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Just "For You," Higher Things rejoices to introduce the Revs. William Cwirla, Brent Kuhlman, and Todd Wilken as the main speakers for our 2007 Lutheran Youth Conferences. All three have well-deserved reputations in the Church as outstanding theologians, and youth at previous Higher Things conferences have rated each of them among the very best sectional teachers.
At both the Minnesota and North Carolina conferences, Pastor Bill Cwirla will be our catechist on Christ's means of grace.
Pr. Cwirla and his wife, Karen, live in Hacienda Heights, CA, where he serves as pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. (For those who are geographically challenged, that's in the Los Angeles area.)
Pr. Cwirla is also Vice President of Higher Things and served on the liturgy committee for the Lutheran Service Book. He has written and spoken extensively in the Church on a wide range of topics from the craft of preaching to marriage & sexuality, and from the Church's liturgy to science & the Christian faith.
His presentations at Higher Things conferences consistently draw huge crowds. He holds both the Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
In his "spare time," Cwirla enjoys hiking, bicycling, music, woodworking, endless home improvement projects, and, most recently, as you can see in the photo, scuba diving.
Check out his incredibly popular blog, Rev. Cwirla's Blogosphere.
The Rev. Todd Wilken will be the catechist on Law and Gospel at the Minnesota "For You" conference. He pastored Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Sugarloaf, IL, for nine years before becoming full-time radio host of Issues, Etc.
Rev. Wilken and his wife Maria have two children, Emma and Solomon. They live in Waterloo, IL, which is just outside of St. Louis.
On Issues, Etc., Wilken provides "talk radio for the thinking Christian." He can be heard daily during drive-time on AM 850 KFUO in St. Louis or on the Sunday Night edition of "Issues, Etc.," which airs on about 100 stations nationwide, as well as on XM radio and the Internet.
Wilken holds a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He speaks and preaches internationally, serving as a guest instructor for Christ Academy at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN and for the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
Wilken is editor of the Issues, Etc. Journal and former editor of the journal Doctrine and Practice. In addition, he has authored numerous articles and essays, including the booklet, Same-Sex Marriage: Facing the Question.
As a native Texan, Wilken likes his food spicy and both his desk and kitchen spotless.
Pastor Brent Kuhlman serves Trinity Lutheran Church, Murdock, NE, and is a newly elected member of the Higher Things Board of Directors. He will be our Law and Gospel catechist at the North Carolina "For You" conference.
He and his wife, Robin, live southwest of Omaha with their three children, Allison, Jake, and Carlie.
Pr. Kuhlman holds both the Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology degrees from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He has served as guest professor at Concordia University, Seward, NE, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN, and the Lutheran Seminary, Novosibirsk, Siberia. He is especially reknown for his teaching on Holy Absolution.
Pr. Kuhlman edited the newly revised edition of Koehler's A Summary of Christian Doctrine (CPH) and serves as a pastoral advisor for The Fount and the LWML. He served as a plenary speaker at the very first Higher Things Youth Conference in Laramie, WY, and has been a popular presenter ever since.
In addition to his pastoral work, Kuhlman is a substitute teacher and assistant coach for the Elmwood-Murdock junior high girls' basketball team. You can challenge him to a 3-point shooting contest in basketball...but you won't win! Check out Pr. Kuhlman's Higher Things blog too!