Herbert W. Chilstrom

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Bishop
Herbert W. Chilstrom
Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Elected April 1987
Installed Jan. 1, 1988
Term ended October 1995
Successor H. George Anderson
Personal details
Birth name Herbert W. Chilstrom
Born (1931-10-18) 18 October 1931 (age 82)
Litchfield, Minnesota
Denomination Lutheranism
Residence Saint Peter, Minnesota
Spouse Corinne Hanson
Alma mater Augsburg College, Princeton Theological Seminary, New York University

Herbert W. Chilstrom (born October 18, 1931) is an American religious leader, who served as the first Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He was re-elected to a four-year term at the 1991 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Florida. He is the former bishop of the Minnesota Synod of the Lutheran Church in America, one of the three church bodies which merged to form the ELCA on Jan. 1, 1988.

Education and Career[edit]

He graduated in 1954 from Augsburg College, Minneapolis, with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology. He went on to receive a bachelor of divinity from Augustana Theological Seminary (later merged with other seminaries to form the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago) in 1958. In 1966, he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a master of theology. He earned a Doctor of Education from New York University and received honorary doctorates from Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1979 and Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, in 1987.

Chilstrom served as pastor of the Faith Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, and Augustana Lutheran Church in Elizabeth, Minnesota In 1962 he became a professor of religion and academic dean at Luther College, Teaneck, New Jersey. He held that position for eight years before accepting a call to be senior pastor of First Lutheran Church, St. Peter, Minnesota, in 1970. In 1976, Chilstrom became bishop of the Minnesota Synod.

Chilstrom was the first ELCA bishop, elected to his post at the church's constituting convention in April 1987. He was re-elected to a four-year term at the 1991 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Florida. Chilstrom was the church's chief ecumenical officer and represented the ELCA in several national and international organizations. He served as a vice president of the Lutheran World Federation based in Geneva. He headed a committee for the National Council of Churches who explored special relationships between the NCC, Roman Catholics and evangelicals.

Personal[edit]

He was born in Litchfield, Minnesota on October 18, 1931. He is married to Corinne Hanson, a retired pastor. He now resides in Saint Peter, Minnesota and Green Valley, Arizona.

Publications[edit]

With Lowell O. Erdahl, he is the author of Sexual Fulfillment: For Single and Married, Straight and Gay, Young and Old. His other works include the book Hebrews -- A New and Better Way. He has been a contributor to Faith and Ferment, Augsburg Sermons, and Lutheran Book of Worship Occasional Service Book.

References[edit]

  • Gross, Ernie. This Day In Religion. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc, 1990. ISBN 1-55570-045-4.
Preceded by
Office created
Presiding Bishop
of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

1988–1995
Succeeded by
H. George Anderson