Areas of Expertise
The role of the biblical lament tradition in liturgy, preaching, and pastoral care
Narrative theory in pastoral care and counseling in parish and community contexts
Bereavement and other losses
Women’s contributions to theology and ministry, with special interest in conversations between white women and women of color
B.A., Muskingum College
M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary
Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary
Kathleen D. (Kadi) Billman is the John H. Tietjen Professor of Pastoral Ministry: Pastoral Theology and Director of the Master of Divinity Program at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Joining the seminary faculty in 1992, Billman was named dean of the seminary in 1999, the first woman to serve in that position. She served as LSTC’s dean and vice president of academic affairs through June 30, 2009, when she returned to full-time teaching. She began serving as Director of the Master of Divinity Program in July 2012.
Billman grew up in a farming village in Ohio, deeply influenced by both the Lutheran piety of her father’s family and the Methodist piety of her mother’s family. She earned the B.A. degree from Muskingum College (now Muskingum University) and the M.Div. degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Following seminary graduation and ordination (Billman is an ordained elder in the Greater New Jersey Conference of the United Methodist Church), Billman served as the pastor of an urban congregation in Trenton, New Jersey for eight years before returning to Princeton to complete the Th.M. and Ph.D. degrees. While completing the Ph.D. degree Billman served on the staff of another urban congregation in Trenton until her election to the LSTC faculty. Her passion for urban ministry contributed to her joy to be called to Chicago to engage in teaching and learning at LSTC.
The author of several scholarly articles, book chapters, and reviews, and the co-author of Rachel’s Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope (with Daniel L. Migliore, 1999) and co-editor ofC(H)AOS Theory: Reflections of Chief Academic Officers in Theological Education (Eerdmans, 2011), co-edited with Bruce Birch. Her most recent publications include “Classrooms and Choratic Spaces: A Meditation on Seminary Teaching,” in Churrasco: A Theological Feast in Honor of Vítor Westhelle (ed. Mary Philip, John Arthur Nunes, and Charles M. Collier, 2013) and “Theological Identity: A Dance of Loyalty,” in Theology as Conversation: The Significance of Dialogue in Historical and Contemporary Theology (ed. Bruce L. McCormick and Kimlyn J. Bender, 2009). Billman is one of the general editors of the journal Currents in Theology and Mission. She is currently working with David M. Rhoads on a volume of essays about the relationship between performing scripture by heart and the renewal of ministry.
Billman enjoys spending time with her son Adam and his fiancé Nichole. She also enjoys playing piano, singing, playing Scrabble, and serving as a keyboardist for the East Side United Methodist Church musical group, “Illumination.”
C(H)AOS Theory: Reflections of Chief Academic Officers in Theological Education, co-edited with Bruce C. Birch (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011).
Rachel’s Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope, co-authored with Daniel L. Migliore (Eugene, Ore: Wipf and Stock, 2006).
Articles and Chapters in Books
“Preaching Helps” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 40, No. 5 (October, 2013) 363-364.
“Revitalizing Teaching and Learning in the Church,” Currents in Theology and Mission, 40/4 (August 2013): 230-232. (with Christine Wenderoth).
“More Perspectives on Mission,” Currents in Theology and Mission, 40/3 (June 2013): 162.
“Classrooms and Choratic Spaces: A Meditation on Seminary Teaching,” in Churrasco: A Theological Feast in Honor of Vítor Westhelle, ed. Mary Philip, John Arthur Nunes, and Charles M. Collier (Eugene, Ore: Pickwick Publications, 2013), 150-159.
“Pastoral Implications” for The Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday, Lectionary Homiletics (February and March, 2013): 66-67.
“Pastoral Implications” for The Fifth Sunday in Lent, Lectionary Homiletics (February and March, 2013): 58.
“Mark by Heart” (with David Rhoads), Currents in Theology and Mission, 38/6 (December 2011).
“Lutheran Legacies, Twenty-First Century Conversations,” Currents in Theology and Mission, 38/1 (February 2011): 2-3.
“Roots and Wings – Reflections on Worship” Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol 38, No. 4 (August, 2011) 234 - 235.
