Complete Story


Rev. Dr. Stanley N. Olson has been elected interim president of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, effective August 1

The following letter was shared by Capital President Beth Paul and Carrie Cubberley, Trinity Board Chair:

The Rev. Dr. Stanley N. Olson has been elected interim president of Trinity Lutheran Seminary, effective August 1 through December 31, 2017. The Trinity Board of Directors and Capital University President Beth Paul jointly approved Dr. Olson’s appointment and welcome him eagerly to our community.

Dr. Olson will provide strong interim leadership for the seminary and will be another driving force in ensuring a stable foundation for the re-integration of our institutions. Dr. Barger announced in May 2016 that he would retire August 31, 2017, following a four-year presidential term. Joining our community one month prior to the retirement of President Rick Barger, Dr. Olson will ensure a seamless leadership transition as the search for the dean continues.

Formerly the president of Wartburg Theological Seminary, in Iowa, from which he retired in 2015, Dr. Olson will bring additional momentum, fresh perspective and an uncommon breadth of academic, church, pastoral and governance insight to the seminary and to the Capital-Trinity integration process. Dr. Olson’s unique and independent insights will sharpen our work as our communities fuse to engineer core operations, student experiences and systems for the good of our students, shared mission and legacy.

Prior to his service as president at Wartburg Seminary, Dr. Olson was executive director for vocation and education, and executive director for ministry at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. An ordained pastor in the ELCA since 1976, Dr. Olson served First Lutheran Church, in Duluth, Minn., taught New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and was senior pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minn., prior to answering the call to serve as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod from 1994 to 2002. He has served on the boards of St. Olaf College, Waldorf College, Luther Seminary and Gustavus Adolphus College, among other governance and consultation posts.

He holds masters and doctoral degrees from Yale, a Master of Divinity from Luther Theological Seminary, and bachelor’s and associate’s degrees from St. Olaf and Waldorf colleges, respectively. Dr. Olson is married to Nancy L. Olson who is an ELCA Deacon. They are the parents of two adult daughters and grandparents to four.

As a lifelong learner, Dr. Olson has shaped an extensive record of vocation, education and service, while building partnerships that strengthen the ELCA and its seminaries, colleges and universities. He is exceptionally positioned to lead the seminary and help establish a transitional framework that will support the success of Capital, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and our students — past, present and future.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Olson to our full Cap Family.


Carrie Cubberley, Trinity Board Chair

Beth Paul, Capital University President

Printer-Friendly Version