Our Status, Purpose, and Mission

by Caleb Bassett

As the writers of Studium Excitare we feel it necessary to make known, in clear terms, what exactly we intend when we study, research, and prepare articles for our journal. It has been brought to our attention that there are many misconceptions that could easily arise concerning our practice. We will put forth this information so that no misconceptions may arise, and so that we all may share one clear, concise statement of purpose, mission, and status.

Concerning Our Status

We are not an official MLC publication.

This statement no longer applies today. We have since been adopted as an official MLC publication.

We are MLC students, but our journal is not an officially reviewed and approved publication of MLC. This is not to say that we have the disapproval of the College. We submit our work to an advisor who is a properly trained and called minister of the Gospel. In doing this we seek to gain further instruction which will help us in our future ministries. This also allows our readers and MLC professors to rest assured that what we write can be trusted, and will not carry any improper, undue teaching or diction. This process will allow us to continually grow in knowledge and experience as we work toward our end goal, that is, the completion of our college and seminary training, and entrance into the Public Ministry of the Gospel. Studium Excitare is an independent student publication.

We are not an official Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) publication.
We are members of the WELS, but our journal is not an officially reviewed and approved publication of the WELS. This not to say that we have the disapproval of our synod, or that we write contrary to its doctrine.

We are not called ministers of the Gospel.
We are not yet called ministers of the Gospel, but are working toward that goal. We are in the early stages of our theological training, and we aim to continue our training through diligent classroom study, as well as writing pieces for Studium Excitare.

We are not in a position of authority.
We are not in a status of authority concerning the subjects we cover. We draw on Lutheran sources written by men who carry or have carried this position of authority. These men in turn have based their teaching of doctrine on the sole norm of our life, the Holy Scripture. We humbly look up to these men who have gone before us. We strive to learn more about our doctrine, while sharing this information with our peers and schoolmates.

Concerning Our Purpose

We do not plan to gain personal glory.
In writing this journal, we do not aim to set ourselves above our peers, nor do we wish to gain personal glory and honor. We seek to glory God by our efforts. This is the motive behind using only our initials as a by-line after each article.

We do not aim to subvert the authority, or take the place of our properly called teachers.
We recognize that we are still students, and that we cannot speak with the same authority and experience that our teachers can. We do not wish that our schoolmates look to us as a final word on the topics we cover. In fact, we sincerely hope that our readers will take the time to subject what we write to the authority of Scripture, as well as discuss it amongst themselves, and with their professors.

We do not intend to carry out polemics against heterodox teaching.
We do not wish to engage in a polemical writing style, which would serve only to build walls and cause rifts between us and those who hold contrary teachings. We seek to foster a loving attitude in ourselves and our fellow schoolmates for spreading the true doctrine of the Gospel.

We do not have a specific opinion-based agenda.
We do not seek to write editorial, opinion-based material. We are not here to persuade readers to a specific frame of mind or opinion, save the love and desire to study the Scriptures and its doctrine.

Concerning Our Mission

We seek to further our own personal education.
As students at MLC, it is our sincere intent to enter the public ministry. To this end we strive to study diligently in class, and work vigorously outside of class. Writing is valued as a high form of pedagogy, and for this reason we seek to learn through research and writing.

We endeavor to instill a desire for learning by sharing what we have learned.
After we have researched and prepared an article, we share it with the general public to lovingly promote personal study and reading. It is our hope that through this practice, the student body might better prepare themselves for their future. Learning is a lifelong process, and we are at an early stage of this process. We must not neglect building a solid foundation for the future.

We hope to encourage open dialogue among students.
We are peers and classmates at MLC. We hope to spark open, constructive discussion among students. It is our experience that discussion among our classmates in the dorm has been one of the most helpful additions to our classroom instruction. We publish Studium Excitare as a continuation of that dialogue, with the goal of fostering still further discussion.

We seek to answer questions raised both by us and classmates during conversations in the dorm.
Along the same lines, during dormitory discussion questions are raised to which nobody knows the exact answer. We then turn to our professors and library for solid, Scripture-based answers. Our articles are a summary of this information.

We desire to speak the truth in humble love.
Ephesians 4:15. “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” Love is the greatest command of God, and God exhibited the highest form of love when he sent his perfect Son to die for us miserable sinners. We did nothing to merit our salvation, but by grace God has redeemed us. We humans cannot demonstrate such perfect love, but we do strive to model our lives after it. It is this same attitude that motivates us. We strive to avoid over-the-top language that could drive people away from the truth of Scripture. Rather, we humbly put forth our work in the hope that we all may grow up into Christ, the true Head of the Church.