Skip to main content

Walther, Carl Ferdinand William

WALTHER, CARL FERDINAND WILLIAM

Lutheran theologian, founder of the Missouri Synod;b. Langenchursdorf, Germany, Oct. 25, 1811; d. St. Louis, Mo., May 7, 1887. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor. After attending the University of Leipzig, he accepted a call in 1836 as pastor at Braeunsdorf, Saxony, and was ordained there on Jan. 15, 1837. The following year he joined a large number of Saxon Lutherans who migrated to America rather than accept a union with the Reformed Church. Walther settled in Perry County, MO, where he established a Gymnasium that eventually grew into Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. In 1841 he accepted a call to Trinity Church, St. Louis, and in 1844 established Der Lutheraner, a religious periodical. In 1846 Walther began a series of meetings with Lutheran leaders that resulted in the formation of the Missouri Synod. He was chosen its first president at Chicago, IL; he also served as professor of theology at Concordia from 1850 until his death.

Walther's theological writings appeared chiefly in the quarterly Lehre und Wehre, which he founded at Concordia in 1855, and in his textbook, Pastoral Theology. He advocated traditional Lutheran doctrine, with emphasis on the binding force of Lutheran confessions and divine predilection as the cause of faith. His controversy with Adolph Grabau resulted in the union of the Missouri and Buffalo Synods in 1867, but the Ohio and Norwegian Synods separated from Missouri in 188182 over Walther's doctrine of predestination. In addition to his conservative impact on the Missouri Synods doctrinal position, Walther helped to shape its parochial school system, securing educational provisions for Englishspeaking Lutherans at the Synodal Conference of 1872.

Bibliography: d. h. steffens, Dr. Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther. w. g. polack, The Story of C. F. W. Walther. a. wentz, A Basic History of Lutheranism in America (Philadelphia 1955) bibliog.

[r. k. macmaster]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Walther, Carl Ferdinand William." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 10 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Walther, Carl Ferdinand William." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/walther-carl-ferdinand-william

"Walther, Carl Ferdinand William." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 10, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/walther-carl-ferdinand-william

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.