Workshop Leaders

Eric Barreto

Assistant Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary

A People for God's Name: Believing and Belonging in Luke-Acts 

Eric Barreto is an ordained Baptist minister as well as the author of Ethnic Negotiations: The Function of Race and Ethnicity in Acts 16 (Mohr Siebeck, 2010). He is also a regular contributor to, the Huffington Post,, and

Michael Chan

Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

Preaching Old Testament Prayers 

Michael Chan joined the Luther Seminary Bible Division in July 2013. Prior to this appointment, he spent a year at the University of Helsinki, Finland and in many of the world's greatest museums doing research for his dissertation, "The City on a Hill: Tradition-Historical Study of the Wealth of Nations Tradition."

Chan's recent publications include, "Joseph and Jehoiachin: On the Edge of Exodus," Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenchaft (2013), "Ira Regis: Comedic Inflections of Royal Rage in Jewish Court Tales," Jewish Quarterly Review 103:1 (2013) and "A Biblical Lexicon of Happiness" in "The Bible and the Pursuit of Happiness: What the Old and New Testaments Teach Us about the Good Life" (Oxford University Press, 2012). Currently, Chan is co-editing with Brent Strawn a volume of Terence Fretheim's essays: "God, World, and Suffering: Collected Essays of Terence Fretheim" (Eerdmans, 2014).


Meta Herrick Carlson

Pastor, Zion Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Making Space for Brokenness 

Meta Herrick Carlson is the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in a scrappy and dynamic neighborhood of Minneapolis. Zion is home to a Recovery Worship service that blends casual, intimate liturgy with recovery resources like the Twelve Steps and the Serenity Prayer. This service is known for welcoming a wide swath of people hungry for worship that "makes space for brokenness". Meta graduated from Luther Seminary in 2008.

Rolf Jacobson

Associate Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

Preaching the Grand Drama of Scripture and the Narrative Lectionary 

Rolf Jacobson joined the Luther Seminary faculty as assistant professor of Old Testament in July 2003. Prior to joining the seminary, he taught at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, as an assistant professor of religion.

Jacobson earned his bachelor's degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn. in 1987. He holds a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary (1991) and a doctor of philosophy degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J. (2000).

Jacobson is an in-demand speaker and author, who produces theological and biblical scholarship for both the church and the academic guild. He recently served as editor of "Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms." His articles have appeared in Word and World, Theology Today, Interpretation, Teaching Theology and Religion, and in many collections of scholarly essays. With Kelly Fryer, he wrote the "No Experience Necessary" Bible studies.

Dirk Lange

Associate Professor of Worship, Luther Seminary

The Divine Drama and Suffering: What Words Can We Use? 

Dirk Lange's ministerial experience has covered a wide spectrum of activities, but all under one umbrella: liturgy in the lives of people. As a brother of Taizé, he was engaged with the clandestine prayer groups in communist Europe. He is currently Associate Professor of Worship at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN and has written extensively on topic in liturgical theology. Dirk has also served parishes in Atlanta and Philadelphia.

Karoline Lewis

Associate Professor of Biblical Preaching and the Alvin N. Rogness Chair of Homiletics, Luther Seminary

The Theatre of John's Gospel: God as Actor in the Drama of the World 

Karoline M. Lewis joined the Luther Seminary faculty as assistant professor of biblical preaching in 2007. A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Lewis received a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in 1994 and a Doctor of Philosophy in New Testament studies from Emory University in Atlanta in 2006. She has led conferences, workshops and retreats throughout the country and Canada, and was one of the featured preachers at the Festival of Homiletics in Minneapolis in 2011 and in Atlanta in 2012. Lewis is the author of "Rereading the 'Shepherd Discourse:' Restoring the Integrity of John 9:39-10:21 (Peter Lang Publishing, 2008); the introduction and study notes for the Gospel of John in the Lutheran Study Bible (Augsburg Fortress, 2009) and co-author of "New Proclamation: Year B, 2009, Easter through Christ the King" (Fortress Press, 2009). She has authored articles for The Christian Century, Feasting on the Word, Lutheran Forum and Word & World. She is a contributing writer to and co-host of the site's weekly podcast, Sermon Brainwave.

Blair Pogue

Rector, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St. Paul, Minn.

Preaching as Holy Listening and Sensemaking 

Blair Pogue has served as rector at St. Matthew's since 2005. A recent graduate of Luther’s Doctor of Ministry program in Congregational Mission and Leadership, she previously served congregations in Virginia.

Sitraka Rakotoarivelo

Youth Director, St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, West St. Paul, Minn.

Creating Visuals that Enhance Preaching

Sitraka Rakotoarivelo graduate from Luther Seminary with an MA in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. He also has a bachelor's degree in Media Production from Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. He is currently serving as the Youth Director at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, Minn.

Andy Root

Carrie Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Children, Youth and Family Ministry; Director, Center for CYF Ministry

Moving Beyond Millennial Anxiety: Taking a Theological Turn in Ministry to Young People with Dietrich Bonhoeffer   

Andrew Root is the author of The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (titles include Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry, Unpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry, and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry).  He is also the author of the 2012 Christianity Today Book of Merit award for The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, IVP, 2011).  His other books include The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Baker Academic, 2010), The Promise of Despair (Abingdon, 2010), Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (IVP, 2007) and Relationships Unfiltered (Zondervan/YS, 2009).  Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries, and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their two dogs Kirby and Kimmel. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies.

Graydon Royce

Theater Critic and Fine Arts Reporter, Star Tribune

Finding God in the Drama of Everyday Life 

Graydon Royce is a theater critic and fine arts reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. He has been on the arts beat since 1999 after 19 years primarily as an editor with the. Royce has theater experience as an actor, director, playwright and producer. He was a fellow at the 2003 O'Neill Theatre Critics' Institute and at the 2009 NEA Arts Journalism Institute in Classical Music & Opera. Royce has completed 27 credits in the masters program in Theology and the Arts at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He is also writer and executive producer of the New Frontier Lutheran Radio Hour, a program produced monthly at Diamond Lake Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. He has written five Lenten drama series and six church musicals for youth.;


Matt Skinner

Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary

How the Acts of the Apostles Can Help Us Discover God within the Drama of Our Lives 

Matthew Skinner's research and teaching focus especially on the Gospels and the book of Acts, the cultural realities at work in the New Testament, and the Bible’s continuing ability to shape our theological imagination. He is one of the voices in the Sermon Brainwave podcasts on, and he blogs occasionally for Huffington Post Religion. He has written and edited a handful of books and is just about finished with an exciting new one on the depiction of God in the book of Acts. He is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).