Lutheran School of Theology Chicago
“To build up the Body of Christ and work for a world of peace and justice that cares for the whole creation.”
Description of PhD program
The doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree program offers students the opportunity to acquire advanced expertise in a chosen
field and to focus upon a selected subject of research. Goals of the program include helping students gain a wide range of
disciplinary knowledge, developing their skills in research methodologies, and sharpening their abilities to express ideas orally
and in writing. Students work closely with faculty advisors throughout their program. The culmination of the program is the
doctoral dissertation, which sets forth a thesis and demonstrates its validity through extensive research, analysis, and synthesis
Fields of Study
The seminary offers the PhD degree in the fields of Old Testament, New Testament, historical studies, theological studies
(including concentrations in Christian ethics/ church and society, religion and science, systematic theology, and theological
anthropology), and world Christianity and mission.
Tuition & Housing Costs
For the 2017-18 academic year, tuition for PhD students is $3,800 per course, with full time being 4-6 courses per year.
Students preparing for exams or writing their dissertation pay a continuing relations fee of $3,800 per year. See website for
LSTC has a variety of housing options available to students. Shared occupancy apartments are available for single students and
in the 2017-18 academic year range from $330 to $460 a month depending on number of roommates and room size. Students
with families or who prefer to live on their own can rent private apartments from $870 to $1,032 a month depending on
Tuition Assistance and Financial Aid Fellowships
Financial aid at LSTC includes tuition scholarships, fellowships, and teaching/research assistant stipends. Awards are made on
the basis of both merit and need. Most students receive partial or full tuition scholarships. Tuition scholarships for subsequent
years are based on the initial award upon admission, as well as on progress in the program of study.
Fellowship awards usually range from $1,000 to $10,000 and can be received in addition to tuition scholarships. Fellowships
awarded include the Robert Marshall Fellowship, for domestic students preparing for teaching ministries, the William and Betty
Danker Fellowship, for international students preparing for teaching ministries in their communities of origin, and the James
Scherer Fellowship, for students in World Christianity and Mission. Additional fellowships granted annually are the ELCA Global
Mission Fellowship, the Rossing Doctoral Fellowship, the International Women’s Fellowship, the Visionary Leaders Fellowship,
the Hope Fellowship, the Klein Fellowship for Biblical Studies, the Sappenfeld Fellowship, the Sehy Fellowship for Interfaith
Studies, the Baptist Doctoral Fellowship, and the Bachman Fellowship.
José David Rodríguez
Augustana Heritage Chair of Global Mission and World Christianity
Expertise in Latino/a Theology and Post-colonial thought
Professor of Systematic Theology
Expertise in theology and literature, Lutheran theology in global contexts, and eschatology
Javier R. Alanís
Director of the Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest, a joint program of LSTC and Wartburg Theological Seminary
Expertise in contextual borderland theology, Latino/a spirituality, and the ethics of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Additional External Faculty
In recent years, LSTC doctoral students have worked with additional distinguished faculty members including: Daisy Machado, Gregory Cuéllar, Luis Rivera Rodríguez, Mercedes Garcia-Bachmann, Justo L. Gonzalez, Pablo Navarro, Daniel Rodriguez, and José R. Irizarry
Hispanic Centers and Programs
- The Albert “Pete” Pero Multicultural Center works with other seminaries, church wide offices, and Latino/a religious leaders
to develop resources in research and ministerial practice relevant to multicultural settings and experience. Through the Pero
Multicultural Center students preparing for ministry may earn an emphasis in Hispanic/Latino/a Ministry that includes field
work and internship placements.
- Until recently, the Hispanic Summer Program national office was located at LSTC. This office was the headquarters of the
Hispanic Summer Program (HSP), a national program of studies gathering the best of the Latino/a faculty resources in North
America. Latino/a students from a variety of denominational affiliations who are studying at accredited educational institutions
of higher learning in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada are invited to attend. The program takes place for an intensive
two-week session every summer in one of the supporting institutions. Cohorts of LSTC students regularly attend this program.
Corazón, the Latin@ Student Union at LSTC organizes academic and social events on the LSTC campus in order to support
students and raise linguistic, cultural, and theological awareness and vitality.
- The Language Resource and Writing Center (LRWC) at LSTC supports students whose primary language is other than English
and provides instruction in Spanish and other languages as needed. The LRWC also refers students to language programs at
other Hyde Park seminaries and the University of Chicago.
