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Students sitting outside Bockman

Story Magazine

Spring/Summer 2012

2012 Faithfulness in Ministry Cross honorees

by Communication Staff

The Luther Seminary alumni/ae council recognizes and celebrates the ministries of all graduates with the Faithfulness in Ministry Cross awards. This year the ministries of Peter Ndungu, '05, Brent Campbell, '87, and Philip Holtan, '76, are honored.

Since 1991, the Faithfulness in Ministry Cross awards have acknowledged and celebrated the commitment of individuals to keep ministry alive. The Luther Seminary Alumni/ae Council awards three Faithfulness in Ministry crosses each year to individuals who graduated within the past 10 years, within the past 25 years and more than 25 years ago.

Philip Holtan, '76
More than 25 years of ministry

The Rev. Philip Eugene Holtan, '76, is always on the "cutting edge of ministry," an appropriate phrase for a pastor and woodturner. Holtan currently serves as pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Perham, Minn. Holtan also served as founding chair of Feed My Starving Children food-packing efforts in Perham and chairman of Lutheran Coalition of Public Policy in Minnesota.

"Pastor Phil has been an instrumental force at Calvary and in the community in demonstrating that the gospel is alive when put into action," nominator Cindy Olson said.

Brent Campbell, '87
Less than 25 years of ministry

The Rev. Brent Campbell, '87, serves at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, Wis., where he is respected for his deeply present style of ministry.

"He knows the names of almost everyone in our congregation-5,100 --5,200 people," said Tim Nybroten, '99, pastor of evangelism at Good Shepherd. "He works hard at it. People even say, 'I'm here because he knew my name.' ... He's John the Baptizer among us."

Campbell has also led activities with an outward focus, including establishing a food pantry and serving the unemployed.

Peter Ndungu, '05
Less than 10 years of ministry

God led the Rev. Peter Ndungu, '05, from Nairobi to Como Avenue and back to Kenya. In February, he returned to Luther Seminary to receive a Faithfulness in Ministry Cross Award.

Orphaned at 11, Ndungu grew up in Nairobi. As a child, Ndungu visited a Lutheran church for its daily lunch. He quickly built a relationship with the pastor and received a grant to attend school. Ndungu eventually became a pastor himself. In the mid-2000s, his church sent him to Luther Seminary.

Today Ndungu serves as executive director of Ngong Road Children's Association, a Kenya-based organization that provides education and support for Nairobi's children.

These recipients each received their awards at the 2012 Mid-Winter Convocation in February. To read their full profiles, visit