Dr. Wilken was brought up in a Lutheran family that was serious about their Christianity. As a boy he felt a calling to ministry. He attended a Lutheran prep school in Texas and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. There he came under the influence of Arthur Carl Piepkorn, who had an appreciation for Catholic liturgy, piety and the sacraments. Later, at the University of Chicago, he studied the Church Fathers. He began to feel that Lutheranism was lacking an appreciation of the larger Tradition of the Church. He was ordained a Lutheran minister and for many years taught in many colleges and seminaries. After many years he wanted to be fully united with the historic apostolic Church, which led him into the Catholic Church. At this time, Dr. Wilken was the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the History of Christianity at the University of Virginia. He is now a Distinguished Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.