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Community members listening to a lecture at the Rethinking Confirmation event

Workshop Leaders

Sam Bardwell


Soulful Words: Tapping into Your Authentic Self in Proclamation

Sam Bardwell is an Equity actor based in the Twin Cities. He has played leading roles at the Guthrie, Children’s Theatre Company, the Jungle and Park Square Theatre, among others. He was an artist-in-residence at Luther Seminary from 2013-2015. He has mentored local youth in Shakespeare and has been on teaching staff at Holden Village.

Eric Barreto

Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary

Eating, Healing, Salvation: The Good News According to Luke Today

Eric Barreto joined Luther Seminary in July 2009. Prior to joining Luther Seminary, Barreto served in Atlanta as an adjunct professor at the Candler School of Theology and McAfee School of Theology. He also gained experience teaching in Sankor, Ghana, through Coast for Christ Ministries. In addition, he worked as a teaching assistant at Candler School of Theology and at Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) in Princeton, N.J. Barreto was ordained into the gospel ministry by Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta in July 2006. He holds a doctorate in New Testament from Emory University in Atlanta, and holds a Master of Divinity from PTS and a Bachelor of Arts in religion, magna cum laude, from Oklahoma Baptist University. Barreto has received numerous academic honors. His most recent include the ATS Lilly Faculty Fellowship, the Society of Biblical Literature Regional Scholar Award, the George W. Woodruff Fellowship, the Emory Minority Fellowship Grant, and several grants from the Hispanic Theological Initiative and the Fund for Theological Education. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, and La Communidad of Hispanic Scholars of Religion. He also serves on the boards of the Minnesota Council of Churches and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota. Barreto is the author of “Ethnic Negotiations: The Function of Race and Ethnicity in Acts 16,” the co-author of “New Proclamation, Series C, Easter through Christ the King, 2013” and the editor of “Reading Theologically.” He is a regular contributor to, the Huffington Post, and He has also presented regularly at churches in the Twin Cities and nationally.


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mike Carlson

Lead Pastor, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, Minn.

Keeping it all together: Preaching the Gospels in the narrative form

Mike Carlson has nearly 30 years of ministry experience. He attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he pursued a degree in philosophy, and is a Graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary. Carlson also works as a speaker, trainer and consultant for the Youth and Family Institute and travels all over the United States, teaching and preaching on the wonders of God's powerful and transforming love.


Michael Chan

Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

The Book of Daniel: Preaching in the Face of Empire

Michael Chan joined the Luther Seminary Bible division in July 2013. He did his Ph.D. work under the supervision of Brent Strawn at Emory University. Chan has taught and ministered in many settings, congregational and academic. In college, he served as a chaplain in Glacier National Park as part of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. Chan has also taught numerous courses at Emory University, the University of Helsinki and North Central University. In addition to teaching, Chan has also been published in journals such as the Journal of Biblical Literature, Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissensschaft, Jewish Quarterly Review and Catholic Biblical Quarterly. His most recent publications include “Joseph and Jehoiachin: On the Edge of Exodus,” “Ira Regis: Comedic Inflections of Royal Rage in Jewish Court Tales,” Jewish Quarterly Review 103:1 (2013): 1-25 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” (ed. Brent A. Strawn; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). Chan is the co-editor of a volume of Terence Fretheim’s essays, titled “God, World, and Suffering: Collected Essays of Terence Fretheim” (Siphrut: Literature and Theology of the Hebrew Scriptures; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans). Chan has received several academic awards, including a CIMO Fellowship from the University of Helsinki (2012) and The David R. Blumenthal Award in Jewish Studies and the Humanities (2011). He belongs to the Society of Biblical Literature and the Society for Pentecostal Studies. He is also on the SBL’s Bible Odyssey Board, a project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sarah Ciavarri

Daring Way™ Facilitator-Consultant, Chaplain

Courage is Vulnerable: How Brené Brown’s Research Supports Preaching

Sarah Ciavarri is a Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator-Consultant and a Lutheran pastor. She supports congregations and church leaders by leading retreats, workshops, presentations, and coaching on the connections between Brené Brown’s research shared in the Daring Way™ and faith. Sarah is the only ordained clergy member nationally to be selected to serve as a consultant with the Daring Way™. Sarah has received a grant for the purpose of supporting ministry in the ELCA through the Daring Way™ for Faith Communities. Also, Sarah is the Director of Spiritual Care at Augustana Care Health and Rehabilitation of Apple Valley, MN. She is a graduate of Luther Seminary where she was a Presidential Scholar. Sarah writes songs exploring wholehearted living.

