'We rejoice!': Gordon Conwell President Emeritus Walter Kaiser is alive, seminary confirms

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary President Emeritus Walker Kaiser giving a lecture in 2018.
Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary President Emeritus Walker Kaiser giving a lecture in 2018. | Screengrab: YouTube/GordonConwell

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary President Emeritus Walter Kaiser is alive, despite a now retracted claim from the Christian school that he had died at age 90.

After initially announcing online that Kaiser had passed away, Gordon Conwell took down their tribute page for the campus leader and then posted a correction notice on Tuesday.

“The information we received regarding the passing of our beloved president emeritus has proven, joyfully, to have been false. Dr. Walt Kaiser is alive and well, for which we rejoice,” stated the seminary.

“Members of our community heard this false report announced at a recent conference’s business meeting, and given Walt’s towering role in our institution’s history, we acted quickly, wanting to honor him in a timely manner.”

The seminary also stated that it wanted to “extend our sincere regrets for the wrong information that has been spread through our website and social media.”

“We do not regret having honored him in this way, but rather that we contributed to the spread of this false information,” the Christian school added.

“Our president, Dr. Sunquist, has communicated to him directly, expressing our deepest apologies for the mistake and our warmest wishes to him and his wife Nancy for a blessed Thanksgiving, offering special praise for his unexpected ‘resurrection’!”

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. was born in Pennsylvania in 1933 to German Baptist parents. He would earn a Bachelor of Arts in the Bible and Greek from Wheaton College and then a Bachelor of Divinity in theological studies in 1958.

In 1962, Kaiser earned a master’s in Mediterranean studies from Brandeis University and then a Doctor of Philosophy in Mediterranean and Near Eastern studies in 1973.

Kaiser initially served as an assistant professor at Wheaton College before joining the faculty at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he held various positions, including professor, vice president, academic dean and senior vice president from 1966 to 1993.

In 1993, he joined Gordon Conwell, serving as president and receiving the title of Colman Mochler Professor of Old Testaments. After his retirement in 2005, Kaiser became president emeritus.

In addition to his academic credentials, Kaiser has also written several books, including Hard Sayings of the Bible, Toward an Exegetical Theology, Toward an Old Testament Theology, The Messiah in the Old Testament, and A Biblical Approach to Personal Suffering, among others.

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