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Recent faculty activities and publications - November 2013

Here is a summary of activities and recently published articles by LSTC faculty (including emeriti and auxiliary).

Klaus-Peter Adam,

associate professor of Old Testament, published a review of Reading Samuel: A Literary and Theological Commentary by Johanna W. H. van Wijk-Bos, in RBL book reviews

Terry Baeder,

director of field education, preached and led an Adult Forum about Ministry in Context in July at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Oak Forest, Ill. That month he also led a team-building staff retreat using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at Christ Lutheran in Belvidere, Ill. In August, he preached at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Glenview, Ill. In September, he was the guest speaker at the Southwest Interfaith Team (SWIFT) Speakers Forum on “How Interfaith Relations Shape Lives and our Communities.”

Mark Bangert,

John H. Tietjen Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Ministry: Worship & Church Music, preached and presided at St. Luke Church, Chicago, in August. In September he led three adult education classes at Grace Lutheran Church, River Forest, Ill. In October he designed and led a “Do-It-Yourself Bach” event at St. Luke Church with the St. Luke Bach Choir and Orchestra as the first presentation of the 2013-14 Bach Cantata Series. Later that month he presented a lecture, taught two classes and rehearsed and presented Bach Cantata 106 for the Lenoir Rhyne Bach Festival.

Joan Beck,

Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation and pastor to the community, developed and led an adult forum on First and Second Timothy in September and October for Lebanon Lutheran Church in Chicago. She preached at United by Faith Lutheran Church, Evergreen Park, Ill., in October and with three LSTC international students and the LSTC Guild president, Beck attended the attended the Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s Women’s Organization Annual Convention, “Steeped in God’s Love,” at Edison Park Lutheran Church, Chicago. 

Beck consulted with Eric H.F. Law’s Kaleidoscope Institute Associates to design the first-ever joint retreat for the multiple campuses of the Urban Village Church, a United Methodist outreach to young adults in Chicago. The event was held in November, led by John Beck (Auxiliary Faculty), Stacy Kitahata, and Joan Harrell. Joan Beck assisted with the program’s preparation and presentation.

Kathleen (Kadi) Billman,

John H. Tietjen Professor of  Pastoral MinistryPastoral Theology, Director of the Master of Divinity Program, published  “More Perspective on Mission”  in the June 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission.  Her article, with Christine Wenderoth, “Revitalizing Teaching and Learning in the Church” appeared in the August 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission. She contributed “Preaching Helps”  to the October 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission.

Philip Hefner,

professor emeritus of systematic theology, published “The Lutheran Church in Hyde Park,” in Let’s Talk, Metro Chicago Synod of the ELCA, Sept. 2013. He published the foreword in Mladen Turk’s Being Religious:  Cognitive and Evolutionary Theories in Historical Perspective (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2013). He contributed the foreword and “Poems” to Ann Milliken Pederson’s The Geography of God’s Incarnation: Landscapes and Narratives of Faith, (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013).

Kurt K. Hendel,

Bernard, Fischer, Westberg Distinguished Ministry Professor of Reformation Church History, presented four lectures on the theme, "Faith Active in Love: An Ethic for our Time," for the annual Luther Lectures series sponsored by the Northern Rockies Institute of Theology in Chico Hot Springs, Mont., in September.

Ralph Klein,

Christ Seminary-Seminex Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, preached at Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Naperville, Ill., in September, where he also led a four-week adult forum on Daniel and Susanna. In October, he gave a presentation on Medals Commemorating the Reformation for the Men's Breakfast at Our Saviour's. This fall Klein has been teaching an Introduction to the Old Testament in Bloomington, Ill., for Synodically Authorized Ministers in the Central/Southern Illinois Synod.  In October and November, he led the adult forum at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Munster, Ind., on the History of the Interpretation of the Bible. In November he led a discussion of the History of Israel in the Psalter at the Renaissance Academy in Chicago. Klein is now a trained docent who is leading tours lead tours of the Oriental Institute.

