Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Practical Theology

First Advisor

David Schmitt

Scripture References in this Resource

Galatians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 15:19; Colossians 3:2


Seltz, Gregory P., “LCMS Identity and Mission in the American Urban Context: Engaging Conian Black Theology through Strategic Lutheran Missiology.” Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2017. 304 pp.

This dissertation addresses the challenges of the American urban context by dialoging with James Cone’s Black Theology in order to construct an LCMS urban missiology. This LCMS urban missiology is a dynamic, Two-Kingdom, sacramental engagement strategy that addresses the issues endemic to the urban community for the sake of the community and for the sake of the Gospel. The American urban setting is fraught with challenges: identity politics, ethnic-sociological fragmentation, and the delegitimation-politicization of virtually all aspects of urban, public life. For faithful missiological engagement in the urban context, the LCMS needs to take such challenges seriously, by engaging in a racial critique of its missional practices and by relying upon its Two-Kingdom theology to form a unique missiological response. Through Bevan’s synthetic model of contextual theology, this dissertation dialogues with Conian Black Theology to offer a racial, missional critique of the LCMS and to construct an LCMS urban missiology that differs from the public missiological engagements of Evangelical Theology and Black Theology. This urban missiology analyzes and then builds upon the historical-social location of the LCMS in urban ministry, offers a Two-Kingdom response to Cone’s challenges, and presents a sacramental concrete understanding of missional practice that is not ultimately captive to specific political ideologies or policies. This LCMS urban missiological engagement is then used in a case study of the church’s missiological engagement in the racially charged events of Ferguson, Missouri.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.