Skip to content
Students at commencement

Contact us

Dirk G. Lange
Academic Dean
651-641-3468
Guillermo C. Hansen
Asoociate Dean for Graduate Theological Education
651-523-1647

Meet the Faculty

Mary E. Hess

Mary E. Hess

Professor of Educational Leadership

  • Ph.D. (Boston College)
  • M.T.S. (Harvard University)

Biography

Mary Hess joined the Luther Seminary faculty in July of 2000. Hess received her B.A. degree in American Studies in 1985 from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. She received her M.T.S. degree in 1992 from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. In 1998, she received her Ph.D. in religion and education from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Hess' most recent professional experience includes serving on the editorial board of the premier journal in her field, Religious Education (1999-present), working with the Lexington Seminar and the Wabash Center, and serving as a core member of the International Study Commission on Media, Religion and Culture. She is a member of the Religious Education Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Her most recent publications include the books: Teaching Reflectively in Theological Contexts: Promises and contradictions (Melbourne, FL: Krieger, 2008), and  Engaging technology in theological education: All that we can't leave behind, (New York: Rowman Littlefield 2005). She maintains her own website and has written her weblog, Tensegrities, since 2003.

Courses

EL 4532 01REL EDUC IN RELATION TO CREATION Summer Term 2018-2019

A study of the educational issues raised by emerging environmental awareness, particularly in relation to questions of stewardship and justice. This course focuses on two primary contexts, the rural and the urban, considering specific examples of ways in which Christian educators support congregational learning and ministry that embraces ecological literacy.

GR 8652 01DESIGNING LEARNING IN GLOBAL ACAD Spring Semester 2018-2019

Recognizing the important inter-relationships between content, context, and curriculum, this course provides a substantial introduction to learning design and practice. Topics include syllabus construction (development of outcomes, contextual challenges, learner particularities, assignments, etc.) as well as broader pedagogical challenges (e.g. education for [trans] formation, relationship between classroom and context, possible roles played by digital media, professional identity in the global theological academy, and so on). Students will produce a full course syllabus and accompanying essay, session notes, and example content presentation in consultation with their faculty content supervisor and appropriate to their context. Students will implement this design later in the degree program, as a requirement prior to receiving the PhD.

LD 0530 50MISSIONAL LDRSP IN PROF SET-ONLINE Spring Semester 2018-2019

This course serves as a final capstone course for the three MA degrees in the Leadership Division. Students will demonstrate their ability to integrate theology, theory and practice in the creation and defense of a capstone project centered on a current issue in their concentration area. Capstone projects might include a practical ministry project or an article for publication. In addition students will reflect on themselves as professional Christian leaders in light of their program learning, and prepare professional development plans for their first two years after the program. Prerequisite: LD0515 - Professional Vocation in Christian Leadership

SG 0502 50CHRISTIAN PUBLIC LDR-II-BEING-ONLINSpring Semester 2018-2019

Each section of Christian Public Leader will focus on a particular topic as well as one’s vocational formation as a Christian public leader. This section’s focus is on: “discovering the broader implications of one’s intercultural competencies, as well as the church’s identity and voice in the public square.” The format for this course will include weekly engagement throughout the semester. While delivered in an online format, this course offers both synchronous and asynchronous monthly lectures, as well as both online and residential precept sessions. Pass/Fail Grading only. . Internship and CPL cannot be taken concurrently.

SG 0502 50 G1FORMATION GROUP 2 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 2 FOR SG0502-50

SG 0502 50 G2FORMATION GROUP 2 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 2 FOR SG0502-50

SG 0502 50 G3FORMATION GROUP 3 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 3 FOR SG0502-50

SG 0502 50 G4FORMATION GROUP 4 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 4 FOR SG0502-50

SG 0502 50 G5FORMATION GROUP 5 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 5 FOR SG0502-50

SG 0502 50 G6FORMATION GROUP 6 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 6 FOR SG0502-50

SG 0502 50 G7FORMATION GROUP 7 - SG0502-50 Spring Semester 2018-2019

FORMATION GROUP 7 FOR SG0502-50

EL 3539 01CHRISTIAN ED AND DISMANTLING RACISMJanuary Term 2018-2019

This course analyzes institutionalized racism and proposes a series of frameworks from within Christian education for engaging and dismantling racism, and for supporting multicultural and intercultural congregational learning. FULFILLS a CG course option. FULFILLS Cross-cultural requirement. PRE AND POST WORK REQUIRED.

