Today, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) Board of Directors elected the Rev. Dr. James Nieman as the school’s seventh president. Dr. Nieman will begin his service at LSTC on August 1, 2012. An installation service will be held at Rockefeller Chapel in Chicago on Sunday, October 28, 2012.
“Dr. Nieman brings a compelling vision for theological education as well as a depth and breadth of experience to lead LSTC into the future,” said Board Chairman Sarah Stegemoeller. “His extensive work in the areas of context and change within the church will help LSTC form visionary leaders prepared to be even more effective in sharing the gospel within the communities they serve.”
In his presentations to the community during the search process, Dr. Nieman stated that he sees LSTC as distinctly situated in the ELCA to meet the challenges facing denominational seminaries. He cited LSTC’s historic core strengths in the vision he outlined for innovative, faithful forms of theological education befitting the church in this time.
James Nieman, at the announcement of his appointment as President of LSTC, meeting with the community, May 14, 2012.
“While our seminaries must form leaders of an ever more diverse variety,” Nieman said, “the real purpose of leaders is that they encourage and support bold, creative witness by every disciple in the many places those leaders may never go. The future of theological education relies on shifting our weight onto just such a witness to the gospel, with leadership formation in service to that. LSTC impresses me as having just the right blend of character, setting, resources, and purpose to model new ways of doing this in the years to come.”
About James Nieman
Dr. Nieman comes to LSTC from Hartford Seminary, where he has been professor of practical theology since 2005 and academic dean since 2011. From 1992 – 2004, he was professor of homiletics at Wartburg Theological Seminary. Nieman served as pastor of the Iñupiaq Lutheran Church, Anchorage, Alaska, and as the licensed minister of Zion Lutheran Church in Clayton Center, Iowa. He served as consultant and facilitator for the “Living into the Future Together: Renewing the Ecology of the ELCA” Conference of Bishops task force on synods, 2011-2013.
Nieman earned a bachelor of arts degree from Pacific Lutheran University, a master of divinity degree from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and a doctor of philosophy degree from Emory University. He is widely published in the areas of practical theology, congregational studies and preaching. He is the author of Knowing the Context: Frames, Tools, and Signs for Preaching (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008); co-editor with David A. Roozen of Church, Identity, and Change: Theology and Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005); and co-author with Thomas G. Rogers of Preaching to Every Pew: Cross-Cultural Strategies (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001).
James Nieman is married to the Rev. JoAnn A. Post, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church, Manchester, Conn. They are the parents of two daughters, Clara (age 24) and Madelene (age 15).
Chairperson, LSTC Board of Directors
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.