Krentz, Lutheran Confessions, and Echols Preaching Prize winners named June 16, 2009

Three annual prizes to recognize excellence in scholarship and preaching by students at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago were awarded during the commencement ceremony on May 17.

Bridget L. Illian (2008, M.Div.) a master of theology student, received the Edgar Krentz Award for Biblical Interpretation for her paper, “Toward Understanding the Tongue in the Letter of James.”  She received an award of $1,000. 

Benjamin Dueholm (2009, Certificate of Studies), received the Lutheran Confessions Prize for his paper, “Pious Words from a Forked Tongue: Exegetical Temptation and False Religion in Lutheran Tradition.” He received an award of $1,000.

Joshua Ebener (2009, M.Div.) received the James Kenneth Echols Prize for Excellence in Preaching. The three sermons presented by finalists for the prize may be heard at  His prize was $500.

“These prizes lift up excellence in scholarship and preaching and seek to convey to all our students that striving for excellence is nourished in a strong community where the achievement of one is a celebration for all,” said Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kathleen D. “Kadi” Billman. “Bridget, Benjamin, and Josh have exhibited exemplary scholarship and preaching in the papers and sermon that they presented. Faculty, staff, and peers are delighted to be able to celebrate their achievements.”

LSTC students enrolled in the master of divinity, master of arts in ministry, or master of arts (theological studies) may submit essays for the Lutheran Confessions prize. LSTC students enrolled in the master of divinity, master of arts in ministry, master of arts (theological studies), master of theology, and doctor of philosophy programs may submit essays for the Krentz prize.

LSTC students enrolled in the master of divinity program who are candidates for ordination may enter the Echols Preaching Prize competition. Entry requirements are on the seminary’s website at All three awards are made from earnings on endowments created specifically for the prizes.


The Rev. Dr. Kathleen D. Billman
Dean and V.P. for Academic Affairs


Jan Boden
Director of Communication and Marketing

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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