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Conference Speakers

Opening Remarks: Welcome & Opening remarks: Sex, Shame and Faith

Who:
Dr. Marit A. Trelstad, PLU Chair of Lutheran Studies and Professor of Constructive and Lutheran Theologies at PLU

Bio: 
Marit A. Trelstad (PhD, Philosophy of Religion and Theology, Claremont Graduate University; MA, Systematic Theology, Luther Seminary) is the Pacific Lutheran University Chair of Lutheran Studies and Professor of Constructive and Lutheran Theologies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Her scholarly work combines feminist, process and Lutheran theologies and has focused on Christology, theological anthropology, the doctrine of God, and science and religion.  As a contributor and editor, she published Cross Examinations: Readings on the Meaning of the Cross Today (Fortress, 2006) and contributed chapters to Luther from the SubAltern – the Alternative Luther (Lexington, 2019, American Perspectives meet Scandinavian Creation Theology (Church of Sweden Research Department & Aarhus University, 2019), Theological and Ethical Perspectives on Climate Engineering, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Transformative Lutheran Theologies (Fortress, 2010), Lutherrenaissance: Past and Present (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2014), Theologies of Creation: Creatio Ex Nihilo and Its New Rivals (Routledge, August 2014) and Creating Women’s Theology:  A Movement Engaging Process Thought, (St. Louis:  Chalice, 2011).

Presentation Title: Gender Justice and Faith: 2019 ELCA Social Statement

Who:
Dr. Mary Streufert, Justice for Women Division, Bishop’s Office of the ELCA, Chicago, IL

Bio:
Mary J. Streufert serves as Director for Justice for Women in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She works to empower a variety of leaders to think and act theologically for intersectional gender justice. In collaboration with global scholars and activists in the Lutheran tradition, she serves as the North American regional coordinator for gender justice and women’s empowerment within the Lutheran World Federation. She earned a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University, an M.A. from Oregon State University, and a B.A. from Valparaiso University. Among chapters, articles, and an edited volume, her most recent essay is “A Word of the Word for our Hearts: Embracing Multiply-Gendered God-Language with Luther,” forthcoming in The Alternative Luther—Lutheran Theology from the Subaltern (fall 2019).

Mary J. Streufert

Presentation Title:Gender Justice and Faith: 2019 ELCA Social Statement”

Who:
Dr. Mary Lowe, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN

Bio:
Mary Elise Lowe is Associate Professor of Religion at Augsburg University. Her teaching and research focus on LGBTQI theologies and the theology of Martin Luther. Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, she holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union, a M.Div. from Luther Seminary, and a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University. Her most recent essay is “The Queer Body-Mind in Martin Luther’s Theology: From Subaltern Sodomite to Embodied Imago Dei”, forthcoming in The Alternative Luther – Lutheran Theology from the Subaltern (fall 2019).

Mary Lowe

Presentation Title: PLU Student and Staff Panel on Bolz-Weber’s book Shameless with responses by Pastor Jen Rude, PLU Campus Ministry

Who:
Rev. Jen Rude, University Pastor at Pacific Lutheran University

Bio: 
Jen Rude serves as University Pastor at PLU. Before coming to PLU,
Jen served as pastor in a Lutheran congregation, with an interfaith
nonprofit working with young people experiencing homelessness and
LGBTQ youth, and with a national organization providing support and
advocacy for LGBTQ Lutheran pastors and seminarians, all while living
in Chicago. Outside of work, Jen enjoys hiking, cooking, brewing
homemade kombucha, the Enneagram, reading about minimalism/simple
living, tending to her composting worms and exploring Tacoma and the
Pacific Northwest with her spouse Deb.

Panel Title:Why Sex? Engaging religion and spirituality with the Why’s and What For’s of sex”

Who:
Rabbi Bruce Kadden, Temple Beth El, Tacoma, Reli Dept lecturer at PLU

Bio:
Bruce Kadden is rabbi of Temple Beth El in Tacoma and Adjunct Professor in the Religion Department, part of the faculty of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Affiliate Chaplain at PLU. He and his wife, Barbara of blessed memory, are authors of three books in Jewish education. He earned a B.A. in Religious Studies at Stanford University and was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.

Rabbi Bruce Kadden

Panel Title:Why Sex? Engaging religion and spirituality with the Why’s and What For’s of sex”

Who:
Joanna Gregson, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, PLU

Joanna Gregson

Bio:
Dr. Gregson joined the Department of Sociology at PLU in 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Washington University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was appointed Provost in 2017.