”Responding to and Suffering in the Name of Jesus: Relief, Relationship, and Resistance” In the Precious Name, ed. Douglas Ruffle and Nicola Mulligan (Tom’s River, NJ: Jersey Shore Press, 2011) 243 - 259.
Book review of Just Hospitality: God’s Welcome in a World of Difference, by Letty M. Russell, ed. by J. Shannon Clarkson and Kate M. Ott (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), found in The Journal of Pastoral Theology, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Winter 2010): 188-191.
Book review of Grief: Contemporary Theory and the Practice of Ministry, by Melissa M. Kelley (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010), found in The Journal of Pastoral Theology, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Winter 2010): 191-195.
Review of Trauma Recalled: Liturgy, Disruption, and Theology by Dick G. Lange (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2010), published in Theology Today, Vol. 67, No. 3 (October 2010): 374.
“Changing the Landscape of New Testament Studies: Essays in Honor of David M. Rhoads,” Currents in Theology & Mission, vol. 37, no. 4 (August, 2010) 274-275 (Co-author with Ray Pickett).
“Contemporary Perspectives on Stewardship and Tithing,” (with Craig Nessan,)Currents in Theology and Mission Vol.36 No. 5 (October 2009): 322-323.
"Theological Identity: A Dance of Loyalty," in Theology as Conversation: The Significance of Dialogue in Historical and Contemporary Theology, ed. Bruce L. McCormack and Kimlyn J. Bender (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009): 259-272.
“’Like Trees Planted by Streams of Water’: The Blessing of Ralph W. Klein,” Currents in Theology and Mission Vol. 35, No. 4 (August 2008): 245-247.
"Mark Bangert: Thanks for the Polyphony," Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 35, No. 4 (June 2008): 165-167.
"Practicing Pastoral Care as a Theologian of the Cross in an Age of Glory: Charism and Challenge for Pastoral Care," in Mission with the Marginalized, ed. Samuel W. Meshack. Tiruvalla, India: CSS Books, 2007.
"Harold Vogelaar: ‘Within the Frame of Friendship,'" co-authored with James Kenneth Echols, Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 33, No. 3 (June 2006): 207-208.
"Praying Theodicy Questions," Insights: The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary (Fall 2005): 24-27.
"Albert (Pete) Pero: Called to a World House," Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 31, no. 4 (August 2004): 260-263.
"A Fruitful Hypothesis, A Breadth of Belonging, and a Well of Possibility: Celebrating Phil Hefner's Legacy to LSTC." Currents in Theology and Mission 28/3-4, (2001) 429-433.
"Psalm 23" in Celebrating Incarnation: A Resource for Worship, ed. Linda McKiernan-Allen (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 1999.
"Saying Goodbye: Relearning the World." Currents in Theology and Mission 42/3 (1997) 194-200.
"Reconciliation: Biblical Reflections on Jeremiah 31:10-20," in New Theology Review, Vol. 10, No. 2, May 1997: 25-30.
"Social Location and Power in Ministry," in The Caregiver Journal, Vol.13, No. 1, 1997: 20-22.
"Pastoral Care as an Art of Community." In The Arts of Ministry: Feminist-Womanist Approaches, ed. Christie Cozad Neuger. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1996.
"Christian Understandings of Illness." In Health, Healing, and Religion: An Inter-Religious Dialogue, ed. Pinit Ratanakul and Kyaw Than. Bangkok: The Center of Human Resources Development, Mahidol University, 1996.
"Ministry on the Boundaries: Cooperation without Exploitation," co-authored with Claude Marie Barbour, Eleanor Doidge, and Peggy DesJarlait, in Beyond Theological Tourism: Mentoring as a Grassroots Approach to Theological Education, ed. Susan B. Thistlethwaite and George F. Cairns (Maryknoll, NY.: Orbis Books, 1994.
"Holy Darkness, Kindly Light: Ancient Gifts for Ministry in a New Era," Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 20, No. 5 (October 1993): 327-334.
"Integrating Theology and Pastoral Care in Ministry," Currents in Theology and Mission, Vol. 19, No. 3 (June 1992): 165-173.
"The Paradox of Sin and the Bipolarity of Shame," Koinonia, Vol. III.1 (spring 1991): 73-82.