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Martha E. Stortz to be inaugurated as Christensen Chair

stortzShortly after she settled into her new home in Minneapolis, Martha (she prefers Marty) Stortz did four things: she became a member of the Seward Co-op, she joined the Midtown YWCA, she took her bicycle in for “retooling” at the Hub Bike Shop, and she took herself on walking tours of the Seward, Longfellow, and Downtown East neighborhoods.

And those activities, along with a genuine love for the city and an infectious enthusiasm for Augsburg’s mission, are what make her a true Auggie.

Stortz came to Augsburg this summer as the second Bernhard M. Christensen Professor in Religion and Vocation. She succeeds David Tiede, who has taken an interim position as president of Wartburg Theological Seminary.

Stortz says she is honored to be at Augsburg and excited about her role in the College’s work. “I was quite taken with everything that you’re doing,” she says. “I love this city. This is a college in and for and with the city.”

Though some might question her move from California to Minnesota, from theological education to higher education, and from seminary to college, Stortz feels as though she’s called to be here and to bring her connections, an eagerness to share Augsburg’s vision, and a commitment to her position.

She believes that her experience in circles of theological education and religion and education will bring some meaningful connections to Augsburg. “I’m very enthusiastic about what’s going on here, and I think my key role is to make sure everyone knows what is going on.”

“I’m eager to communicate Augsburg’s vision and its sense of a living and lively tradition that is engaged with the city, the community, and the world. I’ve been a writer, speaker, and teacher, and I would now harness those gifts in service of the College’s vocation.”

When questioned about her decision, Stortz says, “You don’t know the Twin Cities, you don’t know how exciting it is to have colleagues in other disciplines and how vibrant those multidisciplinary conversations can be, and you don’t know Augsburg.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Coming events

The Bernhard M. Christensen Symposium

Gracia Grindal ’65

Composer, Luther Seminary professor of rhetoric

Sunday, October 3, 4 p.m

Gracia Grindal ’65 is a professor of rhetoric at Luther Seminary. She is a poet, translator, noted hymnodist, and creator of Luther Seminary’s annual Reformation Festival, which grew from the “Singing the Faith” Reformation Day services. She received her BA from Augsburg College, MFA from University of Arkansas, and MA from Luther Seminary.

Inauguration of Martha E. Stortz

Bernhard M. Christensen Professor of Religion and Vocation

Monday, October 4, 10 a.m. The morning class schedule will be amended; see the Registrar’s website for information.

Martha E. Stortz is a distinguished theologian whose scholarship includes work in historical and systematic theology, ethics, and biblical studies. She received her BA from Carleton College and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago.

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