LTSP Notes – Spring 2017
Retired Professor Richard Stewart receives Grant for African American Lutheran History project
The Rev. Dr. Richard N. Stewart (DMin 2007), retired LTSP Associate Professor for Communications and Parish Administration, has been awarded a Louisville Institute Project Grant for Researchers program (PGR) for his project, “Gathering African American Lutheran History and Dissemination in Luther’s 500th Anniversary year.” The program “supports research, reflection, and writing by academics and pastors concerning Christian faith and life, the practice of ministry, and/or religious institutions. Grants of up to $25,000 support a diverse range of projects that may involve independent study, consultations, or collaborative projects involving pastors and academics. Projects that show potential to benefit the church in North America are particularly attractive to the Institute.”
Dr. Stewart’s project will, among other things, document the historic place of African Americans in the Lutheran church. He notes, “Unlike Episcopal, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist churches, or the histories of separated Historic Black Churches, European Lutheran bodies sent missionaries from Germanic and Scandinavian church bodies along the lines of their separate ethnic makeup, and followed emigration patterns from the east coast, the southern movement, and emigration to the Upper Midwest, offering the Gospel message to all who found them.”
“With the 500th anniversary of Luther’s act of defiance at Wittenberg in 2017, the African Descent Lutheran Association is meeting this summer in Philadelphia. Congregational documents and pictures will be scanned for preservation, and oral histories taken and collected. Through summer 2018, the research team will interview clergy and lay leaders in structured interviews to produce monographs/articles to be shared through Lutheran publications and a website owned by the Conference of International Black Lutherans.”
Read more about the project here.
Dr. Stewart is asking friends to assist in the gathering of information for the project. You’ll find the Google+ group here.
The Rev. Dr. J. Paul Rajashekar, Luther D. Reed Professor of Systematic Theology, LTSP
Professor Rajashekar led a travel seminar to Thailand and North Sumatra, Indonesia, during the J Term. The student group participated at the 9th Asian Lutheran International Conference in Medan, North Sumatra, on the theme “Re-visioning the Reformation in Asia.” Rajashekar also delivered the keynote address at the conference. In March, he conducted an international seminar for two weeks, organized by the Lutheran World Federation’s Center in Wittenberg, Germany, for pastors from 20 different countries on the theme “Freedom and Reconciliation.” Rajashekar had the honor of planting a tree at the Luther Garden in Wittenberg, commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Prof. Rajashekar also organized a workshop cosponsored by the Asian Theological Summer Institute (ATSI-LTSP) and the Wabash Center in Crawfordsville, Indiana, March 31-April 1, on teaching and learning for ATSI alumni who have recently completed their doctoral program.