Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Director's Word: Engaging God’s People for Mission and Ministry

Last month I highlighted the importance of vision casting for any given community. If that were ministry in a nutshell, we would focus on vision casting alone, get the word out there, and hope that everything falls into place, right? Well, actually, not so fast! Vision for mission and ministry in the Christian church is uniquely and necessarily caught up in the incarnation, "God with us." God chose to touch the ground through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We too, are called to engage

Toolbox Update: What is "Shiplap"?

Are you familiar with the names Chip and Joanna? If you recognize the names, then you know all about “shiplap”. Thanks to the current “DIY-Do It Yourself” movement in our culture, HGTV’s Fixer-Upper hosts, Chip and Joanna Gaines, have introduced us to shiplap, a rough sawn pine paneling found in historic homes. Shiplap is a favorite construction element for Chip and Joanna as they travel the process of imagining new possibilities for an existing home in an established

Toward a "Most Respectful Interpretation"

My friend Jill was trying to find the perfect restaurant for her pregnant sister who was allergic to smoke. They searched meticulously to ensure that wherever they chose would have no traces of smoke.  Finally they found a cozy little bistro with clean air and good people -- or so they thought! Ten minutes into their meal, they both glanced over to see a haggard and despondent woman seated at another table.  As she stared at them intensely, she pulled out her long Virginia Slim cigarettes

New CPE Offerings for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Super-Extended (2015 - 2016)

Are you seeking a CPE position for Spring, Summer, or Fall 2016? Contextual Learning is pleased to share some information about some available units! Please read on for details.

HealthEast in St. Paul, MN
January 11, 2016 - May 9, 2016

"HealthEast Care System is offering an extended unit of CPE this spring. The proposed dates are from the week of January 11 to the week of May 9, 2016. HealthEast is the largest health care provider in the Twin Cities’ East Metro area. We are a faith-based organization,

Internship Program Updates (2015 - 2016)

As we head into the Thanksgiving season, here are a few internship program updates for you during this 2015 - 2016 year.

We love talking with our internship teams! If you are a current intern or supervisor and have not yet participated in or scheduled your one-on-one phone check-in with your internship point person, please see us at or 651-641-3266 to schedule that time.

Meanwhile, please note that internship site applications for internships beginning Fall 2016

2016 Summer Ethics Fellowship for Seminary and Divinity School Students

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) is now accepting applications for its 2016 program. FASPE Seminary uses the conduct of the clergy during the Holocaust and in Nazi Germany as a launching point for an intensive course of study on the contemporary ethical challenges facing religious leaders. FASPE is predicated upon the power of place. Fellows visit Auschwitz and other sites in Germany and Poland where they consider how to apply the lessons of history to the ethical

Pray and Break Bread: Navigating Ethical Responsibility and Pastoral Care When War is Part of the Story

On Friday, a small but dedicated group of Luther Seminary students and staff left campus for our second Pray and Break Bread event this semester. Spending time with Minnesota Veterans Affairs, Veterans for Peace, and Lutheran Social Services' Refugee Services, our learning revolved around the Christian ethical responsibility of peace-building as well as the urgency of competent pastoral care for veterans, refugees, and those for whom war, torture, and trauma is part of the story.

A huge thanks to our

Director's Word: Clarity of Vision

For those of you on internship, do you remember this image from our internship orientation? In the orientation session, we talked about two distinct arcs of learning over the span of one’s internship. One of the arcs had to do with the flow of internship: entering a community, establishing rhythms of reflective practice, growing in leadership/bearing fruit, and lastly, ending well. The other arc had to do with some integrative practices that every leader must exhibit when leading Christian communities:

The Intern (Or: "I'll Call You When I Have Something for You to Do")

“I’ll call you when I have something for you to do.” Have you seen the movie The Intern, starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro? I checked it out since I like the work of these two actors, and I was curious to see the role reversal described in the film: DeNiro’s character finds retirement unsatisfying, so he decides to re-enter the work world by applying for a “Senior Internship” opportunity at a new, online business created and launched by Hathaway, a young,

The Sarah Test

I have a member of my congregation named Sarah. She is an African-American woman in her fifties who often struggles to pay her bills. The weight of oppression, depression, and isolation weigh her down daily. She is dying to hear good news that will help her live another day. She needs to know deep in her soul (like all of us) that she is loved and cared for by a just and compassionate God.

As an incoming student at Luther Seminary, I was excited to sit in my classrooms and