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Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt, Lutheran Hour Ministries' executive director of international ministries, has accepted a call from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis to serve as its new provost beginning July 1. The provost position serves as the seminary's chief academic officer and is one of three members of its executive management team (along with the president and executive vice president for operations). The provost is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the seminary's academic programs, including the faculty, publications, graduate school, library, and recruitment. In addition to serving as provost, Rutt also received a call from the seminary to be a full professor of practical theology.

"I am humbled to have been called to serve at Concordia Seminary as professor and provost," Rutt said. "This seminary is known around the world as a premier theological educational institution with a long and distinguished history, a great faculty, dedicated staff and students who are committed to serving their Lord Jesus and His church.

"I have come to this decision to accept the call with mixed emotions because I recognize that I have been so blessed to be a part of Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) for almost eight years," Rutt continued. "There is no reason why I would want to leave LHM. The opportunity to work with such dedicated servants of Christ, both here in St. Louis and around the world, has been awesome and amazing. But at this time, I recognize that going to the seminary affords me the opportunity to be involved again in theological education, where I spent a great deal of my career prior to my time at LHM."

As executive director of LHM's international ministries division, Rutt currently oversees a staff of 230 individuals who conduct ministry in more than 35 centers around the world. Under his leadership, LHM has emphasized working in areas where the Gospel is not widespread by focusing on three key emphases: unreached people who have little or no possibility of hearing the Gospel; urban areas, which house large concentrations of unreached people; and the emerging global youth culture, which is identified as another unreached people group.

"We thank God for Doug's nearly eight years of service with Lutheran Hour Ministries as a valued and integral member of our senior leadership team," says LHM President & CEO Kurt Buchholz. "His leadership has allowed us to intensify efforts in many countries that were previously unreached by the Gospel and share the life-transforming message of Jesus Christ with tens of millions of people around the world each week. Doug has built and leaves a strong team in place to continue carrying out our work internationally. While we are sad to see Doug go, we recognize that this new call is part of God's perfect plan for utilizing Doug's skills and talents and strengthening the already strong relationship that our ministry has with Concordia Seminary. We ask for continued prayers for Doug and his family as he transitions into this important role."

Prior to joining LHM in 2010, Rutt was associate professor of pastoral ministry and missions, dean for distance learning, and supervisor of the Ph.D. program at Concordia Theological Seminary (2000-10). He previously served as a missionary to Guatemala (1986-87; 1991-95), where his responsibilities included church-planting, pastoral and lay leadership training, and the creation of a program to train and certify pastors for the Lutheran church in Guatemala. He was dual parish pastor at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. James and Truman, Minn. (1987-91) and served LCMS World Mission in several capacities including as area secretary for Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain (1997-2000), area director for Southern Latin America (2000-04), and interim area director for Mexico, Central America, and Panama (2002-04).

Rutt has written numerous articles on mission history and practice, and frequently speaks on mission matters. He has served on the board for Lutheran Bible Translators, served as chairman of the Seminary Relations Committee of the International Lutheran Council, and is a founding member of the Lutheran Society for Missiology.

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