Wartburg Theological Seminary is delighted to honor three individuals at this year’s commencement ceremonies. Dr. Kathleen D. (Kadi) Billman is the recipient of the Honorary Doctor of Divinity. This honorary degree is conferred upon an individual who has dedicated their life to the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. The Living Loehe Award was established by Wartburg Seminary in 1973 as a way of honoring individuals who have given distinguished service to and through the church and exemplify Christ’s call to be disciples in the context of their own daily lives and professional commitments. This year, the award recipients are Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy [Mato Wašté Winyan (Good Bear Woman)], and Dr. Knut Holter.
Kathleen D. (Kadi) Billman attended Muskingum College, and received her M.Div., Th.M, and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Billman served at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, first as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, then as Dean (1999-2009), and finally as the John H. Tietjen Professor of Pastoral Ministry: Pastoral Theology.
Kelly Sherman-Conroy; Mato Wašté Winyan (Good Bear Woman), is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. An Indigenous theologian, Dr. Sherman-Conroy specializes in social justice, racial and ethnic diversity, trauma and healing, Indigenous leadership, and community. She is the first Native woman theologian to have earned a Ph.D. in the ELCA, with a dissertation focused on “The Reclamation of Lakota Spiritual Sovereignty.”
Knut Holter did an M.Th. at the School of Mission and Theology (Stavanger) in 1985 and a Ph.D. at the University of Oslo in 1993. He was ordained in the Church of Norway (Lutheran) in 1986 and serves regularly as pastor and Sunday school teacher in his home congregation. Throughout most of his career, Holter worked at the School of Mission and Theology (today part of VID Specialized University), as a Professor of Biblical Studies from 2002 to 2022, and as President from 2004 to 2010. Since 2022 he has been Professor at NLA University College (Bergen).