On Wednesday, September 23, the Rev. Benjamin M. Stewart will be installed as the Gordon A. Braatz Assistant Professor of Worship at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago during an 11 a.m. Eucharist celebration. At 2 p.m., the Rev. Dr. Gordon Lathrop, Charles A. Schieren Professor Emeritus of Liturgy at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, will present a lecture on the relationship between the four gospels and Christian worship in the first century and now, “On the Four Gospels and Christian Assembly.” Both events will be held at LSTC, 1100 East 55th Street, Chicago, and are free and open to the public.
Dr. Braatz has established the chair to provide seminarians with the skills for leading worship and the theological foundation undergirding worship and liturgy. The gift comes out of his conviction that worship nurtures and enlivens one’s faith.
Benjamin M. Stewart will be the first LSTC faculty member to occupy the Braatz Chair. He began teaching at LSTC in spring 2009. He will defend his dissertation, “The Easter Vigil and the Liturgical Generation of Eco-Theology,” in September. His Ph.D. studies at Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion have focused on liturgical theology. He holds degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and Capital University. Stewart has served as pastor of a small ELCA congregation in the Appalachian region of Ohio and of Holden Village in Washington. He has taught “Introduction to Public Worship” at the Candler School of Theology. His articles have appeared in Worship, CrossAccent, and Liturgical Ministry.
The featured lecturer on September 23 is Gordon W. Lathrop. He has been a Lutheran pastor for 36 years who taught liturgy at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia for 20 years. He is the author of Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology (Fortress, 1993), Holy People: A Liturgical Ecclesiology (Fortress, 1999), Holy Ground: A Liturgical Cosmology (Fortress, 2003), Central Things: Worship in Word and Sacrament (Augsburg Fortress, 2005) and The Pastor: A Spirituality (Fortress, 2006). Lathrop has lectured widely and has served on consultations on worship and culture.
Gordon A. Braatz recently retired as associate pastor and director of worship at Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minn. He has been a friend and supporter of LSTC for several years. Braatz holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota and an M.Div. from Northwestern Seminary. He has served parishes in the Twin Cities while working as a psychologist for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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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.