Welcome to Learning for Life!
The third verse of At His Feet, a hymn based on the mission statement of Wartburg Theological Seminary and commissioned for use in worship, reads:
We are gathered, God’s own children in this time, this day, this place
We must speak and we must listen, open to receive God’s grace,
Learning leads us on to mission, knowing Jesus sets us free
Now we make our bold commitment, answering “Here I am, send me!”
©Ralph F. Smith, used by permission
This is not just a song about seminary students preparing to serve as deacons and pastors in the church. This is a song about being disciples of Jesus. Like the first disciples, we are all invited to gather, speak, listen, learn, and commit ourselves to mission.
Learning for Life at Wartburg seeks to provide learning:
- for laypeople seeking to dig deeper into their faith and the faith of others
- for laypeople wanting to grow in their involvement in their congregations
- for laypeople who might be hearing a nudge to consider seminary
- for deacons and pastors seeking continuing education
- for people who recognize that learning about faith, the Bible, the triune God, living as disciples continues through all the phases of our lives.
- for people seeking to gather, speak, listen, learn, and commit themselves to the gospel of Jesus Christ for a world created for communion with God and in need of personal and social healing.
- for people who are seeking a worship-centered, communal experience of critical theological reflection where learning leads to mission and mission informs learning.
- for YOU!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to partnering with you on this journey of formation.
Rev. Julie K. Higgs (she/her)
Director of Learning for Life
Ph: (563) 589-0206 email@example.com
Upcoming Learning for Life Events: Spring 2023
ELCA African National Ministries
Wednesday, February 15, 5:30-7:00 pm
In cooperation with the Center for Global Theologies, Wartburg Learning for Life invites you to join Rev. Dr. Joseph M Bocko, Program Director for ELCA African National Ministries, for a presentation about the ELCA’s work. This event will be available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom.
Dr. Bocko has a bachelor’s degree in theological studies from Tumaini University Makumira in Tanzania (1975) and a Master of Sacred Theology from the Wartburg Theological Seminary (1984), and a doctorate in educational studies from Trinity International University (1997). He is the author of “Effective Lay Leadership Training,” and he has served as a pastor in the Metro Chicago Synod, and the North Western Diocese, United Republic of Tanzania.
On-campus participants will enjoy a soup supper before Dr. Bocko’s presentation. All are welcome. Please register here.
American Indian Alaska Native Tribal Nations
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 5:30-7:00 pm
Wartburg Learning for Life invites you to join Vance Blackfox, the ELCA Desk Director for American Indian Alaska Native Tribal Nations, for a presentation about the ELCA’s work. This event will be available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom. On-campus participants will enjoy a soup supper before Mr. Blackfox’s presentation. All are welcome. Please register here.
Blackfox is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, serves the church-wide organization of the ELCA and previously served the ELCA in multiple capacities including as National President of the Lutheran Youth Organization, working as a diversity and cultural education professional for the Women of the ELCA, Augsburg Fortress Publishers, California Lutheran University, ELCA Youth Gathering, and LSTC’s Youth in Mission. He is at present the Indigenous Theologian and Coordinating Team Member for the ELCA’s Theological Round Table, as well as creator and producer of the Vine Deloria Jr. Theological Symposium hosted at LSTC. He is also the founder and director of Other+Wise, a multi-site cultural education and cultural immersion program for youth and student groups from across the country. He has also served as the Director of Communications at the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
Challenges and Opportunities of Online Worship—Worship Webinar
Two Thursdays, March 9 and 23, 2023, 6:00-8:00 pm
The January 2023 issue of Currents in Theology and Mission will focus on the challenges and opportunities of online worship, including the meaning of assembling as online or digital communities, digital communion, and more. Several authors of those articles will reflect on the lenses through which they consider these issues and what they learned from reading one another’s articles. Available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom, we hope this will be the first of several webinars on these topics. Watch for a list of which authors will participate in which forum coming soon. You may access the journal here. Please register here.
ELCA Global Missions
Thursday evening, March 16, 5:30-7:00 pm
The Center for Global Theologies, in cooperation with Wartburg Learning for Life, hosts Rahel Mwitula-Williams, ELCA Director for Global Mission Funding for a public forum on global missions. Available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom, the public forum is both for members of the Wartburg community and for all others interested in the ELCA’s work. Watch for Registration information coming soon. On-campus participants will enjoy a soup supper before Ms. Mwitula-Williams’ presentation. All are welcome. Please register here.
In addition to her work for the ELCA, Rahel Mwitula Williams is a nonprofit development executive who works with major donors within the United States and internationally. Rahel’s philosophy is that giving has no socioeconomic barriers and she works with individuals, teams, and organizations to develop a culture and lifestyle of philanthropy. Rahel is the founder of ILAVA, a socially responsible lifestyle brand that helps grassroots women social entrepreneurs in Kenya and Tanzania to gain economic security. In April 2018, she presented at Northwestern University as a TEDx Speaker on the topic of “Redefining Philanthropy: Faces of Change Makers”.
