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Dirk G. Lange
Academic Dean
651-641-3468
Guillermo C. Hansen
Asoociate Dean for Graduate Theological Education
651-523-1647

Meet the Faculty

Craig R. Koester

Craig R. Koester

Professor and Asher O. and Carrie Nasby Chair of New Testament

  • Ph.D. (Union Theological Seminary)
  • Ordained (ELCA)
  • M.Div. (Luther Theological Seminary)

Biography

Craig Koester received a B.A. from Saint Olaf College, an M.Div. from Luther Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He served as a parish pastor for several years in Princeton, Minnesota, and joined the faculty of Luther Seminary in 1986. He was appointed to the Asher O. and Carrie Nasby chair of New Testament Studies in 2012 and served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean from 2013-2018.

 An innovative teacher, Dr. Koester is known for his “Genesis to Revelation” course, which uses visuals, music, and drama to take people through the sweep of the biblical story in ten days. His other courses include John’s Gospel, Paul’s Letters, and the book of Revelation. In order to reach a wider public audience, he also developed courses in digital format. One is entitled Apocalypse: Controversies and Meaning in Western History. The other is Reading Biblical Literature: Genesis to Revelation. Both were released through the GreatCourses.

 As a scholar, Dr. Koester has contributed to discussions of Scripture in the academy and the church. His books include landmark commentaries on Hebrews (2001) and Revelation (2014) for the Anchor Yale Commentary series. Both have been translated into Korean. In Johannine studies, he is known for his Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel (2nd edition, 2003), The Word of Life: A Theology of John’s Gospel (2008), and numerous articles. He is currently preparing a major commentary on John’s Gospel for Eerdmans Publishing. His book Revelation and the End of All Things (2nd edition 2018) is a popular resource among seminary and college students, and is widely used in congregations.

 Dr. Koester is has led and organized seminars for the Society of Biblical Literature and Society for New Testament Studies. He has served as associate editor of the journals New Testament Studies, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and regularly presents his work at international gatherings of scholars. He was a scholar in residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey in 1992-1993 and 2007.

 In the church, Dr. Koester speaks at theological conferences, synod gatherings, pastors’ workshops, and congregations. He is one of the designers of the Narrative Lectionary, which enables congregations to move through major sections of both Old and New Testaments from September through May each year. At the international level, he was involved in the Lutheran World Federation’s project on the “The Bible in the Life of the Lutheran Communion” from 2011-2016.

Featured Work

Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary

Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary

Yale University Press (2014)

Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary

Courses

NT 0245 01EPISTLES- GALATIANS AND 1 CORINTH Summer Term 2018-2019

A study of Paul’s writings to the Galatian and Corinthian churches. Attention is given to structure, use of language, coherence, and theology in their ancient settings and in contemporary understanding. Prerequisite: LG0220 New Testament Greek (M.Div. students can also take without prerequisite if choosing Spanish for Ministry language option instead of LG0220 New Testament Greek.)

NT 0217 02 50GOSPELS- GOSPEL ACC TO LUKE-ONLINE Spring Semester 2018-2019

A detailed analysis of the Gospel according to Luke, attending to the themes, theology, and teaching of the Gospel within its ancient setting, as well as its significance for our own time. The course highlights both the distinctiveness of Luke and its similarities to the other Gospels. To form and equip students as biblical interpreters, the course considers various interpretive traditions and explores what it means to read, teach, or preach Luke theologically. Equivalency: SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

NT 0217 50GOSPELS- GOSPEL ACC TO LUKE-ONLINE Spring Semester 2018-2019

A detailed analysis of the Gospel according to Luke, attending to the themes, theology, and teaching of the Gospel within its ancient setting, as well as its significance for our own time. The course highlights both the distinctiveness of Luke and its similarities to the other Gospels. To form and equip students as biblical interpreters, the course considers various interpretive traditions and explores what it means to read, teach, or preach Luke theologically. Equivalency: SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

SG 0602 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Spring Semester 2018-2019

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

NT 4227 01GENESIS TO REVELATION January Term 2018-2019

This course follows the sweep of the Biblical story from the dawn of creation to the New Jerusalem. Narrative portions of the Bible give the course its basic structure, with major poetic and prophetic texts, New Testament epistles, and apocalyptic writings woven in along the way. Students encounter key parts of virtually every Biblical book from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. The class is designed so that participants experience the Scriptures, as words on the page are transformed into sight and sound through readings, music, drama, and large screen photographs. During course, class members create their own study Bibles and design materials for teaching the Biblical story in creative ways. PRE AND POST WORK REQUIRED.

