About Pastoral Education in Haiti

A few facts about the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti and the status of seminary education there:

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Haiti has approximately 20,000 members.
  • There are 13 pastors that serve these members in a circuit rider type role. Lay preachers assist the ordained men. The intention is to require a full course of theological study and a vicarage prior to ordination for all of the lay preachers. The ELCH and her seminary are committed to a solid program of theological education for every pastor, and will not ordain “willy-nilly.”
  • Concordia Theological Seminary – Haiti was officially recognized by the Haitian government in November, 2008.
  • The seminary can grant the officially-recognized degree of Bachelor of Divinity to students that complete the full course of study.
  • The seminary classes are taught as intensives. There is no physical seminary campus. It is a “seminary without walls”.
  • Four Haitian men earned or are pursuing Ph.D’s in Missiology at CTSFW to return to Haiti equipped to teach new pastors. These men are also pastors of their own churches.
  • These classes take place in four regional centers: Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien, Jacmel, and Les Cayes. Attending the courses is a huge financial burden on the students. They literally put their family’s lives at risk due to the poverty.
  • One class is taken through the entire seminary curriculum before another class begins. Three years of coursework, one year of vicarage.
  • The immediate needs of the seminary are:
    1. Safe Transportation for the Haitian prof/pastors to get to the seminary.
    2. Theological materials in French and/or Creole.
    3. Professors from CTS/USA to possibly come over and help with teaching.
    4. Money to help pay for some of the basic needs of students and families.
    5. In order for an officially recognized seminary to be viable, a permanent address and library is required by the Haitian Government’s Department of Religion.

The Genesis of The Fund

The Kurt Marquart Fund was created by the Concordia Theological Seminary Class of 2007 in honor of our dear professor, Dr. Kurt Marquart, who is now with his Lord Jesus. In Haiti, Marquart saw a people in need of pastors, a people for whom Christ died; and he responded in self-sacrifice and with prayer. Indeed, the Lutheran Church in Haiti was continually in his prayers, even in his final hours. in 2007, our class knew that it was in Professor Marquart’s spirit, and to the honor of the Lord that he confessed among us, that a fund like this be established.

As it was originally conceived, the fund was a permanent endowment for theological education of a confessional Lutheran pastorate in Haiti. Although KMF still serves this mission with a permanent endowment for theological education, administered by the CTS class of 2007, is has expanded its role to encompass the holistic needs of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti. Today, KMF provides capital to operate the ELCH and her seminary, for disaster relief, and for the week-to-week, critical needs of the Church.

Use of Proceeds

The Marquart Fund exists for the purpose of providing material and financial support to The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti and her fledgling seminary, Concordia Theological Seminary – Haiti. Both of these beneficiary entities materially conform to the Confessional Statement of the Fund:

“We confess without reservation the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and practice, and The Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as contained in the Book of Concord, 1580, as a true exposition of the Word of God.”

The Kurt Marquart Fund now makes periodic distributions of operating capital to the ELCH in support of this purpose, and maintains two distinct perpetual endowments, including its original endowment for theological education of Lutheran pastors in Haiti.

501(c)3 Status Granted by the IRS

The Kurt Marquart Fund for Theological Education in Haiti is organized as a Not For Profit Corporation under the laws of the State of Indiana, Title 23, Article 17. It was incorporated in the Year of Our Lord 2007.

The Corporation was recognized under the Federal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)3 on December 17, 2007. Contributions made to the fund are tax-deductible under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. If you require a copy of the determination letter, please contact us.

For More Information

If you would like more information about The Marquart Fund for Theological Education in Haiti, or if you would like a copy of the organizational and governing documents of the charity, please contact us by E-mail at [email protected].

