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Professor of Rural Ministry; Leadership Division Chair
Alvin Luedke joined the Luther Seminary faculty in July 2001. Previously, he served as a research associate with the Strategic Policies Research Group and as an interim pastor in Texas since 1998.
Luedke earned a bachelor of science degree in agronomy (Magna Cum Laude) and a master of science degree in sociology from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, in 1978 and 1993 respectively. He earned a master of divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, in 1982. In 2002 he completed his Ph.D. in sociology with specialties in rural sociology and demography/human ecology from Texas A & M.
Luedke's professional experience also includes serving as a research associate (1998-2001), an assistant research specialist (1996-1997) and a graduate research assistant (1988-1993, 1995-1996, 1997-1998) at Texas A&M. He served as a pastor (1982-1988, 1993-1995) at two parishes and as assistant to the pastor (1988-1992) in a third parish, all in Texas. He also served as pastor at a parish in southwestern Minnesota (2001-2003).
He is a member of the Rural Sociological Society, the Rural Church Network in the United States and Canada, the Small Town and Rural (STaR) Ministry Alliance of the ELCA, and International Rural Church Association (IRCA). He is a member and former chair of the Northland Ministries Partnership of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools. He serves on the board of directors for Shalom Hill Farm, is the U.S. representative to the IRCA planning board, and is a former member of the board of directors of the Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center. He is a member of the Theological Education, Cooperative Ministries, and Leadership affinity groups of the STaR Ministry Alliance.
Luedke has written or co-written numerous sociological studies. He has co-authored books, Teaching Reflectively in Theological Contexts: Promises and Contradictions, and Demographics: A Guide to Methods and Data Source for Media, Business, and Government. His recent articles include "Opportunities amidst Challenges: Denominations and Rural Ministry"; (Word and World, 2005), "Farm Financial Crisis-Challenges for Ministry among Small town and Rural Communities, Congregations, and Individuals" (Journal of Lutheran Ethics, 2003) and "Dynamic Population Change in Size and Diversity" (Texas Almanac, 2002-2003.) He also is a frequent speaker at Rural ministry conferences which include presentations such as "What is Rural? Why Does it Matter?" (Glendive and Sidney, MT, February 2008), "Rural Ministry in Region 3" (Region 3 Bishops' and Staff Retreat, November 2007), "The Celebration and Challenge of Doing Ministry in Rural Contexts" (NW Wisconsin Synod, March 2004) and " Rural Congregations and Mission: The Nations at Our Doors" (Lutheran Mission Conference, March 2003).
Students use best practice model from the book Discovering Hope: Building Vitality in Rural Congregations to explore STaR ministry. Special emphases are placed on the context of STaR communities and congregations, effective congregational and community leadership in the STaR context, and the role of the laity in STaR ministries.
This course studies the changing patterns of small town and rural (STaR) ministry and the formation of multi-point parishes. It addresses the challenges and opportunities for ministry in these settings. Leadership, administrative, and planning aspects for ministry are explored.
Students, together with clergy and lay persons from small town and rural congregations, study issues affecting America’s small town and rural (STaR) communities. Clergy and lay persons from STaR congregations and communities are engaged as part of the course. Contexts include southwestern Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota. Implications for ministry and leadership in these contexts are explored. Because contexts change, course may be repeated for credit. Course may fulfill cross-cultural requirement.
MEETS TWO WEEKS OFF SITE IN SOUTHWESTERN MINNESOTA AND WESTERN NORTH DAKOTA
ORIENTATION SESSION - DEC. 8, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM AND DEBRIEFING SESSION FOLLOWING - TBA
JAN. 8-14 SHALOM HILL FARM; JAN. 14-22 WESTERN ND
The course introduces students to small town and rural (STaR) communities and congregations, with the goal of students reflecting on implications for leadership in the Church within STaR communities. Emphasis is placed on economic, population/ethnic/cultural, and environmental transitions that are affecting communities and congregations in small town and rural America.
Course may fulfill cross-cultural requirement.
This seminar helps participants implement the thesis proposal that was developed in the previous seminar, a thesis proposal that incorporates a theologically-informed use of social science research. Participants are also guided through the writing process of drafting the first four chapters of their eventual thesis—introduction, literature review and theoretical perspectives, biblical and theological perspectives, and research methodology.
This seminar provides students with a structured process to implement the research design of their approved research proposal and to incorporate their findings into their final thesis. The seminar meets for a work session to help participants finalize their research and process their results. Full course
Students, together with clergy and lay persons from small town and rural congregations, study issues affecting America’s small town and rural (STaR) communities. Clergy and lay persons from STaR congregations and communities are engaged as part of the course. Contexts include southwestern Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota. Implications for ministry and leadership in these contexts are explored. Because contexts change, course may be repeated for credit. A $100 non-refundable deposit may be required. TWO WEEK IMMERSION; FULFILLS CROSS-CULTURAL CURRIC EQUIVALENCIES
JANUARY 9-15, 2017 AT SHALOM HILL FARMS
JANUARY 16-22, 2017 AT RED WILLOW BIBLE CAMP, EASTERN NORTH DAKOTA
ORIENTATION DATE - THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 11 AM - 12:30 PM; MTG IN NW 210E
This seminar engages the difference missional theology makes for the renewal of congregational life and practices in relationship with neighbors and the common good. Particular attention is given to helping participants understand an action research design that employs a mixed-method strategy in leading a congregation through a change process. The project for this seminar is a thesis proposal that serves as the framework for guiding the implementation of students’ planned research and the development of their thesis. COURSE MEETS JULY 10-14, 2017
This yearlong seminar provides students with a structured process to implement the research design of their approved research proposal and to incorporate their findings into their final thesis. The seminar meets during the year (in person or virtually) for three work sessions in helping all participants finalize the chapters of their theses. Two full courses. COURSE MEETS JUNE 27-29 AND NOVEMBER 13-15, 2017
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