EL 4548 50PROACTIVE MINISTRY IN MEDIA CULTUREFall Semester 2018-2019

This course explores myriad challenges raised by media cultures for communities of faith. Questions of digital presence, communicative practices in digital cultures, constructive theological approaches to digital divides and other issues of justice, and positive use of diverse media in worship and mission are engaged.

EL 4542 01LEARNING IN PRESENCE OF OTHER FAITHSummer Term 2017-2018

A study of the educational issues raised by living in a world of multiple faiths. The course examines the significance of diverse theological understandings for pastoral practice amid pluralism. The course also considers specific examples of interfaith learning, the pastoral challenges of supporting interfaith families, and engagement with people who do not claim religious identity. FULFILLS CG ELECTIVE OPTION

EL 4597 99 RSGUIDED READING AND RESEARCH IN Summer Term 2017-2018

An independent study for qualified students under the personal supervision of a member of the division. Consult faculty within division. (MA and MDIV level)

SG 0502 50CHRISTIAN PUBLIC LDR-II-ONLINE Summer Term 2017-2018

Each section of Christian Public Leader will focus on a particular topic as well as one’s vocational formation as a Christian public leader. This section’s focus is on: “discovering the broader implications of one’s intercultural competencies, as well as the church’s identity and voice in the public square.” The format for this course will include weekly engagement throughout the semester. While delivered in an online format, this course offers both synchronous and asynchronous monthly lectures, as well as both online and residential precept sessions. Pass/Fail Grading only. SUMMER 2018 - LIVE ZOOM LECTURES MEETS JUNE 4, JUNE 25, JULY 30 AND AUGUST 13; 9-11 A.M. CST

LD 0530 50MISSIONAL LDRSP IN PROF SET-ONLINE Spring Semester 2017-2018

This course serves as a final capstone course for the three MA degrees in the Leadership Division. Students will demonstrate their ability to integrate theology, theory and practice in the creation and defense of a capstone project centered on a current issue in their concentration area. Capstone projects might include a practical ministry project or an article for publication. In addition students will reflect on themselves as professional Christian leaders in light of their program learning, and prepare professional development plans for their first two years after the program. Prerequisite: LD0515 - Professional Vocation in Christian Leadership

SG 0502 01CHRISTIAN PUBLIC LDR-II-BEING LDRS Spring Semester 2017-2018

Each section of Christian Public Leader will focus on a particular topic as well as one’s vocational formation as a Christian public leader. This section’s focus is on: “discovering the broader implications of one’s intercultural competencies, as well as the church’s identity and voice in the public square.” The format for this course will include weekly engagement throughout the semester. While delivered in an online format, this course offers both synchronous and asynchronous monthly lectures, as well as both online and residential precept sessions. Pass/Fail Grading only. NOTES: See course syllabus for complete schedule details. Internship and CPL cannot be taken concurrently.

EL 3539 01CHRISTIAN ED AND DISMANTLING RACISMJanuary Term 2017-2018

This course analyzes institutionalized racism and proposes a series of frameworks from within Christian education for engaging and dismantling racism, and for supporting multicultural and intercultural congregational learning. FULFILLS A CG COURSE OPTION. FULFILLS Cross-cultural requirement. PRE AND POST WORK REQUIRED.

EL 4535 01NEW MEDIA IN FAITH EDUCATION Fall Semester 2017-2018

This course explores emerging media as environments in which people “create, share and believe.” Particular attention is given to new cultures of learning, and digital storytelling as a constructive form of faith formation. Students explore the role of church leaders in supporting digital media literacy, participate in media production in faith contexts, and develop theological rationales for participating in emerging media spaces.

View new and notable publications from our faculty.

Faculty Publications