Dr. Gregson teaches and conducts research in the areas of deviance, gender, and qualitative research methods. Over the span of her career, she has published on such topics as teenage mothers, incarcerated mothers, and divorced women. Since 2010 she has been conducting participant observation research with the authors of romance novels, examining the gendered aspects of the career and how women experience writing what has been described as the most popular, least respected literary genre.

As a secular humanist, the core elements of the Lutheran tradition resonate with Dr. Gregson. In particular, the ELCA commitments to protecting the dignity and human rights of all people, encouraging critical questioning, and embracing change align with her convictions.

Panel Title:Why Sex? Engaging religion and spirituality with the Why’s and What For’s of sex”

Who:
Mark Hernandez ’20, student, PLU

Bio:
Mark Hernandez is a senior from Las Vegas, Nevada and uses he/him or they/them pronouns. They are currently finishing up their degrees in Communication and Sociology with a concentration on Film and Media Studies. With a passion for equity and visual culture, they are well acquainted in issues of representation, visual rhetoric, and intersectionality in media. In their free time, they enjoy visiting local markets, eating different plant-based foods, and discussing issues of social and environmental justice. They are spiritual in various ways, and come from a Christian-based background prior to PLU.

Mark Hernandez

Panel Title:Why Sex? Engaging religion and spirituality with the Why’s and What For’s of sex”

Who:
Christa Slater ’20, student, PLU

Bio:
Christiana (Christa) Slater is a senior PLU student from Fresno, California. She is majoring in Religion and minoring in Hispanic Studies and Nonprofit Leadership. In her four years at PLU, Christa has been involved in Residential Life, the Community Garden, Associated Students of PLU, The University Congregation, and was inducted into the Pinnacle Society in Spring 2019. Christa is concerned with how Christian theology has and continues to inform politics and social justice in North and South America. Christa grew up in the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod and later the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. After her time at PLU, she hopes to go on to receive her master’s degree in divinity from a Lutheran seminary.

Christa Slater

Panel Title:Why Sex? Engaging religion and spirituality with the Why’s and What For’s of sex”

Who:
Rev. Dr. Eric D. Jackson, Sr., Senior Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Tacoma

Bio:
In 2003, Pastor Jackson earned a Master of Divinity degree (cum laude), with a concentration in Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Care and completed additional course work in Homiletics, at Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta.

Rev. Dr. Eric D. Jackson

Previously, in 1992, he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Louisiana and graduated from Peabody Magnet High School. Understanding the necessity of education and preparation, Pastor Jackson returned to the academy, and in May 2012, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree (summa cum laude) at the ITC, where he specialized in Pastoral Counseling. (Dissertation: “Bridging the Gap between Sunday in the Combat Zone and Sunday at Home: Case Study: The Intersection of War, PTSD, and Pastoral Care & Counseling for Soldiers and their Families”).

Additionally, he has spent over 30 years in the military – over 25 years as an Army Officer. From 2007 to 2008, Pastor Jackson completed a tour of duty in Iraq, where he ministered to hundreds of Soldiers on a weekly basis and trained over 50 ministers – two of which were licensed into the Gospel ministry. Upon completion of his tour, he became an Army Chaplain and continues to minister today. He has also served in this capacity in the local chapter of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, where he’s a Life Member. Likewise, he was certified by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police as a Police Chaplain.

Presentation title: “Gender, Sexuality, and the Construction of American Christianity: A Brief History”

Who:
Dr. Seth Dowland, Religion Department, Pacific Lutheran University

Bio:
Seth Dowland is associate professor of American religious history and chair of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Pacific Lutheran University, where he teaches courses on the history of Christianity and Islam in the United States, as well as seminars on the intersection of politics, gender, race, and American Christianity. His first book, Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), examines the rise of family values politics among conservative evangelicals in the U.S. from the 1970s to the 1990s. He is currently working on a book (under contract with Oxford University Press) that examines the history of white Christian masculinity in America. He has published many articles and book chapters on the history of evangelicalism, focused in particular on the intersection of religion, politics, gender, and sexuality.

Presentation Title:  “Shameless: A Sexual Reformation”

Who:
Nadia Bolz-Weber, Lutheran pastor and New York Times bestselling author

Bio:
Nadia Bolz-Weber first hit the New York Times list with her 2013 memoir—the bitingly honest and inspiring Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint followed by the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints in 2015. A former stand-up comic and a recovering alcoholic, Bolz-Weber is the founder and former pastor of a Lutheran congregation in Denver, House for All Sinners and Saints. She speaks at colleges and conferences around the globe.

Nadia Bolz-Weber