3/26/2014 12:00:00 AM
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Robin J. Steinke, Gettysburg, Pa., has been named president of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., effective June 1. Luther is one of eight seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
"I am humbled and honored to be called to this important work in the life of Luther Seminary and the church," Steinke said in a March 26 seminary release. "I am mindful of the strong legacy that is Luther Seminary. As we look forward, I believe we must work in new and nimble ways to imagine a sustainable future. This effort is complex and multifaceted, yet I can't imagine a more exciting time to be doing this creative work."
Steinke is the first woman to be named president in the seminary's 145-year history. She succeeds the Rev. Rick Foss, who has served as interim president since December 2012.
Steinke is dean of the seminary and a tenured professor of theological ethics and public life at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa., an ELCA seminary. She was assistant professor of theological ethics and public life from 2000 to 2003, and was ethics lecturer and director of the seminary's program in Washington D.C., through its Center for Theology and Public Life from 1999 to 2000. From 1999 to 2000, Steinke was associate pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Annandale, Va., and she served an internship at Holy Trinity Lutheran in Akron, Ohio. From 1984 to 1992, she was a financial planner and training manager at American Express Financial Advisors in Atlanta, and middle school band director at Dickerson Middle School in Marietta, Ga., from 1980 to 1984.
Prior to joining Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Steinke earned a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Cambridge, and a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, an ELCA seminary. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in music education at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities. Steinke has received numerous awards and participated in a variety of community and regional, national and international academic institutional service.
Steinke co-chairs the ELCA Theological Education Advisory Council, tasked with exploring the future of theological education. She serves as an ELCA representative to The Lutheran World Federation Council and chairs their Endowment Fund. She is a member of the ELCA Ecclesiology Task Force and serves on a number of other church and academic committees. In June, she will conclude her six-year term as a commissioner for the Association of Theological Schools' Commission on Accrediting.
"Robin is a proven leader who is uniquely qualified for this position. First and foremost, she has a strong faith and is committed to our mission of educating leaders for Christian communities," said Gus Blanchard, a member of Luther's board of directors and chair of the seminary's presidential search committee. "Her forward-looking leadership skills, ability to build strong, productive relationships, financial acumen and commitment to academic quality, ministry and mission make her a marvelous fit for Luther Seminary. We are thrilled to have her join us as our next president."
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.