Klein published a number of reviews in Currents in Theology and Mission. His reviews of  Isaiah 40-66: Translation and Commentary by Shalom M. Paul;  Psalms 3: A commentary on Psalms 101 – 150 by Frank Lothar Hossfeld and Eric Zenger; and The Sin of the Calf: The Rise of the Bible’s Negative Attitude Toward the Golden Calf by Young Ho Chung were in the June 2013 issue. His reviews of The Book of Judges by Barry G. Webb and of  Jeremiah: Pain and Promise by Kathleen M. O’Connor appeared in the August 2013 issue. His reviews of Mothers of Promise: Women in the Book of Genesis by Tammi J. Schneider and of Great Prayers of the Old Testament by Walter Brueggemann appeared in the October 2013 issue.

Edgar Krentz,

Christ Seminary-Seminex Professor Emeritus of New Testament, presented the lecture, “A Time to Remember, Reflect, and Renew” at the Concordia Senior College, Class of 1963 50th Reunion at Concordia University, River Forest, Ill. in June. In August he presented a paper on "Christian Views from Pisgah," at the Israel and the Land in Biblical Theology section, at the 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies, in Jerusalem, Israel.  In September he presided and preached at the Eucharist Service at the Montgomery Place Residences in Chicago.

Krentz has published a number of book reviews in recent issues of Currents in Theology and Mission.  His review of Romans Interpreted by Early Christian Commentators translated and edited by J. Paout Burns, Jr. appeared in the June 2013 issue. His reviews of Reading the New Testament for the First Time by Ronald J. Allen, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible by James C. VanderKam, Walking Where Jesus Walked: Worship in Fourth-Century Jerusalem by Lester Ruth, Carrie Steenwyk, and John D. Witverlier, and The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek by Douglas S. Huffman in the October 2013 issue.

Wilhelm Linss,

professor emeritus of New Testament, published a review of Introducing Romans: Critical Issues in Paul’s Most Famous Letter by Richard N. Longenecker in the October 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission.

Esther Menn,

Ralph W. and Marilyn R. Klein Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Scripture, in September helped launch a new curriculum titled “New Paths: Christians Engaging Israel” taught it on six Sundays at Fourth Presbyterian Church with Bob Cathey of McCormick Theological Seminary. In September she attended, with Michael Shelley, the meeting of the ELCA Deans at the ELCA Churchwide Offices and also participated in the ELCA Consultative Panel on Jewish Christian Relations meeting. At a meeting of the Christian Scholars Group for Jewish Christian Relations at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y., in October, she led a discussion of her paper, “Christian Views from Pisgah,” about Christian biblical scholarship on the theme of land in the Bible. She presented that paper at the 16th World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, Israel, in August. 

James Nieman,

president, attended the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburgh, Pa., in August. In October he made three presentations at the 2013 Bishop's Theological Conference of the St. Paul Area Synod held at the Heartwood Conference Center and Retreat in Trego, Wis.. The title of the Conference was “Back to Basics for Mission in the Future: A Lutheran Understanding of Church, Synods, and Bishops.” Nieman’s three sessions were: “Why Synods? Why Bishops?”, “What about This Synod?” (with Bishop Peter Rogness), and “Which Kind of Bishop?” Nieman and Bishop Rogness also participated in an informal conversation,“Where Are We Going?”

Cheryl Pero,

director of the Albert “Pete” Pero Jr. Multicultural Center, published “When Did We See You, Lord?”  in the October 2013 Journal of Lutheran Ethics,

Richard Perry,

professor of church and society and urban ministry, delivered the paper, “Physicality as a new model for Lutheran ethics in a multicultural world” at the conference “Remembering the Past, Living the Future: Lutheran Tradition in Transition” in Uppsala, Sweden, in October.  That month, Perry also participated in the Seminary Stewardship Alliance annual conference in Lexington, Ky., with Ben Stewart and Bob Berridge, where they learned about how focusing on creation care could be incorporated into courses and curricula.

Ray Pickett,

professor of New Testament, gave presentations at the South Central Wisconsin Synod's fall theological conference in October. That month he also was involved in and did presentations for the Organizing for Mission Cohort Gathering in Chicago.

