Alvin Charles Rueter 60
- Born: Nov 3, 1921, Parkers Prairie, Minnesota
- Marriage: Beulah Christine Nielsen on Aug 30, 1944 in Ringsted, Iowa 60
- Died: Mar 21, 2008, Blair, Washington County, Nebraska at age 86
Alvin Rueter. Rueter received his B.A. from Dana with a major in English. He also has an M.Div. from
Capital Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in speech
communication, from the University of Minnesota.
Early in his career Rueter served as pastor to two California congregations, in Monterey Park and
Inglewood. In 1955 he became pastor at a Lutheran mission congregation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he found a culture he describes as "suspicious of a liturgical church."
To try to overcome this cultural bias, Rueter began a weekly church music broadcast, "hoping to establish common ground by the medium of traditional, vocal music."
In 1960 Rueter left Oklahoma to serve congregations first in Lincoln, Nebraska, and then in St. Paul,
Minnesota, but he also continued as host for the weekly half-hour broadcast that soon became known as "Sing for Joy." The program featured vocal music of the church related to the Lessons for the Day, with Rueter giving brief commentaries between selections on the relationship of the music to the readings.
In 1970 "Sing for Joy" was syndicated nationally; today it is broadcast on 276 stations in 41 states and seven other countries. From the beginning, Rueter's late wife, Beulah (Nielsen '44), worked closely with her husband on many aspects of the programming.
Rueter's career has also included teaching. From 1966-84, while serving a St. Paul congregation, he was an adjunct professor of homiletics (the art of writing and preaching sermons) at Luther Northwestern Seminary. Since 1979 he has conducted preaching workshops for pastors in many locations, including Dana, with the goal "of making good preaching better." In 1985 he became an assistant professor of homiletics and communication at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, teaching half-time in the graduate school of theology and half-time in the college. Since his retirement from St. John's in 1991 he has taught homiletics in the Permanent Deacon Formation Program of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Rueter has written four books, is writing another, and has published many articles and sermons. He has also prepared audio and video cassettes on preaching.
Two Rueter daughters are Dana graduates: Judith Brehm '67 and Christine Gilmore '71. Their other
children are Theodore, John, and Pauline, who is deceased.
Alvin married Beulah Christine Nielsen, daughter of Carl Emil Nielsen and Anna Christine Neve, on Aug 30, 1944 in Ringsted, Iowa.60 (Beulah Christine Nielsen was born on Mar 21, 1922 in Sidney, Montana 60 and died on Dec 8, 1993 in St. Paul, Minnesota.)