Book Recommendations

Prof. Susan Ebertz, Assistant Professor of Bibliography and Academic Research and Director of the Reu Memorial Library

  • Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker J. Palmer
  • Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life by Henri Nouwen

“I’m reading these two books with two first-year students. Even when we are in an occupation which we love, we still wonder whether we are where we should be. These are books which will help you in continually discerning your call and understanding your vocation. Our vocation is not just a job but it is where our “true self” can speak and where we can see God at work in our lives.”


Rev. Dr. Nathan Frambach, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of the Center for Youth Ministries

  • It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd
  • Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen by David Walsh
  • This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems by Wendell Berry

“The first book is important reading for anyone interested in the continuing impact of emerging technologies and life in a technologically mediated world. I referenced the second book when speaking at a conference a couple of years ago and received a handwritten thank you a few weeks later from a couple of parents who attended the event (enough said?). The final book, a recent release from ‘America’s farmer poet,’ is nourishment for the soul.”


Rev. Dr. Winston Persaud, Professor of Systematic Theology, Director for the Center for Global Theologies, Holder of Kent S. Knutson and UELC Chair in Theology and Mission

  • Wounded Visions by Jonas Jonson

“Jonas Jonson, a consummate ecumenist from the Church of Sweden, provides the reader with a personal reflection on the historical, religious, socio-political journey and landscape of the life and work of the World Council of Churches over the past 40+ years, beginning with the 1968 Uppsala Assembly.”

  • The Christian World by Martin Marty

“Martin Marty’s welcome, illuminating historical survey of the global history of Christianity in terms of episodes: Asian, African, European, Latin American, North American…, which concludes with “Unfinished Episodes,” invites the reader to ponder the indispensable, generative Christological center of Christianity.”


Rev. Dr. Troy Troftgruben, Assistant Professor of New Testament

  • Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons by Russell Pregeant

“A highly-readable discussion of many unchecked assumptions about the Bible.”

  • Mediating Faith: Faith Formation in a Trans-Media Era by Clint Schnekloth

“A theoretical reflection on the significance of media for ministry, with thought-provoking insights on an emerging landscape.”

  • Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor

“A readable reflection on matters pertinent to a theology of the cross, but without using ‘churchy’ language.”


Dr. Thomas Schattauer, Professor of Liturgics and Dean of the Chapel

  • Priesthood, Pastors, Bishops: Public Ministry for the Reformation and Today by Timothy Wengert
  • Accompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral by Thomas G. Long
  • Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2,000 Years by Tom Standage

“The first is a good book on the meaning of the priesthood of all believers and public office of ministry. I’ve been reading it with firstyear students this year. The second is an important book for reshaping our thinking about the funeral. The final one is a fascinating account of social media through the centuries; connecting history to present questions.”


Dr. Norma Cook Everist, Professor of Church Administration & Educational Ministry

  • The Bible, Disability and the Church by Amos Yong

“This is a book for all leaders and their congregations. Having viewed the recent Paralympics we need to think in a totally different way, theologically about “normism” and ablism. This book presents a theological and biblical base that is excellent and leads communities of faith into action within their congregations and, evangelically, into the parish community. The closing ceremony in Russia showed the word “impossible” turning into “I’m possible” in an amazingly beautiful way, which we saw throughout the games. What do people see in their congregations and what are they missing seeing?”


Dr. Samuel Giere, Associate Professor of Homiletics & Biblical Interpretation

  • Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis
  • Praying the Psalms in Christ by Laurence Kriegshauser, O.S.B.

“I’d suggest a couple resources that I used this semester with a senior seminar on preaching the Psalms. All of these, in slightly different ways, help to think about the Psalter and more broadly the Old Testament as Christian Scripture, which can then be very informative for the preacher.”