James Nieman to be installed as seventh president of LSTC; Inaugural weekend event focuses on “ministerial wisdom” August 21, 2012

On October 27 and 28, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will celebrate the inauguration of its new president, the Rev. James Nieman, Ph.D. 

On Sunday, October 28, James Nieman will be installed as LSTC’s seventh president during a Service of Holy Communion at 4:00 p.m. at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue, Chicago. Pre-service music begins at 3:30 p.m. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson will preside at worship and the installation. The Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad will preach. A reception at LSTC will be held after the installation service.

Free Saturday discussion and lecture to explore ministerial wisdom
To mark the occasion of his inauguration, President Nieman has invited three scholars in theological education and three recent LSTC graduates to explore the question:  In the days ahead, what sort of ministerial wisdom will best give shape to a fuller witness to the gospel by all the faithful? The free, public event takes place on Saturday, October 27, at 1:30 p.m., at LSTC, 1100 East 55th Street.

"Our churches need leaders with the practical judgment to help people better speak and live their faith in Jesus Christ," Nieman said. "I’d like our conversation on Saturday to help us sense what that needed wisdom could be, and how LSTC can contribute to forming such wise leaders."

The panelists are Dr. Nancy Ammerman, professor of sociology of religion at Boston University; Dr. Bonnie Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at Vanderbilt University; and the Rev. Dr. Michael Burk, bishop of the ELCA’s Southeastern Iowa Synod, who oversaw the ELCA “Renewing Worship” project.  Three recent LSTC alumni will respond to the panelists: the Rev. Jhon Freddy Correa, pastor, Emmaus Lutheran Church, Racine, Wis.; the Rev. Yehiel Curry, pastor developer, Shekinah Chapel, Chicago, Ill.; and the Rev. Linda Norman, treasurer, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

President Nieman will present his inaugural lecture after the panel discussion. A reception follows the lecture.

About President James Nieman
Dr. Nieman comes to LSTC from Hartford Seminary, where he has been professor of practical theology since 2005 and academic dean since 2011. From 1992 – 2004, he was professor of homiletics at Wartburg Theological Seminary. Nieman served as pastor of the Iñupiaq Lutheran Church, Anchorage, Alaska, and as the licensed minister of Zion Lutheran Church in Clayton Center, Iowa. He served as consultant and facilitator for the “Living into the Future Together: Renewing the Ecology of the ELCA” Conference of Bishops task force on synods, 2011-2013.

Nieman holds degree from Pacific Lutheran University, Wartburg Theological Seminary, and Emory University. He is the author of Knowing the Context: Frames, Tools, and Signs for Preaching (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2008); co-editor with David A. Roozen of Church, Identity, and Change: Theology and Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005); and co-author with Thomas G. Rogers of Preaching to Every Pew: Cross-Cultural Strategies (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2001). He is widely published in the areas of practical theology, congregational studies and preaching.

James Nieman is married to the Rev. JoAnn A. Post, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church, Manchester, Conn. They are the parents of two daughters, Clara (age 24) and Madelene (age 15).

About the panelists
Dr. Nancy Ammerman, professor of sociology of religion at Boston University, is known for her study of congregations, denominations, and religious organizations. She is the author three award-winning books, Pillars of Faith: American Congregations and Their Partners (University of California Press, 2005), Bible Believers: Fundamentalists in the Modern World (Rutgers University Press, 1987), and Baptist Battles: Social Change and Religious Conflict in the Southern Baptist Convention (Rutgers University Press, 1990), and numerous articles. Ammerman is currently engaged in a research project, “Spiritual Narratives in Everyday Life,” that analyzes how and when religion is present in the everyday worlds of ordinary Americans.

Dr. Bonnie Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at Vanderbilt University, is a leader in pastoral and practical theologies. Her research in religion, psychology and culture, pastoral and practical theology, and women and childhood studies focuses on understanding the person and lived theology in the midst of everyday struggles such as illness, dying, working, and parenting.  She is the author of over 12 books and numerous chapters and articles, including Children and Childhood in American Religions (Rutgers University Press, 2009), Faith’s Wisdom for Daily Living (Fortress Press, 2008), and In the Midst of Chaos: Care of Children as Spiritual Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2006). She is currently working on three projects: editing the volume, The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology (Wiley-Blackwell); a collection of essays, Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline (Eerdmans); and a book, Lived Theology: Understanding its Politics, Rehabilitating its Place.

The Rev. Michael Burk, Ph.D., oversaw the “Renewing Worship” project for the ELCA, before being elected bishop of the ELCA’s Southeastern Iowa Synod in 2008. The Renewing Worship Project developed the denomination’s new series of “Evangelical Lutheran Worship” resources. He is a graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary and earned a doctorate in American studies from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He served as pastor of congregations in Iowa before heading the Renewing Worship project. The Southeastern Iowa Synod is comprised of approximately 95,000 baptized members of its 139 congregations.



Patti DeBias
Assistant to the President

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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