Students at commencement

Meet the Faculty

Mary E. Hess

Mary E. Hess

Professor of Educational Leadership

  • Ph.D. (Boston College)
  • M.T.S. (Harvard University)


Mary Hess joined the Luther Seminary faculty in July of 2000. Hess received her B.A. degree in American Studies in 1985 from Yale University in New Haven, Conn. She received her M.T.S. degree in 1992 from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. In 1998, she received her Ph.D. in religion and education from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Hess' most recent professional experience includes serving on the editorial board of the premier journal in her field, Religious Education (1999-present), working with the Lexington Seminar and the Wabash Center, and serving as a core member of the International Study Commission on Media, Religion and Culture. She is a member of the Religious Education Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Her most recent publications include the books: Teaching Reflectively in Theological Contexts: Promises and contradictions (Melbourne, FL: Krieger, 2008), and  Engaging technology in theological education: All that we can't leave behind, (New York: Rowman Littlefield 2005). She maintains her own website and has written her weblog, Tensegrities, since 2003.


SG 0601 50 C6VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARNING LDR ISpring Semester 2014-2015

This section intended for Cohort 7 of the MDIV DL program.

SG 0601 50 C7VOCATIONAL FORMATION-LEARNING LDR ISpring Semester 2014-2015

This section is intended for cohorts 5 and 6 of the MDIV DL program.

CD 1617 01RELIGION AND MEDIA January Term 2014-2015

This course introduces the landscapes of media culture with an emphasis on active engagement in creation within those landscapes, and it also engages important theological issues raised by and in those landscapes. It examines how spiritual formation and theological reflection occur within media cultures, and raises questions around the promotion of faith in public life through media. Offered in partnership with Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.


This course analyzes institutionalized racism and proposes a series of frameworks from within Christian education for engaging and dismantling racism, and for supporting multicultural and intercultural congregational learning. Students are required to participate in an intensive retreat/workshop on dismantling racism as part of the course. ONLINE PRE-TERM WORK AND POST-TERM WORK REQUIRED. ELCA RECIPROCITY COURSE. MAY REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE THROUGH JANUARY 18TH AT MIDNIGHT. CONTACT THE INSTRUCTOR TO ENROLL BETWEEN 1/6/15 - 1/18/15.

EL 4535 50NEW MEDIA IN FAITH EDUCATION Fall Semester 2014-2015

This course explores emerging media as environments in which people “create, share and believe.” Particular attention is given to new cultures of learning, and digital storytelling as a constructive form of faith formation. Students explore the role of church leaders in supporting digital media literacy, participate in media production in faith contexts, and develop theological rationales for participating in emerging media spaces.

View new and notable publications from our faculty.

Faculty Publications