Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Director's Word: On Sending Well

Without question, ending well is essential to one’s ministry practice and ongoing leadership formation. In fact, you’ve possibly heard the phrase “stick the landing” once or twice. It’s a gymnastics metaphor that punctuates the importance of finishing up one’s internship year, or ministry chapter, in any given community of faith. The fact of that matter is that ending well (or not ending well!) can make or break the ministry context for the incoming minister. We

"In Blackwater Woods": On Letting Go

The days, weeks, and months of this year of work and learning have been impactful in ways you could not have imagined. And yet, there is more to come! You aren’t finished yet! You have realize how much has already been learned, and how much more is yet to come. The phrase “you don’t know what you don’t know” is sometimes used to describe the unfolding of contextual learning opportunities, such as CPE, CPL, or Internship, and now that phrase has new meaning for you.

Farewell from April Winebrenner-Palo

As Tim mentioned in his piece on "Sending Well," the time has come for a farewell from me, your Ministry in Context editor, program coordinator, and office manager here at Contextual Learning. I will soon be leaving Luther to more fully pursue my interest in student leadership development and campus social justice work. My last day here at Luther will be Friday June 24.

From supporting our students, staff, faculty and partners to managing our website and communications, from facilitating our internship

Internship Project Spotlight: Intern Pastor Miriam Samuelson-Roberts, Augustana Lutheran Church

Each year, we create special space in Ministry in Context to shine a spotlight on current internship projects. This month, we are profiling the adult faith formation project of Intern Pastor Miriam Samuelson-Roberts, serving at Augustana Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN with Rev. Mark Aune. As you read about and learn from Miriam's internship project work, we'd like to invite you to share your own internship project learning with the community! Email Karen Gieseke ( if you

Welcome to the Fall 2016 Cluster Retreats!

In the Fall and Spring, all internship supervisors and pastoral interns around the country are hosted by the nearest ELCA seminary for a special cluster event. Luther Seminary facilitates the retreats for Region 1 and Region 3, and we are thrilled to share the dates and locations for the Fall 2016 cluster retreats.

"It was refreshing to be in room full of classmates and to learn and share together again. Being able to observe the level of learning and growth in my classmates over the course of their

Welcome to Christian Public Leader 2.0!

As practical theologian Fernando Arzola writes, “Contextualization gives theology hands.” Here at Contextual Learning, we believe that everyone involved in theological education can grow in a real-life ministry context that helps shape their formation. Because of this commitment, we would like to share an update regarding our new-and-improved Christian Public Leader (CPL) program.

Beginning Fall 2016, we now expect all Luther Seminary incoming students to participate in this required

On CPL 2.0, The Needs of the Community, and Hope for the Future

Elsewhere in our newsletter, we shared an update regarding our new-and-improved Christian Public Leader (CPL) program. In this piece, I'd like to talk more specifically about how the CPL program can help us take major steps toward intercultural development, anti-racism training, real-world ministry skills, and spiritual and mental health at Luther Seminary. Through CPL, our students, staff, and faculty can work together to meet some of the most important needs in our Luther Seminary community

CPE Program Reminders

Completing CPE? Beginning your first unit of CPE? Congratulations on these important steps in your life and ministry! As you cross off the final items on your checklist, however, please note these important program reminders.

Completing CPE:

To receive credit for completion of this pass/fail course, you must turn in a copy of both the CPE supervisor’s final evaluation and your final evaluation to the Office of Contextual Learning. Your supervisor's evaluation is prepared by your supervisor.

Director's Word: Pacing Yourself for the Long Haul

What does it mean for you to refuel? How do you stay not only healthy and whole for one or two years of internship, but balanced for ten to twenty years? Many of our current CPL, CPE, or internship students are walking alongside a supervisor who has found a way to strike a balance. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a model. And we want you to see it, because we know that discovering this rhythm for your life will give you the greatest longevity and joy in serving in the church.


Privilege, Power, and the Cycle of Gospel Living: Lessons from the Kaleidoscope Institute

In March, I was fortunate to attend a powerful intercultural training week. The Catalyst program, hosted as a partnership between Luther Seminary and the Kaleidoscope Institute, served as a deep dive into difficult issues of race, culture, privilege, and power. I'd like to talk a little bit about that and share a powerful exercise with you today.

As a white male growing up in the United States, I have historically been minimally aware of my privilege throughout my life. However, I have had some moments