Mequon — A man named Martin Luther made a list and headed out to the local church in Wittenberg, Germany, on Oct. 31, 1517.

Hammer in hand, he posted his thoughts, nailing a list of 95 theses to the church door for all to see.These bullet points were a list of all the teachings Luther thought were being wrongly promoted in the Catholic Church.

It was this act that sparked what is commonly called the Protestant Reformation, when Luther's followers, and others, split from the Catholic Church due to doctrinal differences.

This milestone in Lutheran Church history will be celebrated at Concordia University Wisconsin with a number of activities organized by a seven-member Reformation 500 committee formed in 2012.

One of those activities features Erik Herrmann, director of the Center for Reformation Research at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, presenting a lecture March 28-29 in the School of Pharmacy entitled "Being Religious: Martin Luther's Reform of Christian Life and Devotion."

Events such as this began in 2013 leading up to this year when a week-long celebration will be held Oct. 23-29 to culminate the celebration.

A morning symposium will be held Oct. 25 by Robert Benne, Jordan Trexler Professor Emeritus at Roanoke College in Roanoke, Virginia. Benne will keynote a panel that day with the university's six deans to discuss his paper on vocation. Classes will be suspended so students can attend sectionals scheduled throughout the day.

Two nights later, selections of Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn will be performed by all major music ensembles. Movies about Martin Luther will be shown that evening along with a special German meal, T-shirt design contest for elementary students in the area, and a dramatic production by theatre arts students.

Concluding the week will be a special Reformation 500 service on Sunday in the Chapel of the Christ Triumphant.

In April, a 5-foot bronze statue of Martin Luther atop a 30-inch pedestal was dedicated near the main entrance at Concordia University Wisconsin.

For more information on Reformation-related activities, visit

Read or Share this story: