A Mission to the Church, and a Mission of the Church
The Luther House of Study has evolved from a grassroots initiative that began over 10 years ago to a full and vibrant ministry that is recognized regionally for strengthening ministries and equipping people to become pastors. The ministry is anchored in the Lutheran faith and grounded in the foundation of Lutheran education. Since its founding in 2006, Luther House’s mission has been focused on strengthening Lutheran leadership and ministries for the proclamation of the gospel. It does this by serving three communities:
- Future ministry professionals.
- Current ministry professionals.
- Lay members of congregations.
Future Ministry Professionals
The Luther House of Study, through Sioux Falls Seminary, is pioneering a revolutionary approach to delivering a sound theological education for people entering into congregational ministry. This new approach is called Kairos. It’s an innovative way of delivering an ATS accredited Masters of Divinity degree that is accessible, affordable and relevant. While delivering the same traditional degree pastors have received for generations, Kairos does it in a way that meets students’ needs while greatly reducing the economic and lifestyle burdens of the older approaches.
One of the keys of this approach is its emphasis on pastoral formation—putting solid Lutheran pastors in pulpits. The Kairos participants at Luther House are included in student colleague groups and have much more access to and interaction with a broad support network than in a traditional model of theological education. One of the goals of this Lutheran Kairos track is to help establish the benefits of participating in colleague groups once the students are ordained.
The ministry and outreach of Luther House has exceeded all expectations, growing in its mission of training students to be pastors. This approach to theological education is proving to be quite attractive to students and congregations alike. The number of people entering into the Luther House seminary program has increased sixfold in the past year. This fall, Luther House counts 50 graduate students preparing for ministry with 24 people serving in pulpits across the region.
Current Ministry Professionals
The education process for ministry professionals is not finished simply because one has graduated from seminary. In fact, Luther House recognizes that both pastors and lay ministry professionals need to be nurtured and further equipped for their day-to-day ministries. Therefore, a key component of the Luther House mission is to provide continuing education resources and renewal opportunities - nearly all at no cost to the pastors.
On a regular basis, Luther House staff offers classes and workshops across the nation. Every month, it meets with more than 60 pastors in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota to assist them in preparing their sermons for the upcoming weeks. In addition, the Proclamation on the Plains has been a regular event hosted at Sioux Falls Seminary after the Christmas holiday, providing pastors and laypeople an opportunity to explore deep theological topics.
Lay Members and Congregations
Equally important to Luther House’s mission and ministry is nurturing the faith of congregation members.
In addition to the video resources available on this website, Luther House staff routinely teach and preach in conferences, seminars, synod events, and congregations around the region and across the nation. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to invite us.
The Luther House of Study is supported by and receives the majority of its funding from the Lutheran Leadership Foundation, which is housed in the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation. The Foundation allows Luther House to provide all of the videos and other congregational resources at no cost. For more information about the Foundation, go to lutherhouseofstudy.org/foundation.
Steve Paulson, Chair of Lutheran Theology
Professor Paulson has been teaching and preaching for over thirty years and is excited to join LHOS as the chair in Lutheran Theology. His field of study is systematic theology that teaches the doctrines of the faith—the almighty Father, the only begotten Son and the Holy Spirit-- as they apply to modern life. Professor Paulson is a pastor, whose first church was on Washington Island, WI. He graduated with a degree in theology from St. Olaf College, the Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary and the Theological Doctorate from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. He has taught at Concordia College, Moorhead and Luther Seminary, St. Paul before coming to Sioux Falls. He is the author of many books and articles, including Luther for Armchair Theologians (Westminster John Knox Press), Lutheran Theology (T & D Clark), and most recently Luther’s Outlaw God (Fortress Press), the first volume of which is available this Fall, 2018 that opens up the issues of predestination, evil, and the hidden God. He specializes in equipping people to preach the freeing Gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and boldly, and looks forward to continuing to teach students how to give that Gospel freedom to the people who need it most.
You may contact Steve at 605-274-2770 or email email@example.com.
Chris Croghan, Co-director
Chris 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.
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 his M.Div. and was ordained in 1995. He returned to Luther Seminary five years later and was granted a Ph.D. in church history.
Chris has been teaching college and seminary students since 2004, with his primary emphasis being nurturing faith and preparing pastors.
As the Co-director of the Luther House of Study, Chris has worked to make theological education more accessible and affordable while providing sound theological content.
You may contact Chris at 605-274-5488 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Stenson, Co-director
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.
As the Co-director of the Luther House of Study, Sarah has worked at LHOS from its inception - teaching in classrooms, congregations, and working to nurture faith and prepare pastors.
You may contact Sarah at 605-274-4808 or email email@example.com.