Magister Magnus Biographies

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education

recognizes

the following distinguished educators as

Magister Magnus/Magistra Magna

with gratitude for exceptional vision, service, and dedication

for the cause of classical Lutheran education

2018: Dr. E. Christian Kopff

kopff2

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is pleased to confer the distinguished Magister Magnus award to Dr. E. Christian Kopff for his exceptional vision, service, and dedication to the cause of classical Lutheran education.

Dr. E. Christian Kopff was born in Brooklyn NY, November 22, 1946 and educated at St. Paul’s School (Garden City NY), Haverford College PA (B.A., summa cum laude) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph. D., Classics). He has taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder since 1973, where he has been Associate Director of the Honors Program since 1990. He is editor of a critical edition of the Greek text of Euripides’ Bacchae (Teubner, 1982) and author of over 100 articles and reviews on scholarly, pedagogical, and popular topics. From Fall 2004 to 2011 he served as Director of the Center for Western Civilization at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He currently works with the Classics Department of the University of Urbino, Italy on ancient Greek lyric poetry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (twice) and the CU Committee on Research (twice). His book, The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition (ISI Books, 1999) is widely cited in the Classical Christian Education movement.

Dr. Kopff’s many intellectual gifts have been used to support classical Christian schools in a variety of ways. He was a Founding Board Member of the Society for Classical Learning (2001-2011) and serves on the editorial board of SCL’s Journal (2016-2018). He studies and teaches the influence of classical education in modernity and texts and traditions, from science to Sophocles, that arose in the ancient world and remain important and influential today. He serves as speaker and consultant for classical schools. CCLE conference attendees enjoy his rhetorical skill and wit, as he regularly delivers the annual post-banquet address.

Dr. Kopff is a devoted member of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. He was confirmed in the LCMS (Grace, Malverne NY) and has been a member of four Colorado LCMS congregations. He has used his gifts to serve these congregations as a Bible class teacher, New Testament Greek teacher, and Elder. He has served as ULC lay delegate at Rocky Mountain District conventions and as RMD lay delegate at the 2013 and 2016 LCMS conventions. (In 2013 he served on the floor committee for Seminary and University Education.) He has written for The Lutheran Witness (March 2015) and been featured in Lutherans Engage the World (Sept-Oct 2015).

He and his wife, Carmen, who teaches French at CU, are the parents of two boys, both confirmed at Eternal Savior in their baptismal faith: Barrett, born in Rome, Italy in 1987, and Theodore born in their kitchen in Boulder, in 1989.

The early vision of dedicated individuals, including Dr. E. Christian Kopff, has influenced an expansion of classical Lutheran education in all of these areas over the past three decades:
• Classical Lutheran day schools and home schools
• CCLE School Accreditation approved by the LCMS
• CCLE’s own teacher certification
• New classical Lutheran print resources for families and schools
• Annual CCLE conferences with accompanying classical Lutheran children’s programs
• Emerging Concordia University programs in the classics and in classical Lutheran pedagogy
• Lutheranism and the Classics conferences at Concordia Theological Seminary
• Dozens of new Lutheran radio interviews on classical Lutheran education
• An annual CCLE academic journal, the Classical Lutheran Education Journal, ccle.org
• An online classical Lutheran academy
• CCLE Discamus adult online classes in Latin and Greek

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is honored to confer the Magister Magnus award to Dr. E. Christian Kopff.

2018: Dr. Gene Edward Veith

veith

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is pleased to confer the distinguished Magister Magnus award to Dr. Gene Edward Veith for his exceptional vision, service, and dedication to the cause of classical Lutheran education.

Dr. Gene Edward Veith, born in Oklahoma in 1951, received his B.A. in Letters (Literature, Philosophy, History, and Classics) from the University of Oklahoma and then received an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in English from the University of Kansas. For nineteen years, he was Professor of English at Concordia University Wisconsin. He served as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences for six of his years at CUW. He has also worked as the culture editor of World, a magazine devoted to considering current events from a Christian perspective. Dr. Veith served until his retirement in 2016 at Patrick Henry College where he was Professor of Literature, Provost, and interim President. In this position, he did much to advance the cause of classical Christian education. He has been recognized with Honorary Doctorates of Letters by Concordia Theological Seminary in 2005, by Concordia University Irvine in 2014, and by Patrick Henry College in 2016.

