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Magazine of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

James Nieman elected president of LSTC


Changing Leaders Institutions are partly shaped by their leaders. I know from my work with congregations that each pastor had an effect on the character of the congregation he or she served. That’s one reason why the mission of LSTC in theological education and professional preparation is important. LSTC has been impacted by each of the people who has served as president. Right now, we are in transition. My role has been to bridge the time between President James Kenneth Echols and President James Nieman. President Echols brought many gifts of leadership to LSTC. His gifts were academic, pastoral, and administrative. His 14 years of leadership impacted LSTC greatly. President Nieman will bring academic, pastoral, and administrative gifts to LSTC as well. President Echols is a church historian; President Nieman is a homiletician. Which is better? I think most of us would agree that it would be a waste of time to argue the superiority of church history as opposed to homiletics. They are different, but not necessarily “better” or “worse.” Likewise, presidents all have different pastoral and administrative gifts and styles. They don’t all have to be evaluated. In fact, aside from a small committee of the Board of Directors, none of us have been charged with evaluating the president of LSTC. A lot of us have roles in which we are called to be supportive and encouraging. New leadership usually is helped far more by acceptance, support, and encouragement than it is by unofficial evaluation. New leadership will bring gifts that differ but which don’t always have to be compared evaluatively with the gifts of predecessors. Institutions don’t change quickly or easily. People within institutions need to open themselves to change when a new leader is called. At LSTC, administration, faculty, staff, students, board members, alumni/ae, donors, and church leaders will all be affected by the arrival of a new president. Each individual will be touched by a new leader with different ways of leading. Each individual will support or resist the new leadership in his or her own way. Dr. James Nieman is accepting a call to one of the most challenging positions in the church today. Because of his considerable gifts, his experience, and his outstanding initial presentation to our community, we are enthusiastic and optimistic about his leadership. But no leader can meet the challenges facing LSTC on his or her own. We will all need to

Interim President Philip Hougen and President-elect James Nieman at the May 14 Distinguished Service Award Dinner

cooperate and collaborate with President Nieman if he and LSTC are to thrive together. I ask you to pledge your prayers, support, and commitment to serve God’s mission for LSTC. Pray that God’s will would be done and that President Nieman will be strengthened. Support the mission of LSTC with your gifts of money and time, and support President Nieman as he leads us into the future. We are committed to LSTC’s thriving future and helping to make that happen in partnership with President Nieman. Navigating leadership changes in an institution is not just a challenge for the leader; it is a challenge for all who are affected. I am confident that LSTC is ready to meet the challenges. I am certain that President Nieman will lead effectively. I thank God for the gifts he is bringing as our new leader.

Interim President Philip L. Hougen June 2012



Summer 2012 • Volume 42 • No. 2 The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, forms visionary leaders to bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Vision statement LSTC seeks to build up the body of Christ and work for a world of peace and justice that cares for the whole creation. Visit www. or call 1-800-635-1116 for more information about LSTC’s programs, conferences and special events. Editor Jan Boden

The cross and torches lead the commencement procession

M. Div. graduates Tyler Rasmussen, Bridget Thien, and Angela Nelson

Designer Ann Rezny Contributors Jan Boden Gregory Davis Philip Hougen James Nieman Rachel Wind LSTC Board of Directors Michael Aguirre Clarence Atwood, Secretary Myrna Culbertson Susan Davenport Gregory Davis Melody Beckman Eastman Kimberlee Eighmy James Fowler Trina Glusenkamp Gould, Vice Chairperson J. Arthur Gustafson Kathryn Hasselblad-Pascale Greg Kaufmann John Kiltinen Mark Klever Susan Kulkarni Dale Landgren Michael Last Roger Lewis Gerald Mansholt Sandra Moody Harry Mueller, Treasurer Peggy Ogden-Howe Melinda Pupillo Gerald Schultz Sarah Stegemoeller, Chairperson Harvard Stephens Jr. Keith Wiens Jean Ziettlow The LSTC Epistle is published three times a year by the Communications and Marketing Office. Printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks Cover: President-elect James Nieman at the May 14 Distinguished Service Award Dinner Photo credits: Jan Boden, Greg Kaufmann, Tricia Koning, Dirk van der Duim

3 James Nieman elected president of LSTC with comments to the community by the president-elect

6 Valparaiso University now at LSTC 7 Answering his call—after 25 years

by Jan Boden

8 Students plan concert to benefit Pero Multicultural Center

15 2012 Commencement 18 Setting an example of giving Mark and Kathy Helge inspire others to give

by Rachel Wind

20 A Gift for future generations

by Gregory Davis

24 LSTC honors Class of 1962

9 Going the distance: commuter students at LSTC


Opportunities at LSTC

by Jan Boden

President’s message inside cover 2

11 LSTC alum elected bishop of Lutheran Church in Liberia

Faculty notes


Class notes


Transitions 28

by Jan Boden

13 Many Voices, One Story LSTC celebrates its first 50 years

by Jan Boden

Opportunities at LSTC October 27- 28 Presidential Installation

Homiletics Craig A. Satterlee. Contact tithing@lstc. edu for details. A benefit concert for the Albert “Pete” Pero Jr. Multicultural Center will be held October 7 at 4 p.m. in the Augustana Chapel at LSTC. Admission is free – donations encouraged. See page 8 for more information or contact Monday, October 8, the first Albert "Pete" Pero Jr. Lecture will be presented. The Fall Seminary Sampler is October 21–23. If you know someone who is considering attending seminary, participating in a Sampler weekend is a great way to discern or affirm a call. Contact for more information or register online at visit/sampler/. LSTC’s annual Kristallnacht Observance will be on November 8 at 11 a.m. in the Augustana Chapel. Contact November 12 LSTC will observe Veterans’ Day with a panel discussion from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Panelists will consider how attitudes toward the military have changed over the last 50 years. Contact the Rev. Dr. Klaus-Peter Adam at Genesis 22 – the binding of Isaac – is the topic for a conference at LSTC on November 15 and 16. For more information, contact the Rev. Dr. KlausPeter Adam at The Rev. Dr. Monica Melanchthon will present the annual Lutheran Heritage Lecture on November 26 at 11:30 a.m. Contact the Rev. Dr. Kurt Hendel, Bernard, Fischer Westberg Distinguished Service Professor of Reformation History at khendel@lstc. edu.

The Rev. Dr. James R. Nieman will be installed as LSTC’s seventh president on Sunday, October 28, at 4 p.m. ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson will preside at the installation ceremony at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 South Woodlawn Ave., Chicago. The Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad will preach. Immediately following the service, meet the new president and his spouse, the Rev. JoAnn Post, at a reception at LSTC. Saturday, October 27, at 1:30 p.m. a forum will be held with guest panelist Dr. Nancy Ammerman, professor of sociology of religion at Boston University; Dr. Bonnie Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at Vanderbilt University; and the Rev. Dr. Michael Burk, bishop of the ELCA’s Southeastern Iowa Synod. Recent LSTC alumni will serve as respondents to the panelists. James Nieman will present an inaugural lecture following the panel discussion and response. A public reception follows the event.

Many Voices, One Story: LSTC celebrates its first 50 Years In 2012-2013 LSTC will use the marks of the seminary to interpret our 50th anniversary theme, “Many Voices, One Story,” through public events.

2013 Leadership Lectures: Interfaith conversations A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice is planning the 2013 Leadership Conference, scheduled for Monday, March 11. The one-day conference will focus on how we as Christians understand and talk about other faiths. Workshops will include helping pastors and others to lead congregational studies using a new DVD series from the Islamic Society of America and study guide written by Dr. Carol Schersten LaHurd. More details will be available soon online at http://www. and from Sara Trumm at

On October 6, the Tithing and Stewardship Foundation will hold a day-long workshop, “Preaching and Stewardship” led by the Axel Jacob and Gerda Maria (Swanson) Carlson Professor of


James Nieman elected president of LSTC On May 14, the LSTC Board of Directors elected the Rev. James Nieman, Ph.D., as the school’s seventh president. Sarah Stegemoeller, chairman of the board, introduced him and his spouse, the Rev. JoAnn Post, to the community gathered in the LSTC refectory. Dr. Nieman received a standing ovation as he entered the room and made his way to the lectern. “I am humbled and thankful for the confidence of the search committee and now the board of directors in selecting me as the next president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. This is the best call in the Lutheran church, because I get to lead this fine school during these promising days amidst your outstanding company,” Dr. Nieman said. Read all of his remarks on He will begin his service at LSTC on August 1, 2012.

cited LSTC’s historic core strengths in the vision he outlined for innovative, faithful forms of theological education befitting the church in this time. “While our seminaries must form leaders of an ever more diverse variety,” Nieman said, “the real purpose of leaders is that they encourage and support bold, creative witness by every disciple in the many places those leaders may never go. The future of theological education relies on shifting our weight onto just such a witness to the gospel, with leadership formation in service to that. LSTC impresses me as having just the right blend of character, setting, resources, and purpose to model new ways of doing this in the years to come.”

Pastor, professor, dean, spouse, father, and congregation member Dr. Nieman comes to LSTC from Hartford Seminary, where he has been professor of practical theology since 2005 and academic dean since 2011. From 1992 –2004, he was professor of homiletics at Wartburg Theological Seminary. Nieman served as pastor of the Iñupiaq Lutheran Church, Anchorage, Alaska, and as the licensed minister of Zion Lutheran Church in Clayton Center, Iowa. He served as consultant and facilitator for the “Living into the Future Together: Renewing the Ecology of the ELCA” Conference of Bishops Task Force on Synods, 2011-2012. James Nieman is married to the Rev. JoAnn Post, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Manchester, Conn., where he has been an active volunteer. They are the parents of Clara, 24, an opera singer who regularly performs with opera compa-

Bread for the World President David Beckmann and John Kiltinen, a member of LSTC's board of directors, greet President-elect James Nieman

An installation service will be held at Rockefeller Chapel in Chicago on Sunday, October 28, 2012.

Encouraging creative witness by every disciple “Dr. Nieman brings a compelling vision for theological education as well as a depth and breadth of experience to lead LSTC into the future,” said Board Chairman Sarah Stegemoeller. “His extensive work in the areas of context and change within the church will help LSTC form visionary leaders prepared to be even more effective in sharing the gospel within the communities they serve.” In his presentations to the community during the search process, Dr. Nieman stated that he sees LSTC as distinctly situated in the ELCA to meet the challenges facing denominational seminaries. He

James Nieman and JoAnn Post


nies on the east coast, and Madelene, 15, a high school junior. Pastor Post will continue in her call at Concordia Lutheran Church while Madelene completes high school. Nieman grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He earned a bachelor of arts from Pacific Lutheran University, a master of divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy from Emory University. At Emory, he received the George W. Woodruff Fellowship for Graduate Study.

He is widely published in the areas of practical theology, congregational studies and preaching. He is the author of Knowing the Context: Frames, Tools, and Signs for Preaching (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008); co-editor with David A. Roozen of Church, Identity, and Change: Theology and Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005); and co-author with Thomas G. Rogers of Preaching to Every Pew: CrossCultural Strategies (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001).

