- M.A. (Luther Seminary)
- M.F.A. (University of Arkansas)
Gracia Grindal joined the Luther Seminary faculty as associate professor of pastoral theology and ministry, communications in 1984. She was named professor of rhetoric in 1992. She came to the seminary from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, where she was a member of the English department faculty from 1968 to 1984. In 2013 she officially retired, but continued teaching full time another year.
Following an interest in the connection between theology, culture and hymnody, Grindal created the Reformation Festival, which grew from “Songfest,” a series of hymn festivals begun in 1992, and “Singing the Faith,” Reformation Day services focusing on Luther’s Catechism.
She has served on several boards: the Hymn Society board in the mid 1970s, the hymn text committee of the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), as a consultant to the United Methodist Hymnal of 1989, the ecumenical committee of the American Lutheran Church (1984-1988) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1988-1992) as well as the Task Force for the Study of Ministry in the ELCA (1988-1993). She edited The Rose Magazine for six years. And was on the Mount Carmel Ministries Board for two terms.
Grindal earned an undergraduate degree from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, in 1965 and a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from the University of Arkansas in 1969. In 1983 she earned a master’s degree in theology and history from Luther Seminary.
Her books include: A Treasury of Faith A B C Hymns on the Revised Common Lectionary (Wayne Leupold Editions, 2006, 2008, 2009), which is on the Gospel texts. In 2011 a new cycle of hymns in the same series on the Old Testament lectionary texts was published by Wayne Leupold Editions. In 2015 hymn texts on the Epistles texts in the lectionary were also published by Wayne Leupold Editions, and in 2018 her hymn texts on the Festivals and Saints Days concluded her collection of hymn texts on the Revised Common Lectionary. Her book on Scandinavian women hymn writers, Preaching From Home, was published by Eerdmans in its Lutheran Quarterly series in 2011. In 2012 her biography of Thea Rønning: Young Woman on a Mission(Lutheran University Press) appeared. In 2014 her biography of Elisabeth Fedde: To Do God’s Will The Story of the Norwegian American Lutheran Deaconess Movement the deaconess who founded the Brooklyn and Minneapolis deaconess hospitals was published (Lutheran University Press). Her book Unstoppable: Norwegian Pioneers Educate their Daughters, appeared in 2016 (Lutheran University Press.) In 2007 Grindal provided a commentary on the original sketches by Linka Preus for the new translation of Linka’s Diary (Kirk House Press, 2007.) Her other works include a book of poetry, A Revelry of Harvest, (Writers Showcase Press, 2002), Hymns Of Grace (Sing The Faith Bible Study Series, 2002); We Are One in Christ (1997); Sketches Against the Dark (Blue Moon Press, 1982) and Pulpit Rock (Blue Moon Press, 1976).
She has published many articles on hymnody and the writing of hymns and hymnwriters, especially the history of Scandinavian-American Lutheran hymnody. In 2011 her collection of Scandinavian hymns in English, Hymns and Songs of the North: Nordic Christians Sing their Faith, came out, which included some 150 Nordic hymns many of which were translated by her. In addition, her hymns and hymn translations are published in hymnals of several mainline churches, including Episcopalian, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist and Presbyterian.
In her retirement she continues to write on the history of Norwegian Americans, and poetry . Her latest interests are sonnets on biblical themes. In 2018 she completed a series of sonnets from the point of view of Eve and Mary, The Sword of Eden (2018) Wipf and Stock. In 2019, Hallgrímur church in Reykjavik published her translation of the fifty Hymns of the Passion (Pássiusálmar)of Iceland’s greatest hymn writer, Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614-1676). In 2021 Fortress published Jesus the Harmony, her collection of 366 sonnets on Jesus, a devotional collection of sonnets dwelling on events in the life of Jesus. At present she has finished a series of sonnets to complete the Sword of Eden sonnets: Epistles to Eve, her own reflections on how Eve had to learn the most basic things in order to live and flourish, skills we still need today. In addition, during the worst of the pandemic, Grindal wrote a daily hymnblog on appropriate hymns for the day. She continues that now in a weekly hymnblog which included festivals and saints days. Hymnfortheday.com