At its commencement ceremony on May 20, the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago presented its Confessor of Christ Award to Ingrid Christiansen. The LSTC faculty honored Ms. Christiansen for her life's work on justice and service for marginalized people in society.
“Ingrid’s witness to her faith by ministering to those most often overlooked in our society is what we honor with this award,” said the Rev. Dr. Kathleen D. Billman, John H. Tietjen Professor of Pastoral Ministry: Pastoral Theology and chair of the LSTC Faculty Executive Committee. “Ingrid’s description of the value of theological education for undertaking her ministry is poignant and inspiring.”
In her work for justice, Christiansen has focused on women in sex work, poor families, and persons facing the death penalty. She also has been a supporter and champion of women at LSTC and of social justice in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American (ELCA). Since 2000, Christiansen has worked as a mitigation specialist in sentencing for capital (death penalty) cases. Of the many cases she has mitigated, the most famous was Leroy Orange in 2001, when Illinois abolished the death penalty thanks, in part, to the work of mitigators like her.
From 1987-1997, Christiansen served as director of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Urban Studies Program in Chicago and a faculty member of that program.
She served as board chair for the ELCA Division for Church in Society for eight years ending in 1999. In that capacity, she was instrumental in the merger of Lutheran General Hospital and the United Church of Christ Hospital to form Advocate Health Care. She also served on the national ELCA advisory board for Corporate Social Responsibility. From 1999-2001 she chaired the board at Genesis House, the largest social service agency in the U.S. for women working in prostitution. In 2013 Christiansen was awarded the Wheatridge Foundation's Seeds of Hope Award.
The Confessor of Christ Award
The Confessor of Christ Award originated at Christ Seminary-Seminex, a predecessor school of LSTC. When the Seminex faculty joined LSTC, the award transferred to this seminary. The Confessor of Christ award is given to “a Christian individual whose commitment to Christ Jesus and the Gospel manifests itself through extraordinary personal sacrifice for the sake of Jesus Christ and the Gospel or exemplary witness to Christ Jesus and the Gospel by selfless service to others.”
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The Lutheran School of Theology (LSTC) 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.