Peter Bockoven – Class of 2018 – History
Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Theology/Pastoral Ministry, Graduation May 2022
What you do:
I study theology at the Seminary to prepare for the pastoral ministry. The study of theology is, most simply, the study of who God is and what his will is as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. God is the triune God, the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. And his will is this: that everyone may have the forgiveness of sins.
More specifically, I study at the Seminary to work on behalf of Christ’s church. This work is the public administration of Christ’s Word and Sacraments. This work brings to people what we all need the most, and what Christ has given all Christians the power to give: the forgiveness of sins in Jesus’ name.
What inspires you:
I am drawn to study theology because true theology is the highest enlightenment that a person can have. There is no greater wisdom, knowledge, discovery, insight, there is nothing greater under heaven or in heaven, than to study him who made all things, sustains them, and has reconciled all people to himself in Christ: God, our Father.
How you want to make a difference:
My first career goal is to graduate from the Seminary and receive a call to work for Christ’s church. After that, I hope to continue studying languages, and perhaps study for a higher theological degree such as an STM (Master of Sacred Theology). I also really enjoy translating, so in the back of my mind I have a dream to someday translate a book, although I have no idea what that book is yet.
How Bethany has prepared you:
Bethany is truly, in my mind, one of the most fantastic colleges in the world. I cannot think of many other colleges so grounded in the liberal arts that are at the same time so grounded in the true “liberal” art, that is, the “art” that makes us truly “liberal” (which means “free”): God’s Word. An education at Bethany is truly “liberating.” It teaches a person how to think freely and critically, so as not to succumb to false rhetoric or faulty logic. But above that, an education at Bethany also teaches a person what he needs to know to live forever in heaven: the one thing needful, which is God’s Word.
What you remember most about Bethany:
Beyond a doubt, singing, especially during daily chapel, in the choir weekly at Vespers, in the various concerts like Christmas at Bethany, and on the summer trip to Germany in 2018. Not only did I receive a college education at a genuinely Lutheran liberal arts institution, I also regularly participated in genuine and excellent Lutheran liturgical song. That is a treasure to me that I will never forget. Also, singing in quartet for Music Man (2017) was some of the absolute most fun I have ever had in my whole life.
Advice for current students:
It’s hard to give advice having only been graduated for less than a year. But I would advise this much: strive to truly understand what type of education it is you are receiving. There is a purpose and design behind every program at Bethany. There are fundamental principles driving the whole Bethany experience. Those principles are that of a truly and historic Christian Liberal Arts Curriculum. The more you understand what that Curriculum is, what its principles and implications are, the more enriched your life will be not only as a student, but also for your whole life and even after.