The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Theologian Bouman dies

Walter R. Bouman, 76, ELCA theologian, pastor and retired professor of systematic theology, died of colon cancer Aug. 17 in Columbus, Ohio.

“What he bore in his heart and spirit as a robust and vital teacher of the gospel, he sustained as witness, even into his death,” said Mark R. Ramseth, president of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus. “For his service to the Trinity community ... and to the entire church, we give thanks.”

Although Bouman retired from Trinity in 1999, he continued to teach there as a professor emeritus until his illness. He first began teaching systemic theology at the former Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1971. In 1978, ELTS merged with Hamma Divinity School, Springfield, Ohio, to form Trinity.

Bouman had a master of divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and a doctorate in theology from the University of Heidelberg (Germany). Ordained in 1956 by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, he served congregations in Minnesota and New York before teaching at Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Ill. In 1977 he became a pastor of the Amer-ican Lutheran Church, an ELCA predecessor.

Bouman was a member of the American Academy of Religion and president of the Lutheran Academy for Scholarship. Bouman served on the Lutheran-Episcopal dialogues that led to a full-communion relationship for the ELCA and Episcopal Church. He was a member of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission.


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