Rethinking Evangelism: Faithful witness in a new apostolic era
July 22-24, 2013
Mesfin Ayele | Nadia Bolz-Weber | Mary Sue Dreier | Ruben Duran |
Elaine Heath | Mike Housholder | Rolf Jacobson | Bryan Stone |
Stephanie Spellers | Walter Sundberg | Jannie Swart | Dwight Zscheile
Mesfin Ayele, Ph.D. student, Luther Seminary
Mesfin Ayele was born in the western part of Ethiopia in a small town called Nedjo. HeI did his elementary education at the Swedish mission school there and eventually joined Ethiopian Evangelical College run by the Mekane Yesus Church. He was imprisoned while a college student during the Ethiopian revolution. He earned a degree in accounting, then worked for a synod of the Mekane Yesus Church as a finance manager. He went on to earn a masters degree while on scholarship in the United Kingdom. After working for about seven years as the finance manager of a charity organization in England, God directed Ayele to the United States, where he earned his Master of Arts from Luther Seminary. He is currently a second-year Ph.D. student and involved in the ministries of Our Redeemer Oromo Evangelical Church in Minneapolis.
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastor, House for All Sinners and Saints, Denver
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, an ELCA mission church in Denver, Colorado. She's a leading voice in the emerging church movement and her writing can be found in The Christian Century and Jim Wallis' God's Politics blog. She is author of "Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television" (Seabury, 2008) and the Sarcastic Lutheran blog.
Mary Sue Dreier, Associate Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership, Luther Seminary
Mary Sue D. Dreier joined Luther Seminary as associate professor of congregational mission and leadership in 2008. She is a member of the Luther Seminary congregational mission and leadership teaching team and the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA.
Dreier is interested in new church developments, rural congregations, and the challenges facing both pastors and their congregations in this new era of mission. As an ordained minister in the ELCA for more than 25 years, she has served as co-pastor in a rural two-point parish and in a large suburban congregation. She co-developed and served as co-pastor of a new mission development congregation and served as a part-time rural minister on the staff of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod.
A graduate of Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind., Dreier holds a Master of Divinity and Ph.D. from Luther Seminary.
Dreier is author of ”The Home Stretch: Matthew's Vision of Servanthood in the End-Time: Eleven Gospel Sermons for Sundays after Pentecost, Last Third, Cycle A” (2001). She has also written a variety of church resources, articles, book reviews and a chapter in “The Missional Church in Context” (Eerdmans, 2007). Dreier recently completed her thesis,”Missional God Outside the Box: New Congregations as Public Companions with God in Civil Society."
Ruben Duran, Director for New Congregations, ELCA
Ruben Duran serves as the ELCA’s director for new congregations. He promotes the development of synodical mission strategies, local initiatives and emerging models for the multiplication of new communities of faith in the United States and the Caribbean.
Ruben is a native of Lima, Peru, South America. He served parishes in Seattle and Los Angeles prior to becoming associate to the bishop and mission director for the Metropolitan Chicago Synod, ELCA. He also served as associate director for Latino outreach in the former division for congregational ministries, ELCA, and executive for congregational outreach services in the former division for outreach, ELCA, prior to his current position.
Duran is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California; Trinity Lutheran College (formerly the Lutheran Bible Institute) in Seattle and the Escuela Nacional de Turismo in Lima, Peru.
Elaine Heath, McCreless Associate Professor of Evangelism, Perkins School of Theology
Elaine A. Heath is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She is the initiator of New Day and the Epworth Project, a growing network of missional, new monastic faith communities in the United Methodist tradition. Heath has provided retreat and seminar leadership in spiritual formation and leadership development for clergy for many years. Among her research interests are the new monasticism, the emerging church, spirituality and evangelism, and gender and evangelism. Elaine holds a bachelor’s from Oakland University, an M.Div. from Ashland Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from Duquesne University.
Publications include “We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse” (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2011); “The Gospel According to Twilight: Women, Sex, and God” (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 2011); and “The Mystic Way of Evangelism: A Contemplative Vision for Christian Outreach” (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008).
Mike Housholder, Senior Pastor, Lutheran Church of Hope, West Des Moines, Iowa
Mike Housholder is the senior pastor at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa, a rapidly growing congregation with a passion for serving the needs of its neighbors, locally and globally.
In the summer of 1993, Pastor Mike became the mission developer for Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa. By the fall of 1994, Hope officially organized as a new congregation and called Mike to serve as senior pastor. Since then, Hope has launched three satellite congregations, connected thousands of people to hundreds of small groups and discipleship classes, actively launched numerous Christian based local and global outreach ministries, completed five major building projects, and developed a multitude of effective ministries for children, families, women, men, singles, couples, seniors, the hurting and the lost.
A graduate of Concordia College-Moorhead, Housholder also holds an M.Div. from Luther Seminary.
Housholder was listed in Outreach magazine’s 25 Church Leaders to Watch, and is a recipient of the 40 under 40 award from the Des Moines Business Record. His story has been documented in feature articles in DSM, and the Des Moines Register. He served on the original Core Leadership Team for Alpha USA, and is a current board member for Meals from the Heartland, which started as an outreach ministry at Hope.
