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In this episode of “Under the Fig Tree,” hosts Rev. Micah Glenn and Kati Gaschler sit down with Concordia Seminary alum Rev. Mark Renner (M.Div. ’20), one of the pastors at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Janesville, Wis. During the episode, Mark shares what led him to go into ministry as a pastor and discusses his recently published book, Curious Cases: A Series of Short Pastoral Case Studies (2024, Wipf and Stock Publishers). “We can empathize with other Christians or with non-Christians by reading this and understand where they are headed,” said Mark.

He also reflects on encountering difficult societal issues in ministry. “All of the problems, all the issues that are taking place in our society, we [as Christians] are either directly or indirectly dealing with. We’re influenced by society. And we have security in our Baptism to discuss difficult things,” he said. “That’s the real world that we’re encountering and trying to responsibly share this message of grace.” In the recurring segment, “Ripe for the picking or leave it on the tree,” hear how he feels about pineapple on pizza, Wisconsin Dells, the new Star Trek movies and Vibram shoes.

“Under the Fig Tree” is a video and audio podcast of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. New video and audio episodes are added weekly each Monday during the academic year. “Under the Fig Tree” can be found on YouTube, the Seminary’s Scholar site ( and most podcast platforms including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts. Those interested in vocational ministry are invited to join the Seminary contact list at Request-Information.... You can learn more about Concordia Seminary at or by contacting the admissions team at [email protected] or 800-822-9545.


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Laity; Ministers; Future Seminarians; Future Deaconesses

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