Comments to the community, May 14, 2012 by the Rev. James Nieman, Ph.D. ings and hope we can talk soon about what’s on your mind, with patience for the finitude of a new president who has a lot to learn. Most of all, I long for your prayers, as I pray also for you and our common work here. I also beg your prayers for the seminary I am soon leaving, that they may receive wisdom and vision during this period of unexpected change…   Discernment can sound so lofty, spiritual, unflustered, and wrinkle-free. But let me tell you how it really was for me only 18 days ago. It was early on the Thursday when I was last here on campus. After a night largely untroubled by sleep, I was shaving at the bathroom mirror, thinking about the long day ahead, when (my spouse) JoAnn appeared in the doorway holding a worn LBW she found on the bookshelf in the guest apartment. She had opened it to the very end of Vespers. “Here, listen to this,” she said, and then read this prayer:

At 9:30 a.m. on May 14, the LSTC community gathered in the Refectory, anticipating the announcement of who the board of directors had elected as LSTC’s next president. This is an excerpt of James Nieman’s remarks after he was introduced as the president-elect. Read the complete text online at I am humbled and thankful for the confidence of the search committee and now the board of directors in selecting me to be the next president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. This is the best call in the Lutheran church, because I get to lead this fine school during these promising days amidst your outstanding company. I am so glad our paths have crossed like this, in medias res, and I eagerly look forward to the opportunity to work alongside you in serving the mission of this seminary—or if I may say it now, our seminary. Some of you know that this has been for me a complicated process, discerning where God is leading. Every good call process is this way. A bishop friend recently told me (yes, bishops can be your friends) that his own father, himself a Lutheran leader of great renown, once said that if a call didn’t scare you just a little, you probably shouldn’t take it. Though I’ve had plenty of frights, more important is that, in recent days, a calm has settled over me, borne of realizing that this whole business isn’t about me or you or that pointless project of proving ourselves good enough. Instead, God is doing something new with us in this place, and we can rest in that assurance and rejoice in that presence. If you have concerns about my selection and the days ahead, I likely share those feelings and hope we can talk soon about what’s on your mind. If you are enthused about my selection and want to tell me everything that must happen as soon as possible, I also share those feel-

Lord God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Those simple, lovely words are meant to be prayed as the sun sets, but they’re not so bad at the start of a new day. They were just what I needed to hear, not generated from within my own presumed wisdom, but a word from outside to interrupt the nonsense of worry and open a horizon of hope. Friends, a steady hand is leading us and a holy love supporting us, and that’s all we need discern. May this be our prayer for one another, for our seminary, and indeed for the forgotten and humiliated of this world, to whom our attention can now turn.


News from LSTC LSTC now officially a Reconciling in Christ seminary

Vance Blackfox appointed new director of Youth in Mission

At its May 2012 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) passed a resolution to make LSTC a Reconciling in Christ seminary. Prior to the vote, the board heard a presentation by members of the Masters Students Association (MSA), the International Students Association (ISA) and Thesis 96, the student association concerned with the inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. They reported that the LSTC community overwhelmingly favors the official designation as an RIC seminary. For the last several months, students had tested support for the resolution by meeting with faculty, staff, and fellow students to discuss concerns about becoming an RIC seminary. Intern Chad McKenna, who was not on campus to participate in the months of discussions that preceded the board meeting, was surprised by the vote. In his May 15 entry for the LSTC Taste and See blog, he wrote, “I’ve always assumed LSTC was an RIC seminary, based on the general vibe of welcome and inclusivity here. Today’s vote makes that ‘vibe’ more official and intentional.” LSTC joins 24 synods of the ELCA and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia as an RIC institution. In 2007 the LSTC Board of Directors adopted a welcoming statement but chose not to become RIC before the 2009 ELCA Churchwide decision to allow persons in publicly-accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as rostered leaders. In the coming school year, LSTC will incorporate the language of reconciliation into the life of the seminary. “As a student body, we want to make sure that all voices are heard and that spaces are provided for conversation on a wide variety of topics. We want to be intentional about the ‘so what?’ part of LSTC becoming an RIC seminary, focusing on continued reconciling at LSTC and incorporating the language of reconciliation—in all areas of our life together, not just concerns with sexual orientation and gender identity —into our everyday language of the school,” said Alex Raabe, one of the students who made the presentation to the board.

Vance Blackfox (2012, M.A.T.S.) was appointed director of Youth in Mission starting June 6. He has served as director of youth ministries in congregations in Chicago, California, and Texas. Mr. Blackfox has participated in and led mission and cultural immersion programs to sites throughout the United States and in Palestine, Mexico, and Zimbabwe. “Vance’s experience and gifts will be a tremendous asset to Youth in Mission’s programs, particularly the vocational discernment program, Serving Christ in the World,” said Interim President Philip Hougen. “I’m delighted that he will be leading Youth in Mission as it begins its second decade of service to youth and to the church.” Blackfox envisions helping youth investigate theology through Youth in Mission by adding new elements to the already successful program and introducing new media to get youth engaged. “I believe my vocational calling is to continue equipping and empowering youth to serve and lead in both church and society,” Blackfox said. In addition to a master of arts in theological studies from LSTC, Blackfox holds a B.A. in communications studies and ethnic/cultural studies from Texas Lutheran University. He was in the USAA Scholars Program which included internships in corporate communications and marketing. He has done extensive coursework toward a master's degree in leadership and ethics at John Brown University. He currently is enrolled in the Ph.D. program at LSTC where he is studying ethics. Blackfox has been a motivational speaker since 1994, making keynote presentations and leading workshops and vocational training for small groups and audiences of up to 36,000. He has been a chaplain at the Oaks Indian Mission, Oaks, Okla.; a multicultural program coordinator for California Lutheran University; a development editor for youth, adult, and family resources for Augsburg Fortress Publishers; and an adviser and planning team leader for the ELCA’s Multicultural Advisory Committee of the Lutheran Youth Organization and the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event. He has also done fundraising for the Oaks Indian Mission and guest services management and leadership training for Cherokee Nation Entertainment in Oklahoma.


Valparaiso University now at LSTC University expands graduate programs for increased flexibility for students May 10, Valparaiso University and LSTC announced an expansion of their Indiana-based university into Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The satellite campus is the first for the University. The University is planning to offer three graduate programs at their new location, as well as an immigration law clinic. “Chicago has a sizeable higher education community which we are pleased to join,” said Mark Heckler, president, Valparaiso University. “After much consideration and deliberation we identified programs where Valparaiso could add considerable value while remaining true to our history and values.”

Master of Ministry Administration offered

Students outside the Valparaiso University classroom at LSTC

Classes are scheduled to begin this fall. The three initial graduate programs planned are a Master of Business Administration; Master of Health Administration; and a Master of Ministry Administration, which will be the first of its kind offered in the Chicago region. The Master of Health Administration and Master of Ministry Administration are new programs for Valparaiso University. The course curriculum has been approved by the Illinois Department of Education and is in the process of being accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Master of Health Administration reflects the University’s long history of engagement in issues of health care, driven in part by the Lutheran tradition of outreach to the community through hospitals, nursing homes, other healthcare facilities, and indemnity programs. The program is solidly grounded in best practices in the health care and business fields, and prepares persons of all beliefs to deal with current and forthcoming ethical challenges of medicine and health care. This program is open to professionals in health care as well as new entrants to the field.

pleased to welcome Valparaiso University to our campus. We share a common Lutheran heritage and commitment to higher education in the Chicago area. Valparaiso’s strong reputation and education standards make it a natural partner for us. Their presence in Chicago will enhance their programs and ours. The Master of Ministry Administration degree is of particular value for leaders in the church and faith-based organizations.” Valparaiso University, a comprehensive independent Lutheran university, has more than 4,000 students on its campus located in Northwest Indiana, an hour from Chicago. Valpo has been identified as one of the top master’s-level institutions in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report magazine for the past 22 years. It offers 110 undergraduate academic programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Nursing. Valpo also has a distinguished honors college, a School of Law and more than 40 degree and certificate programs in its Graduate School and Continuing Education Division. Valpo has been recognized for its commitment to outstanding teaching, preparing thoughtful leaders with strong crosscultural skills and global awareness, and dedication to serving others.

Schools share heritage, commitments Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Interim President Philip Hougen said, “LSTC is extremely


Answering his call—after 25 years by Jan Boden Discerning a call is different for each student at LSTC. It’s some unpredictable combination of internal sense and external encouragement complicated by life circumstances. It is often a family decision, especially for second career candidates with jobs and families. After feeling a call to ministry for most of his life and having many others tell him, “I think you’d make a good pastor,” Brian Gegel needed to hear it from one last person before he decided to go to seminary: his wife, Jane. “Early in our marriage, Jane and I talked about my going to seminary. She told me that she really

cancer and I was offered another project that would enable me to stay on for another sixteen months,” Brian says. The change in their plans gave them a new perspective on the next stage of their life. “When Jane underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, we learned how to receive gracefully,” he says. “I don’t think we cooked a meal during those six months. Friends, neighbors, and congregation members literally fed us.”

Adapting to urban life LSTC was not the obvious choice of seminary for Brian. “If I’d gone to seminary 25 years ago, I would have gone to Wartburg.” He and Jane grew up in rural southern Illinois, but during his career, Brian’s work took them to larger and larger communities. “My sense is that a lot of students come to LSTC because they want to do urban ministry. I came in spite of that. I came for the spiritual formation program that is part of the curriculum and because I felt that this is the place that would stretch me most.” It took some time for Brian to get acclimated to urban living—adjusting to traffic and learning how to feel comfortable in the midst of the city. Brian did his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at two urban ministry sites. One was with a retirement community and the other was with at-risk children living in a Chicago housing project. He was struck by the similar needs of the two very different groups. He says, “They both needed someone to listen to their stories, to laugh with them and cry with them and to step back and let them do the work themselves.”

Brian Gegel preaches in the Augustana Chapel at LSTC

didn’t feel called to be a pastor’s wife,” Brian says. Brian got a job at Dow AgroSciences and had a successful career in research and project management. He and Jane stayed deeply involved in their congregation. Brian eventually served as congregation president and Jane worked as a ministry assistant. That changed about nine years ago. “One day Jane came home from work at the church and said to me, ‘I think you have some gifts that the church needs,’” Brian says. They decided, together, that it was time for Brian to answer his call to become a pastor.

Embracing and embraced by community Brian is someone who likes to establish deep and long-lasting relationships. One of the most challenging aspects of seminary for him was the transience of both the community and of internship and field education experiences. He has enjoyed forming friendships with classmates—many are the same ages as his children. He and Jane also made it a point to get to know international students who are on campus for a year or less and to celebrate holidays with them. Jane Gegel, and Brian and Jane’s son, Josh, have become beloved members of the LSTC community in their own right. For most of the three years they lived on campus, Jane was the morning reception-

Change in plans Brian began seminary by taking one class each semester at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He made plans to retire from his 29-year career with Dow AgroSciences so he could go to seminary full-time. “Right after I announced that I was going to retire, Jane was diagnosed with breast


Ready to begin

ist at LSTC’s front desk, guiding visitors and callers, orchestrating room reservations, responding to requests, and providing a pastoral presence of her own to faculty, staff, and students. Josh Gegel worked on LSTC’s building maintenance crew. “I can’t say enough about what Lenny Roberts and Scott Pachowicz (of LSTC’s building crew) have meant to Josh,” Brian says. “Josh’s degree is in English with a focus in creative writing. He’s been able to work during the day and write at night. He’s already sent a play to a theater festival for consideration.”

