Rev. Wade Johnston
Assistant Professor of Theology (2014)


  • B.A., Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minnesota
  • M.Div., Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin
  • M.A., Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
  • M.A., Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • Ph.D. Candidate, A.B.D. (in progress), Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
    (Dissertation title: "Indifferent Matters: Matthias Flacius Illyricus, John Hooper, and Adiaphoria")


I was born and raised in Metro Detroit and am forever a proud son of the Mitten. My parents worked hard to provide my brother and me not only with a roof over our head, but also a solid education. Raised Roman Catholic, I was confirmed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church December 31, 1995. I then enrolled in Martin Luther College, where I met my lovely wife, Tricia, an accountant. Upon graduation from seminary I was assigned to Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saginaw, Michigan, where I was privileged to serve as a parish pastor for ten years. Tricia and I have five children: Magdalen, Nicholas, Isaiah, Augustana, and Sophia. We live in Milwaukee and belong to Nain Evangelical Lutheran Church in West Allis.

Academic Interests/Specialties

  • Martin Luther
  • Reformations in Europe
  • Post-Reformation Lutheranism
  • Confessionalization
  • Adiaphoristic Controversy
  • Formula of Concord
  • Hermann Sasse and Lutheranism under Nazism
  • Holocaust Studies
  • Late Antiquity
  • Pauline Epistles
  • Lutheran Ethics

Courses I Teach

  • THE 110 – Introduction to Theology
  • PHI 201 – Ethics
  • THE 308 – Pauline Epistles
  • THE 401 – Basic Teachings of the Bible 1
  • THE 441 – History of Christianity
  • THE 442 – History of the Reformation

Research Interests

My dissertation is a comparative work examining the writings of Matthias Flacius Illyricus in the Adiaphoristic Controversy in Germany and John Hooper in the Vestment Controversy in England. I am also very interested in the Lutheran Confessions (their historical context and their content, to which confessional Lutherans subscribe). I have presented and will be presenting at a variety of conferences on the continued vitality and relevance of the Book of Concord in the twenty-first century.


  • Family time
  • Bicycling
  • Travel
  • Sports in general (playing and coaching)
  • Detroit sports (watching and cheering)
  • Reading