Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Life in the Kitchen

On wintry Sunday evenings this year my wife and I settled down for an evening of TV from PBS and Great Britain. I am referring to “Downton Abbey”, of course. I know it is only a dressed-up soap opera, but an hour or so with the Earl of Grantham and his fun-loving family is usually at least interesting. And then “Grantchester,” featuring Father Sidney Chambers, Anglican cleric and crime-solver from the mid-twentieth century. Chambers even has a “curate”, the equivalent

New Cross-Cultural Opportunities: Mexico, Geneva, The Holy Land, Austin

Are you interested in traveling to Mexico to learn about Lutheran identity in Latin America, conflict resolution and peace-making, or transformative ministries? Look into AMEXTRA's "Seeds of Transformation" summer immersion programs in Mexico! To take an immersion course for credit, see Contextual Learning's CCE website for details!

Are you interested in a year-long internship as the Advocacy Intern in the Office for International Affairs and Human Rights at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva,

Director's Word: On Innovative Spirit

A friend of mine recently shared this cover issue of LIFE magazine from February 11, 1957. Next to the iconic LIFE logo, the title reads: "'The Most Wasted Hour of the Week': What's wrong with our Sunday schools and what churches can do about it." Here’s what John H. Westerhoff, renowned author of the church, says in the LIFE article:

"The church school, despite numerous bold innovations and even a few modern success stories, is plagued with disease. The church’s educational problem rests

That Old Devil Change

We had a wonderful family vacation in February. My wife and I, our three adult children, our daughter-in-law, and our two grandchildren went to San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, for the proverbial week of fun in the sun. It was our eighth year at our favorite resort. We had neighboring ground floor rooms just steps from the pool. Wonderful.

At first we weren’t too sure. The resort was pummeled by Hurricane Odile last September, and was closed from mid-September until mid-December. Rebuilding is still

Call from the Wilderness: Listening at the Festival of Radical Discipleship

What does a longtime radical theologian and justice-seeker like Ched Myers do for his 60th birthday? Weep with the salmon over dammed riverbeds. Dance with Miriam to tambourine and djembe. Gather 180 friends to connect prophetic Biblical texts with ongoing experiences of solidarity and struggle in communities across the US!  

This February, I attended Ched’s Festival of Radical Discipleship in Oakview, CA, a gathering that was part celebration, part reunion, and part serious huddle

Internship: Placement Process and New Supervisor Workshop

To those sites and supervisors who interviewed this past month: Thank you all for completing your Preferences Forms punctually and with great detail! All of us here at Contextual Learning appreciate your attention and care as we begin our annual internship placement process.

Pastors, some of you have begun inquiring about preparations for a possible internship placement. We're happy to share these details with you.

Next Steps

We may be in touch with you with additional questions or suggestions as

Internship: Cluster Schedule

Twice per year in the fall and spring, all Internship supervisors and pastoral interns around the country are hosted by the nearest ELCA seminary for something called the "cluster meeting." At the cluster meeting, supervisors and pastoral interns enjoy a chance to meet, talk, ask questions, provide feedback, and learn from other partners in the Internship experience. These are valuable sessions and they contribute greatly to the Internship in both semesters. (They are also a fun way to get to know

Summer and Fall CPE Units Available

Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn. has openings for CPE Level I full-time summer 2015 internships. Please submit applications to: For more information regarding the program click on this website link:

Good Samaritan Specialty Care Community, a long term care facility in Robbinsdale MN, still has openings for its full-time summer unit  (May  26 –

Join us for Pray and Break Bread: LGBTQIA Advocacy (Saturday March 28)!

One of the most fun and deeply meaningful things I've been part of at seminary is facilitating Contextual Learning's "Pray and Break Bread" project. This series of urban multicultural trips seeks to bring the Luther Seminary community off-campus to meet and listen to our neighbors.

Why is this important? Most of us have many opportunities to connect with other members of the Lutheran tradition (especially people of our own race, socioeconomic status, or gender or sexual identity), but fewer opportunities

New Cross-Cultural Opportunities: Geneva, Austin

Are you interested in a year-long internship as the Advocacy Intern in the Office for International Affairs and Human Rights at the Lutheran World Federation in Geneva, Switzerland? Applications are due April 30 and the position begins in September of this year. Please contact Contextual Learning for more information; we can forward you the application information and materials.

Are you interested in a Spanish-language Hispanic Ministry intensive this summer at Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest