John Kuethe, Ph.D.

1990 Honorary Alumni

Biography as it appeared in 1990.

John Kuethe was granted the Honorary Alumni Award.  Colleagues describe John as “kind, but stern,” “in love with teaching,” and “a teacher who connects life and learning.”  To his students he is Soren Kierkegaard, Paul Tillich and all great thinkers throughout history brought to life in the classroom.  To the classes of 1969 and 1977, he was Professor of the Year.

Kuethe graduated from Capital University summa cum laude with degrees in Greek and history.  He earned his divinity degree from the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, and a master’s and doctorate in philosophy of religion from Union Theological Seminary.

A parish pastor, writer, campus chaplain, spiritual life consultant for the Air Force, Danforth Associate and teacher are all “hats” Kuethe has worn at one time or another over the years.  He joined the Cal Lutheran faculty in 1964 and served 20 years as teacher and mentor to hundreds of Cal Lutheran students.  While Kuethe officially retired from CLU in 1984, he continued on to teach on a part-time basis.

“I have had wonderful opportunities to work with alumni over the years which have caused me to look forward to teaching their children,” said Dr. Kuethe.  “It is impossible to go anywhere in the world and not meet alumni.  And then, when you meet them, it is impossible not to recognize the bonds that hold us together despite the years or miles.”

Dr. John Kuethe provided nourishment and encouragement to the minds and spirits of his students.  His contributions to the University and its alumni will continue as part of the CLU legacy.