Bernhardson Distinguished Professor in Lutheran Studies Retiring

Posted on September 16th, 2010 by

The Drell and Adeline Bernhardson Distinguished Professor in Lutheran Studies Darrell Jodock.

The Reverend Dr. Darrell Jodock, professor of religion and the Drell and Adeline Bernhardson Distinguished Professor in Lutheran Studies, has announced that he will retire, effective August 31, 2011.

“Dr. Jodock has made an indelible mark on the College,” said Gustavus President Jack R. Ohle. “His leadership and scholarship have brought Gustavus closer to its living Lutheran heritage. Above and beyond his outstanding teaching, publishing, and speaking, he has developed visionary new programs, and he has deepened and extended our network of relationships throughout the wider Lutheran community.”

Jodock came to Gustavus in 1999 after teaching at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., from 1978 to 1999. Prior to 1978, Jodock taught for seven years at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. He also served for two years as a parish pastor on the staff of Grace Lutheran Church in Washington D.C.

The Bernhardson Distinguished Professorship, the first position of its type at Gustavus, was established over a decade ago through the inspired philanthropy of the Reverend Drell and Adeline Bernhardson. The Bernhardson Distinguished Professorship was created to strengthen the ties between Gustavus Adolphus College and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as well as to “deepen Martin Luther’s idea of vocation as a ‘Christian life style,’ encourage individuals to consider entering the Parish Ministry, and further study of Lutheran commitment to scholarship and inquiry.” A particular emphasis has been understanding what it means to be a Lutheran college.

Jodock has enriched the Gustavus community with his teaching and research in the areas of Lutheran studies, religion in American culture, the Holocaust, the history of Christian thought, and Jewish-Christian relations. In 2007, he was the recipient of Gustavus’s Covenant Award, which annually celebrates the efforts of individuals who have made distinctive contributions toward strengthening the partnership between the College and member congregations of the Gustavus Adolphus College Association of Congregations.

Jodock is the author of several books including Catholicism Contending with Modernity: Roman Catholic Modernism and Anti-Modernism in Historical Context; Ritschl in Retrospect: History, Community, and Science; The Church’s Bible: Its Contemporary Authority; and Covenantal Conversations: Christians in Dialogue with Jews and Judaism.

“I am grateful to have had these years at Gustavus. It has been a wonderful job and a wonderful place to work,” said Jodock. “I especially appreciate the Bernhardsons’ vision and support in establishing the Distinguished Chair position, and for their interest and engagement with me personally as I have sought to realize their hopes for what it could achieve.”

Jodock’s work has brought increased visibility to the College, which under his leadership has launched several signature programs, some of which have been subsequently emulated elsewhere. He served on the planning committee that developed the successful $2 million proposal to the Lilly Endowment to create the Center for Vocational Reflection at Gustavus. He helped start the Pastor to Pastor program, which brings clergy to campus three times each year for renewal and continuing education. He organized the Association of Teaching Theologians of the ELCA, a network of teachers of theology in colleges and seminaries. With colleagues, he laid the groundwork for the recently launched Center for Servant Leadership. He designed “Exploring Religious Questions,” a series of five-week non-credit courses with a substantial and growing following in the St. Peter community. For many years, Jodock has been a teacher in the Thrivent Fellows Program, where leaders of Lutheran organizations and institutions have an opportunity to explore their own vocation as leaders.

Jodock’s plans for retirement include continuing work as administrator of major grants from the John Templeton Foundation’s Science for Ministry Initiative awarded to the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research. He also serves as vice chair of the board of that institute. In addition, he will turn to several potential book projects, and continue to accept speaking engagements. He plans to continue with active service activities, including as chair of the Consultative Panel on Lutheran Jewish Relations for the ELCA and as a member of the planning committee for the ELCA’s annual Vocation of a Lutheran College Conference.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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