International students

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International Student and Scholar Affairs
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International Student Bios

Congregations and organizations are often interested in inviting Luther Seminary's international students to be present for an event, speak at a forum or program, or come to preach. Here is some information about our international students; please note that a few of them prefer not to be speakers at this time.

For more information about arranging to have an international student speaker, please email the Office of International Student and Scholar Affairs. Please include the date(s), type of presentation (forum, sermon), topic, time frame, church or organization, location, your title and contact information. Please allow at least two-three weeks lead time. You may request a specific student, or a representative from a specific area of the world or country, and we will do our best to accommodate you. We ask that you provide transportation for our students, unless otherwise arranged.

Rev. Andrés Roberto Albertsen - Argentina
Ph.D. in Systematic Theology
Rev. Andrés Roberto Albertsen

Rev. Andrés Roberto Albertsen is an ordained pastor in The Danish Church Abroad/ Danish Seamen’s Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Andrés is fluent in Danish, Spanish and English. He has visited the United States before as a tourist and studied at LSTC in Chicago for six months in 2009. He is pursuing a PhD in Systematic Theology. He likes to watch quiz shows and chat about US politics.

He is willing to give presentations about Danes in Argentina, Søren Kierkegaard, and his seminary in Argentina. He hopes to return to Argentina and work as a pastor again while teaching systematic theology at the seminary there.

Irene Adei Amon - Ghana
M.A. in Congregational Mission and Leadership
Irene Adei Amon

Irene Adei Amon is affiliated with the United Christian Mission in Ghana. Irene has come to Luther to pursue her M.A. Degree in Congregational Mission & Leadership. She is being jointly sponsored by ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary.

Before coming to Luther Seminary, Irene was the youth leader and a member of the intercessory board at her church. She would also preach and teach during some church services. Irene has special interest in music, both singing and listening. Irene’s goal is to return to Ghana after her studies at Luther and work as educational director at her church. She hopes to build better ministries in her church and other area churches.

She is available to speak about her home church and different leadership style used in the churches of Ghana.

Misgana Sawo Anjore - Ethiopia
M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
Misgana Sawo Anjore

Misgana Sawo Anjore is from Ethiopia and speaks Amharic. Prior to coming to Luther Seminary, she studied community development. She is interested in speaking about feminism, poverty and development, and holistic development in the church.

Misgana enjoys singing, volunteering, reading autobiographical books and watching documentaries. Upon completion of her studies, she plans to work in children and youth ministries and hopes to open her own consulting firm.

 

Dilame Gebre Atebo - Ethiopia
M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
Dilame Gebre Atebo

Dilame Gebre Atebo is an Ethiopian Lutheran. She has come to Luther Seminary to study Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. Before travelling to the U.S. Dilame worked as a consultant and volunteered for the Ethiopia Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. When she returns to Ethiopia, she hopes to continue working in community development and the church. In her free time she enjoys going good conversation and going for walks.

Dilame would be happy to speak to groups about current events and politics.

Mesfin Ayele - United Kingdom
Ph.D. in Congregational Mission and Leadership
Mesfin Ayele

Mesfin Ayele, an Ethiopian Lutheran, completed his M.A. in Congregational Mission and Leadership in May 2011 and is now pursuing a Ph.D. His wife is here with him.

 

Rev. Sanjeev Bhonsle - India
M.Th. in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Rev. Sanjeev Bhonsle

Rev. Sanjeev Bhonsle is an ordained Presbyterian minister from Maharashtra, India. For the past 25 years, he has lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates. During this time, he served as a chaplain and was involved in various facets of church ministry as well as with interdenominational organizations. His mother tongue is Marathi and he enjoys cricket.

Sanjeev would be happy to talk about the United Arab Emirates in general and the Christian Church and its ministry in UAE, with an emphasis on the emirates of Sharjah & Dubai.

 

 

Ibrahim Bitrus - Nigeria
Ph.D. in Systematic Theology
Ibrahim Bitrus

Ibrahim Bitrus is from Nigeria and is affiliated with the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria. He is being jointly sponsored by ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary.

