Robert A. Kolb, Ph.D. Legacy Professor

Dr. Robert A. Kolb is Mission Professor of Systematic Theology (Emeritus) and Director of the Institute for Mission Studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, where he has served since 1993. He earned his B.A. from Concordia Senior College, a M.Div. and S.T.M. from Concordia Seminary, and a M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Valparaiso University and Concordia University have also granted him honorary doctorate degrees in 2001 and 2005 respectively. He has also won several stipends for research and study abroad at multiple European universities.

At Concordia Seminary, Dr. Kolb is a foremost expert on the life and theology of Martin Luther. Having been a guest lecturer and visiting professor at the school during the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Kolb joined the seminary as a full-time faculty member in 1993. Prior to his work at Concordia Seminary, he was a beloved professor at Concordia College (1977–1993) who repeatedly won the “Professor the Year Award.” He also impacted the faculty at Concordia College serving on multiple committees as the designated head Chairman of the Religion Department. Furthermore, for several years, he was the Executive Director of the Center for Reformation Research located in St. Louis, MO (1972–1977). He has also been a visiting professor and guest lecturer at Luther Northwestern Seminary, The Ohio State University, the University of Wisconsin, and Valparaiso University among others. Internationally, Dr. Kolb has also been a lecturer and professor at numerous schools in Canada, Germany, Nigeria, and Switzerland and has been a visiting faculty member at Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany, since 1996.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Kolb is a member of many scholarly and ecclesiastical organizations including the International Congress for Luther Research and the Center for Reformation Research. He is often consulted on denominational and Lutheran Synod-related issues and has served in various pastoral church roles since the mid-70s. Moreover, he has written nearly 100 articles on church history and other topics. From 1973–1997, he served as Associate Editor and Co-editor of The Sixteenth Century Journal. He was also a special participant at Lausanne II, the Congress of World Evangelization held in Manila, the Philippines (1989).

Dr. Kolb has written extensively on the Lutheran Reformation, publishing articles in scholarly journals such as Church History, The Harvard Theological Review, The Lutheran Quarterly and The Sixteenth Century Journal. He has also penned countless articles for various dictionaries and encyclopedias including The Encyclopedia of Religion and The Dictionary of Christianity in America. His book publications include Martin Luther as Prophet, Teacher, Hero: Images of the Reformer, Luther, Pastor of God’s People, The Christian Faith: A Lutheran Exposition, and Sources and Contexts of the Book of Concord. Perhaps his best-known work is The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Courses Taught

The Theology of Martin Luther