James Arne Nestingen, 60, an ELCA theologian and professor of church history at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., announced Jan. 31 that he would retire that same day. The announcement was posted on the seminary’s Web site Feb. 16.
Nestingen, who had taught at Luther since 1980, “offered his retirement as part of an effort to resolve some claimed interpersonal difficulties within the faculty,” the statement said. Those difficulties were not mentioned.
Nestingen also has served as chair of the WordAlone Theological Advisory Board since 2002. In a Feb. 16 news release, Jaynan Clark Egland, WordAlone president, urged “Lutherans who are part of the WordAlone Network not to question [Nestingen’s] decision nor to speculate about it.” She said members looked forward “to seeing what the future holds for him and other confessional Lutherans during the present challenging period in the [ELCA].”
A joint statement issued by Nestingen and Luther Seminary President Rick Bliese said the professor wasn’t asked to retire or resign and wasn’t leaving “due to any allegations of heresy or misconduct, sexual or otherwise.”
Nestingen will “teach on a limited basis and direct graduate students as professor emeritus of church history,” the statement added.
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