Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

LSTC >> About LSTC >> History >> 50th Anniversary >> Timeline
President Stewart Herman

President Stewart Herman


Demolition in preparation for LSTC

Demolition in preparation for LSTC's new building


President Stewart Herman and Illinois Synod President Robert Marshall

President Stewart Herman and Illinois Synod President Robert Marshall lay the cornerstone


Opening Convocation

Opening Convocation in the unfinished LSTC Chapel Auditorium


Family outing 1968 - LSTC Housing in the background

Family outing 1968 - LSTC Housing in the background


Jean Bozeman

Jean Bozeman


Concordia Seminary students, faculty and staff walk out

Concordia Seminary students, faculty and staff walk out



Albert "Pete" Pero Jr.


William Lesher

William Lesher


Jose David Rodriguez Jr. - Hispanic Ministries trip

Jose David Rodriguez Jr. (middle, in dark vest) on a Hispanic Ministries trip


Feast of Fools

Female enrollment at LSTC grew to almost 25% in 10 years. These students are part of the "Feast of Fools."


Dr. Ralph Klein, circa 1983

Dr. Ralph Klein, circa 1983



Missionary Orientation session

Dr. Yoshiro Ishida leads a Missionary Orientation session at LSTC in the late 1980s.



CCRS staff, 1988

CCRS staff, 1988.


Paul Manz

Paul Manz, artist in residence, at the organ during a benefit concert for LSTC.


Godspell thespians

1992 Seminary Community Theatre of Hyde Park production of Godspell


LSTC Gospel Choir in Tanzania

Patricia Bartley reading the anti-racism timeline in the Grand Hallway 1990s


James Kenneth Echols

James Kenneth Echols was elected president of LSTC in 1997

Lutheran-Reformed Festival Worship Service at Rockefeller Chapel

McCormick Seminary President Cynthia Campbell and LSTC President James Echols lead the Lutheran-Reformed Festival Worship Service at Rockefeller Chapel


The Lutheran World Federation 50th Anniversary

The Lutheran World Federation 50th Anniversary: Front row: Vitor Westhelle, Monica Melanchthon, Dorothy Marple, Prasanna Kumari, Molefe Tsele; second row: Barbara Rossing, Wanda Deifelt, Mitri Raheb, Paul Rajashekar, Mark Thomsen, Stacy Kitahata


Groundbreaking ceremony for LSTC/McCormick construction projects

Groundbreaking ceremony for LSTC/McCormick construction projects brought together the presidents of the two seminaries and the leaders of the two denominations

Demolition of LSTC’s Chapel Auditorium

Demolition of LSTC’s Chapel Auditorium


President James Echols, Wendy Anderson and Bishop Mark Hanson

President James Echols anoints the altar in the new Augustana Chapel with Wendy Anderson and Bishop Mark Hanson


Ruth and Paul Manz Organ - Augustana Chapel

Installation of the Ruth and Paul Manz Organ in the Augustana Chapel


Angela Khabeb, Emmanuel Jackson, and Rhonda Pruitt

Angela Khabeb, Emmanuel Jackson, and Rhonda Pruitt were the first Bridges Scholars


Harold Vogelaar and Mark Swanson

Professors Harold Vogelaar and Mark Swanson at the dedication of the Vogelaar Chair

Participants in Youth in Mission 2005

Participants in Youth in Mission before they visit a Chicago mosque

Cheryl Stewart Pero

Cheryl Stewart Pero received a Ph.D in biblical studies in 2010

President James Nieman

James Nieman addresses the congregation during his installation as LSTC’s seventh president


Many Voices, One Story
LSTC's First Fifty Years




The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago was formally established on September 4, as a result of the merger of four institutions: Augustana Theological Seminary at Rock Island, Illinois; Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary at Maywood, Illinois; and Grand View Seminary, and Suomi Theological Seminary, which had been holding their classes at Maywood since 1960


Stewart Herman installed as president; the exact site of the new $8 million academic unit fronting 55th Street between University and Greenwood Avenues was selected in mid-summer; L. Dale Lund elected Dean



Demolition of buildings on site begins in September. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on October 6



Cornerstone laid on April 24 with a special “Foundation Festival of Praise” at the site; LCA adopts a proposal to merge a fifth campus, Central Theological Seminary at Fremont, Neb., with LSTC



Opening Convocation on new campus October 1; classes begin October 2; LSTC’s new campus in Hyde Park dedicated October 22


After Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is killed, LSTC classes are suspended for a two-day seminar on strategies to combat racism



Two women enroll in ministerial studies (Kristine Warmoth and Alice Moberg)



African-American students call for special programs; Chicago Cluster of Theological Schools (Hyde Park) formed with offices at LSTC; accreditation review results in “high marks” for the seminary; Jesuit School of Theology (Bellarmine) moves onto the LSTC campus and becomes a library partner


Jean Bozeman, assistant professor of religious education, is the first female faculty member at LSTC; faculty size is 19 compared to 30 in 1967



Walter F. “Pat” Wolbrecht inaugurated as president in April; bachelor of divinity (B.D.) changed to master of divinity (M.Div.)



Academy for Hispanic Ministries founded—senior seminarian José David Rodríguez Jr. on staff; Doctor in Ministry Program inaugurated (D. Min.)



