David L. Lindberg, professor emeritus of world missions and world religions, dies

December 2, 2020

David L. Lindberg, professor emeritus of world missions and world religions and director of field education at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC), died Nov. 16. He was 90 years old. A memorial service will be held via Zoom Sat., Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time. For the link, please contact Rev. Paul Hegele, p.hegele@yahoo.com.

Lindberg served on the faculty from 1963 until his retirement in 1995 as associate professor of world missions and world religions. From 1969-95 he served as director of field education. He served as a missionary in Japan from 1955-63 for Augustana Lutheran Church in Yanai and Fukuyama. In retirement he took on the project of organizing the archives for LSTC and its predecessor schools.

“Two words come to mind associated with David Lindberg: versatility and helpfulness,” said longtime colleague Philip Hefner, professor emeritus of systematic theology and senior fellow of the Zygon Center for Religion and Science. “He served as missionary in the Far East, received his PhD in mission studies and taught courses in LSTC’s School of Missions. When the seminary’s needs changed, he taught ministerial courses and became director of the field work and intern programs. In this latter position especially, he was very hands-on. He challenged students and also comforted them, in order to help them become better pastors. David was always a helpful colleague. Not competitive or engrossed only in his own affairs, he was always ready to help with advice and action. He was a sharing person.”

Ralph Klein, Christ Seminary-Seminex Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, said, “Dave had a wonderful sense of calm in the Field Education Office. He was also highly involved in world mission and the search for justice and a strong advocate for Native Americans and Hispanics.”

Lindberg was a 1955 graduate of Augustana Lutheran Seminary, a predecessor school of LSTC and was ordained that year. He earned an MA and PhD at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He served on numerous boards including the Lutheran Welfare Services of Illinois and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, the John Brown Historical Society of Illinois, South Shore YMCA, Conference for Improved Muslim-Christian Relations, and the Urban Academy in Chicago. With Dr. Phyllis Anderson he designed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Horizon Internship Program.


Cheryl Hoth Assistant to the Academic Dean choth@lstc.edu

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