About Kurt Marquart

Lutheran Pastor and Confessor

1934 – 2006 A+D

The Rev. Dr. Kurt E. Marquart, seventy-two years a baptized child of God, forty-seven years an under-shepherd of Christ’s people, and thirty-one years Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, father, and grandfather, died September 19, 2006 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” Dr. Marquart is survived by his wife, Barbara (nee Martens), and five children-Danny, Cynthia (Johnson), Barry, Angela (Hill), and Anthony-along with 18 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is remembered for his genuine concern and unreserved generosity to all around him, and for his faithful confession of his Lord Jesus Christ.

Kurt Erik Marquart was born June 20, 1934 in Tallinn, Estonia, and reborn into God’s kingdom through Holy Baptism soon after. In 1941 his family immigrated to Vienna, Austria, and later, to Displaced Persons Camps in North Germany where he received his primary and secondary education in German and Russian exile schools. After the war, the family immigrated to the United States. He was confirmed in Nyack, New York, in 1952.

Dr. Marquart attended Nyack High School and then earned a three-year Associate of Arts degree in only two years from Concordia Collegiate Institute in Bronxville, New York, in 1954. He earned the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity in 1959 from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His senior thesis there compared Gustav Aulen and Francis Pieper on Prolegomena. He later received the Master of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1982. Concordia University Wisconsin awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2001.

Upon completing studies at St. Louis, Dr. Marquart received a call to Trinity Lutheran Church, Weatherford, Texas and was ordained on July 19, 1959. In 1961, he accepted a call to Redeemer and Good Shepherd congregations, Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. In Australia he served the church on the Commission on Theology and Inter-Church Relations, Queensland District Church Council, and the Concordia College (Toowoomba) Council.

Dr. Marquart was called in 1975 to the Department of Systematic Theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield (and then Fort Wayne). A popular professor, writer, apologist, and speaker, Dr. Marquart taught a full load of classes every quarter, wrote many scholarly articles in the Concordia Theological Quarterly and in other publications across the Missouri Synod, and was widely sought after as a speaker at pastoral conferences, district meetings, and congregational events throughout Synod. Many times, he traveled to far off places such as Kenya, Russia, and Haiti, to train pastors in those places. He represented the CTS faculty on the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations.

Most well known in Dr. Marquart’s expansive bibliography is his examination of the controversy in the LCMS in the 1960s and 1970s, Anatomy of an Explosion: A Theological Analysis of the Missouri Synod Conflict (1977). A very important work is his monumental, tour-de-force analysis, history, and critique of the modern Church Growth movement, “Church Growth” as a Mission Paradigm (1994). He authored The Church and Her Ministry, Fellowship, and Governance for the Confessional Lutheran Dogmatics series (1990), and was preparing a new volume on Prolegomena for this series at the time of his death.

Dr. Marquart taught one final class, “Church And Christian Hope” during the first week of the 2006-2007 school year at CTS. During that week, he expressed to the class each day that he knew His Lord would soon be calling him to His nearer presence to await the Final Resurrection. He looked forward with great anticipation to meeting his Savior in person. Yet, each day he grew stronger as he taught the class from the Holy Scriptures and the Confessions, sharing much of his wisdom and insight to his students. This included his hope that the Lutheran Church in Haiti and her pastors would continue to be blessed in the one true faith, and that students would support and keep the Haitian Church in their prayers. After his last class on Friday, September 15th, as Mrs. Marquart came to pick the Professor up to go home (for what would be the last time), Dr. Marquart sprang to his feet, and danced out the door as he wished the remaining students a blessed weekend, and said, “See you gents next week.” They did, as the Seminary Community, Marquart family, and Dr. Marquart’s fellow pastors in Christ joined together at Kramer Chapel on September 22nd, 2006 for the consecration of his body to rest in peaceful slumber until the Final Resurrection upon Christ’s return.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest:

Who Thee, by faith, before the world confessed

Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blest! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia! Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;

Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest;

Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest. Alleluia! Alleluia!

But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day:

The saints triumphant rise in bright array;

The King of Glory passes on His way. Alleluia! Alleluia!