Ralph Arthur Bohlmann

Ninth President of the Missouri Synod: 1981-1992


Born: 20 February 1932, Palisades, Nebraska

Ralph Bohlmann graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1956. He was ordained on 29 June 1958 in Des Moines, Iowa, by his father, the Rev. Arthur E. Bohlmann. He later recieved his Ph.D. from Yale University.

From 1958 to 1960 Bohlmann served Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Des Moines. In 1961 he accepted a call to be the assistant pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Pagedale, Missouri, where he served until 1971. Bohlmann also taught at Concordia College, Milwaukee, from 1957 to 1958. In 1960 he became a professor at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and in 1975 he became president of the school.

Bohlmann was a member of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations from 1965 to 1981, serving as the commission's executive secretary from 1971 to 1974. He also served on the ALC-LCMS Commission on Fellowship from 1969 to 1981. He has also worked for the Division of Theological Studies of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. and participated in various national inter-confessional/inter-Lutheran dialogues. In 1981 Bohlmann became the president of the LCMS, serving until 1992.

Bohlmann is the author of Principles of Biblical Interpretations in the Lutheran Confessions (1968).


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