Being assigned to Southeastern Minnesota Synod was one more surprise in Brian’s and Jane’s journey. “It was not among my preferences, but when Jane and I visited there, we had a great visit. As we met the folks in the synod, we realized that God put us in a place that feels familiar—rural and small town—even though it wasn’t the region we expected to be in.” Brian was ordained on July 7. He's begun using the gifts for ministry that Jane and many others have seen in him for so long and establishing some new long-lasting relationships.

Students plan concert to benefit Pero Multicultural Center need to become self-sustaining. She participates in the Multicultural Center’s Students of Color group and other center activities. “I’d like the benefit concert to be an annual event to bring attention to all that the Pero Multicultural Center does as well as to sustain it. I also want the concert to lift up and honor two of our elders – Dr. Albert “Pete” Pero and Dr. Cheryl Stewart Pero, director of the Multicultural Center.” LSTC’s Multicultural Center, established in 2006, was renamed in 2011 to honor Albert “Pete” Pero Jr.’s efforts to make the Lutheran church a multicultural church. Dr. Pero was the first African Descent Lutheran in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in systematic theology. He was the first African Descent faculty member at LSTC, where he taught that our oneness in Christ through baptism leads us to “cultural self-transcendence”—unity in diversity. Grounded in Dr. Pete Pero’s idea of cultural transcendence, the vision for the Pero Multicultural Center includes cultural-specific programming that “helps people develop an awareness of their own cultures to give people the language to transmit that culture to others, enabling them to build bridges to other cultures.” Students Francisco Herrera and Lucy Wynard and staff members Sara Trumm and Kim Ferguson are also part of the team planning the benefit concert. The concert will be one of the 2012-2013 Chapel Music Series concerts and is co-sponsored by A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice. For updates on who will perform on October 7, watch or

Building on LSTC’s 50th Anniversary theme, “Many Voices, One Story,” the Albert “Pete” Pero Jr. Multicultural Center benefit concert is “Many Voices, One Song,” a theme the center will use for its events during the entire year. The family-friendly concert will be a mix of professional musicians and talented LSTC students in a line-up that will include music from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America. LSTC’s Gospel Choir, led by Dr. Keith Hampton, and the LSTC Cantorei, led by Cantor Daniel Schwandt, will perform. The October 7 concert will begin at 4 p.m. in

The LSTC Gospel Choir

the Augustana Chapel at LSTC. Admission is free, but generous donations are requested. Student Kwame Pitts had the idea for a benefit concert after she learned that the Centers at LSTC


Going the distance: commuter students at LSTC Commuter students at LSTC by Jan Boden Seminary in two days a week

Google maps will tell you that the 45- to 50-mile drive from Aurora to LSTC (depending on your route) will take about an hour. Add traffic, weather, road construction and the commute easily increases to 90 minutes. To get here on time for an 8 a.m. class, Jana Howson begins her day at 5:30 a.m. so she’ll have time for sleepy good-byes from her husband and two-year-old son. Jana is grateful that she is able to share the drive with classmates who also live in Aurora. The routine is completely different for Karen Jost, who commutes by train from Milwaukee to LSTC. During the spring semester, Karen spent Sundays packing for a two-night stay in Chicago. She caught an afternoon train that would get her to Chicago’s Union Station by evening. “On Sunday evenings the Chicago Transit Authority bus I normally take to Hyde Park doesn’t run, so I take a taxi. It makes the commute, with overnight bag, books and computer, a little easier,” she says.

Karen came to campus on Sunday evenings to be ready to take an 8 a.m. class on Mondays. That semester she also took a Monday afternoon class and one at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays. She reversed her trip to Milwaukee on Tuesday afternoon and was home in time to have dinner with her husband. “Two nights in the commuter house is about my limit,” she says. “I don’t like to be away from my husband. We have a good marriage and like to spend time together.” For years LSTC has scheduled required courses so that commuters can pack them into two days a week on campus. “Unfortunately, my first semester those weren’t two consecutive days,” Karen says. “I also took a week-long, full-day intensive J-Term class. That didn’t work well for me, but I did enjoy the class.”

Staying at the commuter house The commuter house, on University Avenue across from the school's main building, is a kind of hostel for LSTC students with shared bedrooms and bathrooms. It’s an inexpensive way for students who commute long distances (some commuter students

Pros and cons of commuting Almost one third of LSTC’s first degree (master of arts and master of divinity) students commute. While there are similarities for many commuter students— most are married or have families—each one has his or her own unique circumstances. Many commuters live in Chicago and the near suburbs. Several are from northern Illinois and the Milwaukee area. A few are from Indiana—one as far away as Indianapolis. “The advantage to commuting is that students with families do not need to relocate to Hyde Park. Spouses can keep their jobs, children can stay in the same school, childcare and other life support systems remain in place. They don’t need to find a new dentist or car mechanic. Families that don’t need to relocate don’t need loans or the loans are far less,” says Dorothy Dominiak, director of financial aid and admissions. “The disadvantage is that commuters can find it difficult to feel connected to the community. They can’t always take advantage of programs offered on campus, get to know resident families and spouses, or even have their spouses attend some of the informal meetings about things like internship or CPE.”

Karen Jost (foreground) in class


Commute and call

have come from as far away as Green Bay, Wis.) to stay on campus overnight. “Many commuter students work full- or parttime and spend only a short time on campus," Karen says. “If you stay at the commuter house regularly, you may develop a sense of community with others who are staying there during the semester. My first semester, there were three of us in the same Hebrew class. We stayed up late studying together. That was great! In spring semester, I was the only one staying there—and that was good for me if I wanted to stay up late studying, I didn’t need to worry about disturbing a roommate who wanted to sleep.”

Commuting shapes a sense of call. Jana explains, “It makes me think hard about the candidacy statement, ‘Your call is to the whole church.’ I hope to do parish ministry—but I will need to restrict to a place where my husband will be able to find meaningful work. I believe that his call is just as important as mine.” She’s grateful for the sacrifices her husband makes so she can fulfill her call. “He transferred to a new location so we could be close enough for me to get to LSTC. He is the primary caregiver for our son—taking time off work when Cian gets sick or there’s a change in daycare arrangements.” For all the inconvenience and the things they miss as commuter students, both Karen and Jana say the effort is worth it. “I feel so lucky,” Karen says. “I couldn’t do this if there weren’t a seminary within reach. I don’t want to do online classes. The distributive learning M.Div. programs at other seminaries just wouldn’t work for me, and they’d still require me to be away from home for their intensive residency periods.” “This is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing,” Jana says. For prospective students who will be commuting, she adds, “Find friends in your area to commute with and take advantage of the commuter lounge.”

Giving up community The 100-mile round trip commute takes three hours out of the days Jana comes to campus. “That’s time I could spend studying,” she says. “I make up for that with a lot of late nights. An A isn’t the be-all and end-all it once was for me. Now I have to choose between a little extra time in the library or getting home in time to see my son before he goes to bed.” It’s not just study time that she misses. LSTC is a very different experience for commuters than for resident students. “I find I miss the ‘inside jokes.’ Someone will make a comment in class that refers to something that happened on campus or in housing—and I just don’t get the joke because I wasn’t there,” Jana says. “Connecting with community at LSTC is just something you let go of when you’re a commuter. Most of my friends are in Milwaukee and, oddly enough, now that I’m in seminary and not working full-time, I’m able to take the time to have coffee with them," Karen says. Online classes have not been a good alternative for either Jana or Karen. While they “helped make my schedule more reasonable,” the courses also made them feel even less connected to the community. Jana says that orientation week at the start of each academic year strengthens her connection to the LSTC community. She also got involved on campus as editor of the student newspaper, The Door, during her first two years at LSTC. To allow commuters a chance to participate, she has advice for those planning campus events, “Please tell us about events at least a week in advance so we can make arrangements if we need to—and vary the days and times you hold events so we have more opportunities to be able to be there.”

Jana Howson assists in chapel with Professor Vitor Westhelle


For commuters only

Before the Commuter Lounge opened in the basement space under LSTC’s refectory, sleepy commuters had to catch a nap on the Shelf or in the library. There was no secure place for them to stash a day’s worth of books, so they carted them around from location to location on campus. The Commuter Lounge has been (quietly) giving commuters a place of their own on campus since March 2011. It features small, open-door rooms with shabby-chic couches and chairs, lamps, and tables reminiscent of a comfy study. Commuters can request a key to the lounge from the front desk. It’s a place to nap, study, and, especially, to leave heavy backpacks in personal lockers.

Commuter student Alpha Sabbithi studies in the commuter lounge

LSTC alum elected bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia The Rev. Dr. D. Jensen Seyenkulo (1992, Th.M.; 1999, Ph.D.) was elected bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) on April 28, 2012. He was elected on the first ballot with 59.62% of the vote. Dr. Seyenkulo, a pastor of the LCL who has also served as a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), was consecrated and took office on July 1. A celebration of his election was held in Park Forest, Ill., on June 9. The 152-year-old Lutheran Church in Liberia has tripled in size over the last 20 years. Its almost 75,000 members have been deeply affected by 14 years of civil war and is in a period of healing and peace-building. Seyenkulo told the church’s convention, “Our future is bright because of the wealth of young people we have who are so strongly committed to the ministry…We have a lot to offer for the building of our own faith and for the faith of those who do not yet know our Lord Jesus Christ.” Dr. Seyenkulo most recently served as the ELCA program director for disability ministries and support of rostered leaders in the Congregational and Synodical Mission unit. He has taught in the ELCA’s Theological Education for Emerging Ministries program. Prior to his call to the ELCA Churchwide offices, Seyenkulo was pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran

Church, Chicago, Ill. In Liberia, he was pastor of the Bong Mine Parish and the Gbarnga Parish. He was an instructor at the Gbarnga School of Theology, a joint venture of the Episcopal and Methodist churches. With Dick Thompson, a Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod pastor, Seyenkulo is founder of the Kuwaa Mission, a venture of ELCA and LCMS congregations and the Liberian church. The Kuwaa Mission provides wells and clean water for the Kuwaa area of Liberia. Seyenkulo holds degrees from the Gbarnga School of Theology and Luther Seminary in addition to the degrees he earned at LSTC. While at the Gbarnga School of Theology, he was chosen by the Lutheran World Federation to represent the continent of Africa at the Lutheran seminary in São Leopoldo, Brazil, for a year. He served on the Metropolitan Chicago Synod (ELCA) candidacy committee and has taught in that synod’s Diakonia program. Seyenkulo is married to the Rev. Linda Johnson Seyenkulo, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Park Forest, Ill. They have three children, Apu, Kenata, and Yongor.


Herb and Corinne Chilstrom co-author devotional book Herb Chilstrom (Augustana, 1958, M.Div.) and his wife, Corinne, have co-authored a year-long book of daily inspirational writings, Every Morning New, published by the Augustana Heritage Association. The book's title is from the words of the hymn, "Again Thy Glorious Sun Doth Rise," by Johan Olaf Wallin. The line, "thy bounteous grace is every morning new," came to Dr. Chilstrom during his long early-morning walks.    The cost of the book is $12 plus $3 for shipping and handling. Order the book through LSTC by contacting Ruth Ann Deppe at or 773-256-0757.

