2014 ACYTI Journal

The 2014 Augsburg College Youth Theology Institute (ACYTI) Journal has been published!


2014 ACYTI Participants

This year’s ACYTI was an intense week of friendship, classroom learning, worship, solitude, contemplation, discernment, and action on Augsburg’s urban campus for high school students from around the country interested in theology. Students participated in hands on learning with classroom discussion both at Augsburg and sites throughout the Twin Cities. At the end of their week-long journey they reflected on what they took away from the week and wrote an essay.

This year’s theme was OMC! Christian Community in the Internet Age and focused on the impact of technology on the Christian Community. Take some time and read what current high school students are learning from Augsburg’s intellectual and diverse community experience!

Vocation as Path: Following the Questions

On October 28, Augsburg College hosted Seminary and Divinity School Day, an event for regional college students to connect, reflect, and explore theological graduate study options with representatives from 18 top-notch seminaries and divinity schools.

Martha E. Stortz, Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation, gave the keynote address at the event.

Her message includes several Big Questions for reflection, and is available electronically – Vocation as Path: Following the Questions 

Welcome to Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Distinguished Fellow

Mark HansonThe Rev. Mark S. Hanson 

Distinguished Fellow in the Christensen Center for Vocation at Augsburg College

Appointed as a Distinguished Fellow in Augsburg’s Christensen Center for Vocation, The Rev. Mark S. Hanson leads national and international initiatives to advance interfaith dialogue, inspire peacemaking, and support the College’s commitment to vocational discernment. In addition, he serves as a major gifts advisor for “Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”

Prior to his current appointments, Hanson served as presiding bishop of the ELCA. He was elected to this position by the Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA in August 2001 and was reelected in 2007. In 2003, he was elected to serve, concurrently, as president of the Lutheran World Federation, a position he held until 2010.

Before being elected as ELCA presiding bishop, he served as bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod (3H). He had been elected to serve a second term in Saint Paul earlier that same year. Prior to being elected synod bishop, he served as pastor of three Minnesota congregations: Prince of Glory Lutheran Church, Minneapolis; Edina (Minnesota) Community Lutheran Church; and University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis.

Born in Minneapolis on December 2, 1946, he graduated from Augsburg College with a B.A. in sociology. He was a Rockefeller Fellow at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, and received a Master of Divinity degree there in 1972. He also attended Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, and was a Merrill Fellow at Harvard Divinity School in 1979.

In his work as president of the Lutheran World Federation and as presiding bishop of the ELCA, Hanson has traveled widely throughout the world, sharing a confident hope in God’s promises and a vision of the joyful freedom in Christian community and mission.

Hanson is widely known as a leader with an evangelical passion and imagination who embraces the Christian tradition, the Christian community, and the world with both generous goodwill and thoughtful insight. He has been an articulate advocate for the renewal of the church’s preaching and public voice, for the strengthening of ecumenical and inter-religious relationships, and for reconciliation and justice in society, with attention especially to those who live with poverty and discrimination.

Hanson has received several honorary degrees, including Doctor of Humane Letters from Augsburg College, Wittenberg University, and Grand View University, Doctor of Humanities from Capital University, Doctor of Divinity from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Susquehanna University, Wartburg College, and The Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration.

He is the author of Faithful Yet Changing, the Church in Challenging Times and Faithful and Courageous, Christians in Unsettling Times both from Augsburg Fortress, Publishers.

Married to Ione (Agrimson), they are the parents of Aaron, Alyssa, Rachel, Ezra, Isaac and Elizabeth, and grandparents to Naomi, Kingston, Sam, Danielle and Sophia. Before moving to Chicago, Ione was the director of social work at Minneapolis and St. Paul Children’s Hospitals.

Education for Vocation Opportunity in Mexico

The Center for Global Education and Experience, in partnership with the Bernhard Christensen Center for Vocation, is pleased to offer Education for Vocation: An International Professional Development Seminar.  This seminar will take place in Cuernavaca, Mexico from July 11-July 19, 2015 and is designed for educators from a variety of backgrounds and institutions.  Participants will explore diverse cultural and theological understandings of vocation and the impact of cross-cultural encounters upon vocation.  The group will engage with a broad cross-section of Mexican society regarding the different way that their vocations have been shaped by their cultural, theological, and social locations.  There will be ample opportunity to explore new ways to help your students and constituents reflect upon their vocations in today’s global context and share ideas with colleagues from other US-based institutions.

