Great Lakes Theological Academy 2013

Traverse City, MI

July 29 – August 2, 2013

Academy Faculty

peterwmarty3-1Peter W. Marty

is the senior pastor at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa, a 3,500-member congregation. He is a frequent preacher and speaker at colleges, churches, and conferences across the country, and the author of more than 100 articles on leadership, preaching, and parish renewal. His book, The Anatomy of Grace (Augsburg Fortress, 2008), is a treatise on living the Christian life well and a stirring reminder of why congregational life matters so significantly in America. From 2004-2009, Marty served as host of the national radio broadcast, Grace Matters, speaking to more than a million listeners through the program’s weekly airing. In 2010, the Acadamy of Parish Clergy named him "Parish Pastor of the Year," in recognition of his leadership and faithfulness in congregational development. During the week-long academy he will help us connect the embodied stories of our life with the great big story of Holy Scripture.

dudley kevin

Kevin Dudley

Kevin Dudley is affiliated professor of African-American studies at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the pastor at The Church at North Pointe, in north Columbus, Ohio. The author of Uncovering the Call to Ministry: Vocational Discernment and Authenticity, he holds both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Trinity, and a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership from Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, Ohio, where he currently serves as an associate professor of practical theology and associate vice president for strategic partnerships, responsible for the administration of its seminary presence in Detroit, Cleveland, and Columbus. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Dr. Dudley reminds us that life in our broken world is complicated, confusing and challenging, yet at every step of the journey believers are invited to live faithfully and fully in response to the grace and promise of God. Participants will explore the potential of faithful and fulfilled lives.

“You Are a Letter of Christ”

The invention of the printing press gave every butcher, baker, and candlestick-maker fresh access to scripture. It would only be a matter of time before the Bible would become a fixture in every household. This welcome development came with one complication. Once believers could purchase a Bible, little would stop them from treating the Word as a personal possession – a treasure to own. Domesticating the power of the Word grew attractive. Christians began to tame its meaning to fit their worldview. They confused its ink with the spirit of the living God. Paper replaced the human heart as the repository of faith.

One of the great challenges for faith today involves our need to figure out how to convert the written word back into a living word. God never intended anything except that it be living. The vapor of a baby’s breath in Bethlehem was the most dramatic clue that stone tablets wouldn’t suffice. How would stone communicate the pulse of God? Today, Christian people face a huge assignment. We must figure out thoughtful ways to get the words, images, and stories of Holy Scripture metabolized into the living tissue of our bodies. If we can scrape the words off the pages of scripture and butter knife them them into our bloodstream, bone marrow, and cell structure, we have a remarkable opportunity to transform the world. Without reclaiming the warmth of our bodies for faith, the biblical word will remain cold proposition. The stories of scripture will rest encased in black ink on thin white paper.

Enjoy five days of connecting the embodied stories of your life with the great big story of Holy Scripture. The only equipment needed for the journey is a rich imagination and the blessed company of your body.

This Academy is conducted in the resort area of Traverse City, Michigan, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 1050 Peninsula Drive. Phone: 231-947-9880,
Afternoons and evenings are free to enjoy the Traverse City area and the Film Festival.
The Academy has been scheduled to coincide with the Traverse City Film Festival so participants can attend select films. To learn more about the film festival go to

Cost to attend this year's academy 
$185 Full Program
$170 Early Bird Full Program (Register Before July 1)
$80 For accompanying spouse or Full-Time Students

*Lodging arrangements are the responsibility of the participant. Information on area lodging can be found at

Register Online

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Download the brochure

Monday, July 29
First Class Vision

Tuesday, July 30
Are You Hearing Me?

Wednesday, July 31
Incredible Touch      

Thursday, August 1
When Raw Wounds Become Permanent Scars

Friday, August 2
The Peculiar Elegance of Feet