New interfaith resources for your congregation Complimentary copies of a six-DVD series, “Discover Islam” are available through A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice or through your synod. Discover Islam-USA, the producer of the series, has made the gift available. Contact Sara Trumm at or call 773256-0708. A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice in collaboration with the ELCA

Consultative Panel on Lutheran-Muslim Relations has developed a study guide for use with the series, authored by Carol Schersten LaHurd, Ph.D. The guide seeks to provide an interpretive framework, exploring how we, as Christians, might best approach and better understand each of the topics covered by the short DVDs in the series. Download the study guide at

WE REMEMBER L. Dale Lund, (Augustana, 1945, M.Div.) who served as the first dean of faculty at LSTC died on July 14 at the age of 93. As dean from 1965-68, he oversaw the shaping of the school’s curriculum and integration of a combined faculty. In 1968 he was elected president of Midland Lutheran College and served for 13 years. Dr. Lund was ordained in 1945 and became pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Attleboro, Mass. In 1947, while serving as chaplain and professor of religion at Upsala College in East Orange, N.J., he began graduate studies at Drew University, where he earned a doctor of philosophy degree in 1957. In 1958, Dr. Lund accepted a call as president of Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. It was a deep interest in theological education that led him

to become dean of the new Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago seven years later. In retirement he served briefly as president of Planned Giving Services of the Nebraska Synod of the Lutheran Church in America. He remained active as a speaker, teacher, writer and supply pastor. Dr. Lund was awarded an honorary doctorate from Midland University, an alumni achievement award from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a citation from the student body of Bethany College. A memorial service was held in early August. Dr. Lund is survived by his wife, Ruth; their four children, seven grandchildren and two greatgrandchildren.


Many Voices, One Story

Worship in the Chapel Auditorium at LSTC, October 1967

LSTC marks its first 50 years by Jan Boden Fifty? Didn’t LSTC just celebrate its 150th commencement? Yes, it did. LSTC dates its consecutive commencements to Augustana Theological Seminary, founded in 1860. It is the oldest of the five schools that merged to form LSTC. Wasn’t there something about a 40th anniversary just a few years ago? That was in 2007, the anniversary of LSTC opening its doors at 55th and University. This year we mark LSTC's 50th anniversary because it was on September 5, 1962, that the secretary of state of the State of Illinois signed the consolidation documents that merged four seminaries into the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. While a major anniversary presents the opportunity to look back at LSTC’s history and accomplishments, that exercise is of limited value unless it points us to the future. Many of the questions the Inter-Seminary Committee grappled with as they formed the new seminary are ones we still ask today: What is the best kind of seminary education LSTC can offer to form visionary leaders for the church? Where (and how) will that be delivered? What needs to be included in the curriculum? How can the school be financially sustainable? By sharing some of the many voices that have shaped LSTC over its 50-plus years, we hope you will get a glimpse of how LSTC’s mission and vision was formed and continues to evolve as it seeks to serve the church and to tell the one story of the good news of Jesus Christ.

Worship in the Augustana Chapel at LSTC

ing single heritage…Even the location of the new edifice itself is a picture of the stance of the church. There is not the slightest suggestion of recoil or withdrawal. ..This means that the Christian in society must above all be humanitarian to the highest extent, with one additional power, and that being the knowledge and sense of what man needs in the inmost core of his being in order to love himself, to carry his head erect, and to find the love in himself worthy of bestowing upon his brother man. Dr. Fry concluded his address with the expressed hope that the style of living stamped as an indelible imprint on all the students in this new seminary would subsequently “spread into the congregations they will serve and will more and more be the mark of authentic Christianity that is needed in the days to come.” LSTC, founded in both a spirit of Lutheran unity and practical necessity, would be the flagship seminary of the new Lutheran Church in America (LCA). Seminary merger discussions began almost simultaneously with the merger discussions of the church bodies that formed the LCA: the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, the American Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and the United Lutheran Church in America.

Founded in a spirit of unity and necessity In his book, LSTC: Decade of Decision, A History of the Merger of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago with Special Emphasis on the Decade 1958-1968, the Rev. Dr. Harold Skillrud writes of the excitement and expectation surrounding the new seminary. At the October 1967 dedication service for the new campus, Lutheran Church in America President Franklin Clark Fry spoke of LSTC as a living parable of that segment of the Christian church represented by the Lutheran Church [in America] with its diversity of origins and cultural identities coming together in an emerg-


Although the immediate occasion for the seminary merger discussion was the imminent church merger, it early became apparent to the members of the Inter-Seminary Committee that a unique opportunity for creative action in the field of theological education had been granted the church. The area of the four seminaries of the merging churches is the only area within the Lutheran Church in America where all four of the merging churches have a seminary.

shortly after he came to LSTC, outlines several primary elements that were part of the LSTC vision. He wrote “Giving an Account” in 1985, on the occasion of LSTC’s (Augustana’s) 125th anniversary. The seminary was clear about its commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of grace and of liberation through God’s Son,… Evangelical freedom and diversity would mark this school, and passion for truth and ardor for theological integrity would characterize its manner…In its service to the Gospel it would reflect the best of the common tradition which had been nurtured for decades in the predecessor seminaries, a tradition founded on the Word of God, growing out of the scriptures, faithful to the creeds and the Lutheran confession, wary of legalism, and dedicated to engaging the world and faithfully living in it in a posture of dialogue and critical reflection. LSTC’s identity was planted in commitments to serve the whole church, wherever the church might be, and to carry out that service by offering an excellent theological education in continuity with its own history. …LSTC was planted in a university environment in the midst of the city so that it could not escape either contemplating or experiencing the social, political, cultural and scientific development in the modern world. The adventuresomeness of LSTC’s style, its willingness to take risks, and its openness to change are surely a legacy from our recent past and the days of preparation for the formation of the new institution….its history shows no fear of fresh starts, new ideas and stimulating challenges…LSTC was given a rich and lively heritage that conditioned it to thrive on change and challenge.

1962 Summary of Agreements Supporting synods would control and provide financial support for the seminary through an elected board of directors. A Board of Theological Education in the new church would recommend the number of seminaries, the location and alignment of their supporting synods, and in general, the standards of preparation for church vocations. From 1962-67, LSTC had two Illinois campuses, one at Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island and the other at Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary in Maywood. Grand View Seminary and Suomi Theological Seminary students had moved operations to the Maywood campus in 1960 and 1958 for financial reasons and in anticipation of a merger of seminaries. By the time LSTC opened its doors in Hyde Park, a fifth seminary, Central Lutheran, of Fremont, Neb., had also become part of the new seminary.

To better prepare people for service President Stewart Herman, in the 1968 Annual Report, stated the essential goal of the new seminary …its sole purpose is the better preparation of men and women for many forms of Christian service, chiefly the parish ministry. Future generations may regard it as extraordinarily providential—in view of the present trend of national and international events—that this school was readied for such purpose at this particular time.

Change and challenge were part of the time and place of LSTC, as the 1960s began with increasing U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam, the escalation of the Cold War, Arab-Israeli conflicts, and Civil Rights demonstrations across the United States. True to the vision of its founders, LSTC did not isolate itself from the issues of the day. Students and faculty witnessed to the gospel by bringing the issues to campus then taking action outside the safety of the classroom.

According to President Herman, one of the opportunities the Inter-Seminary Committee saw in creating a new seminary was the fulfillment of an educational ideal of “Christian ministry, and indeed, of Christian life, which would take into account and be informed by the total culture of a people.” (Skillrud, p. 9) Locating the seminary in an urban setting near a major university would help the seminary achieve that ideal. The late Wesley Fuerst, who taught Old Testament at Central Seminary and served as dean

To be continued… Read Wesley Fuerst’s “Giving an Account” and other brief histories of LSTC’s founding by Dr. Robert H. Fischer and the Rev. Dr. Robert Marshall on LSTC’s website.


Class of 2012 called to serve across U.S. and around the world Together: An Ecological Reading of ‘Greed Which Is Idolatry’ (Colossians 3.5)” M.A.T.S. student Katie Deaver received the Lutheran Confessions Prize for her paper, “Reclaiming Atonement: A Lutheran Feminist Perspective” The James Kenneth Echols Prize for Excellence in Preaching went to Kjersten Priddy (2012, M.Div.) for her sermon, “The End of God’s Story is Life.”

Seventy four students graduated from LSTC’s six degree programs on Sunday, May 13. The Rev. Dr. David Beckmann, (Christ Seminary-Seminex, 1974, M.Div.) president of Bread for the World, preached and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

Sally Wilke and Alison Williams (center) are excited to be graduating

Commencement is also the time LSTC awards prizes for excellence in scholarship and preaching. The Edgar Krentz Award for Biblical Interpretation went to Ph.D. student Bridget Illian (2008, M.A.; 2011, Th.M.) for her paper, “I Peter 3.16: As Women Draw Power from Imperial Discourse” The Bible and Lutheran Faith Prize went to both Kevin Baker (2012, M.Div.) for his paper, “Gospel in Miniature: The Uniquely Matthean Parables and Dikaiosyne” and to Anja Stuckenberger (2012, M.Div.) for her paper, “Love Binds All Things

Kendrah Fredricksen announced that the Class of 2012 was giving a gift of over $4,000 to the LSTC Annual Fund. The entire amount will be matched by the Helge Annual Fund Matching Gift.

The newest LSTC alumni are (with assignments noted):

Master of Arts in Ministry Kristin Sonntag

Master of Arts in Theological Studies Vance Blackfox Alemayehu Emiru Fite Katherine Holmquest Matthew Riak Meggon Mae Thornburgh

Master of Divinity Carolyn Albert – delaying assignment Ryan Anderson – Central/Southern Illinois Kevin Baker – East-Central Synod of Wisconsin Sandra Barnes – Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast Robin Caldwell – Northern Illinois Teri Ditslear – Indiana-Kentucky

M.Div. grads Carolyn Albert, Doug Liston, David Hulse, Zach Johnson, Kevin Baker and Teri Ditslear


Dr. Esther Menn, director of advanced studies, (in burgundy robe) with 2012 Ph.D. graduates, Prinstone Ben, John Nunes, Joshua Rice, Ji Woon Yoo, May May Latt, Pintor Sitanggang, and Ishaya Gajere

Carmen Rezlaff (M.Div.) and Professor of New Testament Ray Pickett

Charles Featherstone – not in assignment process Kendrah Fredricksen – Sierra Pacific Brian Gegel – Southeastern Minnesota Dominic Guido – South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Laura Hall-Schordje – Metropolitan Chicago David Hulse – awaiting assignment Zachary Johnson – Northwestern Minnesota

M.Div. graduate Laura Hall-Schorje leads the psalm during worship

Kelli Schmit, – South-Central Synod of Wisconsin Amanda Simons – awaiting assignment Crystal Solie – Greater Milwaukee Anja Stuckenberger – Northeastern Pennsylvania Matthew Stuhlmuller – Metropolitan Chicago Bridget Thien – Southwestern Texas Justin Thornburgh – not in assignment process Megan Vaughan – awaiting assignment Christina Veres – Southeast Michigan Sally Wilke – Northern Great Lakes Alison Williams – South-Central Synod of Wisconsin

Michael Matson, M.Div.

