Luther’s Transformation | Joel Otto

Joel Otto

Luther’s Transformation of the Medieval Church

Luther’s Reformation has often been described as a “conservative Reformation” because he did not advocate a radical break with everything from the past. Nevertheless, his theological emphases resulted in a transformation of the way people experienced, lived, and learned the Christian faith. This was especially evident in public worship. We will explore the transformative changes Luther instituted through congregational hymn singing, law-gospel preaching, and changes to the liturgy.

Bio | Joel Otto

Prof. Otto chairs the WELS 175th anniversary committee (2025). Since 2011, he has served at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, where he teaches church history and education and is the dean of students. Previously he served congregations in Michigan, California, and Wisconsin. He is also the chairman of the WELS Historical Institute and serves on the Commission on Inter-Church Relations. He has previously served on the Commission on Worship, the Commission on Lutheran Schools, the WELS Hymnal Project, and as a writer for Forward in Christ.