About Us (Finally updated Nov. 2023!)

Christmas 2021 (Our last all-family photo)

Home and Education

Carl was born to Rev. David and Mrs. Jane Rockrohr. He is the eldest son of four Rockrohr boys, Tim, Peter and Dan. After Rev. David Rockrohr’s first call to teach at Concordia College in Portland, OR., the Rockrohr family moved to Milwaukee where Rev. David Rockrohr served as pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church from 1967-1993. David and Jane currently reside in West Bend, WI.

Carl attended Our Redeemer Lutheran Grade School in Wauwatosa, WI, studied at Milwaukee Lutheran High School and completed undergraduate studies at Concordia University Wisconsin. He went on to study for the ministry at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. He completed degrees M.Div (1990), S.T.M (1999) and Ph.D. (2008) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Carl has also earned a M.A. in NonProfit Administration from Lindenwood University (2020). 

Deborah Rockrohr (David and Carol Roth currently of Jackson, MO) grew up in southern Illinois and south-east Missouri in Cape Girardeau. She and her older and younger brothers, David and Dan, all graduated from St. Paul Lutheran High School and Jr. College of Concordia, Missouri. She completed the Deaconess Program at Concordia University Chicago in 1984. She studied further at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis where she received a Master of Arts in Religion degree in 1986. She and Carl met at the seminary and they were married on May 23rd, 1987. Deborah completed her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Management from Regent University in 2013.

Carl’s Ph.D. dissertation is entitled Jesus’ Sacrifice Death in an African Context (2008). His S.T.M. seminar paper study is Christology in Africa: A Work in Progress (1999). Both are available from the libraries of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO and Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN.

Deborah’s Ed.D. dissertation is A Study of the Objectives for the Theological Preparation of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Elementary Teachers (2013). It is available from the libraries of Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN and Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.

The abstracts from both dissertations are quoted below on this web page.


Past Ministry

Carl has served as pastor at Trinity Lutheran Ch. (Columbia, MO), Faith Lutheran Ch. (Parkston, SD) and Oklahoma Ave. Lutheran Ch. (Milwaukee, WI). He was an evangelistic missionary with LC-MS World Mission in Ghana, West Africa from 1993-98. Carl served as Assistant Professor of Religion at Concordia University Ann Arbor from 2005-2011. During his time at Concordia he also served as Chair of the Division of Religion and Philosophy and as Dean of the School of Religious Studies and Social Sciences. From 2011-2014 Carl was a missionary with the LCMS Office of International Mission. From 2012-2013 he taught as an instructor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa. From July 2013 to June 2014 he taught and worked as the Dean of the School of Theology of Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Deborah is a LC-MS rostered deaconess and a member of the Concordia Deaconess Conference. The conference is a professional organization of deaconesses of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. Deborah has served as a deaconess at Concordia Lutheran Church (Greenwood, IN), Concordia University Wisconsin, Concordia University Ann Arbor and St. Paul Lutheran Church (Farmington Hills, MI). From 2012-2013 she was an instructor and the Director of Deaconess Studies at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa.


Current Ministry

Carl is currently the pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio. His sermons and other details are at Zion’s website. Deborah is a Theology Instructor at Concordia Lutheran High School in Ft. Wayne. 



Carl and Deb have four children, Paul, Jim, Becky and Ted.

Paul is a U.S. Navy Chaplain currently serving as the U.S.S. Arlington’s Chaplin. His wife, Stacy, and Paul have five children, four boys and a girl. Jim is a U.S. Marines Major and his wife, Megan, is a middle school teacher. They are currently on assignment in Australia. Becky is married to Scott Johnson who is the Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Mondovi, Wisconsin. Scott and Becky have five boys and a girl.  Ted is an apprentice electrician working in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Dissertation Abstracts

Abstract of Carl’s dissertation Jesus’ Sacrifice Death in an African Context (2008):

The study considers E.B.Tylor’s theory of Animism and critiques it from the perspective of Lutheran theology. Noting that the theory of Animism has been rejected by most anthropologists, the study shows that the presuppositions of Tylor’s theory contradict the purpose of propagating the Gospel and thus should not be used for mission strategy. The study proposes and demonstrates a methodology for cross-cultural systematic theology called the “Four Voices.” These voices consist of the Scriptures, the confessional community, the self-described beliefs and practice of the African traditionalist who makes sacrifices and the insights of an African pastor. These four sources have been suggested by African theologians, notably John Mbiti, to be potential points to begin theology for Africa. The topic of sacrifice, which has been suggested by African theologians to be a critical issue of Christian theology in Africa, is the point of discussion for the Four Voices.


Abstract of Deborah’s dissertation A Study of the Objectives for the Theological Preparation of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Elementary Teachers (2013):

This study examined current practice in the area of theological preparation for Lutheran elementary teachers of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). As a church body with a well-defined doctrine, the LCMS requires particular preparation for all ordained and commissioned workers placed on its official roster. A historical review of archival data from primary and secondary sources documented a strong and persistent interest in the LCMS in providing a thorough theological preparation for its pastors, teachers, and other rostered workers. Two previous curriculums for the theological preparation of Lutheran teachers were identified (Bickel & Schmieding, 1938; Curriculum Commission, Board for Higher Education, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1967a, 1967b), but neither is in use today. Standardized curriculum guidelines for the theological preparation of Lutheran elementary teachers are not provided by the denomination. Six theological subdisciplines deemed important by the LCMS for training Lutheran teachers were identified: Beliefs of Other Religions, Biblical Interpretation, Church History, Doctrine, Lutheran Confessions, and Ministry of the Lutheran Teacher. The 2009-2010 academic year was selected as a snapshot year to examine current practice. All 10 Concordia University System institutions participated by providing copies of faculty-approved syllabi for the theological preparation of Lutheran elementary teachers in the traditional undergraduate route. These artifact documents were examined using content analysis research methodology. Results of the study indicated disparity in training among and between the institutions. In addition, inattention to specific theological subdisciplines of instruction valued by the LCMS – sometimes rather consistently among the institutions – was also documented. The current lack of focused curriculum guidelines for the theological preparation of Lutheran elementary teachers is not consistent with evidence that suggested a uniformly well-trained roster of teachers is highly valued in the LCMS. Development of standardized guidelines at the synodical level is recommended.