Ibrahim speaks Chamba, Hausa, and English and enjoys swimming, fishing, and hunting in his spare time. Before coming to Luther Seminary, Ibrahim was teaching at the Bronnum Lutheran Seminary in Yola, Nigeria.

He has come to Luther Seminary to pursue a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. Upon returning to Nigeria with his wife and four children, Ibrahim plans on resuming his teaching position at Bronnum Lutheran Seminary and also to write vibrant theology for Nigeria.

Linqing "Sue" Chu - China
M.A. in Congregational Community Care
Linqing "Sue" Chu

Linqing (Sue) Chu  comes from the Protestant Church in China. Sue has come to Luther to receive her M.A. degree in Congregational Community Care.

Before coming to Luther Seminary, Sue had a major in Public Relations and Advertising as an undergraduate student. She looks forward to the growth in knowledge and spiritual life she will experience during her studies at Luther. For fun, Sue enjoys badminton, traveling, and photography.

When she returns to China, Sue hopes to work with the elderly, especially those who have lost their one and only child. She is available to speak about her work with and care services for the elderly.

Rev. Jacobus “Josh” de Keijzer - Netherlands
Ph.D. in Church History
Rev. Jacobus “Josh” de Keijzer

Rev. Jacobus “Josh” de Keijzer is a non-demoninational pastor from the Netherlands who has come to Luther to earn a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.

He has lived in the U.S. off and on since 1988 doing mission work. Josh came to us most recently from Bethel Seminary where he was introduced to 20th century German theologians which he will be studying in great depth while at Luther. 

When finished with his degree, he hopes to teach theology at a graduate level. At this point, Josh is not available for speaking engagements.

Etana Debel - Ethiopia
Ph.D. in Church History
Etana Debel

Etana Debel is from Ethiopia and is affiliated with the Ethiopian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mekane Yesus. He has come to Luther Seminary to pursue a Ph.D. in Church History. He is being jointly sponsored by the ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary

Etana speaks Oromo, Amharic, and English and enjoys reading, teaching, participating in intercessory prayer and leading small groups. Before arriving at Luther Seminary, Etana acted as the Dean of Studies at the Nekemte Christian Education College, Dean of the Department of Theology at Mekane Yesus Seminary, and professor of church history, church administration, and stewardship. His wife and three children are with him at Luther.

Upon returning to Ethiopia, Etana plans on teaching history and church polity.

Samuel Yonas Deressa - Ethiopia
Ph.D. in Congregational Mission and Leadership
Samuel Yonas Deressa

Samuel Deressa has come from Ethiopia where he is affiliated with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. Before coming to Luther Seminary, Samuel was a president of one of the graduate schools where he gave training on leadership (Foundation for Academic Excellence Ministry) and was a lecturer at Mekane Yesus Seminary on African Theology and Christian Muslim Relations in Africa.

Samuel speaks his mother tongue, Oromo, and also Amharic and English. Playing guitar, reading, and participating in social events are the hobbies and interests Samuel enjoys, along with his special talent of playing guitar and organizing events. During his time at Luther, Samuel will be pursuing a Ph.D.

When he returns home, Samuel feels called to strengthen the institutional capacities of Ethiopia’s theological schools in such a way as to produce leaders of transformation. His wife and children are here with him.

Bayesa Jabesa Disasa - Ethiopia
M.Th. in Congregational Mission and Leadership
Bayesa Jabesa Disasa

Bayesa Jabesa Disasa is from Ethiopia and is affiliated with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. He has come to Luther to obtain his M.Th. in Congregational Mission and Leadership.

Before coming to Luther, Bayesa worked as a coordinator for Evangelical church fellowships for mission; he also volunteered in the outreach ministries of local congregations. He hopes to widen the scope of this work when he returns to Ethiopia.

Bayesa would be happy to speak about the contextualization of mission and evangelism. He is also available to speak about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially as it affects orphans and highly vulnerable children.

