Rooted and Reaching: Observing 500 Years of Lutheran Education

Augustana will observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation throughout 2017

Rooted in the Tradition of Lutheran Higher Education.

Reaching for New Understandings.

With Christians around the globe, Augustana University embraces the 500th anniversary of Luther’s 95 theses as occasion for claiming and strengthening our vocations in learning, reconciliation, and celebration. As inheritors of reform, we listen to our roots for the gracious call of God to claim the Gospel anew. As servants in higher education we reach out again

  • to be called, gathered and enlightened with neighbors near and far,
  • to both rediscover and extend freedom in Christ and service of neighbor, and
  • to continue the great legacies of learning and research, song and service that characterize Lutheran schools.

Augustana's observance of this important event will include a series of events that are free and open to the public. Join us for: 

“Education informed by the freedom of the Christian can be, by contrast, bold, open, multi-dimensional, dialogical and engaging. Education, informed by freedom, is not afraid of the largeness, the darkness, the inexplicable mystery of the world."

Author Tom Christenson, Capital University
"The Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education"

Guest Speakers, Lectures and Readings

  • Group reading and discussion of "The Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education"

    • Monthly discussions from February through May (last meeting: Tuesday, May 2)
    • 10-10:50 a.m., 2-in-1 Room, Morrison Commons

  • "500 Years of Reformation: So What" with Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend, chair of Lutheran Studies and director of the Wild Hope Center for Vocation, Pacific Lutheran University

    • Aug. 27-28
    • Dr. Torvend's visit to Augustana will feature:
      • A discussion for area clergy and laity
      • Workshops for Augustana faculty and staff
      • Luther Table Talk / Beer and Hymns, 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, at Fernson on 8th (201 N. Weber Ave., Sioux Falls)
        We begin with beer and hymns. Then the Rev. Dr. Samuel Torvend will guide stirring table discussions on "A Changing Church in a Changing World."

  •  “Reformation and Responsibility in the World” with Rev. Dr. Antje Jackelén, archbishop of Sweden

    • 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 29, in the Chapel of Reconciliation at Augustana University
    • Rev. Dr. Jackelén's visit to Augustana is being finalized now and will feature:
      • Events for students, faculty and staff
      • A public lecture that will include a short prayer service
    • Archbishop Jackelén hosted Pope Francis and leaders of the Lutheran World Federation on Oct. 31, 2016, in the Lund Cathedral.  

Musical Performances

  • HymnFest with Organist Mark Sedio, featuring The Augustana Choir

    • 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 8
    • Augustana's Chapel of Reconciliation
    • Sedio is cantor of Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Dr. Paul Nesheim will direct The Augustana Choir. 
  • Christmas Vespers featuring Augustana's four choirs and the orchestra
    • Dec. 1-3, Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls
    • Dec. 15, St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, Minnesota


  • "To Reform: Artists Respond to the Reformation," a gallery exhibition featuring various artists in all media contemplating what the verb 'reform' means to them and/or what the Reformation expresses today

"The Lutheran approach says that being right with God and having dignity are both founded on God’s evaluation, not ours. What results from being gifted is a trustworthy relationship, which militates against fear and anxiety. No matter how much we learn about the world, there is still more to learn, and that something more does not just add to our knowledge, it often changes the whole paradigm."

— Author Darrel Jodock, St. Olaf College
"The Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education"