A newsletter for friends of the Global Mission Institute, Luther Seminary

Global Vision - Fall 2011

View more articles in the Fall 2011 issue.

Meet Michael W. DeLashmutt, Luther Seminary's new Associate Dean for First Theological Degrees

by Kari Aanestad, M.Div. Senior

"As the church in America wrestles with its changing identity and changing place in society, we can learn a great deal by seeing how the gospel is lived and proclaimed in other parts of the world," said Dr. Michael W. DeLashmutt, one of Luther Seminary's newest community members who, on August 1, became the associate dean for first theological degrees (M.Div., M.A. and M.S.M.).

In this role, he will be working with the other academic deans, faculty, staff, and students of Luther Seminary to support effective teaching and learning across the first theological degree programs, overseeing academic assessment projects and supporting distributed learning. He will serve Luther Seminary as a member of both the faculty and administration and will teach two courses each academic year.

DeLashmutt comes to Minnesota after a nine year residency in the United Kingdom where he held numerous faculty, research and administrative positions, most recently serving as the director of studies and deputy principal at Sarum College in Salisbury, England. His passion and academic expertise lies where religion intersects with different cultures, a passion that he hopes will both inspire and prepare leaders for work in a church that is truly multicultural.

"There can be no doubt that most of our students will be called to serve and lead in contexts which are experiencing tremendous changes due to shifting demographics," DeLashmutt said. "To rise to the challenge posed by such changes, students must be able to negotiate how the culture of the church and the culture of its context relate to, and inform, one another ... Presently, I see the greatest weakness of the church is its inability to authentically and critically engage with the culture around it."

DeLashmutt brings with him a decade of experience living cross-culturally and an enthusiasm for serving Luther Seminary, which is, in part, rooted in the seminary's commitment to educating future leaders to serve in God's entire world. "We invite international students to be part of our seminary community and have embedded cross-cultural study into the core curriculum, in order to prepare leaders for service in a world where the dynamics of culture are an increasingly central issue," DeLashmutt said.

"In my work (at Luther Seminary) I want to think about what it means to foster an awareness of our responsibility to the entire world. We must be open both to the context in which the church finds itself and the life-giving Spirit that pushes us forward in mission, and I am excited to be a part of that exploration at Luther Seminary."