Jon V. Anderson, who is concluding his term as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has been named director of rural ministry at Luther Seminary beginning September 20. In this role, Anderson will be responsible for deepening and widening the seminary’s rural ministry efforts both in its academic programs and in the resources the seminary offers to pastoral and lay leaders through its Faith+Lead platform.
An alumnus of Luther Seminary, Anderson earned his Master of Divinity degree there in 1985. He brings years of rural ministry experience and connections to this new role, having grown up on a dairy farm and served as bishop of a primarily rural synod since 2003.
“We are thrilled that Pastor Jon will join the mission and educational ministry of Luther Seminary in this new way. Jon brings deep and broad experience which will help shape our institutional learning from and support of rural contexts and leaders,” said Robin Steinke, president of Luther Seminary.
Prior to his election as bishop, Anderson served as associate pastor at Kinsmen Lutheran Church in Houston (1985-91), pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota (1991-96), and lead pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota (1996-2003). He has served in several areas within the ELCA, including the St. Louis Youth Gathering Design Team, the Discipleship Task Force, the Evangelism Task Force, the Conference of Bishops Theological and Ethical Concerns Committee, and the Forward Together in Christ Future Directions Table. He has served on Luther Seminary’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee.
“We give thanks to God for all the rural communities, congregations, and parishes where God grows people deeper in faith, hope, and love,” said Anderson. “It will be a privilege to work to further develop the ways Luther Seminary supports lay leaders, rostered ministers, congregations, and parishes. In swiftly changing rural contexts, Luther Seminary seeks to enhance the ministry of all baptized ministers in their calling to follow Christ Jesus, living out that faith in daily life and local communities.”
About Luther Seminary
Luther Seminary educates leaders for Christian communities across the country and around the world. An innovator in theological education, the seminary is committed to exploring leading-edge approaches for Christian ministry, proclamation, and faith formation in a rapidly changing world. As one of the seven seminaries in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Luther Seminary has educated more than one-third of ELCA pastors, lay professionals, and leaders of many global Lutheran and ecumenical churches. Learn more at luthersem.edu.