Chris Croghan is driven by the same motives that inspired Luther, a deep seated concern for the proclamation of the Gospel and the care of souls. These motivations inspired Chris to help establish and direct the Luther House of Study (LHOS) at Augustana College and Sioux Falls Seminary.
Trained as a Reformation scholar specializing in the life and teachings of Martin Luther, pastoral ministry remains central to Chris’ vocational identity. After graduating from Augustana College, Chris earned a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in 1995, was ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America for Word and Sacrament ministry and served as a parish pastor in St. Charles, Minnesota.
After five years of ministry, Chris was invited to study at Luther Seminary once again--and in 2007 was granted a Ph.D. degree in Church History. In 2004, Chris joined Augustana College’s Religion Department.
Shortly after, in hopes of easing the ordination process for Lutheran students and providing a resource for clergy in the region, an idea for a house of study began to form. Then in 2006, through a broad collaboration between the two educational institutions, Lutheran Outdoors of South Dakota, the South Dakota Synod and many local supporters, the Luther House of Study became a reality.
As the Director for the LHOS, Chris teaches at Augustana and Sioux Falls Seminary, and also serves as a resource for various SD Synod programs. Chris hopes the LHOS will nurture the proclamation of the gospel in this region, thus benefiting current and future Lutheran clergy, lay professionals and congregation members.
What do corporate law, family and proclaiming the gospel have in common? Ask Sarah Stenson, and she will tell you each of these things is something for which she has a deep passion.
After graduating from Luther College, Sarah attended the University of Minnesota Law School and graduated with a J.D. in 1992. She worked as a corporate attorney at Honeywell Inc. and Kmart Corp. headquarters before becoming the stay-at-home mother of two children.
Most recently, Sarah has been, and continues to be, a student in the LHOS working toward ordination in the ELCA. She realizes the importance of the proclamation of the Gospel, and the role LHOS can play to foster that proclamation. She is excited to be able to participate in the Lutheran tradition of proclaiming the Gospel and to be able to do so through the mission of LHOS.
Pat Eidsness, Parenting in Faith Coordinator
In addition to her duties as LHOS' Parenting in Faith Coordinator, Pat and her husband, Roe, are currently serving as mission developers for WestSide Lutheran Church, a new ELCA congregation in northwest Sioux Falls. Pat is an Associate in Ministry and a certified youth minister through Wartburg Seminary. She has worked for 15 years in youth and family ministry, serving four congregations; and for five years, she served the South Dakota Synod, ELCA, as Director of Faith Family Style.
As an Associate with the Vibrant Faith Ministries, Pat preaches, teaches, plans intergenerational events and does strategic planning with congregational leaders. Pat brings passion, experience, research, and theology into the discussion of passing on faith to the next generation.
Pat and Roe have four grown children, eleven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren! They are avid campers and bicyclists, riding the 115-mile Mickelson Trek through the Black Hills of South Dakota each fall. You can contact Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessi Rakness, Congregational Education Coordinator
Jessi has an M.A. in Youth and Family Ministry from Luther Seminary. She has served large suburban, small town, and rural congregations for over 10 years because, as she says, "I love walking alongside people as they find themselves in God's Word." She grew up in the Duluth, Minnesota area and spent her summers as a camp counselor, which is where God led her into ministry. She has a passion for educating people of all ages, and believes in the value of involving the whole family in faith education.
Jessi and her husband, Jared, have two young children, Bergan and Anja. Any free time she finds is spent swimming, biking, and running. You can contact Jessi at email@example.com.