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Charly Haley, Published December 15 2012

Former Moorhead pastor named interim president at Luther Seminary

ST. PAUL – The Rev. Richard Foss, a former eastern North Dakota bishop, was named interim president of Luther Seminary here Friday.

“I am humbled and honored and willing to help,” Foss said.

Foss will begin as president Jan. 1. His previous position at Luther was director of contextual learning, a job he’s held since 2008.

Foss, 68, said he’d had plans to retire on June 30, but because Luther’s former president, the Rev. Richard Bliese, announced his resignation Dec. 10, Foss was approached to be interim.

“This was not something that was on my radar until earlier this week,” Foss said Friday.

He expects he’ll be in the position for maybe a little more than a year, “but no one really knows,” he said. Luther Seminary has plans to conduct a national search for a permanent president, according to a news release.

Before working at Luther, Foss had been bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Eastern North Dakota Synod since 1992. Prior to that, he was senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead for six years.

Foss was ordained as a pastor in 1971, and has also served at ELCA congregations in Fargo, Minneapolis and Seattle. He’s also earned two master’s degrees at Luther Seminary.

Foss says he doesn’t have any big plans or changes in mind for Luther when he starts as interim president.

“I just plan to listen, pray and work with good people,” he said.

Foss said he is honored to be able to help, despite having to postpone his plans for retirement.

“It’s a very worthwhile thing, and if I can help, that’s a good thing,” Foss said.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311