Carla Dahl

Professor of Congregational and Community Care Leadership

Preaching Paradoxically

Carla Dahl is Professor of Congregational and Community Care Leadership at Luther Seminary. She developed and directed the Marriage and Family Therapy training program at Bethel Seminary and was Dean of the Center for Spiritual and Personal Formation there.


Annie Edison-Albright

Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Stevens Point, Wis.

More than Courage

In addition to her role at Redeemer, Annie Edison-Albright is a freelance writer and editor for sparkhouse and Augsburg Fortress. She was the recipient of the 2014 Beatitudes Society Brave Preacher Award.


Karl Jacobson

Teaching Pastor, Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Minneapolis

“A priest, a rabbi, and a Lutheran pastor walk into a bar”: What preachers can learn from stand-up comedians

Karl Jacobson is a husband, father, pastor, teacher and student of the popular culture. He is a contributing author to “Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms” (Augsburg Fortress, 2008) and “Crazy Book: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Biblical Terms” (Augsburg Fortress, 2009) and has contributed commentary on selected psalms in “The Lectionary Commentary: The Psalm and Hymn Responses for Worship and Preaching,” (Eerdmans, 2009) and study notes for Obadiah and Joel in the Lutheran Study Bible. His latest work is commentary on the Book of Numbers in the “Fortress Commentary on the Old Testament” (Fortress Press, 2014). He is a graduate of St. Olaf (B.A., 1992), Luther Seminary (M.Div., 1996) and Providence Theological (Th.D., 2014), and has served at Good Shepherd since 2013. He blogs with a cohort of his friends on the Bible and popular culture at (@BibPopCult, #bibpopcult), which can also be found on Facebook at


Rolf Jacobson

Professor of Old Testament

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 as an assistant professor of religion. Jacobson earned his bachelor's degree from the University of St. Thomas in 1987. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary (1991) and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary (2000). His teaching interests include the Psalms, Old Testament prophets, biblical poetry, biblical theology and biblical narrative. He emphasizes that the purpose of a biblical text is not just for preaching or teaching, although these are crucial functions. He says the Scriptures must also be used in pastoral care, personal spiritual growth and for the shaping of Christian mission and theology. In addition, it can also function as a catalyst for change and growth within a congregation. Ordained in 1991, Jacobson served for five years as associate pastor of Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul before continuing his education at Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, he was the assistant editor for Theology Today and The Princeton Seminary Bulletin. He also served as a teaching fellow. 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,” whose authors included three recent Luther Seminary graduates. His articles have appeared in Word & 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. He has been a contributor to Augsburg Fortress's “Handbook” series,, Lectionary Homiletics and the like. His credits also include appearances in many video curricula, including “The Lutheran Course.”


Kathryn Schifferdecker

Associate Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

Courage in a Biblical Key

Kathryn Schifferdecker came to Luther Seminary as an assistant professor of Old Testament in 2006, after serving the school as an adjunct instructor the previous year. Ordained in the ELCA in 2001, Schifferdecker was associate pastor for five years at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arkdale, Wis., before coming to Luther. A summa cum laude graduate of St. Olaf College (1990), she received a Master of Divinity summa cum laude from Yale Divinity School (1996) and a Th.D. from Harvard Divinity School (2005). While there, she served as a teaching fellow (1998-2000) and on the editorial staff of the Harvard Theological Review (1997-2000). She is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature. Schifferdecker recently published “Out of the Whirlwind: Creation Theology in the Book of Job,” published in 2008 by Harvard University Press.


Jenee Woodard

Founder, The Text This Week

Online Resourcing: The Courage to Truly Listen to Those with Whom We Disagree

Jenee Woodard is the web spinner of The Text This Week, an Internet-based collection of commentary and resources for preaching. She is the editor of Abingdon's Creative Preaching Annual, and a consultant for several Internet projects for preachers. She lives in Jackson, Mich.

Registration Fees

  • Full registration (Oct. 1-3)
    $245 per person
  • Single day registration
    $125 per day
  • Master Class option
    $125 additional
  • Lay Preacher track
    $125 total
    Lay preacher discount includes master class with local preacher; available to non-rostered leaders with preaching responsibilities.

Download a printable registration form.