This fall, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago’s Gospel Choir will have a new manager, the second in the choir’s 26-year history. Elizabeth Christensen succeeds founding manager Patricia Bartley.
“For the long-term future of the Gospel Choir, it is important to have a student as its manager,” said Ms. Bartley. “I am delighted that Liz Christensen will be the first student in that position. She served as assistant director during the 2013-14 school year and will do an excellent job.” Christensen holds a degree in piano performance from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, and is currently a master of divinity student at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). The part-time student position signals a new stage in the choir’s history, with LSTC taking greater ownership of the choir.
“Our seminary has been blessed to host the Gospel Choir for the past quarter-century, and Pat Bartley’s role during that period has been remarkable,” said LSTC President James Nieman. “Liz Christensen’s appointment as choir manager is welcome news as well, and this smooth transition further reflects Pat’s fine legacy of oversight. Best of all, I am glad we will continue to hear Pat in the choir even as its day-to-day operations are handled by other skillful hands.”
The LSTC Gospel Choir was established in 1987 by Patricia Bartley, LSTC’s registrar, for a service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The choir exemplifies Dr. King’s vision of peoples of every color bonded together in the unity of God’s love. It is a multicultural, multiethnic, multidenominational community choir.
The choir regularly sings in churches of all denominations in the Chicago area, Wisconsin, Indiana, and other nearby states. They have sung for ELCA synod assemblies and city festivals in Chicago including the Gospel Festival. The choir has also made singing tours to Tanzania and South Africa.
Donations to the LSTC Gospel Choir support the Grover Wright Scholarship Fund and the Rev. Carole A. Burns Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Grover Wright Scholarship is awarded annually to an LSTC student of color. The Rev. Carole A. Burns Memorial Scholarship is given to an African American woman studying for ministry.
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.