayers for Luther Classical College. May God bless our memory of Mr. Dissen and the work He has prepared for Dr. Ristau as the holder of this endowed Chair.

Soli Deo Gloria.