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Study Conference 2014

May 6, 7, 8 2014

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Dr. Larry Rasmussen

Larry L. Rasmussen, Th.D., Reinhold Niebuhr Professor Emeritus of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary, New York City

"A New Age: The Anthropocene"

"Framing the Energy Issues"

"Reformation Spirituality for a Changing Planet"

One of the world's foremost Christian environmental ethicists, Dr. Rasmussen has mentored a generation of Christians in eco-theology and ''green religion." He spearheaded the "greening" at the Union Theological Seminary as an institution and rooted his courses and scholarship in the practice of environmental justice with communities and community leaders. He has published more than a dozen books, including the landmark, award-winning Earth Community, Earth Ethics. He is currently directing a 10-year project on Earth-honoring Christianity at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

A Minnesota native, Rasmussen studied history and philosophy at St. Olaf College (B.A., 1964). He received a bachelor of divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary (1965), and his Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary (1970). Following service as an assistant professor of religion at St. Olaf and a professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C., he was appointed the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1986, retiring in 2004. He served as co-moderator of the Justice, Peace, Creation unit of the World Council of Churches 1990-2000.

Rev. Mark Narum

Mark Narum, Bishop, Western North Dakota Synod/ELCA

"Prairie, Petroleum and Pondering: What does this mean?"

Mark is husband to Jan, dad to Chris 23, Brandon 18 and Tyler 16. He grew up on a dairy/beef and small grain farm at Douglas, ND. He is the son of Neil and Mary Ann Narum. Mark graduated from Garrison High School. Minot State University and Wartburg Theological Seminary. He spent almost 15 years working at as a television news reporter at KXMC - TV in Minot.

Mark became a member of the Western North Dakota Lay Ministry Program -GIFTS (Growing In Faith To Serve) while a member a member at Saron Lutheran Church, rural Minot. It was through this lay ministry program that Mark discerned God's call to the ordained ministry. Mark was ordained on June 13, 1999. He was called to serve the Prairie Lutheran Parish of Stanley. In June of 2008 he was elected Bishop of the Western ND Synod.

Mark continues to be involved in television work through "Thoughts of a Prairie Pastor" which airs on KXMC and KXMD television during the Sunday evening news. One of Mark's passions is to help people dream about mission and ministry while discern what God might be up to in through their lives.

The Narum family continues to live in Stanley.

Rev. Dr. Cam Harder

"Ecology from the Oil Patch Perspective: Theological Reflections on Interviews"

Rev. Dr. Cam Harder is Professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, SK.  He is also founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry (“CiRCLe M”), a charitable ecumenical non-profit that supports rural ministry and rural community development.  Dr. Harder was born and raised in Alberta, trained for ministry in Saskatchewan and did his doctoral work in Ontario.  He spent five years in urban ministry, twelve years as a town and country pastor, and an additional fifteen in research with rural people.  His doctoral research was on the church’s role in addressing the “shame” dynamic in farm bankruptcy.

Cam has taught in the area of science and theology and his 2011-12 research was on “Faith in the Oilpatch”—a series of interviews with people actively employed in the oilpatch, looking through their eyes at the intersection between faith and the energy industry. 

Cam has published a book through Alban titled Discovering the Other: Asset-based Approaches to Building Community Together” (2013) and has collaborated on the book “Eco-Lutheranism: Lutheran Perspectives on Ecology (2013) in which he shares some of the preliminary findings of his oilpatch research.

Cam is delighted to be married to Dorothy, with whom he shares three children and their partners, and one grandchild.

Bishop Susan Johnson

Banquet speaker

Bishop Johnson is active in the international Lutheran community. She serves as the vice president of the North American Region of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and on the LWF executive. She is committed to the work of ecumenism, and passionate about engaging the church in a call to spiritual discipleship. She has led the church to speak out in several areas of justice and is actively involved in the work of KAIROS.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, National Bishop Susan C. Johnson is the daughter of The Rev. Donald and Lois Johnson, and comes from a long line of pastors on both sides of her family.


2012: Doctorate of Divinity (jure dignitatis), Huron University, ON
1992: Masters of Divinity, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, ON
1981: Bachelor of Education, University of British Columbia, BC

Work History

2007 to present: National Bishop of the ELCIC
2007: Commissary, Eastern Synod of the ELCIC (April to September)
1994-2007: Assistant to the Bishop, Eastern Synod of the ELCIC
1992-1994: Pastor, Trinity, London ON
1981-1988: High School Music Teacher, Coquitlam School Board


Date – Tuesday, May 6, 9:00 a.m.
Cost – $25
Accommodation – available at Luther Residence (306-966-7889)

Parking – Parking is available in Lot 4 for $4 max per visit per day (you pay every time you leave that lot, so it's not a good place to stay if you plan to leave for lunch and breaks). Passes for Lot S (formerly known as Lot P) for the three days will be available for $20 from Debbie at Registration.