The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago announced that The Rev. Dr. Robert L. Conrad, Christ Seminary-Seminex Professor Emeritus of Educational Ministry at LSTC, died at his home in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. A dear friend and colleague in REA and APPRE, Bob Conrad was director of the doctor of ministry and extension education programs at LSTC from 1983 until his retirement in 1998. He is survived by his wife, Mary Anne, their three children, Joy, Karin, and Christopher, and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on March 9 at 1:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Iowa City, Iowa.
Robert Conrad was born and raised in Kansas. When he was 12 years old, he learned from his mother that, because he nearly died shortly after he was born, she had promised God that if he lived she would do everything possible to see that he served God as a pastor. It took Conrad half a dozen more years and “some prompting by the spirit” before he affirmed that call.
Bob graduated from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., in 1956, was ordained in September of that year and served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Townsend, WA, for the next five years. He returned to Concordia Seminary in 1961 to serve as assistant professor of Christian education. He was completing work on his doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary when Christ Seminary-Seminex was formed in 1974.
As a member of the Christ Seminary-Seminex faculty, Bob chaired the Department of Practical Theology. He directed the Doctor of Ministry Program and was a member of both the Graduate Council and the Academic Council for Seminex. At LSTC, he emphasized the need for pastors to take seriously their own need for continuing education, the education of members of their congregations, and the development of a deeper commitment to the Christian faith. He derived great satisfaction from guiding pastors through the doctor of ministry program.
Bob practiced his commitment to social justice by participating in the March on Selma with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and in the St. Louis march following Dr. King’s death. He was active on the Greater St. Louis Committee on Freedom of Residence. He was a longtime leader in the Boy Scouts at the local and national levels. He loved to sing and was a member of parish choirs. He was also the lead singer and composer of humorous songs for a barbershop quartet, The Uncalled Four, which performed at faculty banquets, retirement parties and other gatherings. In recent years, he was a regular volunteer at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.