At its May meeting, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Board of Directors elected David L. Miller as Dean of the Chapel and the first Floy L. and Paul F. Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation. Offering courses and retreats in spiritual formation, coordinating the worship life of the seminary, and developing a Center for Spiritual Formation at LSTC are among Miller's responsibilities. His first five-year term in the position will begin on July 1, 2005.
"The LSTC community and I are delighted to have David Miller as the first Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation," said President James Kenneth Echols. "He brings to the task a rich background of study and practice in spiritual direction and spiritual formation. It is critical that leaders in the church have a well-developed spiritual life as a basis for their ministry. Pastor Miller has the gifts to not only help LSTC's students in their formation, but to be a resource to the wider church as LSTC develops a Center for Spiritual Formation."
LSTC initiated the position of director of spiritual formation to help ministry students grow in their faith and spiritual lives during their academic and professional preparation. In 2000, the Floy L. and Paul F. Cornelsen Foundation announced that it would make a gift of $1.5 million over five years to endow the position as part of LSTC's Campaign for Worship and Spiritual Formation. In 2004, earlier than planned, the Cornelsen Foundation completed the gift and LSTC began its search to fill the position.
"We are very pleased with the selection of David Miller as director of spiritual formation," said Paul Cornelsen. "We believe that his work will round out some important aspects of the overall theological experience."
Miller holds a certificate in spiritual formation from the Academy of Spiritual Formation. He has studied spiritual direction and spiritual practices at the Claret Center, Loyola University's Institute of Pastoral Studies, and Catholic Theological Union. Over the last decade, he has led numerous retreats and workshops on prayer, spirituality and spiritual direction throughout the United States.
"I've been moving for at least 10 years towards a ministry of spiritual formation," said Miller. "I decided that if an opportunity to work in the area of spiritual formation came along, I would present myself as a candidate. I look forward to changing focus. This is something I've done as an avocation -- not for my daily bread -- but I've done a lot of it. At LSTC, the intellectual life and the spiritual life are valued and their interaction is rich and deep."
Since 1987, Miller has served on the editorial staff of The Lutheran magazine. He became editor of the magazine in 1999. He served parishes in Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska. In 2000, he received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater, Wartburg Theological Seminary. He is married to Dixie Lee Wulff Miller. They are the parents of two adult children, Aaron and Rachel.