NT 0218 01GOSPELS-GOSPEL ACC TO JOHN Fall Semester 2018-2019

This study of John’s gospel equips students to become effective readers, teachers, and preachers of the text. The first phase of the course focuses on reading and interpreting John’s gospel with attention to its literary characteristics, theological dimensions, cultural context, and implications for Christian witness. The second phase explores creative ways to teach John’s gospel, as students prepare studies that can be used in various ministry settings. The third phase considers ways that John’s gospel engages contemporary listeners through preaching, worship, and other settings. Equivalency: SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

NT 3275 01THE BOOK OF REVELATION Fall Semester 2018-2019

This course explores Revelation’s vivid portrayal of God’s conflict with evil, its witness to the Lamb, and its vision of new creation. Attention is given to the controversies surrounding the interpretation of the book, as well as its profound impact on Christian worship, art, and music. Students will become familiar with perspectives on the book that range from the scholarly to the sensationalistic types that appear on the internet and in popular literature. The course considers all major passages in Revelation and explores ways of teaching Revelation in contemporary contexts.

SG 0602 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Fall Semester 2018-2019

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

SG 0602 01VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Summer Term 2017-2018

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

SG 0602 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Spring Semester 2017-2018

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

NT 4227 01GENESIS TO REVELATION January Term 2017-2018

This course follows the sweep of the Biblical story from the dawn of creation to the New Jerusalem. Narrative portions of the Bible give the course its basic structure, with major poetic and prophetic texts, New Testament epistles, and apocalyptic writings woven in along the way. Students encounter key parts of virtually every Biblical book from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. The class is designed so that participants experience the Scriptures, as words on the page are transformed into sight and sound through readings, music, drama, and large screen photographs. During course, class members create their own study Bibles and design materials for teaching the Biblical story in creative ways. PRE AND POST WORK REQUIRED

NT 0218 01GOSPELS-GOSPEL ACC TO JOHN Fall Semester 2017-2018

This study of John’s gospel equips students to become effective readers, teachers, and preachers of the text. The first phase of the course focuses on reading and interpreting John’s gospel with attention to its literary characteristics, theological dimensions, cultural context, and implications for Christian witness. The second phase explores creative ways to teach John’s gospel, as students prepare studies that can be used in various ministry settings. The third phase considers ways that John’s gospel engages contemporary listeners through preaching, worship, and other settings. Equivalency: SG0702 Scripture and Its Witnesses II

SG 0602 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Fall Semester 2017-2018

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

NT 3215 01GOSPEL AND EPISTLES OF JOHN Summer Term 2016-2017

This study of John’s gospel equips students to become effective readers, teachers, and preachers of the text. The first phase of the course focuses on reading and interpreting John’s gospel with attention to its literary characteristics, theological dimensions, cultural context, and implications for Christian witness. The second phase explores creative ways to teach John’s gospel, as students prepare studies that can be used in various ministry settings. The third phase considers ways that John’s gospel engages contemporary listeners through preaching, worship, and other settings.

SG 0602 01VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Summer Term 2016-2017

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

SG 0602 50VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARN LDR II Spring Semester 2016-2017

Vocational formation encompasses four dimensions: theological formation, faith formation, character formation, and interpersonal formation. This course introduces students to the concept of vocational formation at Luther Seminary and in ministry contexts. Students will learn how to think theologically about their seminary education and to critically reflect on their own faith and educational program as they relate to their lifelong learning as a Christian public leader. This course will provide forums for examining assumptions about God, communities and neighbor, give students the opportunity to engage in ongoing self-assessment in community throughout their seminary career, and instill habits that encourage lifelong learning. Part I - Taken in the first term of study (0.5 course). Part II - Taken in the final term of study (0.5 course). Prerequisite: SG0601 - Learning Leader Part I

NT 4227 01GENESIS TO REVELATION January Term 2016-2017

This course follows the sweep of the Biblical story from the dawn of creation to the New Jerusalem. Narrative portions of the Bible give the course its basic structure, with major poetic and prophetic texts, New Testament epistles, and apocalyptic writings woven in along the way. Students encounter key parts of virtually every Biblical book from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. The class is designed so that participants experience the Scriptures, as words on the page are transformed into sight and sound through readings, music, drama, and large screen photographs. During course, class members create their own study Bibles and design materials for teaching the Biblical story in creative ways.

NT 4297 99 RSGUIDED READING AND RESEARCH IN January Term 2016-2017

Designed for selected, qualified students with a special interest or need. Consult faculty within division.

View new and notable publications from our faculty.

Faculty Publications