University of Chicago permits “bi-registration”; students, faculty and staff from the LCMS Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, walk out to form Concordia Seminary in Exile, later Christ Seminary-Seminex



Albert “Pete” Pero becomes the first African American faculty member at a North American Lutheran seminary; McCormick Theological Seminary moves to Hyde Park from Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood; holds all its classes at LSTC; Jesuit-Krauss-McCormick Library formed



Arthur Arnold becomes president; successful Seminary Life Appeal retires all of LSTC’s capital indebtedness



William Lesher elected president



Hispanic Ministry Program begins



Fall enrollment: 255, including 60 women



Conference for ordained women held on the 10th anniversary of the ordination of women in Lutheran churches



LSTC receives accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; fall enrollment: 301



Agreement made with Christ Seminary-Seminex to deploy faculty to LSTC; Rural Plunges (immersions) begin; first Black Ordained Women’s Conference held at LSTC organized by Cheryl Stewart; tuition: $1,800, up from $1,050 in 1972



Christ Seminary-Seminex deploy faculty, students, and administrative resources to LSTC in anticipation of the 1988 church merger. Faculty included Mark Bangert, Edgar Krentz, Kurt Hendel, Ralph Klein, Robert Conrad, and Paul Manz.



Yoshiro Ishida accepts invitation to head a new Center for Global Mission at LSTC



Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is formed from the merger of the American Lutheran Church (ALC), the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), and the Lutheran Church in America (LCA).

Unification of LSTC and Christ Seminary-Seminex takes place on December 31, 1987, to enter into the new ELCA as a unified school on January 1, 1988. The new ELCA has eight seminaries and two additional programs, the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest (Austin, Texas) and The Lutheran Theological Center (Atlanta, Georgia).

The LSTC Gospel Choir is formed in response to Patricia Bartley’s invitation to students and staff to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a special worship service



Chicago Center for Religion and Science moves offices to LSTC



Under the leadership of Dr. David Rhoads, students, and staff, LSTC becomes a Green Zone and a model of good environmental practices for other seminaries and institutions



Laura Gross is the first woman to earn a Th.D. from LSTC



LSTC receives $100,000 Arthur Vining Davis grant to build new strategies to meet all of the seminary’s financial needs



Hispanic Ministries Program at LSTC has 35% of the total number of ELCA M.A. and M.Div. students enrolled in Hispanic ministry studies

LSTC begins to offer evening classes on and off campus for lay people and commuter students



First draft of ELCA statement on human sexuality is released; LSTC faculty write a response and participate in discussion and revision of the document



LSTC becomes part of the Covenant Cluster with Wartburg Theological Seminary and Trinity Lutheran Seminary



LSTC establishes its first endowed chair, The Axel Jacob and Gerda Maria (Swanson) Carlson Chair of Homiletics





James Kenneth Echols is elected the fifth president of LSTC. He is the first African American president of a North American Lutheran seminary.

LSTC Gospel Choir goes on a singing tour in Tanzania, West Africa

ELCA becomes full communion partners with the Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ




More than 450 people from around the world gather at LSTC for the Lutheran World Federation’s 50th Anniversary celebration and conference, "Envisioning a Lutheran Communion: Perspectives for the 21st Century"




LSTC enters dialogue with McCormick Theological Seminary about shared facilities




Construction begins on Augustana Chapel at LSTC, McCormick Theological Seminary building, and underground parking garage





LSTC receives $1.67 million grant from Lilly Endowment to establish Youth in Mission program





Augustana Chapel is dedicated May 5

McCormick Theological Seminary moves into its new building at 5461 S. University, sharing LSTC’s campus

Youth in Mission sponsors two summer programs for high school youth—Serving Christ in the World and Beyond Belief

Enrollment in all degree programs is 365, with 180 M.Div. students; 7% of students are African American, 4% are Hispanic American, 17% are from other countries





Academic calendar changes from quarters to semesters in fall; academic offices move from the second floor to new space on the third floor

Ruth and Paul Manz Organ installed and dedicated




David Miller elected the first Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation at LSTC

"Black Theology and Womanist Theology in Dialogue" conference at LSTC and University of Chicago

LSTC and the Zygon Center for Religion and Science organize the first-ever HIV/AIDS Conference for Medical & Religious Professionals in Chicago

The Chapel Music Series, consisting of nine concerts throughout the year, debuts in the fall




Inauguration of A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice and the Harold S. Vogelaar Chair of Christian-Muslim Studies and Interfaith Relations

LSTC receives ELCA grant to start a multicultural center





Launch of $56 million comprehensive campaign, “Equipping the Saints for Ministry”

LSTC students win Lutherbowl in their first time at the competition in Gettysburg, Penn.




LSTC begins to feel the effects of the major worldwide economic downturn




Inauguration of the Gordon A. Braatz Chair in Worship

Earth Year at LSTC” turns the seminary’s attention to environmental issues




150th commencement, numbered from oldest predecessor school, Augustana Theological Seminary, founded in 1860

Cheryl Stewart Pero is the first African American Lutheran woman to earn a Ph.D. in biblical studies

Ralph W. and Marilyn R. Klein Chair in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible is inaugurated



James Kenneth Echols resigns as president, the Rev. Dr. Philip Hougen appointed interim and later sixth president of LSTC

LSTC and Valparaiso University sign a Memorandum of Agreement for Valparaiso University to open a satellite campus at LSTC

LSTC's Multicultural Center becomes the Albert "Pete" Pero Jr. Multicultural Center



James Nieman elected and installed as LSTC’s seventh president

Valparaiso University begins offering master’s in business administration and masters in health administration courses and operating an immigration law clinic in its satellite location at LSTC





View more photos at our SmugMug 50th gallery.

Find more about the history of LSTC in 2012-2013 issues of the Epistle.

Page last modified Nov 23, 2015