Matthew Ley – not in assignment process Douglas Liston – Northern Illinois Michael Matson – Minneapolis Area Christine McNeal – Central/Southern Illinois Paul Moody – Southeastern Minnesota Angela Nelson – awaiting assignment Zachary Ostrem – awaiting assignment Carolyn Philstrom – Western North Dakota Rory Philstrom – Western North Dakota Kjersten Priddy – Southwest California Joy Proper – Oregon Tyler Rasmussen – Southeastern Pennsylvania Carmen Retzlaff – Southwestern Texas Kristin Rice – Northern Great Lakes Bryan Schmidt – East-Central Synod of Wisconsin

Three students from Ethiopia, Ayalew Mengesha (Th.M.), Masresha Chufa (Th.M.) and Alemayehu Emiru Fite (M.A.T.S.) were part of the Class of 2012


Master of Theology

Doctor of Ministry

Kiseong An Tanveer Azmat Iskandar Bcheiry Michael Brenner Jonathan Pimentel Chacón Masresha Chufa Viking Dietrich Jeffrey Fitzkappes Richard Frontjes Eva Guldanová Curtis Johnson Ayalew Mengesha Jeffrey Schlesinger Mary Tororeiy Yahu Vinayaraj

Karen Egan Chalk Paula Harris Seth Moland-Kovash Britta Olinder Lennart Siverbo

Doctor of Philosophy Prinstone Ben Ishaya Gajere Javier Goitia Padilla May May Latt John Nunes Joshua Rice Pintor Sitanggang Ji-Woon Yoo

Ph.D. graduate Ishaya Gajere with family and friends

Kelli Schmit and Kjersten Priddy

D.Min. in Preaching graduates Karen Egan Chalk, Seth Moland-Kovash and Paula Harris

2012 Ph.D. grad receives Illinois Humanitarian Award May 9, Pintor Sitanggang (2008, Th.M.; 2012, Ph.D.) was awarded the Indonesian American Humanitarian Award by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The Rev. Dr. Sitanggang was honored for his volunteer work with the Indonesian community in Chicago. While studying and working at LSTC, Pintor was an advisor of the Christian Indonesian Community Fellowship in Chicago, an ecumenical community that unites all of the Indonesian churches. He also volunteered as a translator in hospitals, schools, for court cases, and when people met with attorneys about gaining asylum in the U.S. With the Indonesian churches, he also helped with seminars and consultations about immigration issues and laws. The award ceremony took place in Chicago as part of the state’s observance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Dr. Pintor Sitanggang with his wife, Susy Alestriani Sibagriang and Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White


Setting an example of giving: Mark and Kathy Helge inspire others to give by Rachel Wind (2010, M.Div.) Last summer, Mark (1978, M.Div.) and Kathy Helge had a visit from Interim President Philip Hougen and Vice President for Advancement Mark Van Scharrel. Knowing that the Helges have been generous and faithful donors to LSTC for decades, the two visitors came to ask them to consider making a larger gift to the seminary. The gift the Helges gave is inspiring others to give. The Helges agreed to match all new, renewed or increased gifts to the Annual Fund, up to $500,000 a year, for two years. “When we heard that LSTC’s priority for the next two years was to increase giving to the Annual Fund, we knew that a challenge grant could do even more for LSTC than our gift alone,” said Mark Helge. It has done just that. Giving to LSTC’s Annual Fund has increased by 20% since the matching grant was announced. In May, LSTC honored the Helges for their vision and their generosity by presenting them with the seminary’s Distinguished Service Award. Their love of God, the church, LSTC, and one another was clear as they accepted the award.

Kathy and Mark Helge

Finding their way to LSTC

and Mark and Kathy had come for regular weekend visits. When they arrived in the area, Mark and Kathy moved in with Brian and commuted from northwest Indiana to LSTC so that Kathy could work at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Hammond, Ind. Despite the relatively limited exposure Mark and Kathy had with LSTC’s campus, their relationship with the seminary is deeply rooted. Mark and Kathy were immediately welcomed by faculty members, including Robert Fischer and Kurt Hendel, teachers who Mark acknowledges helped shape his ministry. They also were influenced by Brian’s profound love and appreciation for LSTC and the library. This love was so rich that Brian, an ordained minister who pursued a Ph.D. in liturgics at Notre Dame, discovered his true passion for academic libraries and their cataloguing systems. He pursued this vocation working first for LSTC’s and then for other libraries. Upon Brian’s death, his connection to LSTC and the JKM Library became that much more precious to Mark and Kathy.

Anyone who has the privilege of getting to know Mark and Kathy are immediately aware that they are kind-hearted and generous souls. However, their path to giving such a significant gift to LSTC is an unusual one. Mark and Kathy met at Valparaiso University and although Kathy knew immediately that Mark would be a pastor, he was not so sure. Mark had intended to enroll in law school, but after graduating from college he took some time off and moved to St. Louis. To his own dismay (and probably to Kathy’s great relief), he began his studies at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis to become a pastor. Mark’s first two years at Concordia coincided with the controversy about the faculty’s teaching that led to the formation of Christ Seminary-Seminex. He ended up moving to Chicago to complete his third year at LSTC rather than begin internship. Chicago and LSTC were familiar places to Mark and Kathy. Mark’s brother, Brian, attended the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary in Maywood


Following an example of giving

Twila Schock and Joy Alsop, and by LSTC student Elizabeth Martin. Now their gift will touch students’ lives in countless ways. “If people like us can’t set the example for others when we come into money unexpectedly, who will? We have to encourage our people to be more supportive financially, as well as with their prayers and time,” Mark said. True to character, Mark and Kathy wish God’s blessings on the seminary and on the new president as he begins his time at LSTC. They thank Interim President Phil Hougen for “welcoming them into the fold.” LSTC is truly blessed by our dear friends, Mark and Kathy Helge.

The Helges’ ministry took them to many places, but their ties to LSTC remained strong. As a pastor, Mark never made much money, but they gave what they could to LSTC. When Mark’s aunt, Marion Breen, passed away she left her estate to Mark and Kathy. They found themselves with the wonderful opportunity to give larger gifts to the institutions they loved. Marion was a very generous woman who gave to the institutions she cared about until her death at age 96. Mark and Kathy hoped to honor her by following her example. “It’s nice not to have to worry about money anymore, but we are not the kind of people to build a house in West Palm Beach, “ Mark said. They were honored when Phil Hougen and Mark Van Scharrel came to ask them to consider making a significant gift to the Annual Fund. When they heard that gifts to the Annual Fund help the library that Brian loved so dearly and also helped fund scholarships for future leaders in the church, the decision became very clear. “Brian was a real academic; Aunt Marion was quite the academic as well. They were quite close, so to honor him through her was so appropriate. And to help LSTC, which produced both Brian and Mark, was also appropriate,” Kathy said. Mark and Kathy are thrilled that this gift is encouraging others to give to LSTC. Their lives are enriched each week by LSTC graduates, their pastors

Diane and Philip Hougen, Mark and Kathy Helge, and Sarah Stegemoeller, chair of the LSTC board of directors

New opportunity to meet the challenge July 1, LSTC began a new fiscal year and a new year to meet the Helge Matching Gift Challenge for LSTC’s Annual Fund. Through a generous matching gift made by Mark and Kathy Helge, your new, renewed, or increased gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar. If you responded to the challenge after it was announced in November 2011 and want to contribute again, there’s more good news for you. The Helges have agreed to match, during this new challenge year, whatever was matched on your most recent gift. If you gave a new gift of $100 to LSTC between November 2011 and June 2012, it was matched 100%. If you give $100 to LSTC between July 2012 and June 30, 2013, it will be matched 100%. The

same applies for the amount matched on renewed and increased gifts. “Renewed” is defined as those who gave in the past but did not make a gift in the July 2010 to June 2011 fiscal year. “Increased” is defined as those who give to LSTC every year and are able to increase that amount (e.g., if your usual gift was $100 per year and you were able to give $125 in 2011-2012, $25 of your gift was matched. If you are able to give $125 again this year, $25 will be matched.) Your generous gifts to the Annual Fund make a difference every day, for every student, faculty and staff member at LSTC. Thank you!


A Gift for future generations This is a message to my fellow graduates of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, its predecessor seminaries, and friends of LSTC. LSTC is my beloved school. I came to LSTC in 1975 and have received two degrees from this institution. My continuing interest and involvement in issues in the faith and science dialog is a result of being known by the people of LSTC. It has been my privilege to serve on the Alumni/ae Senate in the 1980s; and now, to be a member of the LSTC Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (C.A.S.I.R.A.S.). Of course, such a continued association with LSTC is not the experience of all of the graduates and friends of LSTC; but it has helped keep the seminary among my interests and concerns. Those who know and appreciate the ministry of LSTC realize that it continues to face great economic challenges. Our school needs to attract and retain students, attend to decades of deferred maintenance of its physical plant and student apartments, increase contributions to the Annual Fund, and expand its endowment. All of this it needs to do while supporting and attracting a faculty and staff dedicated to forming visionary leaders for the Church in unpredictable contexts.

and I have spelled out in the letter it keeps on file. We can make changes to the letter by notifying the ELCA Foundation; however, the funds must be directed to at least 70% ELCA-related causes or institutions. LSTC will receive the major portion of the funds distributed according to my direction. This should result in what will be a major gift to the school I love. It will not happen when I can see it, but there have been generations of others who have provided for LSTC and its predecessor institutions who did not live to see the result of the gifts of love they made. You and I are inheritors of the gifts others have given. If this letter prompts others to find a way to help LSTC, that could be profoundlyrewarding for the Church in generations that come after us.

The Rev. Gregory Nelson Davis, pastor St. James Lutheran Church Johnston, Iowa

P.S. Pastor Buschkemper recently retired from the ELCA Foundation and will be working part-time with the LSTC Advancement Office to help people establish planned gifts like the one Rita and I have. You may contact him through the LSTC Advancement Office at 773-256-0712.

Creating a Charitable Remainder Trust to help LSTC My wife, Rita, and I have found a way to help my beloved school, LSTC. In addition to our regular support of LSTC’s Annual Fund, we worked with the Rev. Robert Buschkemper, a Regional Gift Planner with the ELCA Foundation, to establish a Charitable Remainder Unitrust. This cost us just $250.00. Our trust will be funded by the balance of my pension account with the ELCA Board of Pensions (now, Portico Benefit Services) following our deaths. For 13 years following the death of whichever of us survives longest, our heirs will receive annual payments which, in total, are designed to equal the value of the trust. However, because the principal remains invested during the years our heirs are receiving the funds, what could be the full amount of the trust will—after those 13 years—be divided among church-related causes of our choosing. Rita has decided how to direct 50 % of these funds; and I have decided who will receive the other 50%. The ELCA Foundation will follow the specifications Rita


FACULTY NOTES Ghulam-Haider Aasi, visiting professor in Islamic Studies, led a session of the “Children of Abraham 2012: Exploring Bible and Qur’an Texts” study series at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Evanston, Ill., in March.

Klaus-Peter Adam, associate professor of Old Testament, in March, preached at the German Service at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Naperville, Ill. He also led a Lenten Bible study on the Ten Commandments at First Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago, and two Bible studies on Jonah at Augustana Lutheran Church, Chicago.