Dr. Veith is the author of more than 25 books on topics including classical education, literature, culture, Christianity, and the arts, such as God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life; Classical Education; Reading Between the Lines: a Christian Guide to Literature; Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture, and Spirituality of the Cross. His writings number more than 100 scholarly articles, reviews, and papers.

Dr. Veith’s speaking engagements have brought him to Finland, Norway, Denmark, Australia, Canada, France, and England. He has been a visiting professor at the Estonian Institute of Humanities, Gordon-Conwell, Regent College (Vancouver), and Wheaton College; and a Fellow at the Capital Research Center and the Heritage Foundation. He continues to serve as the director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Dr. Veith has served the CCLE as a board member since its founding. He supports the vocations of classical Lutheran day school and home school educators, sharing his wisdom and passion for classical education at CCLE annual conferences.

Dr. Veith and his wife, Jackquelyn, have three grown children and a growing tribe of grandchildren.
The early vision of dedicated individuals, including Dr. Gene Edward Veith, has influenced an expansion of classical Lutheran education in all of these areas over the past three decades:

• Classical Lutheran day schools and home schools
• CCLE School Accreditation approved by the LCMS
• CCLE’s own teacher certification
• New classical Lutheran print resources for families and schools
• Annual CCLE conferences with accompanying classical Lutheran children’s programs
• Emerging Concordia University programs in the classics and in classical Lutheran pedagogy
• Lutheranism and the Classics conferences at Concordia Theological Seminary
• Dozens of new Lutheran radio interviews on classical Lutheran education
• An annual CCLE academic journal, the Classical Lutheran Education Journal, ccle.org
• An online classical Lutheran academy
• CCLE Discamus adult online classes in Latin and Greek

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is honored to confer the Magister Magnus award to Dr. Gene Edward Veith.

2017: Melinda K. Heine

MHeine

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is pleased to confer the distinguished Magistra Magna award to Mrs. Melinda Kae Heine for her exceptional vision, service, and dedication to the cause of classical Lutheran education.

During her undergraduate years at Concordia University – Seward, Nebraska, Melinda became disillusioned with progressive education and how much the secular understanding of education and children had crept in to our Lutheran institutions.  She subsequently became committed to the classical approach while working as the Coordinator of Reference Services at Concordia Historical Institute in St. Louis.  “Being immersed in Lutheran history,” Melinda recalls, “I realized the great extent to which Lutheran schools had abandoned the Reformation classical model and orthodox theology and embraced Dewey and progressivism.”  Melinda credits the mentoring of CHI Director Dr. August Suelflow for this “re-discovery” of classical education, and she spent years researching, looking at curriculum, reading books, and examining other schools, e.g., Marva Collins and Westside Prep in Chicago.  She recalls that in those pre-Internet days, this was a huge undertaking!

In 1989, Melinda moved to Pagosa Springs, CO, with her husband, Rev. Bill Heine, and her children.  She homeschooled for several years while planning for a classical parish school.  This school, Our Savior Lutheran School, opened in the fall of 1992.  It was a one-room school with 16 students grades K – 6th.  Melinda was the sole teacher and administrator of this school.  The next year, Rev. Heine became the headmaster, 7th and 8th grades were added, and Latin began in the lower level.  After two years, the enrollment had grown to 56 students.  Melinda received the Rocky Mountain District of the LCMS’ Lutheran Teacher of the Year award for the 1992 – 1993 school year.

In 1994, the Heines moved to Alberta, Canada.  Here, Melinda served on the school board to help St. Matthew Lutheran School transition from a progressive school to a more classical Lutheran approach.  This transition was very controversial and difficult, as classical education had not been widely accepted or adopted in the United States or in Canada.  Over the next two decades, Melinda, alongside her husband, continued to spread the message of the benefits of classical Lutheran education in Sheridan, WY; Concordia, MO; and Houston, TX.  Melinda has made the case for classical Lutheran education at speaking engagements in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, and Canada.  She has also volunteered at the Alberta-British Columbia District Archives and the St. Paul Historical Society Archives in Concordia, MO; has served on school boards and curriculum committees, has served as a site visitor to multiple classical Lutheran schools seeking accreditation from the CCLE, and is the co-author with Cheryl Swope for the CCLE’s Curriculum Resource Guide.

