Doctor of Philosophy
Marquette University

Master of Divinity
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

Bachelor of Arts
Wittenberg University

Rev. Dr. Cheryl Peterson

Academic Dean


Faculty Biography

The Rev. Dr. Cheryl M. Peterson joined the Wartburg faculty as Academic Dean in the summer of 2023. She previously taught at Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University for 18 years, where she also served as Associate Dean for Academics and held the Trinity Endowed Chair in Mission and Ministry and taught courses in the areas of systematic theology, the Lutheran Confessions, and the history of Lutheranism in America.

Ordained as a pastor in the ELCA in 1991, she served parishes in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and Milwaukee, Wisconsin for 12 years. She holds degrees from Wittenberg University (BA), the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (MDiv), and Marquette University (PhD).

She is the author of Who is the Church? An Ecclesiology for the 21st Century (Fortress, 2013), and the forthcoming, The Holy Spirit in the Christian Life: The Spirit’s Work For, In, and Through Us (Baker Academic, 2024), as well as several articles and book chapters. A frequent keynote speaker at synod assemblies, theological convocations, seminaries, and colleges, she has also served as faculty for the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Retreat for Newly Elected Leaders (Bishops and Presidents) and the 6th LWF International Seminar for Lay Leaders. Her research interests include pneumatology, ecclesiology, the sacraments, Lutheran theology, Pentecostal theology, mission, and ecumenism.

She served on the 11th round of the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue (2006-2010) – with her future colleague, the Rev. Dr. Winston Persaud – and the first round of the Lutheran World Federation International Dialogue Commission with the Pentecostals (2016-2022). She chairs the editorial council of Dialog: A Journal of Theology and holds memberships in the American Academy of Religion, the Society for Pentecostal Studies, and the Catholic Theological Society of America.

She is married to the Rev. Dr. Charles W. Peterson who currently serves as pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Dubuque.

Check out this 2022 LWF “Voices of the Communion” interview of Dr. Peterson.


The Holy Spirit in the Christian Life: The Spirit’s Work For, In, and Through UsBaker Academic Press, forthcoming 2024.

Who is the Church? An Ecclesiology for the Twenty-First Century. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2013.


“Church,” in Common Places in Christian Theology: A Curated Collection of Essays from Lutheran Quarterly, ed. Mark A. Mattes, 349-365. Irvine, CA: 1517 Publishing, 2023.

“Pneumatology in the Age of #MeToo: An Exploration of the Spirit’s Role in Suffering.” In Sisters, Mothers, Daughters:Pentecostal Perspectives on Violence Against Women, ed. Michael Palmer, Kimberly Alexander, Mark Cartledge, and Melissa Archer, 13-32. In Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies, Vol. 43, ed. William K. Kay and Mark J. Cartledge, Boston: Brill, 2022.

“Remembering Robert W. Jenson: Jenson’s Ecclesiology.” Lutheran Forum 55, No. 4 (Winter 2022): 29-34.

“Starting with the Spirit of Truth.” In Truth-Telling and Other Ecclesial Practices of Resistance, ed. Christine Helmer, 63-74. Lanham: Lexington Books/Fortress Academic, 2021.

“The Marks of the Church as Spiritual Practices for Renewal and Revival.”  In We Believe in the Holy Spirit, Global Perspectives on Lutheran Identities, Lutheran World Federation Documentation #63, ed. Chad M. Rimmer and Cheryl M. Peterson, 175-182. Geneva: LWF, 2021.

“God’s Mission has a Church, but Does God’s Mission have a Scripture?” Post-Christendom Studies 5 (2020–2021): 55–75.

“The Holy Spirit: Lutheran Perspectives.” In The T&T Companion to Pneumatology, ed. Daniel Castelo and Kenneth M. Loyer, 197-205. New York: T&T Clark, 2020.

“Does the Church still matter? A Lutheran Perspective on the Church’s Relevance Today.” Word & World Vol. 40, no. 1 (Winter 2020): 3-11.

“Rediscovering pneumatology in the “age of the Spirit:” a North American Lutheran Contribution.” Dialog: A Journal of Theology 58/2 (Summer 2019): 102-108.

See Dr. Peterson’s CV for a complete list of her publications and academic and ecclesial presentations.

Dr. Peterson has extensive knowledge of and can serve as a resource on the following topics:

  • The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
  • The Doctrine of the Church
  • The Sacraments
  • Lutheran Theology
  • Lutheranism in the U.S.
  • Ecumenism
  • Lutheran-Pentecostal Dialogue
  • Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue
  • Pentecostalism
  • The Charismatic Movement
  • The Nones and the “Spiritual but not Religious”