Mark Bangert, John H. Tietjen Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministry: Worship and Church Music, led a two-part adult education class, “Bach: Separating Fact from Fiction” and “Bach, The Composing Machine: Sampling the Products,” at Grace Lutheran Church, Northbrook, Ill., in March. That month he also presented “Cantatas in Context” at St. Luke Church, Chicago, with performances of Bach Cantatas 173 and 180.

Joan Beck, Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation and pastor to the community, published a study guide for confirmation based on Manna and Mercy: A Brief History of God’s Unfolding Promise to Mend the Entire Universe by Daniel Erlander. A pdf of the course has been

published on the new website, www.DanielErlander. com—http://danielerlander. com/news/11/137/Mannaand-Mercy-confirmationcurriculum.html. Beck also published three “Ideas and Images for the Day” sections in Sundays and Seasons: Year C, 2013 (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Augsburg Fortress Press, 2012) In March, Beck led the education forum and presided and preached at worship at Lebanon Lutheran Church, Chicago. She was guest preacher and presented the adult forum on “Advocating for a Slow Prayer Movement” at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago, in April.

Kathleen D. (Kadi) Billman, John H. Tietjen Professor of Pastoral Ministry: Pastoral Theology, published a review of The Art of Dying, by Rob Moll, in Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology (April 2012).

Edgar Krentz, professor emeritus of New Testament, presented “The New Testament and Our Sunday Worship: Individual Words and More” in April at Grace Lutheran Church, Northbrook, Ill. In May, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Munster, Ind., he presented a month-long series on what the New Testament teaches about the Lord’s Supper.

Carol Schersten LaHurd, visiting professor in biblical studies and Islam, led a month-long study series, “Children of Abraham

2012: Exploring Bible and Qur’an Texts” at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Evanston, Ill. In May, she presented the adult forum, “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Poorer?” at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago.

Esther Menn, Ralph W. and Marilyn R. Klein Professor of Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible, in February, presented the paper, “Nebuchadnezzar in Midrash: The Early Years,” at the Midwest Society of Biblical Literature meeting at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. At this session, her service and leadership as co-chair of the section over the past several years was recognized. In March, Menn presented, with Rabbi Dr. David Sandmel, “Jews, Christians, and Israel,” at Temple Sholom, Chicago, an event sponsored by the Jewish United Fund and the Jewish Federation of Chicago.

Ray Pickett, professor of New Testament, in June, led the Bible study for the Metropolitan Chicago Synod Assembly.

David Rhoads, professor emeritus of New Testament, in February, preached and performed the first part of the Gospel of Mark at St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis. In April, he performed the passion narrative at a Good Friday service for a cluster of Lutheran congregations in Racine, Wis. He spoke and led a workshop at the Lutheran Theological


Seminary at Gettysburg, spring conference, “Getting Green Faithfully.” In June, he performed Galatians and led a Bible study at the Allegheny Synod Assembly. Rhoads continues to direct the Lutherans Restoring Creation website:, as well as other sites:,, and

Barbara Rossing, professor of New Testament, in March, taught at an Elderhostel/Lutherhostel in Carefree, Ariz. In April, she presented the 2012 Clifford Stanley lectures, on “Apocalypse: Revealing a Message of Hope,” at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in St. Louis, Mo., (http://www. docs/Misc/April2012Clifford StanleyLectures.pdf). Also in April, Rossing gave two keynote lectures at the ELCA Oregon Synod assembly. In May, she spoke on “Preaching Paul” for the Episcopal Preaching Foundation Preaching Excellence Program. She also led a Bible study that was part of the Lutheran World Federation Virtual Conference “Green and Just”: In June, Rossing led the Yale Divinity School Symposium on “Religion and Environmental Stewardship”( default/files/Summer%20 Symposium%20Program%20 4%201%2012.pdf).

Craig A. Satterlee, Axel Jacob and Gerda Maria

FACULTY NOTES (Swanson) Carlson Professor of Homiletics, in March, presented “Preaching Holy Week” for preachers in the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod Sacramento Conference and Episcopal Diocese of Northern California in Sacramento, Calif. While there, he led a congregational retreat, “When God Speaks through Worship” and preached at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Auburn, Calif. In March Satterlee also convened the spring meeting of the Academy Committee of the North American Academy of Liturgy and preached at Faith United Protestant Church, Park Forest, Ill. He also led “Preaching Holy Week," a workshop for pastors, at LSTC. A week later he repeated the workshop for pastors in Warren, Pa. He preached at First Lutheran Church in Warren on Palm Sunday. Satterlee presented “Why Is It So Hard to Preach About Money?” via the Online Empowerment Seminar for Andover Newton Theological Seminary’s LEARN Network, April 23 – May 18. Satterlee published “Preaching Is Not Fund-

Raising from the Pulpit,” in The Alban Weekly 400 (March 26, 2012). http:// He is a contributor to Go Make Disciples: An Invitation to Baptismal Living – A Handbook to the Catechumenate (2012, Minneapolis, Minn., Augsburg Fortress Press)

Lea Schweitz, assistant professor of systematic theology/religion and science and director of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science, in February, presented the lecture, “Animal Machines: A Partial History and Some Theological Reflections” at the Advanced Seminar for Religion and Science. That month she also was a commentator for the paper, “Omniscience and Worthiness of Worship” at the American Philosophical Association, Central Division.

Benjamin Stewart, Gordon A. Braatz Assistant Professor of Worship and dean of the chapel, preached for two Ash Wednesday services at

Grace Lutheran Church, La Grange, Ill. The sermons concluded his three-week lecture series there on the theology of Christian funerals (part of Grace’s 125th Anniversary Lecture Series). In February and March, he was a discussant for a study of his book, A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology (Augsburg Fortress 2011), at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago. In March, Stewart presented “Theological Dimensions of Christian Funeral Practices” at the Near West-Side Conference of the Metro-Chicago Synod, at Faith Lutheran Church, Brookfield, Ill. In April, Stewart was a workshop leader and the homilist for the opening Eucharist for the Valparaiso University Institute of Liturgical Studies. That month he also presented the adult forum, “Earth-to-Earth Day: Natural Burial Practices and Christian Theology,” at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Logan Square, Chicago. Stewart was the keynote speaker and a workshop presenter at the TexasLouisiana Gulf Coast Synod 2012 Synod Assembly and

Dr. James Echols accepts position at ELCA Churchwide Office The Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols, president of LSTC, 1997-2011, has accepted the position of Director for Theological Resources and Networks as a member of the Theological Discernment Team in the Office of the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. Dr. Echols began his service on May 14, 2012. His responsibilities include directing the support, strengthening and development of theological conversations in the churchwide organization and more widely throughout the ELCA; collaborating with the executive for theological discernment in directing the development and editing of theological resources for use by the churchwide organization and other groups; taking lead editorial responsibility for the online Journal of Lutheran Ethics; and collaborating with the director for studies in developing social statements, social messages and policy resolutions, including working with task forces, churchwide staff, the Church Council, the Council of Bishops and others, as appropriate.


the speaker at Christ the King Lutheran Church, Houston, Texas, in May. He is serving on the summer teaching staff at Holden Village Retreat Center, Chelan, Wash., and was a plenary presenter and workshop leader for the Holden Village Living Liturgy Conference in June. Stewart’s book, A Watered Garden: Christian Worship and Earth’s Ecology, was selected as one of ten best new books in ethics in the 2012 by The Christian Century, (2 May 2012 issue).

Mark Swanson, Harold S. Vogelaar Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations, was the keynote speaker for the Fifth Annual Coptic Studies Symposium, “Coptic Heritage: Literature and Continuity,” sponsored by The Canadian Society for Coptic Studies and held at the University of Toronto in March. The title of his address was “In which Language does the Holy Spirit Speak?: On Arabic language and Coptic Heritage.”

Christine Wenderoth, director, JKM Library, preached at Grace Episcopal Church, Chicago, in March and preached at the Easter Vigil service at Trinity Episcopal Church in Oshkosh, Wis.

WE REMEMBER Ruth M. Johnson 1937 – 2012 Class of 1974 After serving as a Christian Education Director in St. Paul, Minn., Ruth Johnson entered LSTC in 1970 and graduated in 1974. She was ordained that year and served four congregations in Indiana during her 28 years of parish ministry. Upon her retirement in 2002, she returned to her hometown of Manchester, Conn. She died at her home in Manchester on May 22, 2012. A funeral was held at Emanuel Lutheran Church, Manchester, on June 1. Pastor Johnson is survived by her twin sister, Ida Anderson, sister Barbara Prentice, three nieces, a nephew, and great-nieces and great-nephews.

Richard H. Luecke 1932 – 2012 Class of 1947 The Rev. Dr. Richard H. Luecke, 2009 recipient of LSTC’s Confessor of Christ Award, died on March 29, 2012. He was a teacher, advocate and scholar who was committed to serving others in witness to the gospel. Dr. Luecke was professor of philosophy and rhetoric at Christ College, Valparaiso University, visiting professor of political philosophy at the University of Minnesota, and a visiting lecturer at the University of Chicago Divinity School. From 1976 to 1993 he was director of studies for the Community Renewal Society in Chicago, an organization dedicated to empowering people to build just communities by working to eradicate racism and poverty. He also served as director of studies for the Urban Training Center in Chicago from 1964 – 71 and developer of the Urban Ministry Project in London and Oxford , England, from 1970 – 71. For many years, Dr. Luecke served on the board of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. He also served on the boards of Protestants for the Common Good and of the Center for Neighborhood Technology, both in Chicago. A funeral service was held at Augustana Lutheran Church, Chicago, on April 14. Dr. Luecke is survived by his son, Christopher, a daughter-in-law and grandson. His wife, Joan, and daughter, Magdalen, preceded him in death.

Ruben Pedersen 1919 - 2012 Augustana Class of 1946 The Rev. Dr. Ruben Pedersen became a missionary to Tanzania, East Africa, fol-

lowing his graduation from seminary. He served there, for many years, with the Lutheran Church in Central Tanzania and then held positions with the Department of World Missions of the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland and as Africa Secretary with the Division for World Mission of the Lutheran Church in America. In 1975, Pastor Pedersen and his wife Helen, took a call to a rural parish in Pennsylvania where they served for several years before moving to Florida. He served as a visitation pastor there. In 1994, they moved to Minneapolis, where they remained active in mission organizations. Dr. Pedersen died on April 26, 2012. A memorial service was held on May 5 at Augustana Apartments Chapel, Minneapolis. He is survived by his wife, Helen, four daughters, two grandsons, a sister and several godchildren.

Harvey Lee Prinz 1931-2012 Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary (Maywood) Class of 1957 An injury cut short Harvey Lee Prinz’s career in gymnastics, but gave him the opportunity to hear God’s call to ministry. He was ordained in 1957 at St. Mark Evangelical Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, and received his first call by the Board of American Missions of the United Lutheran Church in America to be a pastor-developer in Colorado Springs, Colo. In 1958, he organized and became the first pastor of Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church. In 1965, the Board of American Missions called Pastor Prinz as regional secretary for a nine-state region: Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas. He taught in Church Leadership Schools at several state universities across the U.S. from 1967-1978. In 1970, Pastor Prinz was elected president (bishop) of the Central States Synod of the LCA. He later served two four-year terms. He served as a consultant to bishops and synod councils. His report for the Lutheran Church in Canada stimulated the formation of a new Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. In 1987, he was called to serve as senior pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church, Davenport, the church where he had been ordained. He served there until he retired in 1997. Pastor Prinz was an accomplished builder of and performer on the ham-


mered dulcimer. He built more than 500 hammered dulcimers which were so finely crafted that they were commissioned as prizes for the annual national Hammered Dulcimer Contests from 197887. He made three professional recordings of hammered dulcimer duets with Lilah Gillett. Pastor Prinz served on the Executive Council of the Lutheran Church in America, the LSTC Board of Directors, the board of Bethany College, and president of the Churches United of the Quad Cities. Pastor Prinz died on February 18, 2012, after a 14-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A service of thanksgiving for his life was held February 24 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth. He is survived by three daughters and their spouses.

