Kilian Schrenk: A voyage to study, learn and experience American Lutheranism
Kilian Schrenk, 23, came from Wurttemberg, Germany to Chicago for a semester as an exchange student at LSTC to learn and experience Lutheran theology in contexts.
Schrenk first had dreams of becoming a medical doctor, but he was also influenced by his family’s Christian faith. Schrenk was baptized and confirmed in the Südgemeinde in his hometown of Heilbronn.
While he was studying medicine, he realized it was not his preferred area of vocation and he began searching for something that felt truer for him. He was more attracted to the theology, life and work of his church. He has decided to study theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany, in a program comparable to an MDiv degree. Since Germany is the birthplace of Lutheranism and Reformation, Schrenk is curious to contextualize Lutheran theology, its presence and its relevance to life in different contexts.
Significantly, he developed an interest in knowing how Lutheranism functions and contributes to the local communities in cosmopolitan contexts of the U.S., for instance, where a variety of nationalities and races live together.
“There is culture and a different background in Chicago,” he said. “It has long been my dream to spend a semester in the U.S. This different background includes key issues like racism, sexism and more. In this respect, I certainly have so much to learn, understand and to work on.”
In Chicago, he wants to learn about the impact and relevance of Reformation Lutheran theology among the American churches. He believes what he’s learning at LSTC is different, creative, contextual, appropriate and unique with academic accreditations and recognitions. After only a month, he believes LSTC helps students to “experience theology.”
Like other international students who have inspired LSTC to inspire others, Schrenk is on a voyage to do the same.
(Published in the Fall 2021 issue of the Epistle magazine, written by Christopher Rajkumar)