Doctor of Philosophy
Luther Seminary

Master of Divinity
Trinity Lutheran Seminary

Bachelor of Arts
Lenoir-Rhyne College

Rev. Dr. Nathan C.P. Frambach

Professor of Pastoral Theology

Faculty Biography

Born on a farm in rural Medina County, Ohio, Nathan Frambach presently lives in Dubuque, Iowa, with his spouse Diane. They have two young adult sons, Garrett Andrew and Andres Thomas. Nate is a pastor by vocation, presently called to teach at Wartburg Theological Seminary as Professor of Pastoral Theology.

Diane serves as a guidance counselor at Stephen Hempstead High School in Dubuque. Garrett is a 2018 graduate of the University of Iowa and now works with the Catherine McCauley Center in Cedar Rapids, IA, as a communications specialist. Andres has completed two years of college in Winona, MN, with an interest in business analytics.

Nate collects pint glasses and has a prized collection of personal letters from Frederick Buechner. Otherwise he is still a fan of The Office, works on a Mac, paddles a Bell, roots for the STL Cardinals and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, reads Joy Harjo, Wendell Berry, and Mary Oliver among many other poets, and enjoys running on the Heritage Trail.

A pastor by public vocation, Nate served three congregations prior to his time at Wartburg–two in Illinois and one in Minnesota. Most recently (2014) he served as the pastor pro tem at New Hope Lutheran Church in Farley, Iowa, during his last sabbatical. He also served as Associate Director with the Youth Ministries/Gathering team in the Churchwide Offices of the ELCA and, prior to that, as an Instructor on the faculty of Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota for two years while he finished a Ph.D. in Practical Theology (congregational studies and leadership). Along with worshipping, learning and teaching with the Wartburg community, Nate continues to cultivate curiosity about emergence Christianity in its various forms and iterations. Nate currently serves on the Arkansas/Oklahoma candidacy committee and the editorial board of the Connect Journal ( Nate’s philosophy of life* is really quite simple even though it sounds a bit cheesy: work to live, don’t live to work. He pretty much always wishes he were canoe camping in the Boundary Waters (unless it’s the middle of winter, when he doesn’t wish that so much), and he loves good beer.

*find something you love to do, work that matters and makes a positive difference in the world, do it was well as you can, make as much money as you need, and give away as much as you are able.

MN 270         Pastoral Care in Context
IN 243           21st Century Leadership
MN 306         Liturgy & Life: Worship and Mission in Context and Culture
MN 279         Topics in Pastoral Care
MN 269         Topics in Youth, Culture & Mission
MN 373W      Pastoral Care of Adolescents
MN 380W      Pastoral Theology Method
MN 160W      Seen and Heard: Foundations for Youth and Family Ministry
IN 106W        Spiritual Practices
MN 365W      Systems Thinking and Family Theory in Pastoral Ministry
MN 355W      The Cultures of Youth and the Question of Identity

Cancer & Theology (The Elbow Room, 2014).

The Hyphenateds: How Emergence Christianity Is Re-Traditioning Mainline Practices (Chalice Press, 2011).

Emerging Ministry: Being Church Today (Augsburg Fortess, 2007)

The Ministry of Children’s Education: Foundations, Contexts, Practices (Augsburg Fortress, 2004).

High Frequency: Lost and Found (musical curriculum, 2001).

Across the Generations: Incorporating All Ages in Ministry: The Why and How (Augsburg Fortress, 2001).

Dr. Frambach has extensive knowledge in the following categories and is able to serve as a resource on:

  • Adolescent spirituality
  • Narrative & Story
  • Emergence Christianity
  • Pastoral Care & Counseling
  • Pastoral Care with Adolescents
  • Spirituality, Music & Film
  • Wilderness & Spirituality
  • Youth, Culture & Mission
  • Congregation & Home
  • Faith, Fiction & Poetry
  • Congregational Leadership & Mission
  • Baseball, Beer, Wendell Berry & the Boundary Waters