Sashinungla "Sashila" Jamir - India
Ph.D. in Church History
Sashinungla "Sashila" Jamir

Sashinungla "Sashila" is a student from India and is affiliated with the Nagaland Baptist Church Council.

Before coming to Luther Seminary, Sashila was teaching at the seminary in Nagaland, India. She has come to Luther with her husband, Imli, and their two daughters. Sashila is pursuing a Doctorate degree in History of Christianity. She enjoys gardening and cooking.

Upon returning to India, Sashila hopes to resume teaching at the seminary in Nagaland.

Tsuwainla "Aien" Jamir - India
M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
Tsuwainla "Aien" Jamir

Tsuwainla "Aien" Jamir is from Nagaland, India and speaks the Ao dialect. She is a member of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council and was managing Council events prior to attending Luther Seminary. 

Aien enjoys gardening, listening to music, and reading. She is excited to study and learn from different communities while at Luther and hopes to return to work with young people and be involved in children's ministry.

 

 

Rev. Phares Kakulima - Tanzania
Ph.D. in Congregational Mission and Leadership
Rev. Phares Kakulima

Rev. Phares Kakulima returns to Luther from Tanzania where he was serving as a pastor and assistant to the bishop in the Karagwe Diocese. At Luther, he is now working on a Ph.D. in Congregational Mission and Leadership.

Phares is being jointly sponsored by the ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary. He speaks Kinyambo, Kiswahili, and English and he enjoys listening to and helping people, reading, and especially walking. When he has completed his Ph.D., he plans to continue his pastoral work and begin teaching as well.

Phares is available to speak to interested groups regarding social and religious life in Tanzania.

Rev. Jesse G.S. King - Liberia
M.TH. in History of Christianity
Rev. Jesse G.S. King

Rev. Jesse G. S. King, Sr. is a Liberian Lutheran pastor. He graduated with a M.A. degree in History of Christianity in May 2015 and is now pursuing a M.TH. in the same area. He is being jointly sponsored by the ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary.

Back home, Jesse has a wife and four children. He enjoys reading, listening to music, and talking about theology. Before coming to Luther, Jesse served as a youth pastor and as a training director for lay people in the church. After completing his degree at Luther, Jesse plans to go back to Liberia to teach at the seminary and organize community programs.

He is happy to speak about the congregational life and youth activities of the Liberian Lutheran church.

Rev. Slewion P. Lewis - Liberia
M.A. in Congregational Mission and Leadership
Rev. Slewion P. Lewis

Father Slewion P. Lewis is a Liberian Episcopalian Pastor. He has come to Luther to obtain an M.A. degree in Congregational Mission & Leadership.

Before coming to Luther, Slewion received his Bachelor’s degree in theology. Slewion enjoys playing soccer, reading and driving. While at Luther he hopes to gain more experience in ministry and leadership in the church, and he hopes to engage his community in these topics when he returns to Liberia. If possible, Slewion would like to continue his studies for a Ph.D. or D.Min.

He is available to speak to groups about Church Leadership, Youth & Family, and the global economy.

Rev. Barson Lahivelo Mahafaly - Madagascar
PH.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Rev. Barson Lahivelo Mahafaly

Rev. Barson Lahivelo Mahafaly is a pastor in the Malagasy Lutheran Church in Madagascar. He first came to Luther in 2008 and received an M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry. In 2011 he began working towards a PH.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling.

Barson is being jointly sponsored by the ELCa Global Mission and Luther Seminary, and is here with his wife and three children. He enjoys watching movies, listening to music, and writing poetry in his native Malagasy. He also speaks French. After receiving his Ph.D., Barson plans to return to Madagascar to teach Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Lutheran seminary.

He is available to speak about Malagasy culture, revival movements in the Malagasy Lutheran Church, and pastoral life in Madagascar.

Akinlolu "Akin" Makinwa - Nigeria
Ph.D. research
Akinlolu "Akin" Makinwa

Akinlolu "Akin" Makinwa comes to Luther from the Deeper Life Bible Church in Nigeria. He is pursuing his Ph.D. at Stellenbosch Univeristy in South Africa.