- Spanish for Ministry is now a regular course for LSTC students, and Spanish modules are being incorporated into all worship
- At least one class per semester is offered in which Spanish is the language of instruction. Recent offerings have
included: Ética and Témas Centrales en Teología.
Neighboring Institutions or Programs
The Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) is a consortium of 11 seminaries which provide a wealth of resources to
all of the students in those schools. ACTS fosters cooperation among its member institutions, particularly in the areas of student
cross-registration, library access and acquisitions policies, and interchange among faculty members. All ACTS schools are
affiliated with or sponsored by a denomination, a diocese, or a consortium of religious orders. Each offers a professional degree
program for ministry, and most offer other master’s and doctoral degrees as well. The cooperative structure of ACTS makes it
possible for students and faculty to pursue their work, study, and reflection interacting with people from many different
cultural and theological traditions. ACTS makes special efforts in the areas of African-American studies, women’s studies,
Hispanic studies, interfaith studies, and the provision of theological language courses.
LSTC students are also able to bi-register for graduate courses at the Divinity School and other departments or divisions of The
University of Chicago.
Each year LSTC hosts a variety of lectures, workshops, and other special events featuring Hispanic/Latino/a speakers, themes,
and culture. The following are a few recent examples:
In July/August of 2017, LSTC hosted the annual convocation of the Association of Teaching Theologians on the theme “Global
Lutheranism in 2017: Vitality and Challenges.” Along with LSTC PhD students, leading theologians from the Iglesia Luterana
Mexicana, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America gathered for three days
of scholarly presentations on topics including inculturation of signature Lutheran themes, interfaith matters, biblical
hermeneutics, “culture war” hotspots around the globe, authority issues at work in defining Lutheran identity, and ecclesiology.
A number of travel seminars are offered annually, and include participation and leadership by Hispanic/Latino/a faculty and
students. Recent travel seminars have visited the Holy Land, Spain, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The annual Academic Forum at LSTC features student research projects. In February, 2016 , the presentations included Lydia
Hernandez-Marcial, “Life under the Sun: A Puerto Rican Reading of Ecclesiastes,” and Francisco Herrera, “The Delight of Being
Jesus’ Bed Slave: The Marvelous Christian Indecency of the 18th Century Moravians.”
On October 13, 2015, Rev. Martín Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, delivered the annual Scherer
Lecture, inaugurating the three-year commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation at LSTC. The title of his talk
was “From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017.” As a native of
Argentina, Rev. Junge is the first LWF General Secretary from Latin America.
In September of 2014, the Lutheran World Federation held its 3rd International Consultation on Biblical Hermeneutics, with a
focus on the Gospel of Matthew. Scholars attending this consultation as presenters and participants from Latin America
included Mercedes Garcia-Bachmann, Felipe Gustavo, and Vitor Westhelle.
On November 19, 2013, the Rev. Dr. Javier R. Alanis gave the annual Lutheran Heritage Lecture, entitled “Lutheran Heritage,
Mexican Ancestry, and the Future of the ELCA.”
The JKM Library provides access to one of the largest and strongest collection of scholarly resources in the country. It’s total
collection numbers 409,091 of which 1367 print titles are in Spanish. In addition, JKM provides electronic access to Referencia
Latina, an online database of Latin American scholarly publications in Spanish. JKM’s staff are active in teaching researchers
how to use scholarly resources. Just as importantly, JKM is in formal consortial relationships with the 84 academic libraries that
form I-Share, the libraries of the ACTS consortium, and the libraries of the University of Chicago. Thus, through JKM, LSTC
students and faculty/staff have access to 24 million scholarly items.
Javier R. Alanís
Executive Director and Associate Professor of Theology, Culture, and Mission
Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest
Francisco Javier Goitia-Padilla
Associate Professor of Homiletics and Systematic Theology
Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico
Suzanne E. Hoeferkam-Segovia
Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology
The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest
Hjamil A. Martinez Vázquez
Crowley Independent School District, Texas
Jonathan Pimentel Chacón
Professor Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana
Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica
Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago
Doctoral Candidate Lutheran
School of Theology at Chicago
The HTI person to contact for information on PhD studies at Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, is:
Name: José D. Rodríguez
Title: Professor, Systematic Theology