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Story Magazine

Fall 2016

Demonstrated impact

by Robin Steinke, President

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom. 12:2

What does it mean to be engaged in the transforming work of God? This is a question which has been gnawing at me since we adopted our new strategic plan and identified three strategic priorities: transforming leaders, transforming community and transforming collaboration, all a part of our vision of Luther Seminary serving as a catalyst for God’s transforming work in the world.

In this time of seismic shifts in ways that people engage church—or ignore it altogether—we are committed to reimagining how we prepare leaders, exploring what it means to be a learning community in transformation and engaging in much more deeply collaborative ways across the church.

In this Story edition we want to share a glimpse of some of the pioneers and transforming leaders from whom we are continuing to learn what God is up to in the world. You will read about how some of our innovative alumni are connecting in creative ways with people who are “unchurched” and working to build new kinds of relationships with people who would never consider attending one of our congregations. These “transformers” are charting new pathways for how we bear faithful witness to God’s transforming work. The innovative work of these alumni helps to point the way for how our curriculum needs to be reimagined. We must ensure we prepare the next generation of pastors, deacons and other church leaders to make a significant impact, both here in the U.S. and with our global partners.

It is also a delight to share with you the ways that one of our emerita faculty, Prof. Gracia Grindal, continues to explore the past for nuggets which inform our future of transforming community. Her new book, “Unstoppable: Norwegian Pioneers Educate their Daughters,” is a gripping account of the ways that those who came before us struggled to adapt and find their way in times of tumult. Grindal writes, “People long for authentic personal connections and community. The church might well consider how to meet these needs in creative and hospitable ways, ones that help a community flourish (p, 359).” I think a seminary needs to explore this as well.

Transforming collaboration has been a longstanding hallmark of Luther Seminary. You will read about how a recent graduate has helped make an impact by traveling the globe to learn and record the stories of women pastors and leaders. This was made possible through the collaboration with a Presbyterian congregation in California.

These stories and more await you as you too explore what it means to be engaged in God’s transforming work.


Robin Steinke, President

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