More information: http://www.augsburg.edu/global/seminars-join/programs/

Price: $1635
Registration deadline: March 23, 2015

Vocation Internship – Spring Semester 2015

Explore vocation while serving at a faith-based nonprofit

Current Augsburg College Sophomores and Juniors:

  • Are you fired up about the idea of being called to serve your neighbors?
  • Curious about how your talents and gifts can inform your career decision making?
  • Interested in exploring purpose, meaning, and vocation in a practical way?
  • Looking for a paid work/internship experience for Spring Semester 2015?

If yes to all of these, we invite you to apply to be a Christensen Vocation Intern. Some benefits and responsibilities include:

  • Direct work experience at a faith-based non-profit organization.
  • Students of any major and any faith background can participate.
  • Participation in a bi-weekly seminar with other interns, sharing and reflecting about vocational discernment.
  • Duration: 10-12 weeks, 8-10 hours/week; PAID internship for 100 hours during Spring 2015 semester.
  • Completed Christensen internships can be eligible for the Augsburg Experience.

There are three potential placement sites for these internships. View the site specific internship positions on the Strommen Center’s AUGPOST website.

Deadline and application instructions:

Submit the following to ccv@augsburg.edu by Monday, November 24, 2014:

  • Resume
  • Names and contact information of two references – at least one Augsburg faculty or staff
  • Cover letter and/or essay which addresses the following questions-
    • Why are you interested in integrating the exploration of vocation with making career choices?
    • What knowledge/skills/experiences are you eager to bring to the internship?
    • What knowledge/skills/experience do you hope to develop or enhance during the internship?
    • Which Christensen intern site(s) would you like to be considered for and why?

The Christensen Interns will be selected based on strong interest in exploring vocation, call, and career interests in faith based or service organizations, as well as potential match with the internship site needs.

Questions? Contact Lonna Field at 612-330-1467 or fieldl@augsburg.edu

18 Seminary and Divinity Schools to be at Augsburg

On October 28, between 9:30am-3:30pm, explore theological graduate study options and questions with others.

Representatives from the following seminary and divinity schools will be on campus:

Bethel Seminary, St. Paul, MN
University of Chicago, Divinity School, Chicago, IL
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubque, IA
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), Chicago,
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LSTG), Gettysburg, PA
Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), Philadelphia, PA
Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), Berkeley, CA
Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville, MN
Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH
Union Theological Seminary, New York City, NY
United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, MN
Vanderbilt Divinity School, Nashville, TN
Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA

Register to attend. Or, to view a schedule and learn more information, visit the Seminary and Divinity School Page.

Book Signing and Reading with Professor Phil Adamo

Join us on October 29 at 3:15pmBonanza Knight 2

Called to Scholarship with Phil Adamo
Book-signing, Reading, Refreshments
Wednesday, October 29, 3:15 to 5pm
Oren Gateway Room 100

Celebrate medieval history professor Phil Adamo’s recent publication of two books:

- The Medieval Church: A Brief History (2013)
- New Monks in Old Habits: The Formation of the Caulite Monastic Order (2014)

Adamo will sign books, which will be available for purchase.

He will also read “Hanging Little Joe on the Suburban Ponderosa, Or, What has the Middle Ages to do with the Old West?” an essay soon to be published in a special edition of the Journal of the West. This essay looks at Adamo’s childhood, growing up on the edge of a Texas suburb, and how that experience with the imagined Old West led to his vocation as a medievalist.

adamoPhil Adamo directs Augsburg’s nationally recognized program in Medieval Studies. He has published articles and books on medieval monasticism and church history, for which he received Augsburg’s award for Distinguished Contributions to Scholarship in 2014. He is also an award-winning teacher, most recently the recipient of the CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching, given by the Medieval Academy of America, the oldest and largest association of medievalists in the world.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Christensen Center for Vocation, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Department of History.

Refreshments will be served.

Upcoming Christensen Symposium with Nadia Bolz-Weber

Oct. 1, 2014 at Augsburg College

We have less than two weeks to go until the annual Bernhard M. Christensen Symposium with Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber: The spirituality of being a total screw-up.

2014 Christensen Symposium Speaker

2014 Christensen Symposium Speaker

The day will involve Nadia’s presentation from 10:00am-11:00am in Hoversten Chapel. It is free and open to the public!

Learn more about it through StepUP’s blog post about the Symposium.

Augsburg Students – is a career in ministry in your future?

Join us for a special Q&A session for Augsburg students with Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Wednesday, Oct. 1
Oren Gateway 113

Ask questions of Nadia such as, “What is your advice for those of us considering careers in ministry?” Bring your own questions and be ready for good conversation!



Recently Ordained Auggies!