In Pursuit of Justice, Equity, and Inclusion: Jesus, Ida B. Wells, James Baldwin, and You
March 28, 5:30-7:00 pm
Join Pastor Lamont Wells, Wartburg’s Strategic Advisor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, for a session that will explore biblical narrative(s) and cultural experiences of demands for justice that will help inform our collective call to respond to local and global inequities. The participant will learn history, faithful methods and strategies to bring healing to divided communities. Drawing from spiritual practices including non-violent civic engagement as a way to create “beloved community” and open the pathways for freedom and justice for all.
Available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom, the public forum is both for members of the Wartburg community and for all others interested in this topic. On-campus participants will enjoy a soup supper before Pastor Wells’ presentation. All are welcome. Please register here.
Pastor Wells is the executive director of the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU). Wells previously served as program director for ELCA Campus Ministry, providing leadership to the Lutheran Campus Ministry Network. Wells is also national president of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA).
ELCA Disability Ministries
April 11, noon-1:15 pm
Wartburg Learning for Life invites you to join Pastor Lisa Heffernan, coordinator for ELCA Disability Ministries for a presentation about her work. A 2013 WTS graduate, Pastor Heffernan works remotely out of South Dakota, where she is also serving in a congregation as their part-time interim pastor. In beginning her work, Pastor Heffernan wrote, “As a person with a disability (spina bifida), this ministry is especially close to my heart. We are excited to renew our commitment to create awareness about the church’s call for inclusion, participation and faith and leadership development of people with disabilities.” She is especially interested in making a more visible commitment to addressing the intersectionality between disability, race, gender, and sexuality ministries concerned with mental health.
Available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom, the public forum is both for members of the Wartburg community and for all others interested in the ELCA’s work. All are welcome. On-campus attendees may purchase lunch to enjoy during Pastor Heffernan’s presentation. Please register here.
Native American Theologian
April 25, 2023, 5:30-7:00 pm
Dr. Kelly Sherman-Conroy will give a presentation about Native American and Lutheran theology. She describes herself in these (among many other) ways: I am a beautiful mosaic of lived-experience and culture. My Lakota name is Mato Waste Winyan (Good Bear Woman). I am a proud member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. Currently based in Minnesota, USA. I am a Native American Theologian who walks with people of all cultures. I dedicate my time exploring with people around the world with the intersections of identity, personal narratives, faith, and healing through an Indigenous lens.
This event will be available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom. On-campus participants will enjoy a soup supper before Dr. Kelly’s presentation. All are welcome. Please register here.
The Challenges of Latinx Theological Education
Tuesday, May 2, 5:30-7:00 pm Note date change. (Jessica, the description is different as well.)
In cooperation with CTLM, Wartburg presents the Rev. Dr. Daisy Machado, former director of the Hispanic Summer Program, now retired, speaking on “The Challenges of Latinx Theological Education: A View from the South.” Dr. Machado is Professor Emerita of American Religious History at Union Theological Seminary. Her scholarship focused specifically on United States Christianities. She is the first U.S. Latina ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and has served inner city congregations in Brooklyn, Houston, and Fort Worth.
On-campus participants will enjoy a soup supper preceding Dr. Machado’s presentation. Available both on-campus [Weiblen] and via Zoom. Please register here.
2023 Reformation and Reunion
Tuesday, April 11 – Thursday, April 13, 2023.
The annual Reformation and Reunion alumni event. Cost: $25
April 19-22, Spanish Language, Culture, Hospitality
Thursday, April 20, 7:00-9:00 pm
Friday, April 21, 5:00-7:00 pm
Saturday, April 22, 9:00-11:00 am
Cost: $250 for individual/$600 for congregations
Pastor Violeta Siguenza, director of Centro Teológica Luterano Multicultural (CTLM), leads three sessions on ministry with Latine people.
- Session 1, on Thursday evening, will focus on (a) Spanish language basics and cultural variations and (b) hospitality within Latine cultures.
- Session 2, Friday evening, will focus specifically on liturgical vocabulary.
- Session 3, Saturday morning, will focus on using Spanish music in worship, including introduction to one of the ELCA’s Spanish-language liturgies.
All three sessions will include opportunities for practicing (or honing) Spanish language skills. Available both on-campus [Weiblen and Chapel] and via Zoom. Please register here.
Pastor Violeta Siguenza served as the Interim Director for the Lutheran Seminary Program of the Southwest. Pastor Siguenza brings more than 16 years of experience as a solo pastor for Walnut Hill Lutheran Church in Dallas, TX, and 14 years of experience as an entrepreneur and bilingual office administrator. Pastor Siguenza has been an advocate for minorities throughout her career, working with different groups to bring justice and fairness to all. She has a passion for young adults, women’s rights, and for the total inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community. Pastor Siguenza believes in the power of the Holy Spirit to transform and renew lives and to empower everyone to do God’s work in their communities.
Check out our complete events calendar.