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Joan Beck appointed Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation

Posted May 20, 2010

The Rev. Joan Beck was elected the Floy L. and Paul F. Cornelsen Director of Spiritual Formation and Pastor to the Community at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago by the seminary’s Board of Directors during its meeting earlier this week. The appointment is for a renewable five-year term effective July 1, 2010.

“Pastor Beck brings experience as a spiritual director, in developing leaders who are able to serve people from diverse cultures, working with seminary students, and leading congregations. The LSTC community looks forward to the gifts she will share and call out from us,” said President James Kenneth Echols.

Endowed position to help students deepen their spiritual lives
During the late 1990s LSTC recognized the need to provide means for students to deepen their spiritual lives while they were being formed academically and practically as leaders of the church. Paul and the late Floy Cornelsen endowed the position of Director of Spiritual Formation and Pastor to the Community to ensure that LSTC always would be able to guide students in spiritual practices which will sustain them in their ministries.

Wide-ranging experience
The Rev. Joan Beck comes to LSTC from Portland, Ore., where she has served as solo pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church for 15 years. Since 2008, she has worked with seminary students at the Northwest House of Theological Studies, where she has been the Director of Field Education and taught homiletics. Pastor Beck has been a Lutheran campus minister and was pastor to three other churches in the Pacific Northwest. She holds a certificate in spiritual direction from the Mercy Center in San Francisco.

Pastor Beck graduated from Luther Seminary, but began her master of divinity degree at Christ Seminary-Seminex. She holds a B.A. from Valparaiso University and a master of arts in rhetoric from the University of Oregon. Her continuing education studies included studying Bowen family systems theory with Dr. Michael Nel and Dr. Peter Steinke. She participated in a three-year “Pastor-Theologian” program funded by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, N.J.


Patti DeBias
Assistant to the President


Jan Boden
Director of Communications

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, forms visionary leaders who bear witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. It provides high-quality seminary and graduate education for women and men in a community that is global, multicultural, ecumenical, interfaith, and urban. LSTC faculty provides resources for the whole church through their research, writing, and workshops and presentations around the world. Graduates serve in every type of ministry setting as they work to realize the gospel vision of peace and justice.

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