The early vision of dedicated individuals, including Melinda K. Heine, has produced an expansion of classical Lutheran education in all of these areas over the past three decades:

  • Classical Lutheran schools
  • Classical Lutheran home schools
  • CCLE School Accreditation approved by the LCMS
  • CCLE’s own teacher certification
  • New classical Lutheran print resources for families and schools
  • Annual CCLE conferences with accompanying classical Lutheran children’s programs
  • Emerging Concordia University programs in the classics and in classical Lutheran pedagogy
  • Lutheranism and the Classics conferences at Concordia Theological Seminary
  • Dozens of new Lutheran radio interviews on classical Lutheran education
  • An annual CCLE academic journal, the Classical Lutheran Education Journal, ccle.org
  • An online classical Lutheran academy

The Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education Board of Directors is honored to confer the Magistra Magna award to Melinda K. Heine.

2016: Rev. Robert Schaibley

portrait_schaibley

The Rev. Robert W. Schaibley is senior pastor of Shepherd of the Springs Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs. Prior to his arrival at Shepherd of the Springs in 1996, Pastor Schaibley served for over nine years as senior pastor at Zion Lutheran Church & School, an urban congregation in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

He has an A.B., Economics degree from The University of Michigan. Pastor Schaibley graduated with a M.Div. degree from the Springfield Seminary and was ordained into the office of the holy ministry in 1972. He did further graduate studies in Philosophical Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield IL, and he reached PhD Candidate status in Systemic Counseling at the University of Wyoming.

He has served parishes in Illinois, Michigan, Wyoming, Indiana, and Colorado as well as on the faculty of Concordia, River Forest.

Pastor Schaibley and his wife Eunice have seven grown children and nine grandchildren.

He served a visionary role in the early years of the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education.

2015: Rev. William Heine

Rev. William Heine most recently served as Associate Pastor and Headmaster at Memorial Lutheran School, Houston, Texas.  He graduated from Concordia Teachers College (1978) in Seward, Nebraska, and from Concordia Seminary (1986) in St. Louis, Missouri.  In his thirty years of ministry he has served as a parish pastor, an elementary, middle school, and high school teacher, a school headmaster, and the Wyoming District Education Chairman (1998-2008) where he was instrumental in promoting classical education among the District’s Lutheran schools.  He was a founding board member of the Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education (CCLE.org) and in 2015 was awarded the CCLE’s prestigious Magister Magnus Award for his twenty years of leadership in promoting classical education in Lutheran circles.  He and his wife Melinda have four grown children, all of whom are serving or have served active duty in the United States Armed Forces, and four granddaughters.

2013: Rev. Dr. Steve Hein

portrait_hein

Dr. Hein currently serves as Director of Concordia Institute for Christian Studies, an organization that offers auxiliary educational services to Lutheran congregations and church gatherings across the country.  He also serves as associate pastor at Shepherd of the Springs Lutheran Church and affiliate professor of Theology and Ethics at Colorado Christian University. He has previously served for over two decades as a professor of Theology at Concordia University, River Forest.

He earned his Master of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary, a Master of Theology in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Historical Theology from St. Louis University.

He is a contributing editor to the theological journal Logia:  A Journal of Lutheran Theology and has published many scholarly articles over the years.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education.

He has been in demand as speaker and essayist in the Church at conventions, pastoral conferences, and various congregational groups throughout the country.  He is a frequent guest on the syndicated radio program, Issues Etc.  His special areas of interest focus on classical, Christian education, and the shape and challenges of faith-life and vocation in the Church and the world.

Associate Pastor, Shepherd of the Springs Lutheran Church
2004-Present
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Director, Concordia Institute for Christian Studies
1998-Present
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Member, Board of Directors, Consortium of Classical & Lutheran Education
2001-2013

Headmaster, Shepherd of the Springs Lutheran Church & High School
1998-2004
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Doctor of Philosophy, Historical Theology, St. Louis, Missouri
Master of Theology, Systematic Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois
Master of Divinity, Systematic Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois
Bachelor of Science, Business Management/Accounting, San Jose State University, San Jose, California