A Conversation with ASA President Dieter Heinzl

The Austin Seminary Association (ASA) is comprised of former Austin Seminary students and others dedicated to advancing the cause of theological education through Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Dieter Heinzl, (MDiv'98), takes the helm as the 2015 ASA Board President. The Reed spoke with Heinzl, who offered insight into his ministry and vision for the ASA.

The Reed: Tell us about your ministry context and how Austin Seminary has shaped your ministry.

Dieter Heinzl: I serve as associate pastor for Faith Formation at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, a suburban congregation in St. Louis. What sustains me in my ministry is the thorough preparation I received at Austin Seminary, especially with regard to the biblical languages, exegesis, and theological discernment. I learned from mentors who are passionate about their faith and the church. In talking with alumni past, present, and future, I have come to understand that this passion is deeply embedded in Austin Seminary’s DNA.

TR: What is your vision for the ASA as you communicate, connect, advocate, and care for our Seminary alumni in 2015?

DH: It is my hope and prayer that we will continue to foster a climate for our alumni which allows Austin Seminary’s deep care for Christ’s church to be passed on to the next generation of Christian leaders. In serving the church, which seems to change at lightning speed, the ASA Board believes it to be all the more important to “communicate and connect with, and advocate and care for one another.” We need not be lonely “out there.”

TR: Tell us something about yourself that the Austin Seminary community may not already know.

DH: I am deeply committed to interfaith dialogue. In a world where religious tensions run high, I am reminded through my baptism in Christ that all human beings bear God’s image and carry a “spark of divinity” within them, as Calvin believed. And I try to pay attention to all things beautiful, because, as Dostoevsky wrote, “Beauty will save the world.” Actually, it already did.