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

Global Vision - Fall 2011

View more articles in the Fall 2011 issue.

GMI Insights

Thanksgiving and celebrations at the GMI

by Chenar E. E. Howard, GMI Program & Relations Coordinator

Greetings to you from the Global Mission Institute and the Cross-Cultural Education Office!

With this issue of Global Vision, we continue to bring you an array of stories from across the seminary, highlighting Dr. Michael DeLashmutt, the new associate dean for first theological degrees; a profile on Father James Wilson II, '11, a doctor of ministry graduate originally from Liberia; how Ruth Williamson '14 turned her Cross-Cultural Mission Experience into a more in-depth project via the Preus Leadership Award; how intercultural competency development is spreading across campus, thanks to focused efforts by the Cross-Cultural Education office (which remains partnered with the GMI office for a second year); how our international students and alums, like Rev. Dr. David Mwihia '11 and Dr. Lucy Mungai '11, continue to inspire donors, including Michael and Linda Schwartz, profiled in this issue; and the expanse of travels and experiences our students undertake to inform their studies and ministries, and to transform themselves.

A community to celebrate

We invite you to celebrate with us as we thank God for our largest international student enrollment—currently, at 69 international students! Notable within that group are 25 Ph.D. students, making up almost 40 percent of Luther's doctorate students. We praise God for their presence among us and ask God to sustain us as we support them during their studies.

This milestone would not have been possible without the dedicated work of Marie Y. Hayes, coordinator for international student and scholar affairs, who marks 19 years of service at Luther this year!

Getting to know you

My favorite part of orientation is the first time all the new international students are together, having arrived at different times throughout August. In pairs, they meet, talk and introduce one another to the group, using some guided questions.

What struck me about this incoming group of 22 students was the vastness of their global connections, and how, for some, their very presence at Luther is the achievement of a long-awaited dream, nurtured by prayer, patience and persistence.

Introducing a few new students

I enjoy sharing the stories of our international students, so please allow me to introduce you to just a few of our new students.

Rev. Andrés Roberto Albertsen is an ordained pastor in The Danish Church Abroad/Danish Seamen's Church in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Both sets of his grandparents came to Argentina from Denmark, thus, he is fluent in Danish, Spanish and English. 

Andreas Holm grew up in Sweden (where his mother is from), studied in Norway (where his father is from), and interned for 6 1/2 months in Tanzania studying international work and cross-cultural communication. He continues the annual presence of a student from the MF Norwegian School of Theology.

While Samson Kakuru has left Uganda for the first time, Sitraka Rakotoarivelo returns to a familiar place, since his father studied here in 1995. Although Malagasy, Sitraka has spent more time in Cameroon, where his parents are missionaries.

Rev. Peter Matano Mnene, a Lutheran pastor from Kenya, has dreamed of coming to Luther Seminary since 1996, when he met a missionary who was a Luther grad.

Sister M. Nkiruka Catherine Okafor is a Roman Catholic nun from Anambra, Nigeria. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in pastoral care and counseling with an emphasis on youth.

Learn more about them and other international students on our web page

Reflecting and Dreaming

As I reflect upon the past five years of my time with the Global Mission Institute, I am at once humbled and proud of all that we, and our graduates serving around the world, have accomplished with God's guidance and your support, living out the call "to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

The GMI continues to be "a center for global awareness, hospitality and networking" at Luther Seminary, and I look forward to the shape this work will take in the coming years.

With thanksgiving,

Chenar E. E. Howard
GMI Program & Relations Coordinator