David Rhoads,

professor emeritus of New Testament, is co-editor of The Season of Creation: A Preaching Commentary published in July by Fortress Press. It provides commentaries on the alternative lessons and a new “Theology of Liturgy” for the four-week season usually celebrated in September leading up to the Blessing of the Animals. Contributors include Vicky Balananski (Australia), Sr. Diane Bergant , CSA (USA), Jione Havea (South Seas), Monica Jyotsna Menachthon (India), Barbara Rossing (USA), Alice M. Sinott (Scotland), and Gerald West (South Africa). Rhoads’ co-editors are Norman Habel of Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, and the Rev. Dr. H. Paul Santmire.

Rhoads  published “Hospitality in the Classroom” in the August 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission.

Barbara Rossing,

professor of New Testament, is host of the new "Living the Questions" DVD on religion and science, "Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and Evolving Faith." Her commentaries introduce each of the seven 20-minute segments. The DVD is available from

In July, Rossing lectured and led a workshop on "Biblical Destination Narratives & Scientific Narratives" at the ELCA Summer Missionary Conference, Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis. She spoke on Creation Care Sunday, Sept. 8, at First United Methodist Church, West Lafayette, Ind.  In early October, she served as the Lutheran Campus Ministry Theologian in Residence in Salem and Corvallis, Ore., Later that month she presented the paper, “Luther and the Bible,” at the “Remembering the Past, Living the Future: Lutheran Tradition in Transition” in Uppsala, Sweden.

Michael Shelley,

Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and director of A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice, was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus in Christian Service Award from Trinity Lutheran Seminary on Sept. 26, during the school’s Trinity Days alumni event in recognition of his faithful witness to the church and community by his vocational office in global mission and in the academy, including his dedicated service to LSTC.

Benjamin Stewart,

Gordon A. Braatz Assistant Professor of Worship, in June delivered the opening plenary address, "Matters of Life and Death," at a joint annual gathering of the North American Association for the Catechumenate and the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission in Chicago. In July he delivered the opening plenary address "Newness and Renewal: Digital Media and the Future of Worship in Real Time," to the Biennial Conference of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians at Valparaiso University. In July and August, taught three week-long courses at Holden Village, Washington: "Eating Our Way through the Gospel of Luke: Jesus and Food," "Singing Our Way Through the Gospel of Luke: The Canticles," and "Praying With Earth and Sky: Ecotheological Dimensions of Christian Seasonal and Daily Prayer." The last was a guided seven-day "Holden on the Trail" backpacking trip from Holden Village to Stehekin through the Glacier Peak Wilderness pausing for worship and teaching along the way.

In September, Stewart presented "There was a Garden in that Place: Planning Worship with the Seasons" at the Wartburg Tri-State Forum Lecture at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. He served as master of ceremonies for the installation of Craig Satterlee as bishop of the North/West Lower Michigan Synod at Trinity Lutheran Church in Midland, Mich. He also was the speaker for the ninth annual workshop on prayer at Hobart First United Methodist Church,  Hobart, Ind., where he presented two lectures and a workshop on "Table Grace: How Holy Communion can invite us into a new heaven & a new earth...within our present world."

Stewart preached for the St. Francis commemoration and blessing of the animals at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago, in October. He also attended the annual Seminary Stewardship Alliance Conference at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky.

In November, he delivered the keynote “More than Enough,” for the 2013 Fall Theological Conference of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, in Onalaska, Wis.

Stewart, published “Baptismal Water in Lutheran Worship and on the Earth: A Living, Sacramental Landscape” in Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology, edited by Shauna Hannen and Karla Bohmbach, (Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2013). His article, “Teaching as Vocation: Autobiographical Reflections,” appeared in the August 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission.

Mark Swanson,

Harold H. Vogelaar Professor of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations, in 2013, has given presentations, scholarly papers and keynote addresses in Guntur and Hyderabad, India; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; and in the U.S. in Chicago, Dearborn, and Los Angeles.

This fall, a project he’s been working on for ten years came to a close with the publications of the fifth and final volume of Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History, ed. David Thomas, et al. (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2009 - 2013). Swanson was Christian Arabic section editor for the five volumes and contributed 75 articles of his own to it.

Swanson published “The Other Hero of The Martyrdom of Jirjis (Muzahim): Saywala the Confessor,” in Coptica 11 (2012). He published “The ‘Urban Ministry’ of Anba Ruways,” in Graeco-Latina et Orientalia: Studia in honorem Angeli Urbani heptagenarii, ed. Samir Khalil Samir and Juan Pedro Monferrer-Sala (Cordoba: Cordoba Near Eastern Research Unit; Beirut: CEDRAC, 2013).

