Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

Carl Meyer

Scripture References in this Resource

Romans 3:28; 2 Timothy 2:19; Acts 4:12; Matthew 18:17


This study is an attempt to understand what the issues were which culminated in the Altenburg Debate of 1841. Why did it take two years to find a solution to the problems of the colonists? Were any other solutions attempted? If there were, why were they unacceptable? Against whom did Walther debate at Altenburg? What position did the opposition2advocate? What was the source of Walther's theses? These and many other questions enter the mind of the student of the early history of the Missouri Synod when he begins to evaluate the Altenburg Debate.

The purpose of this study is to find the answers to these questions, as far as this is possible on the basis of the evidence. It is an attempt to analyze the basic issue involved in the debate, the doctrine of the church. The focal point of the debate was not the polity, the structure, or the organization of the church, but the nature of the church. It is from this viewpoint, that of ecclesiology, that this study has been prepared.

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.