Ministry in Context

Welcoming Tim Coltvet to Contextual Learning, Highlighting Connections

If you were to read my most recent bio, it would likely say that I am the Coordinator of Contextual Learning and Coaching for the Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Master's degree, that I am a pastor, that I love my call to walk alongside seminary students as they are called to learning, and that I have served in two vibrant ELCA parishes in the Twin Cities to shape Children, Youth, and Family Ministries. This has, indeed, been my calling at Luther for the past five years!

As we begin the Spring semester at Luther in 2014, I would like to expand and personalize what you see above. As you can see, much of my biography still rings true! I am a pastor, ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in July of 1998.   My call to word and sacrament ministry continues in this work and has been fundamental to my vision of the everyday; an everyday where God reaches out to humanity through the various means of grace. I live and participate fully in this sacramental way of life. It may transpire at an altar in houses of worship - and equally so - at kitchen (or cafeteria) tables where people break bread and grow together in faith.

I treasure this specialized call of walking alongside seminary students in their formation as Christian public leaders. One of the greatest privileges of my role over these past five years at Luther has been seeing the church in her multiple contextual expressions: sometimes ministry in a congregation, sometimes ministry in a food shelf, sometimes advocacy work in a non-profit, sometimes chaplaincy in a juvenile detention center. The changing face of the church is fascinating, and the growing variety of contextual sites continues to expand and invite our wonder as well. The Spirit is at work among us!

So What's Next?

Not only will I be leading the contextual process for those concentrating in Children, Youth and Family Ministry program, I will also be expanding my work to address contextual engagement for those in the MA professional degree programs.

The most notable shifts or changes in my role at Luther seminary have to do with my role and new location of serving on the Contextual Learning team located on the third floor of Northwestern Hall. Not only will I be leading the contextual process for those concentrating in Children, Youth and Family Ministry program, I will also be expanding my work to address contextual engagement for those in the MA professional degree programs. The theological, theoretical, and practical reflection required of today’s Christian public leader will be nurtured and fostered through our emerging contextual courses. I look forward to engaging students in those vital intersections with fellow staff and faculty.

As an example of the many connections I am facilitating, I will lift up first-year MA student, Yu Yi (Jennie).

Highlighting Connections: Yu Yi (Jennie)

Jennie comes to Luther Seminary via her home of Shanghai, China. As a corporate executive, Jennie has had a fruitful career prior to coming to Luther. Yet, her role of leading a house church in Shanghai with her husband led her discernment down the path of theological education and Christian public leadership training at Luther Seminary.

With an interest in doing thesis work around young adult faith formation, Jennie has discovered the Mandarin Scholars’ Fellowship at the nearby University of Minnesota Saint Paul campus. In cooperation with the Hospitality Chinese Center, Jennie is merging her experiences with “house church” back home with the dozens of Mandarin scholars who happen to be studying in our neighborhood. Jennie reflects on a recent gathering:

"We had prayer and dinner, prayer and music, prayer and Bible teaching (either in Chinese or translated to Chinese), and prayer and sending. [Our fellowship is] modeled after the Fellowships often found on University campuses in China. [...] Meanwhile it will have some new elements from Luther Seminary and the American church."

As I walk alongside Jennie in the intentional work of reflecting upon one’s ministry experiences, I look forward to joining so many others in this important, formative, and holy work.

As I walk alongside Jennie in the intentional work of reflecting upon one’s ministry experiences, I look forward to joining so many others in this important, formative, and holy work.

Lastly, I look forward to working more closely with my colleagues in the Contextual Learning office. Among the collaborative work emerging, is some intentional development work with the concurrent internship pathways for MDiv students. I look forward to preparing leaders for mission and service in God’s world and invite your prayers and partnership in the work before us! Blessings!

previous main next