Rolf Jacobson, Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary
Rolf Jacobson joined the Luther Seminary faculty as assistant professor of Old Testament in July 2003. Prior to joining the seminary, he taught at Augsburg College as an assistant professor of religion.
A graduate of the University of St. Thomas, Jacobson holds an M.Div. from Luther Seminary and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
His teaching interests include the Psalms, Old Testament prophets, biblical poetry, biblical theology and biblical narrative.
Ordained in 1991, Jacobson served for five years as associate pastor of Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul before continuing his education at Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, he was the assistant editor for Theology Today and The Princeton Seminary Bulletin. He also served as a teaching fellow.
Jacobson is a in-demand speaker and author, who produces theological and biblical scholarship for both the church and the academic guild. He developed the Narrative Lectionary with Luther Seminary’s Craig Koester. He is the author of “Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms” and its follow-up, “Crazy Book: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Biblical Terms.”
Stephanie Spellers, Treasurer, Canon for Missional Vitality, Diocese of Long Island
In her role as canon, Stephanie Spellers works to catalyze mission and ministry with the 146 Episcopal churches in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. She is the author of “Radical Welcome: Embracing God, The Other and the Spirit of Transformation” and founding priest for The Crossing community, an emergent congregation based at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston. A popular speaker and consultant nationwide, Spellers is chaplain to the Episcopal House of Bishops and just completed a three-year term as co-chair for the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Mission and Evangelism. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Episcopal Divinity School.
Bryan Stone, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Boston University School of Theolgoy
Bryan Stone has served as the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Boston University School of Theology since 1998 and the associate dean for academic affairs since 2010. He co-directs the Center for Practical Theology, working on research projects related to urban ministry, evangelism, and congregational development. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of evangelism and congregational development, theology and popular culture, ecclesiology, pacifism, and postliberal theology. Prior to moving to Boston, Stone was professor of practical theology at Azusa Pacific University and directed the Bresee Institute for Urban Training, an internship-based program for urban ministry training in Los Angeles.
Stone holds a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University. From 1985-1992, Bryan founded and directed an urban ministry in Fort Worth called “Liberation Community,” a nonprofit corporation set up to provide the community development ministries of the church. He was ordained and has served as a pastor in the Church of the Nazarene.
Stone’s published works include book chapters, articles and teaching resources as well as “A Reader in Ecclesiology” (Ashgate, 2012); “Sabbath in the City: Sustaining Urban Pastoral Excellence” (co-authored with Claire Wolfteich, Westminster/John Knox, 2008); and “Evangelism After Christendom: The Theology and Practice of Christian Witness” (Brazos Press, 2007).
Walter Sundberg, Professor of Church History, Luther Seminary
Ordained in 1981, Walter Sundberg was assistant minister of Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn., from 1981-84. He was an instructor at Augsburg College in 1980, in the U.S. Army Chaplains Program in 1977 and at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1976.
A graduate of St. Olaf College, Sundberg holds an M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also studied at the University of Tubingen, Germany. He received the Rockefeller Theological Fellowship and the American Lutheran Church Graduate Fellowship.
He is a member of the advisory council of Interpretation, and the editorial boards of Lutheran Quarterly and Lutheran Commentator. A board member of both the Great Commission Network and Lutheran Bible Ministries, he has also served on the board of Lutheran Bible Institute and the ALC Inter-Church Relations Committee.
Sundberg contributed "Ministry in 19th Century European Lutheranism" to “Called and Ordained: Lutheran Perspectives on the Office of Ministry” (edited by Todd Nichol and Marc Kolden, 1990). He has published articles in First Things, Lutheran Quarterly, dialog, and Lutheran Forum. His writings for church curriculum include “Day by Day: Luther on the Christian Life” (1983). He is the author of “The Bible in Modern Culture” (second edition, Eerdmans, 2002), which he wrote with Roy Harrisville.
Jannie Swart, Pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, Oil City, Penn; Adjunct Instructor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Rochester College; Consultant, Church Innovations
Jannie Swart is a South African citizen. He received his Ph.D. in Congregational Mission and Leadership from Luther Seminary in 2010. He has 12 years of ministry experience as a pastor in South Africa, with eight of those as the senior pastor of a mega church attempting to transform itself into a multicultural, multilingual congregation. During the late 1980's, Swart was involved in South African politics as part of the struggle to dismantle apartheid.
Dwight Zscheile, Assistant Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership, Luther Seminary
Dwight Zscheile's thesis, "Reframing Mission," focused on a large-scale action-research intervention into a mainline denominational judicatory that mobilized grassroots members to address challenges of decline, crisis and renewal. Zscheile was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2005 and has served on mission and leadership task forces in the Dioceses of Minnesota and Virginia.
Before coming to Luther, Zscheile served as executive pastor at St. David's Episcopal Church in Ashburn, Va. He currently serves part time as associate priest at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in St. Paul, alongside his wife, Blair Pogue, the rector. Zscheile has been involved in leadership roles in congregations in Connecticut, Virginia and Minnesota.
Zscheile is the author of ”People of the Way: Renewing Episcopal Identity” (Morehouse Publishing, 2012) and ”The Missional Church in Perspective” (with Craig Van Gelder, Baker Academic, 2011).