LSTC hosts Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge Oct. 18-19

 For immediate release
October 4, 2018

The “Hein-Fry Book of Faith Challenge” (HFBFC) will be held Oct. 18-19 at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC). One student from each ELCA seminary will present at the event. It is open to the public and free of charge.

HFBFC was launched in 2015 to develop new examples of faithful, innovative and effective ways of teaching and learning scripture. This year six students will present projects they’ve developed over the past year with a team from their (in most cases internship) congregation and a seminary faculty advisor. Their projects are intended to foster a learning community that is an “open table.” That is, they are to bring together at the same table both those who are long-steeped in biblical texts, themes and images, and those who are largely (or even completely) unfamiliar with them.

Emphasis will be on the students, said Sara Vanderpan, who recently served as special projects director for HFBFC. “They are our teachers,” she said, adding that the hope is that students will not only better understand themselves as teachers, but their work as contributing to the life of the church.

Barbara Rossing, professor of New Testament at LSTC, will lead a panel of three academic and church leaders as they give educational and pastoral feedback to each student following their presentation:

Marissa Becklin, MDiv, LSTC, “Give Unto the Lord: A Study About Food and Tithing in Deuteronomy 14.”

Kristina Hill, MDiv, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., “Faith Friends: Exploring Intergenerational Encounters with the Bible.”

Ashton Roberts, MDiv, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University, “The Wounded Reader: Experience as Exegesis.”

Tania Schramm, MDiv, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, “Engaging Storytelling: Using Character, Narrative Sequence, and Scene to Experience and Share the Book of Acts.”

Erika Tobin, MDiv, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., “Building Relationships with the Word, Other Generations, and Other Churches.”

Melissa Woeppel, MDiv, United Lutheran Seminary, Gettysburg + Philadelphia, Pa., “Scripture, Women, and Justice: A Survey.”

Students will present short, “Ted-talk” style, versions of what their fuller projects entail. This year it will include a production of a video (or audio visual production) of the experience, highlighting important teaching/learning moments and ideas.

“Our goal for this year is that our seminary students, and the congregational representatives who come with them, understand the potential they have to contribute to the church’s engagement with scripture,” Vanderpan said. “They have different topics and structures, and our interest is in seeing the beauty, power and grace around the table as we bring together those who have long been in scripture and those who are new.”

For additional information (or to register), contact Cheryl Hoth at or 773.256.0721. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday.


About LSTC

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, a seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is dedicated to bearing witness to the good news of Jesus Christ. Based in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, it is the leading urban Lutheran seminary training students for purposeful vocations in the global community. Aligned with its Lutheran heritage and built on a foundation of intellectual rigor, LSTC’s innovative, nationally recognized curriculum gives students skills for visionary Christian leadership in the public sphere. To learn more



Cheryl Hoth

Assistant to the Academic Dean


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Director of Communications and Marketing