Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

LSTC >> About LSTC >> Faculty

Peter Vethanayagamony

Associate Professor of Modern Church History and Director of D.Min. Program

Peter Vethanayagamony

Phone: 773-256-0749

Education | Biography | Areas of Expertise | Titled Presentations | Profile | Published Works | Sermons

Publicity Image


B.Th., Serampore University, India

B. D. [M.Div], United Theological College, India

B. Ed., Annamalai University, India

M.A  [Philosophy], Osmania University, India

 M.A. [History], Annamalai University, India

M. Th., United Theological College, India

Th. M., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Ph. D., Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Areas of Expertise

Topics that Dr. Vethanayagamony is available to address at adult forums and other congregational events

History of Asian Mission and Church History
Ecumenism and Mission
World Christianity
Modern Church History
Immigrant Congregations


Peter Vethanayagamony’s major teaching interests are modern church history, Asian church history, mission and ecumenism. His teaching is highly informed and influenced by the global and ecumenical perspectives. Vethanayagamony strongly believes that Church History is not a millstone of anguish; rather milestones that mark times of transition, times of renewal, times of faith, that root us, hold us accountable, and give us a vision for the future.  A society unaware of its history is a society suffering amnesia—it has lost its identity. He is also convinced that church history is all about making connections on multiple levels with “living voices of people who just happen to be dead.”

By connecting with these voices, by dialoging with the “cloud of witnesses,” we not only know about the past, but we may also learn how to live more faithfully in the present. His research interests include non-Western churches in the West and early Indian Lutheranism. Before joining LSTC, Vethanayagamony taught church history at Hindustan Bible Institute and College, Chennai, India for 16 years, where he also served as Academic Dean. His pastoral ministry in the Chicago region over nine years includes outreach ministry and mission. He is married to Serene. They have two children. Vethanayagamony currently serves as the Director of D. Min Program.


Peter Vethanayagamony [Vetha] is associate professor of modern Church History and director of the D.Min. program at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Before joining LSTC, he taught Church History at Hindustan Bible Institute and College, Chennai, India for sixteen years, where he also served as Academic Dean.  Vetha has also served over nine years as Outreach Minister and missional pastor in Chicago, besides his pastoral ministry in India. His research interest includes early Indian Lutheranism and immigrant non-western churches in the West.

Vetha grew up and received his early education in India. He received the bachelor of theology degree from Serampore University, the bachelor of education from Annamalai University, the bachelor of divinity [M.Div] degree and master of theology degree [history of Christianity] from United Theological College, the master of arts degree in philosophy from Osmania University, the master of arts degree in history from Annamalai University, and the master of theology from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.  His doctor of philosophy degree was bestowed "with distinction" by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

He is married to Serene, who teaches high school biology. Their daughter is in medical school and their son is a college student.

Titled Presentations

The Nineteenth Century Indian Missionary Conferences (1855-1910) and their Significance in Understanding the Developments of  Christian Attitudes to Other Religions.

"Mission from the Rest to the West": A Glimpse of Changing Landscape of World Christianity and Its Implications for the Christian Mission Today.

Published Works

co-editor of Mission after Christendom: Emergent Themes in Contemporary Mission  (Louisville, KY, Westminster John Knox Press, 2010)

“The Lutheran Churches of India”  Web article in Lutheran Forum, December 15, 2009

“Serving Body and Soul in Early Lutheran Mission to India,” Lutheran Forum (Winter 2009):36-40.

An Introduction to the History of Christianity.  Madras: HBI Publishing, 1998.

A Hand Book on History of Christianity in India. Madras: HBI Publishing, 1998.

"I Appeal to the whole Christendom:" Benjamin Schultze and the Eighteenth Century Ecumenical Experiments (in press, 2008)

Page last modified Sep 3, 2015