Before coming to Luther, Akin was working in Youth & Family ministry while completing a Ph.D. program in Youth Ministry. When he returns to Nigeria, he hopes to establish a Children, Youth, and Family Institute in an African community to promote CYF ministry and teach future CYF leaders. For fun Akinlolu enjoys reading, gardening, sigh-seeing, writing, and singing.

He is happy to speak about African philosophy and the way of life called “Ubuntu” or on the topics: Holy Spirit, Holy Men, Holy Church or African Youth and Families in diaspora: Pains, Pleasures, and Prospects.

Salai Pum Za Mang - Burma/Myanmar
Ph.D. in Systematic Theology
Salai Pum Za Mang

Salai Pum Za Mang is a Baptist from Mandalay, Burma (Myanmar) where he has been teaching and lecturing at the Methodist seminary, Myanmar Theological College, since 2005.

Mang, as he prefers to be called, speaks Burmese, English, and Chin, his mother tongue. He has come to Luther Seminary to work on earning a Doctorate of Philosophy in Systematic Theology.

Mang earned his Master of Arts at Princeton Seminary in 2010 and would be comfortable presenting to groups about a variety of different topics related to the current situation in Burma. After graduation, Mang hopes to return to his home country with his wife while continuing to teach at the seminary.

Rev. Briaan Mbazuvara - Namibia
M.A. in Congregational Community Care
Rev. Briaan Mbazuvara

Rev. Briaan Mbazuvara is an ordained Lutheran pastor from Namibia and serves as the senior pastor of an inner city congregation in Windhoek, Namibia’s capitol and largest city. His congregation granted him a two-year leave to study Congregational and Community Care at Luther Seminary.

Briaan is being jointly sponsored by the ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary. After completing his studies here, Briaan will return to his congregation in order to serve them with his new knowledge and experiences.

Briaan would be happy to speak to groups about Namibia and the role of the church in Namibia.

Rev. Grecious Moyo - Zimbabwe
M.A. in Congregational Community Care
Rev. Grecious Moyo

Rev. Grecious Moyo is an ELCA Pastor from Zimbabwe. He has come to Luther to obtain an M.A. degree in Congregational Community Care. He is being jointly sponsored by the ELCA Global Mission and Luther Seminary.

Grecious enjoys soccer, baseball, music, and traveling. Prior to coming to Luther, Grecious completed his B.A. Honors Degree in Religious Studies and a Post-Grad certificate in Development Studies. He also worked as a Chaplain along with his parish role.

Upon returning to Zimbabwe, Grecious hopes to work as a trainer of trainers in Diaconal ministry. He is available to speak on the topics of politics, Peace, Justice, Reconciliation, and Conflict Management, and relationships.

Rev. Eve Mugambi - Kenya
PH.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Rev. Eve Mugambi

Rev. Eve Mugambi is a PHD student in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Kenya. She is ordained in the Methodist Church and speaks 3 languages: English, Kimeru and Kiswahili.

Prior to coming to Luther Seminary, Eve completed a M.A. in Pastoral Counseling at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky. Eve is particularly interested in speaking to groups about her life and ministry in Kenya, life as a woman in a patriarchal society and African Traditional Religion (ATR).

Upon returning home, Even plans to teach in colleges and seminaries. Eve's family is with her.

Michael Fredrick Oballa - Kenya
M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
Michael Fredrick Oballa

Michael Fredrick Oballa comes from Kenya and is a member of Solid Rock International Church. He has come to Luther to pursue his M.A. Degree in Children, Youth, & Family.

He enjoys playing soccer, traveling, and reading novels. Before coming to Luther, Michael worked as a volunteer Sunday school teacher, did some preaching, and involved himself in visitations to hospitals and homes.

When he returns to Kenya, he hopes to bring spiritual growth to his community and continue his work with Sports Outreach. He is available to speak on the topics of alcoholism, early marriages, and God’s people.

