Stewart W. Herman, Jr., first president of the Lutheran School of Theology
Posted Feb 22, 2006
The Reverend Doctor Stewart W. Herman, Jr., who served as president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago from 1964 until 1971, died February 16 in Greenport, N.Y., following a long illness.
As the first president of the newly-formed Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Dr. Herman guided the planning, fundraising, and building of the new campus and helped the faculties and students of the five predecessor seminaries successfully make the transition to the new location and curriculum.
LSTC's first board of directors viewed Stewart Herman as the best leader to carry out the seminary's ideal of relating the gospel to the needs and conditions of people and society. Dr. Herman had an international reputation as a leader in the Lutheran World Federation as director of refugee services, coordinating work in Latin America. Through his international connections, LSTC formed affiliations with seminaries in Tanzania and Argentina.
"Dr. Herman was a warm and gracious individual," said the Rev. Dr. James Kenneth Echols, president of LSTC. "After I became president, he would periodically send me notes of encouragement and interest. They were always wonderful to receive. I give thanks to God for the life and witness of Stewart Herman."
The Rev. Dr. Herman grew up in Harrisburg, Penn., where his father was a Lutheran pastor. He graduated from Gettysburg College and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Dr. Herman pursued additional graduate work in Strasbourg, France and Goettingen and Berlin, Germany.
He became pastor of the American Church in Berlin and served there through 1939. From 1945 through 1948 Dr. Herman worked in the refugee and reconstruction division on the World Council of Churches in Process of Formation in Geneva, Switzerland. He joined the staff of the newly organized Lutheran World Federation in 1948 as director of refugee services. In 1952, Dr. Herman began a joint appointment with the National Lutheran Council and the Lutheran World Federation coordinating Latin America work.
Dr. and Mrs. Herman retired to Shelter Island, N.Y. in 1971. He remained active as a trustee of the American Bible Society and in the Union Chapel on Shelter Island.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ethelyn, their children, Nicholas, Christopher, Stewart III, Lynda Herman Thomas and six grandchildren. Funeral plans will be announced later.
The family plans to hold a memorial service in late May.