The Rev. Dr. Stephanie Jaeger (2006, MDiv) will receive the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) 2020 Confessor of Christ Award. The LSTC faculty conferred the award for Jaeger’s Christian witness addressing issues of homelessness, housing shortage, and hunger in North Hollywood, Calif., and the wider community. She is a leader for a public church. The award is typically presented during LSTC’s commencement ceremony. This year it will be presented at a later date to be determined.
Jaeger is pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in North Hollywood, known for its longstanding commitment to LGBTQ rights, Deaf culture, the arts and community engagement, especially around homelessness and immigration. With her congregation, she founded and leads NoHo Home Alliance (NHHA), a community organizing non-profit that mobilizes residents to meet the needs of the homeless through pop-up drop-in centers at several locations. The highly effective centers offer showers, clothing, haircuts, toiletries, two hot meals, a bag lunch, case management and a mailing address. With other partners they offer medical and mental health care and access to medically assisted drug treatment, HIV/AIDS testing and vaccines. Its programs are relational, community-based, volunteer run, small scale and replicable.
By building trust within her community, she was able to lead the neighborhood to approve a 40-unit building of permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness.
Jaeger also serves as the vice president and faith representative to the NoHo Neighborhood Council. She is faith representative to the Steering Committee of the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys Homeless Coalition, board chair of the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, and part of the Mayor’s Interfaith Collective among other community involvements.
She has served as senior pastor at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park in Chicago, and pastor of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and Preschool in Santa Monica, Calif. She holds a PhD in German and has taught at universities in Germany, Canada, and the U.S. She recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing and is writing her first novel about refugee and immigrant experiences in the wake of WWII and today.
The Confessor of Christ Award
The Confessor of Christ Award originated at Christ Seminary-Seminex, a predecessor school of LSTC. When the Seminex faculty joined LSTC, the award transferred to this seminary. The Confessor of Christ Award is given to “a Christian individual whose commitment to Christ Jesus and the Gospel manifests itself through extraordinary personal sacrifice for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Gospel or exemplary witness to Christ Jesus and the Gospel by selfless service to others.”
Assistant to the Academic Dean
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.