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Newly Endowed Chairs Strengthen the Seminary and the Church
With strong commitments to scholarship as it serves the mission of the church and the mission of Trinity Lutheran Seminary at Capital University, two professors were honored at a celebration of investiture as holders of newly endowed chairs.
The Rev. Dr. Cheryl M. Peterson, professor of Systematic Theology and associate dean for Academics at Seminary, is The Trinity Endowed Chair in Mission and Ministry. The Rev. Dr. Joy Schroeder, who teaches on both the Seminary and Capital University faculties, is the Trinity Endowed Chair in Lutheran Heritage.
“I knew both Cheryl and Joy years before I came to Trinity in 2018,” says Trinity Dean Kathryn “Kit” Kleinhans. “Both are impressive scholars. Both have pastoral hearts and are committed to having their scholarship serve the mission of the church. It’s a joy to see them recognized in this way.”
Before joining the Trinity faculty in 2005, Peterson served as a pastor in Lutheran churches in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“Dr. Peterson is committed to developing leaders for the church, with a particular focus on equipping students to fulfill God’s mission to heal our broken world,” says Kleinhans. “Her scholarship in ecclesiology and pneumatology has been recognized internationally and ecumenically by other scholars and church leaders.”
An internationally recognized theologian, Peterson is a member of the International Lutheran-Pentecostal dialogue. She and other scholars from around the world, from both Lutheran and Pentecostal branches of Christianity, meet regularly to discuss their theology, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement, and developing an important mutual understanding in a divided world.
Schroeder, who is trained as a historian, joined the Seminary faculty in 2000, with a joint appointment in Capital’s Department of Religion and Philosophy as the Bergener Chair of Theology and Religion. She has taught courses in all three of the Seminary’s divisions (Bible; History/Theology/Society; and Ministry) and was the first recipient of the Capital University Faculty Scholar Award. Much of her scholarship focuses on biblical interpretation, often with a focus on feminism in medieval thought and the role of women in the Scriptures and in interpreting the Scriptures.
“Dr. Schroeder is a prolific scholar, and a dedicated and effective teacher of both undergraduate and Seminary students,” says Kleinhans. “She is frequently sought after as a speaker in Lutheran settings and other religious communities, and is active in service on campus, in the community and in the church.”
Schroeder’s books include “The Book of Jeremiah” and “The Book of Genesis” in The Bible in Medieval Tradition series; “Deborah’s Daughters: Gender Politics and Biblical Interpretation”; and “Dinah’s Lament: The Biblical Legacy of Sexual Violence in Christian Interpretation.”
Each of the newly endowed chairs, which recognize and foster academic excellence and service among the Seminary’s faculty, was established by combining previous gifts to endow or partially endow faculty positions at Trinity.
“The holders of these distinguished positions have a special responsibility to the benefactors to realize the aspirations of their gift: to the seminary to strengthen academic programs and student experience through exemplary scholarship, teaching, and service; and to the church as ambassadors of Trinity Lutheran Seminary’s mission of forming leaders for Christ’s church at work in the world,” Kleinhans said.
While both chairs were established to support the advancement of the Seminary’s mission, The Trinity Endowed Chair in Lutheran Heritage has a particular focus on church history and theology, and The Trinity Endowed Chair in Mission and Ministry has a particular focus on the formation of future church leaders.