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Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

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Daniel Sorensen

“This is the best of both worlds. I get to do the fun parts of both jobs. Counseling lets me provide direct service with people. And I get to preach and teach out in the church without having to worry about the church roof leaking!”

Daniel A. Sorensen, M.Div., 2007

Best of both worlds

Daniel A. Sorensen
M.Div., Class of 2007

When he began his studies at LSTC, Dan Sorensen never imagined the call he has now. Sorensen is a counselor with the Lutheran Counseling Network (LCN), a ministry of the Northwest Washington Synod. Called by the synod, he is also active in congregations, making visits on behalf of LCN and doing pulpit supply.

“This is the best of both worlds. I get to do the fun parts of both jobs. Counseling lets me provide direct service with people. And I get to preach and teach out in the church without having to worry about the church roof leaking!”

Sorensen came to LSTC because of its dual degree program with the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. He is a Navy veteran who wanted to become a Navy chaplain. Earning the dual degree gave him a chance him to do that and much more.

Sorensen thrives on the variety of his week. Monday through Friday, Sorensen does social work. On Sundays and Wednesday evenings he’s in congregations doing “pastor things” - preaching and teaching. When he’s in congregations, Sorensen educates people about what the synod is doing and he thanks them for their support.

“People watch the news and they want to do something about the things they see. I tell them, ‘You belong to a church that reaches out to people. LCN provides affordable high-quality mental health care to the marginalized. It is a ministry of the synod, supported by what your congregation sends to the synod. We do this ministry on your behalf.’”

Sorensen talks about a client that he’s been seeing since November 2012. “He’s a young man in his early 20s who struggles with addiction. He’s gotten custody of his daughter and he’s trying to figure out how to be a dad. He struggles with employment.

“Two days ago he broke down. He said he finally felt that we were at a place where he could trust me -- that he could start talking about his stuff. It took him coming every week for over six months to build the relationship to a point where he could trust me. If this were the only client I had, I would feel that I’m doing what God wants me to do. And I do this on behalf of the church.”

Sorensen feels strongly that the church needs to be open to a variety of gifts for leadership. ‘When we talk about raising up leaders, it’s important not to pigeonhole people to only be congregational pastors. . .Candidacy committee and congregations need to be open to the fact that people going to seminary might want to do something out of the box, to try different things. As a church we need to be open to that. What’s the result? Service to those who are struggling.”


If you'd like to share your story with us, contact:
Jan Boden, Director of Communications and Marketing jboden@lstc.edu or 773-256-0744.

Page last modified Sep 26, 2014