Ruth VanDemark 1944 – 2012 Class of 1999 Pastor Ruth VanDemark died on June 23, 2012, from metastatic breast cancer. She had served Wicker Park Lutheran Church in Chicago since 1999. She helped rebuild the church—both the building and the congregation—during her years there. Pastor VanDemark was also an attorney who practiced law in Chicago from 1976 – 2002, combining that vocation with her seminary studies and her ordained ministry. She was president of the Appellate Lawyers Association in 1992-93 and served on the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee from 1996 – 2002. Her accomplishments both in the parish and in the courtroom were remembered in articles that appeared in three Chicago newspapers. Link to the stories at http:// She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Leland Wilkinson, their two daughters and a son-in-law, two grandchildren, her mother, and two brothers. A funeral service was held June 23 at Wicker Park Lutheran Church. Ed Krentz, Christ Seminary-Seminex Professor Emeritus of New Testament gave the eulogy. The Rev. Frank Senn presided and Metropolitan Chicago Synod Bishop Wayne Miller preached.

LSTC honors Class of 1962 sors had on them long after graduation. John Moren (Augustana), who was not at the reunion recalled, “Everett Arden’s the one who turned me to look at history with an adventuresome eye…and he’s the one who got really riled up at the goat tied up outside the entrance to the classroom on, I think, Good Friday, with a toilet plunger taped to its head, with the caption 'Lord, save us from the horns of the unicorn.' The students thought this was hilarious… Arden seemed not to think thus.” Many mentioned a passion for social justice that characterized their class—a reflection of what they were learning and of the growing civil rights, antipoverty and anti-war movements. The LSTC community honored their many years of ministry with a standing ovation at the commencement ceremony on May 13.

Twenty-six members of the class of 1962 from Augustana, Maywood, and those who identify with Christ Seminary-Seminex gathered at LSTC May 12 and 13 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation from seminary. In addition to parish pastors, these graduates include a number of seminary professors (three of LSTC’s own – Richard Jensen, Ralph Klein and Albert “Pete” Pero); bishops and assistants to bishops; administrators of schools, hospitals and care centers; and mission developers. The Augustana class has faithfully reunited every five years since graduation and has remained particularly close. They were aware that they would be the last of the Augustana Seminary graduates before the seminary merged with three others to form LSTC later in 1962. Some alumni responded to the invitation to share memories of their time at seminary. Many acknowledged the influence their profesRobert Pearson receives communion from LSTC student Lucy Wynard

Cheryl Stewart Pero, Albert "Pete" Pero Jr., Marilyn Klein, and Ralph Klein at the 50th reunion of the class of 1962

Back row, left to right: Peter Larsen, Ralph W. Klein, John E. Lekander, Kenneth L. Schroeder, E. Robert Erickson, Roger N. Olson, David W. Markowich, Robert L. Pearson, Keith A. Pearson, Earl H. Eliason, Herbert E. Anderson, Donald E. Olson, Ronald S. Gladen, Mark P. Wiberg, Doniver H. Peterson Front row, left to right: Albert “Pete” Pero, Arnold M. Hedlund, Edward N. Corneilson, Robert B. Turner, Arthur K. Gaard, Bernard K. Kern, David P. Kruger, Bruce W. Berggren, George E. Jacobson


CLASS NOTES 1959 Buck Emberg (Augustana, M.Div.), completed his Ph.D. at the University of Tasmania. The title of his dissertation is “Deconstructing and Reconstructing the Martin Cash/James Lester Burke Narrative/Manuscript of 1870.” It is available at au/12437/1/Emberg_final_ thesis.pdf Karl Mattson (Augustana, M.Div.) received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Gettysburg College, where he had served as college chaplain starting in 1979. Pastor Mattson was honored for his work in social justice and civil rights. He founded Gettysburg’s Center for Public Service in 1992.

glimpse of what's happening at home," (pp. 20-24). His congregation, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Vancouver, Wash., hosts the homeless shelter, Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO). 1981 Chris Nolte (Christ Seminary-Seminex, M.Div.) was quoted in the July issue of The Lutheran magazine in "Poverty unpeeled: A glimpse of what's happening at home," (pp.2024). His congregation, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Vancouver, Wash., is part of the homeless shelter initiative, Winter Hospitality Overflow, or WHO. 1983

1974 Paul Stone (M.Div.) is pastor of Church of the Damascus Road, a congregation of inmates at the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility and the Rockwell City Correctional Facility in the Western Iowa Synod. Inmate recidivism rate (number of offenders who return to prison) drops from 60% to 15% if the inmate has been involved in a prison congregation. For those who connect with congregations after release from prison, the rate drops to 2%. To learn more about this ministry, visit www. 1978 James Stender (Christ Seminary-Seminex, M.Div.) was quoted in the July issue of The Lutheran Magazine in "Poverty unpeeled: A



David Housholder (M.Div.) has a drive-home AM radio current events show in Los Angeles, “The Bottom Line,” on KBRT Radio 740. It is available weekdays live streaming on KBRT740. com. He also is pastor of Robinwood Church in Huntington Beach, Calif. He has published three books and is rolling out an adult baptism course for churches in fall 2012.

D. Jensen Seyenkulo (Th.M.; 1999, Ph.D.) was elected bishop of the Lutheran Church in Liberia (LCL) on April 28, 2012. He was installed and took office on July 1. A celebration of his election was held in Park Forest, Ill., on June 9. A profile about him appeared in the May 26 Chicago Tribune. Read it at ct-met-liberian-lutheranbishop-20120526,0,125452. story.

Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath (M.DIv.) has been the coordinator of student services at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia since September 2011. 1989 Douglas M. Heagy (M.Div.) was installed as senior pastor at Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., on April 29, 2012. His previous call was as senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greensburg, Pa. 1990

Fred Kinsey (M.A.; 1985, M.Div.) and Kim Beckmann (1984, M.Div.; 1999, D.Min.) with retiring Director of Food Services Gerry Hubbarth at the staff farewell party

1987 Erma Seaton Wolf (M.Div.) was installed as the pastor of Hawarden American Lutheran Church, Harwarden, Iowa, in January. She is a writer for She contributed the overview for the Gospel of Luke in the Year C 2012 edition of Sundays and Seasons (Augsburg Fortress).

Monica Melanchthon (Th.M.;1995, Ph.D.) was a Bible study leader for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) virtual conference on ecological justice, “green&just,” in May 2012. During the conference, people from around the world were connected in real time for keynote addresses, webinars and Bible studies focused on the connection between poverty eradication and care for creation. Dr. Melanchthon joined the United Faculty of Theology at MCD University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia, earlier this year.


1993 James Lapp (M.Div., dual degree M.S.W.) celebrated 16 years at St. Stephen’s, Santa Cruz, Calif., where the congregation is about to build 40 units of very low-income senior housing on church property in one of the most unaffordable counties to live in in the U.S. It is one of the culminations of the work of Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA), which Pastor Lapp helped found 15 years ago. COPA is an IAF-affiliated community organization comprised of 30 churches and non-profits in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. They work together on affordable housing, access to health care, public safety (building a $12 million youth center in an underserved area), economic opportunity, education and immigration. 1995 Greg Bouvier (M.Div.) was installed as senior pastor of Sheridan Lutheran Church, a 4,100-member congregation in Lincoln, Neb.,

on February 26, 2012. On March 1, he began his 13th year on the staff of that congregation. He previously served as executive pastor, leading the staff and ministries of the church. His ministry was featured in a March 2 article in the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper lifestyles/faith-and-values/ new-sheridan-lutheranpastor-likes-team-approach/ article_bb72dd5a-771754ad-8660-0f53cde2bca0. html/ Ray Tiemann (D.Min.) was re-elected to a third term as bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod at the synod’s assembly in May in Corpus Christi, Texas. 1996 Madelyn Busse (M.A.) retired as assistant to the bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod on June 1. She received the 2006 LSTC distinguished alumni Excellence in Ministry Award for Leadership: Churchwide, Synod, or Agency. She served the Rocky Mountain Synod for 15 of her 30 years of rostered ministry. Before joining the synod staff, Madelyn, a consecrated Diaconal Minister, was Director for Candidacy and Rostered Lay Ministry for the ELCA. She and her husband live in Friday Harbor, Wash. 1999 Deborah Doering (M.A.) is taking part in a 13-week public art action this summer in the entrance hall of the Amtsgericht, Kassel, Germany. The action, titled “’just us at work” allows artists to connect, face-toface, with no digital divide — using zeros and ones as

the point of departure for works made from “lowtech”’ materials. To learn more, visit http://www. just_us_at_work. 2002 Matthew Marohl (Th.M.) has been called to serve as college pastor at St. Olaf College, beginning July 2, 2012. He had served as associate pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa, since 2009. He is the author of three books, including Unexpected New Life: Reading the Gospel of Matthew. 2003 Pete Warmanen (M.Div.) is a contributor to stories. His piece, “Forever a Child of God,” is at http:// stories/forever-a-child-ofgod.html. 2004 Michael Fick (M.Div.) published the essay “A Lutheran Tale: Seminary and the Closeted(ish) Seminarian” in Keeping the Faith in Seminary, Ellie Roscher, editor (Avenida Books) available from 2006 Gretchen Freese (M.Div.; 2008, Th.M.) was featured in an April 5, 2012, “Faces of Faith” article that appeared in the Southtown Star, the newspaper of Chicago’s south side and south suburbs. Read it at

2007 Joel Morales Cruz (Th.M.; Ph.D. 2009) published The Mexican Reformation: Catholic Pluralism, Enlightenment Religion and the Iglesia de Jesus Movement in Benito Juarez’s Mexico (1859-1872) (Wipf & Stock, 2011) Jackie Griffin (M.Div.) is serving as a technical advisor to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central Africa Republic’s Women’s Organization. She was inspired to volunteer in Africa after a 2003 LSTC Gospel Choir tour to South Africa. Her work was featured in a March 30 article in the Brenham Banner Press, Brenham, Texas. Emily (Sauer) Horrell (M.Div.) was featured in a story about first call pastors that appeared in the Northeastern Iowa Synod’s newsletter. She is pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Mason City, Iowa. Trudy Stoffel (M.Div.) is now serving as pastor of Geneva Lutheran Church, Geneva, Ill. 2008 Jon Dumpys (M.Div.) is now associate pastor of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Naperville, Ill.

