The Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, the Rev. Melody Eastman, the Rev. Dr. Fred Strickert, and Dr. Monica Melancthon were chosen as the 2009 LSTC Distinguished Alumni by the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago Alumni Board at its meeting in October. The four will be honored at a banquet at the seminary on February 10 and receive awards for their contributions to the life of the church.
Pastor Melody Eastman (1986, M.Div.) will receive the Excellence in Parish Ministry Award. She is senior pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wheaton, Ill. Her passion for ministry helps her create an environment "where everyone's gifts are used and everyone blossoms." She also inspires others to consider their calls as leaders in the church. Several of her parishioners have graduated from LSTC and are now serving as pastors. Her son, Niles, is now a first-year student at LSTC.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Marty, (Concordia-St. Louis/Seminex, 1952, M.Div.; Maywood, 1956, S.T.M.) who is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, will receive the Faithful Servant Award. Marty is widely recognized as a leading contemporary theologian. He is the author of more than 50 books and more than 5,000 articles. He has been a columnist for The Christian Century for over 50 years and has edited the semimonthly newsletter, Context, since 1969. Marty has received numerous awards, including the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Distinguished Service Medal of the Association of Theological Schools. Asked how would like to be remembered, he says, "That I was a good teacher. That's been my great joy, where I've always gotten the most pleasure."
Dr. Monica Melancthon (1995, Ph.D.) will receive the Theological Education in the Global Church Award. She is dean of doctoral studies, head of the Department of Old Testament, and professor of women's studies at Gurukul Luthean Theological College and Research Institute, Chennai, India. Melancthon is the author of numerous articles in leading international journals. She serves on the Lutheran World Federation and other international organizations.
The Rev. Dr. Fred Strickert (Christ Seminary-Seminex, 1974, M.Div.) will receive the Global Mission Award for his contributions as a missionary and his ability to help his students develop an understanding of the impact of the gospel throughout the world. Strickert is professor of religion at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, where he has taught since 1986. He is the Slife Distinguished Professor of the Humanities and co-director of the global and multicultural studies program at Wartburg College. He has been a visiting professor at Gurukul Theological School, Chennai, India, and served on the staff of Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, Palestine. Early in his teaching career, he was an instructor and principal of Timothy Lutheran Seminary in Papua New Guinea. Strickert is a member of many associations and councils, including the Global Mission unit of the ELCA.
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere.