Story Magazine - Second Quarter, 2006

Meet Luther’s New Seminary Pastor—The Rev. Dr. John Martin Mann

Along with the many first-year students on campus this fall, Luther Seminary welcomes another new face, Pastor John Martin Mann, who has accepted the call as seminary pastor. Mann has over 30 years of pastoral experience including campus ministry and launching two outreach ministries--Iglesia Luterana La Trinidad and Red Door Outreach Mission, both in Canton, Ohio. He currently serves as senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Canton.

Mann received the Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from the Ohio Theological Consortium and Hamma Divinity School,Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio. His thesis was "The Training of Lay Pastoral Assistants in Campus Ministry through the Use of the Clinical Pastoral Education Model."

Mann recently answered several questions to help the Luther community get to know him better.

What is most important for the Luther Seminary community to know about you and your ministry?

The core of my ministry is relational. The core of my theology is relational. The Trinity--Father, Son and Holy Ghost--means God is present primarily in relationship and we get woven into that relationship.

What piqued your interest about the seminary pastor role at Luther Seminary?

I enjoy being in a reflective place that grapples with what ministry will call for in the future. If you do it right, you influence the quality of the community now and the quality of church life through students as they serve in the years to come. It's an exciting opportunity!

Campus ministry has been an important part of your career.What excites you about campus ministry?

It's the opportunity to engage in a campus community. Students have vibrancy and curiosity. They have more questions than most of us. Academic communities fascinate me. People are messing with ideas, putting things in new ways, talking about life and its meaning. The tension between exploring and an academic tradition is creative.

What do you like to do on your off hours?

I absolutely love downhill skiing. I love the water--sailing, swimming and just being near the water. I like to bike and I do a little running and hope to do more in the future. I love music, both concerts and CDs. Jazz and classical are my favorites but I have eclectic taste. The thing I probably do the most is reading. It's less a hobby and more for personal growth and professional engagement.

I have four dogs, all Shar-Peis: Lucy, Bear, Benjamin and KC (a sixmonth-old puppy). Lucy believes she is the alpha male of the pack. I've written two family systems papers on their relationships!

What do you most look forward to at Luther?

As one who has lived most of my ministry in the church and academy, I eagerly await involvement with a seminary community committed to confessional mission development as the future of the church in the 21st century.