Julianne Rogers and mascot Penny Pancake


Julianne Rogers (M.A.) is the communications and events coordinator for UnitingCare, a department of the Uniting Church South Australia Synod Office. She does fund and awareness raising events, including Pancake Day and Operation Santa, a Christmas Appeal done in partnership with Target Stores Australia. In her free time, she and spouse, Beau, work on their “fixer-upper” house and keep in line their “turbo-destructo” dog, Rosie. Pintor Sitanggang (Th.M.; 2012, Ph.D.) received the Indonesian American Humanitarian Award by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. The Rev. Dr. Sitanggang was honored for his volunteer work with the Indonesian community in Chicago. (Read more on page 17). Dirk van der Duim (M.Div.) is now pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Hubbard, Ohio. He began his new call in April 2012. 2009 Timothy Brown (M.Div.) was a guest on the Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ, program “Eight Forty-Eight” on May 30 to talk about whether church has to be hip to be relevant for young people. Listen to the broadcast at http://www.wbez. org/blogs/bez/2012-05/ branding-church-does-religious-service-need-be-hipbe-relevant-99652. Kristina Laine Singer Mitzman (M.Div.) was ordained on July 29, 2012, at Messiah Lutheran Church, Billings, Mont. Montana Synod Bishop Jessica Crist presided and the Rev. Karl Guhn

preached. Pastor Mitzman has been called to serve Messiah, 2010 Jessica Harren (M.Div.) was ordained at the Northern Illinois Synod Assembly on June 15. She is called to serve Capron Lutheran Church, Capron, Ill. Matt Holmes (M.Div.) published the essay, “Homer Simpson Goes to Seminary: Unchurched Adjusts to Churched” in Keeping the Faith in Seminary, Ellie Roscher, editor (Avenida Books) available from Rachel Wind (M.Div.) published the essay “Unclogging the Pipes” in Keeping the Faith in Seminary, Ellie Roscher, editor (Avenida Books) available from 2011 Anna Ballan (M.Div.) was ordained on June 16 at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Columbia, Mo. Central States Synod Bishop Gerald Mansholt presided. Pastor Ballan has been called to serve as associate pastor of Maria Församling Lutheran Church in Helsingborg, Sweden. Carolyn Hellerich (M.Div.) was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church St. Paul, Neb,, on May 19, 2012. Bishop David deFreese of the Nebraska Synod preached and presided. Pastor Hellerich has been called to serve St. Mark’s. 2012 Carolyn Albert (M.Div.) received a finalist award

from David H.C. Read Preacher/Scholar Award presented by Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, N.Y. A top prize and three finalist awards go to students in their final year of an M.Div. program at a Protestant theological school in the U.S. or Canada who demonstrate exceptional distinction in both preaching and biblical scholarship and who are committed to parish ministry. Sandra Barnes (M.Div.) was ordained July 22, 2012, at Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Slidell, La. Texas-Lousiana Gulf Coast Synod Bishop Mike Rinehart presided and the Rev. Ron Unger preached. Pastor Barnes has been called as associate pastor of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Slidell. Vance Blackfox (M.A.T.S.) is the new director of LSTC’s Youth in Mission (YIM) program. Read more about Vance on page 5. Brian Gegel (M.Div.) was ordained at New Joy Lutheran Church, Westfield, Ind., on July 7. Southeastern Minnesota Synod Bishop Harold Usgaard and IndianaKentucky Synod Bishop William Gaftjen presided. The Rev. Dr. John Santoro, senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Valparaiso, Ind., preached. Pastor Gegel has been called to serve LeSeur River and Vista Lutheran Churches in New Richland, Minn. Zachary Johnson (M.Div.) was ordained July 15, 2012 at Zion Lutheran Church, Dysart, Iowa. Northeastern Iowa Synod Bishop Steve Ullestad presided. Pastor

Johnson has been called to serve Faith Lutheran Church, Evansville, Minn. Douglas Liston (M.Div.) was ordained June 15 at the Northern Illinois Synod Assembly. Bishop Gary Wollersheim preached and presided. Pastor Liston was installed as pastor of Joyful Harvest Lutheran Church, Johnsburg, Ill., on June 24. Bryan Schmidt (M.Div.) was ordained on August 11, 2012, at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oshkosh, Wis. East-Central Synod of Wisconsin Bishop James Justman presided at the ordination. The Rev. Zachary Johnson presided over Eucharist and Crystal Solie preached. Pastor Schmidt will serve as associate pastor of First English Lutheran Church, Appleton, Wis. Anja Stuckenberger (M.Div.) was ordained June 10 at the New England Synod Assembly in Springfield, Mass. New England Synod Bishop Margaret Payne preached and presided.

Pastor Stuckenberger has been called to serve as pastor of Zion (Spies) Lutheran Church, Reading, Pa. Matthew Stuhlmuller (M.Div.) was ordained on June 3 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Park Ridge, Ill. Metropolitan Chicago Synod Bishop Wayne Miller presided; the Rev. Bob Mooney of Messiah Lutheran Church, Yorba Linda, Calif., preached. Pastor Stuhlmuller has been called to serve as associate pastor and mission developer of Redeemer Lutheran Church to plant a second site in Chicago. Christina Veres (M.Div.) was ordained July 14 at Hope Lutheran Church, Farmington Hills, Mich. Southeastern Michigan Synod Bishop Donald P. Kreiss presided and the Rev. Bradley Gee of Hope Lutheran Church preached. Pastor Veres has been called to serve as associate pastor of First English Evangelical Lutheran Church, Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.

M.Div. grads Angela Nelson and Zachary Johnson share a hug


TRANSITIONS (AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS) With gratitude LSTC honored three members of the board of directors whose last meeting was in May. Each had served three full three-year terms on the board. Susan Davenport (1992, M.Div.) represented the Northern Illinois Synod and had served most recently as chairperson of the Academic Affairs Committee.

Roger Lewis represented the Nebraska Synod. His daughter, Carrie, is a 2004 M.Div. graduate of LSTC. Roger served as chairperson of the board, 2004-2006, and has been a member of the Finance and Administration Committee. For the last four years he has been part of the Special Finance Task Force, putting in countless hours to make LSTC more financially sustainable. Peggy Ogden Howe (1997, D.Min.) represented Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod. While on the board she helped to develop a better orientation for new board members and shift the work of the Nominating Committee towards board development. LSTC gives thanks for Peggy's, Roger’s and Susan’s leadership and dedication.

LSTC receives discount on health insurance premium Sixty-five percent of LSTC employees participated in the Mayo Clinic Health

Risk Assessment before the April 30 deadline. This means that LSTC will save $13,000 in health care premium, and each person who took the assessment receives a $150 credit toward their health cost deductible.

Wind essay in new book on theological formation.

establishing a graduate program in pastoral care and counseling.

in the World June 16-30. For more about Vance see page 5.

Lucy Wynard, assistant to the dean of students and the Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation, will continue her M.Div. studies at LSTC.

Ben Randall, LSTC’s director of food services, took his place at the grill on May 22. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (in education) and of the New England Culinary Institute. Ben has worked as a chef and manager for restaurants in Chicago; Traverse City, Mich.; and Houston, Texas. He currently teaches classes at Sur La Table Culinary in Naperville, Ill. He has many specialties, but loves Puerto Rican cuisine.

Kristin Johnson, coordinator of Youth in Mission, is moving to Minnesota, where her spouse, Zachary Johnson (2012, M.Div.), will begin his first call.

Regional Gift Officer Rachel Wind (2010, M.Div.) published “Unclogging the Pipes,” an essay about her vocational discernment, in Keeping the Faith in Seminary edited by Ellie Roscher (2011, Avendia Books). Keeping the Faith is available on Amazon.

Jane Gegel, morning receptionist, is moving to Minnesota where her spouse, Brian Gegel (2012, M.Div.), will begin his first call. Terry Baeder, dean of students, is retiring but will return to LSTC in the fall as part-time director of field education. Philip Hougen, interim president, will leave LSTC July 31, after serving as acting president from July –December 2010 and interim president from May 2011 – July 2012.

Farewell and thank you In May, the LSTC community bid farewell and gave thanks for the service of a number of colleagues. Students, faculty and coworkers paid tribute to each of them.

Welcome Vance Blackfox became director of Youth in Mission on June 6 and helped lead Serving Christ

Emily Volkema, advancement assistant - development support, is a 2010 graduate of DePaul University with a B.A. in public relations/advertising and a minor in professional writing. She has held jobs and internships with Hotel Intercontinental, K Grace Childcare, Inspiration Corporation, and United Way of Metro Chicago, where she did event planning, public relations, advancement, and administrative support. Emily is a lifelong and active member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Wheaton, Ill.

In Memoriam

Gerry Hubbarth and Addie Holly have retired from the LSTC Refectory. Both are discerning what God is calling them to do next.

Nick Spehar, our colleague and friend, died on July 7. He had worked at LSTC, tending the building and grounds since November 1967. Nick’s ministry encompassed much more than his official duties. With his sense of humor and always present smile, he made everyone feel welcome at LSTC. A service of prayer and remembrance was held at LSTC on July 9. A funeral service was held July 12 at St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church, Chicago. A memorial service at LSTC is being planned for early fall. A more complete tribute to Nick will be in the next issue of the Epistle.

Rosanne Swanson has resigned as director of field education to take a position at Mekane Yesus Seminary in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she will be


Life at LSTC

Clockwise from upper left: Interim President Philip Hougen presents Bread for the World President and 2012 Commencement speaker David Beckmann with an honorary doctorate from LSTC; Angela Storer as Katie Luther and Rob Bork as Martin Luther in a dance number from the student production, "Katie Luther: The Musical"; Alison Williams (2012, M.Div.) gives Dean of Students Terry Baeder a high five during the commencement ceremony; faculty and staff give Addie Holly a standing ovation; JKM Library Special Projects Librarian Emilie Pulver with Willie Blackmon as they get ready to load boxes of duplicate books donated by the library to the Theological Book Network for overseas seminaries; In Memoriam: Nick Spehar pictured at the front desk

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Calendar of Events All events are at LSTC unless otherwise noted. Check events for details August 29 Orientation for new and returning students Ongoing Mondays, Sept. 10 – Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. The Epic of Creation lectures Third Thursdays Sept. – Nov. , 4:00 p.m. Religion and Science Film Series September 4 Fall Semester begins 4 12:20 p.m. Manz Organ Series featuring Thomas Wikman 5 Opening Convocation – 50th Birthday party for LSTC 14–15 Glocal Event at LSTC 15-October 15 Hispanic Heritage Month

October Arab/Middle Eastern Heritage Month 6 Tithing and Stewardship Workshop contact tithing@lstc. edu 7 4:00 p.m. Many Voice, One Song benefit concert for the Pero Multicultural Center 8 Albert "Pete" Pero Jr. Lecture 21–23 Seminary Sampler, contact 27 1:30 p.m. Inauguration weekend panel discussion and lecture 28 4:00 p.m. Installation of James Nieman as president of LSTC, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5350 S. Woodlawn, Chicago. Pre-service music begins at 3:30 p.m. Reception at LSTC after the service.

November American Indian/Alaskan Native Heritage Month 8 11:00 a.m. Kristallnacht Observance, Augustana Chapel 12 11:30 a.m. Veterans’ Day panel discussion, Room 350 15-16 4:00 p.m. Conference on Genesis 22 – The Binding of Isaac 26 11:30 a.m. Lutheran Heritage Lecture by Dr. Monica Melanchthon

Epistle Magazine, Summer 2012  
Epistle Magazine, Summer 2012  

Magazine of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Summer 2012. James Nieman elected president.