This summer, three 2010 Augsburg College alumni have been ordained to ministry and began their first calls as pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These Auggies (who also graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul in May of 2014) are: Michael Buller, Emily Wiles, and Peter Weston Miller.

We asked them to tell us about the congregation(s) where they serve, and what they are most energized about with their call. We are proud to celebrate their accomplishments, and we wish them well in their new vocations as pastors!


Pastor Michael at his Ordination.

Michael Buller, Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Abercrombie, ND and Galchutt (pronounce Gal-Shoot) Lutheran Church in Galchutt, ND.

My role is solo pastor of a two point parish.  I am very excited about this parish because they are in desperate need of new life. They are “mission re-development sites” which essentially means that they are on the verge of closing. I received mission re-development certification in the ELCA, so we could very well be a good fit for each other.

Since arriving I have discovered that there is a great deal of life in both Abercrombie and Galchutt proper and a great deal of life in the surrounding areas.  For instance we have an educational farmstead near by called Crooked Lane Farms which is only 4 miles outside of Abercrombie.  They have concerts during the summer, gardening classes, crafting classes, any many other activities; super cool stuff, and wonderful people.

In November of 2015 Emmanuel Lutheran will be celebrating 125 years of faithful ministry and we will be making it into a very big event. Finally the two churches tend the grounds of a third church building. St. John’s Lutheran church is located between Emmanuel and Galchutt and is the oldest Lutheran Church building in the Eastern North Dakota synod. We have a joint worship service there each year.

I have a website folks can look at to keep tabs on what I’m up to: it is www.facebook.com/pastormbuller.  There are many other pictures and stories on this site.

Pastor Emily wearing the stole her congregation presented to her at her Installation. It includes pieces of fabric to represent all the families and individuals in congregation!

Emily Wiles, Faith Lutheran Church in Avon, Indiana – rapidly growing suburb outside Indianapolis.  

Faith is a small congregation with a tremendous level of mission and opportunity. We are currently seeking approval to build a new church building; about 5 years ago, Faith sold their large, mostly-unused church building in Indianapolis and moved to Avon, hoping to be Christ’s church in a growing community.

Things that I’m excited about include Faith’s people, their willingness to follow God’s call to new opportunities, and the dynamics of a small congregation setting roots in a new area. These people know how to do ministry within the walls of a church, and I’m excited to walk with them as we begin to do more ministry outside the walls. This is a congregation that feeds; they have a small but vital food pantry and always share monthly meals. The new church property resides on 35 acres: 22 of those acres are currently farmed and Faith visions a vital, viable community garden that supports their food pantry and its community.

My role has been set since the beginning, but is still forming; I’ve only been here a month.  My call is to remind them that God loves them and provide resources and encouragement to do ministry together and individually.

Peter Weston Miller ordination

Pastor Peter at his Ordination.

Peter Weston Miller, Atonement Lutheran Church, New Brighton, MN

Atonement Lutheran Church in New Brighton has always been invested in transformation. Originally, Atonement was a mission start of the American Lutheran Church merger in 1960. For the first time, Lutherans agreed to merge across ethnic lines in order to create a new church body. (Prior to 1960, it had always been Germans uniting with Germans or Norwegians with Norwegians.)  19 other “Atonement Lutheran Church” were birthed in districts around the country. It was a bold strategy of the Lutheran church to put away cultural divisions and unify under the banner of God’s work in Jesus Christ, to always be made new.

Today, Atonement continues to serve and grow with a new population of local residents. There is an influx of young families and people see New Brighton as a hub that can get you anywhere in the Twin Cities. I love that Atonement has a history of experimentation and a commitment to transformation. It has an excellent preschool program for the neighborhood, as well as a variety of mission partnerships with local organizations and community churches. We also house a Nigerian Pentecostal worshiping community called Faith Community Church. Worship for us is a blend of contemporary, Southern Gospel barbershop, and traditional Lutheran liturgy. One of the central symbols of the church is its large font in the entry space. People love to gather here, reminded that they are marked with the promise of baptism to be a community that is moved and drawn by the Holy Spirit.


CCV Fall Book Group


In connection to the Oct. 1 Bernhard M. Christensen Symposium, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a series of discussions on the New York Times Bestseller Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber. The group will be led by Martha E. Stortz, Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation.

The Book Group will meet in Foss 175 from 4-5:30pm on the following Mondays:

Sept. 8
Sept. 22
Oct. 6
Oct. 20

To sign up, please email ccv@augsburg.edu

Once registered, a free copy of the book is available for pick up in Oren Gateway 106.