Linda Thomas,

professor of theology and anthropology, was a panelist for the 2013 C. Shelby Rooks Legacy Event “Black Faith and Black Theology Symposium” at Chicago Theological Seminary in October.

Peter Vethanayagamony,

associate professor of church history, preached and presided at New Life Lutheran Church, Bolingbrook, Ill., in October.

Christine Wenderoth,

director of the JKM Library and associate professor of ministry, preached at Oak Lawn Presbyterian Church, Oak Lawn, Ill., in September. In October, she participated in a panel at Grace Episcopal Church, Chicago, that reflected the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech.

Wenderoth published “Good Reading by the People of the Book” in the August 2013 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission.

Audrey West,

adjunct professor of New Testament, taught “ELCA Social Statements” as Visiting Professor of Lutheran Studies at Yale Divinity School during the Spring Term of 2013 and served as external reader for Ordination Exams for the Moravian Church Northern Province during the summer of 2013.

West presented “Biblical Resources for Changing Times” at the Luther Academy of the Rockies, in June, and co-taught “Biblical Preaching” with David Lose at Luther Seminary in July. She presented an adult forum, “Introduction to Luke” at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown, Pa., in September. In October she presented “Storied Lives: Friendship, Ethics and Care at the End of Life” at the Tri-State Forum at Wartburg Seminary and led an adult forum, “Introduction to the New Testament” at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, Emmaus, Pa.

West appears in a video segment on “1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy, Titus” for Covenant Bible Study, Jaime Clark-Soles and Ted Hiebert.

She published “Gathered by God,” Nine-session Bible Study, serialized in Gather, September 2012 – May 2013 (Chicago: Women of the ELCA) and Gathered by God: Leader’s Guide (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2013).

 Vítor Westhelle,

professor of systematic theology, in June, was a speaker at the IECLB Pastor’s Conference, Rodeo12, in Santa Catarina, Brazil,  and at the consultation called by  IECLB (the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession of Brazil), of the faculties of the three seminaries of the ICLCB to discuss Lutheran Hermeneutics in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. In July, Westhelle was a presenter at the Congresso Internacional da Soter - PUC Minas, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brasil: "Deus na Sociedade Plural. Fé – Símbolos – Narrativas" For more information, visit:

In October, Westhelle was the main speaker for the Convenção de Ministros e Ministras da IECLB – 2013, Curitaba-PR, Brazil, a national conference of the pastors of the Lutheran Church in Brazil. He delivered the keynote address “The Luther Planet: Challenges and Promises for and from Lutheran Global Identity between Politics and Economy” at “Remembering the Past, Living the Future: Lutheran Tradition in Transition,” an international conference organized by the Church of Sweden Research Unit and Department of Theology, at Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden. 

Westhelle published "O Deus cristão: o fim da dádiva e a dádiva do fim", Deus na Sociedade Plural: fé, símbolos, narrativas, Pedro Ribeiro de Oliveira, Geraldo de Mori, eds. (São Paulo: Paulinas, 2013). He contributed "Religião e Sociedade: Desafios Contemporâneos" in Religião e Sociedade: Desafios Contemporânios, Iuri Andréas Reblin and Rudolf von Sinner, eds. (São Leopoldo: Sinodal/Est, 2012).

Churrasco: A Theological Feast in Honor of Vítor Westhelle is a collection of essays by a wide range of theologians from around the world was published on the occasion of Westhelle’s sixtieth birthday. Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago alumni Dr. Mary (Joy) Philip and Dr. John Arthur Nunes edited the collection along with Dr. Charles M. Collier. (Eugene, Ore.: Wipf and Stock Publications, 2013)

Gayle Woloschak,

adjunct professor of religion and science and associate director of Zygon Center for Religion and Science, was elected President of the Orthodox Theological Society of America in October 2013.  That month she also served as a discussion leader for the Orthodox Women in the Healing Ministries Conference and Retreat, "Bioethical issues of Conception, Pregnancy, Stem Cells," at the Orthodox Monastery of the Dormition in Rives Junction, Michigan.



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