Faculty Focus: Rev. Timothy J. Swenson
Rev. Timothy J. Swenson was called as Chaplain to the fledgling Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) in 2012. For three years it had been web-casting classes to congregations as well as individual students. He had agreed to teach Lutheran worship in those early years, and continues to do so.
“Like as the hart desire the water brook, so longs my soul….”
The longing desire to convey the word of God as teacher and to receive that word of God as student is satisfied for Rev. Swenson through the ILT. No one may hide in a back row; Adobe Connect/Populi runs like Interactive Television and gets continual upgrades in order to deliver “the goods” at the very best standard. As Director of Educational Ministries, which is not the Graduate School portion of this diverse ILT, and as Director of Student and Religious Life (chaplaincy) he proclaims this “great matter of faith” and may be viewed in recorded chapel services by clicking on Chapel at the www.ilt.edu website. (Search the YouTube to find more.)
Graduations are planned within “home” congregations as each student achieves their desired goal. Rev. Swenson wrote a short Order of Graduation Service and travels to deliver the diploma with personal congratulations. Speaking God’s word, encouraging, and sharing the discovery of the discernment process while upholding the highest considerations of education possible is his penchant.
Pastoral care is a big part of Rev. Swenson’s day and night tasks. Counseling, advising and mentoring take place by phone and/or Skype. From this Pastoral Theology and Care comes suggestions to improve content (curriculum; programming) and delivery. Meetings with faculty and staff bring the reward of change and improvement.
The STM (Master of Sacred Theology) and DMin (Doctor of Ministry) degrees are being earned by Rev. Swenson, providing not just the educational goals for him, but also giving insight to the student-side of learning. Consequently new programs for teaching are considered by staff and faculty, with assured growth in performance for both teachers and students.
Improved performance translates into increased needs for capital in a growing Institute of Lutheran Theology. Rev. Swenson, adopted by a farming family at birth, reared with an understanding for the investment of capital to make a farm productive, and nurtured by baptism, regular worship, confirmation, years of service in pulpit supply, and ordained into public ministry of the Word in 1990, accepts financial responsibility to this well-organized and recently accredited ILT. He and his colleagues provide the Institute with capital support.
This particular Gospel has led Rev. Swenson to regularly write a devotional following the week by week lectionary. Known as ‘Table Talk’, it is free to individuals and congregations by registering for it on the website www.ilt.edu. Scripture, Lutheran “lore” and colorful farm experiences and stories make rich the reading and assimilation of ‘Table Talk’.
Writing is a big portion of Rev. Swenson’s life. After 20 years of serving as an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, ELCA, pastor he declared ‘in statu confessionis’ and wrote the book, ‘Stand and Confess’, to explain why. The desire to bring more discussion to the “third use of the law” drew him into assisting friends with the translation into English (including footnotes) of a German book by Laurie Haikola, titled ‘Uses of the Law’. As the Haikola translation prepares for publication, the friends are initiating the first level translation of a second theology book by the same author.
Claiming Rev. Swenson is his wife, Dale Ann; son Grant Swenson and grandsons Isaiah and Eric Swenson; daughter and son-in-law Kara and David Cooper.