LSTC Professors Rodriguez and Westhelle receive Lilly Endowment study grants March 11, 2008

Two Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago professors received grants for research and writing projects from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

The Rev. Dr. Vitor Westhelle, professor of systematic theology, received a Theological Research Grant for his current research and writing project, At Ease: Intimations for a Church Protestant. The Rev. Dr. José Davíd Rodríguez, who holds the Augustana Heritage Chair of Global Mission and World Christianity and is professor of systematic theology, received a Theological Scholars Grant for his project "the Quest for Indigenous Identity: A postcolonial Reading of the Origin, Nature, and Historical Development of the Lutheran Mission in Puerto Rico from a Latino/a Perspective." It is a component of his research at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, where he is pursuing the Ph.D. degree in history.

Westhelle's book, The Scandalous God: The Use and Abuse of the Cross, (2006, Fortress Press) has received praise across the church. It draws on biblical studies, linguistics, Luther's theology of the cross, and an evolving understanding of the cross to show how scandalous the cross and Jesus' crucifixion is. Westhelle joined the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago faculty in 1993. Read a full biography on LSTC's web site at

Rodriguez served congregations and taught at the Seminario Evangelico de Puerto Rico and the Comunidad Teologica de Mexico, and was an adjunct faculty member at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Ill., and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Ill.,  prior to joining the LSTC faculty in 1985. He directed LSTC's graduate studies programs from 2004 -2007. For a full biography, visit


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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.

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