James Kenneth Echols, president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) is a recipient of Wheat Ridge Ministries' 2005 "Seeds of Hope" Award. The awards are given to leaders whose outstanding service to health, hope and healing ministries exemplifies the Wheat Ridge mission of "seeding health and hope in the name of the healing Christ."
The awards reception and dinner will be held on Saturday, February 12 starting at 5:30 p.m. in Oak Brook, Ill. For information about the event, visit www.wheatridge.org. Other recipients of the 2005 Seeds of Hope Award are the Rev. Dr. Frederick Aigner, executive officer of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and Mrs. Jane Geske, R.N., C., Parish Nurse Coordinator for Lutheran Home and Services.
James Kenneth Echols is a native of Philadelphia who became president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in July 1997. He served on the faculty and as academic dean at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia before coming to Chicago. Under his leadership, LSTC embarked on its first major building project in the school's history, the construction of the Augustana Chapel. He saw the need of many theological students to be better prepared spiritually, as well as academically, for ministry, which led LSTC to create a new position: Dean of the Chapel and Director of Spiritual Formation.
Echols was instrumental in LSTC's innovative collaboration with McCormick Theological Seminary, which provides better services to students of both seminaries by sharing technology and other key resources. He is published in the areas of church history, theology and Black American Lutheranism. Echols received his master of divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and the master of arts, master of philosophy and doctor of philosophy degrees from Yale University. His leadership at LSTC and in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has earned him honors and awards, including honorary degrees from Wagner College and Carthage College and the Luther Institute Wittenberg Award.