Craig Mueller

Auxiliary professor in spiritual formation and administration

Headshot of Craig Mueller



  • Doctor of Ministry, Ecumenical Program through Catholic Theological Union and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Liturgical studies. May 2013. Thesis topic: Any Body There? Embodied Liturgy, Virtuality, and Human Authenticity.
  • Certificate in Spiritual Direction, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Bethesda, MD. 1997.
  • Master of Divinity, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. May 1988.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Music Education, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN. May 1982.

Ministerial Standing

Rostered minister in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Ordained August 12, 1988 at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio by the Northeastern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Ministry / Teaching Experience

  • Lead Pastor, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL. 1999 – present.
  • Auxiliary professor in spiritual formation and administration, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2016 – present.
  • Founder/Developer, Holy Trinity Lutheran in the Loop, Chicago, IL. 2013 – present.
  • Interim Associate Director of Spiritual Formation, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. 2008 – 2010.
  • Associate Pastor, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN. 1994 – 1999.
  • Associate Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Chicago, IL. 1988 – 1993.
  • Minister of Music and Education, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN. 1982 – 1984.


  • Alumni award for Excellence in Parish Ministry. Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2015.

Service to the Wider Church

  • Advisory Council, Institute for Liturgical Studies, 2020 – present.
  • Editorial Board. Let’s Talk. Living Theology in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod. 2014 – 2016.
  • Supervisor, Ministry in Context program, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 2000 – present. (50 students)
  • Teacher, Metropolitan Chicago Synod’s Diakonia lay education program, 2004 – 2007, 2013.
  • Member, editorial team, The Church’s Year (provisional resources leading to Evangelical Lutheran Worship), 2003 – 2005.
  • Metropolitan Chicago Synod Ecumenical Officer, 2006 – 2008. 
  • Member, Liturgical Conference, 2003 – 2007.

Conference and Workshop Leadership

  • Plenary panel moderator. Institute of Liturgical Studies, 2022. Gathering Rite, Gathering “Right”? The Challenge of Liturgy and Community in Digital Worlds. 
  • Workshop Leader, Natural Burial Conference, 2016. Body and Earth: Cremation and Funeral Practices in Local Congregations.
  • Speaker, Association for Lutheran Church Musicians Conference, 2013. Worship in a Wireless World: Virtual Realities and Redefining Community.
  • Speaker, Rocky Mountain Synod Leadership Conference, 2013. Worship and Spiritual Practices in a Virtual World. Nurturing Healthy Leaders.
  • Panelist, Congregations Project, Yale Institute for Sacred Music. 2013, 2015.
  • Chair, Worship Committee, Association for Lutheran Church Musicians Conference, 2009.
  • Workshop Leader, Institute of Liturgical Studies, Valparaiso University.
    2009 A Survival Guide for Those Leading the Three Days: Planning, Preparation and Pacing
  • 2004 Renewing Worship: The Christian Year
    2000 A Tension Span: Worship Committee Realities
  • Leadership Conference, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
    2009 The New Narrative: Finding Faith and Grace in Film – Panelist, discussion leader
    2001 Spiritual Formation in the Congregation – Workshop Leader
  • Workshop Leader, ELCA Worship Jubilee.
    2007 Planning Holy Communion: Is There a Right Way?
    2000 Hospitality in Worship
  • Chair, Worship Committee, National Workshop on Christian Unity, 2007.
  • Chaplain, Lutheran Summer Music, 1996, 1998, 2007, 2016.


  • Any Body There? Worship and Being Human in a Digital Age. (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2017).
  • “Are They Members?: Welcoming the Ambivalent,” Let’s Talk: Living Theology in the Metropolitan Chicago Synod (Autumn 2014).
  • “Tradition: Breathing New Life into Ancient Practices,” The Lutheran (April 2014).
  • “Why Worship Matters in the Digital Age,” Lutheran School of Theology Epistle Newsletter, September 2013.
  • “Vatican II and Lutheran Worship Today: A Personal Reflection,” Cross Accent: Journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Volume 21, Number 2 (2013).
  • Soli Deo Gloria: Choir Devotions for Year A (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2010).
  • “Star on a Stick: Celebrating Epiphany at Church and Home,” The Lutheran (January 2009).
  • Compiler, “Hymns for Worship” in Indexes to Evangelical Lutheran Worship and All Creation Sings (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2021). 
  • Thanksgiving at the Table (Eucharistic Prayer) III and IV in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006).
  • “Times Without Number: A Sermon Celebrating the Hymns of Paul Gerhardt,” Cross Accent: Journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, Volume 14, Number 3 (2008).
  • Editor, Little Churches: Ritual in the Home, Liturgy: Journal of the Liturgical Conference, Volume 21, Number 4 (2006).
  • “Dreams and Spiritual Direction” in David Wagner, ed., Spiritual Direction in Context (New York: Morehouse Publishing, 2006).
  • Preparing for the Assembly’s Worship: A Worship Handbook. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2002.
  • “Liturgy: A Gift of Connections,” Lutheran Woman Today (October 2001).
  • “Serving the Word” and “Ideas and Illustrations,” Homily Service, 1995 – 2008.
  • Contributor, Welcome Home: Scripture, Prayers, and Blessings for the Household. Year of Matthew, Year of Mark, Year of Luke. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1995 – 1997.
  • Articles, worship texts, prayers and gospel meditations, Sundays and Seasons (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1994 – present).
  • “Earthly Elements: The Sacraments as Celebrating Creation and Forming Vocation,” in Care of the Earth: An Environmental Resource Manual for Church Leaders, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, 1994.
  • Fling Wide the Doors: Advent/Christmastime Readings and Prayers. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1992.

Continuing Education

  • Pastoral Fellowship for Short-Term Residency, Collegeville Institute. Sabbatical, spring 2016.
  • Collegeville Institute Writing Workshop. Posts, Tweets, Blogs, and Faith: Writing for the Digital Public Square, 2014.
  • Congregation Project of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, 2011.
  • Doctor of Ministry classes in liturgies studies, 2010 – 2012.
  • Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program, grant recipient, 2007. Sabbatical Theme: A More Profound Alleluia: Ancient and Future. Included travel to Bach Festival in Leipzig, Germany and readings on the emerging church movement.
  • Festival of Homiletics, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2002.
  • Welcoming New Christians: An Ancient-Future Process for Making Disciples (ecumenical catechumenal training event). March 2002.
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