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Meet the Faculty

James A. Nestingen

James A. Nestingen

Professor Emeritus of Church History

  • Th.D. (St. Michael's College, University of Toronto)
  • M.Div., M.Th. (Luther Theological Seminary)
  • Ordained (ELCA)


James Nestingen was first affiliated with Luther Seminary as an instructor from 1976-78. After serving two years as assistant to the pastor of St. Ansgar Lutheran Church in Toronto, Canada, he returned to Luther Seminary as assistant professor of church history in 1980. He was named professor of church history in 1992 and professor emeritus of church history in 2006.

A graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., in 1967, Nestingen earned the master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in 1971 and the master of theology degree in 1978. He received his doctorate in theology from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, in 1984.

Following his ordination in 1971, he served as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Coquille, Ore., for three years before becoming curriculum editor at Augsburg Publishing House from 1974-1976.

Nestingen has written and spoken prolifically on Luther's catechisms and confessional Lutheran theology. In March 2001, he was one of the featured speakers at The Book of Concord Lectures held at Luther Seminary, which celebrated the latest translation of The Book of Concord and discussed its relevance for the 21st Century.

Nestingen's books include: Martin Luther: His Life and His Teachings (2004, 1982)Manger in the Mountains (2000); The Faith We Hold (1983); ; Roots of Our Faith (1978); and Free to Be (with Gerhard Forde, 1975).

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