 

Emelda Uchenna Okafor - Nigeria
M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry
Emelda Uchenna Okafor

Emelda Uchenna Okafor is from the Anambra State of Nigeria and is commissioned as a Teaching Minister in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN). She speaks Igbo/Ibo and is pursuing a M.A. in Children, Youth, and Family Ministry.

Emelda enjoys cooking, volleyball, and meeting people. She would be interested in speaking about cultural dance, food, and the educational system in Nigeria.

Emelda hopes to become a lay chaplain in the maternity ward of a hospital back home, as well as opening a non-governmental organization (NGO) that will advise families.

Sister M. Nkiruka "Nkiru" Okafor - Nigeria
PH.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Sister M. Nkiruka "Nkiru" Okafor

Sister M. Nkiruka Catherine Okafor is a Roman Catholic nun from Anambra State, in the South East region of Nigeria. Before coming to Luther Seminary, she was teaching in her home country.

Sister Nkiru speaks Igbo, English, and Pidgin English. She has come to Luther to pursue a Ph.D. in Pastoral Care and Counseling with an emphasis on youth. She loves basketball, traditional dancing, and youth ministry. She also has good organizational skills and is a great drummer!

She is comfortable talking with groups about youth ministry. She will be returning to Nigeria and opening a department for training youth ministers.

Rev. Yong Park - South Korea
M.A. in Systematic Theology
Rev. Yong Park

Rev. Yong Park is a Presbyterian Pastor from Seoul, South Korea. He has come to Luther Seminary to pursue his M.A. degree in Systematic Theology.

Yong enjoys soccer and teaching others soccer skills. He also likes basketball and weight-training. Before coming to Luther, Yong was working with children, preaching and teaching the Bible. He hopes to be able to deliver Luther’s Theology to Koreans.

Yong is available to speak about Justification and Sanctification, Law and Gospel, or the relation of Luther and Calvin.

Rev. Wondimu Legesse Sonessa - Ethiopia
M.Th. in Systematic Theology
Rev. Wondimu Legesse Sonessa

Rev. Wondimu Legesse Sonessa is a Lutheran pastor in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus from the Addis Ababa region of Ethiopia.

As an active lecturer and preacher, Wondimu has served as pastor of EECMY congregations and, most recently, as Dean of Mekane Yesus Seminary. Afan, Oromo, Amharic and English are all languages Wondimu speaks and he enjoys playing and watching sports as well as reading.

He has come to Luther to earn a Masters of Theology degree and is available to speak on topics such as discipleship, spiritual gifts, and the fruits of the spirit.

Rev. George Changlak Timlak - Cameroon
M.Th. in Pastoral Care and Counseling
Rev. George Changlak Timlak

Rev. George Changlak Timlak is a Baptist pastor from the Southwest region of Cameroon. Before coming to Luther Seminary, George was working part time in a congregation and as the lead chaplain in a hospital.

He has completed Luther's M.A. in Congregational and Community Care and is now pursuing a M.Th. in Pastoral Care and Counseling. He speaks English and the Yamba dialect, and is affiliated with the Cameroon Baptist Convention. His hobbies include volleyball, watching sports, films and taking leisure trips. George is talented in drumming, farming and counseling and is comfortable talking to groups about caring ministry in the hospital, the love of God for mankind, and bearing one another’s burden by praying for them.

He hopes to return to Cameroon and continue to work as a hospital chaplain, while training other chaplains and social workers. He also hopes to offer pastoral care in the church and wider community as a professional back home. His wife and four children are back in Cameroon.

Rev. Henderika "Hennie" Wattimena - Indonesia
M.A. in Congregational and Community Care
Rev. Henderika "Hennie" Wattimena

Rev. Henderika J. Wattimena, or "Hennie," comes to Luther from central Java, one of the main Islands of Indonesia, where she taught theology at Satya Wacana Christian University and is an ordained pastor in the Protestant Church of West Indonesia.

She is working on a M.A. in Congregational & Community Care while at Luther and hopes to return to teaching, pastoral care and counseling when she finishes with her studies. Including her Clinical Pastoral Education experience in Hawaii (2012), this is Hennie’s second stay in the U.S.