President James Kenneth Echols has appointed the Rev. Dr. Michael T. Shelley as acting dean and vice president for academic affairs at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. His one-year term will begin July 1, 2009. The Rev. Dr. Kathleen D. "Kadi" Billman, will complete her ten years of service as dean and vice president for academic affairs on June 30, 2009.
In his announcement to the LSTC community, President Echols expressed his deep gratitude to Dr. Shelley for his willingness to serve. Shelley will remain director of A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at LSTC, but will relinquish his role as director of the doctor of ministry programs to the Rev. Dr. Peter Vethanayagamony. Supervision of the master's level programs, which have been part of the dean's responsibilities, will be assigned to an associate academic dean or to other members of the faculty.
During the 2009-2010 academic year, LSTC plans to conduct a search for a dean and vice president of academic affairs who will be elected by the board of directors to a five-year term.
Michael T. Shelley came to LSTC in fall 2003 as a visiting scholar. He was appointed director of LSTC's doctor of ministry programs in 2004 and director of A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice in 2007.
With his wife, Joanne, Shelley served as a missionary in Cairo, Egypt, from 1979 - 2003. There, Shelley served as pastor of two congregations and, for the last five years in Egypt, was director of graduate studies and taught church history and Christian-Muslim relations at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo. He has also taught at the Dar Comboni Center for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Cairo; the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, England; and Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned an M.Div. at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, a Th.M. from LSTC, and a Ph.D. in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations from the University of Birmingham, England.
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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.