Carlsons Accept Call to Be Co-Pastors in Kearney Nebraska

17-06 (Sunday, July 2, 2017) The Rev. Dr. Richard Carlson and the Rev. Dr. Michelle Carlson have announced that they have received and accepted calls to serve as co-pastors of First Lutheran Church in Kearney, NE. 

Richard Carlson, who was named to the inaugural faculty of United Lutheran Seminary, has taught New Testament and administered contextual education and post internship candidacy at Gettysburg Seminary since 1990, and for more than a decade as the Glatfelter Professor of Biblical Studies.  He served in parishes in north Minnesota from 1983 to 1990, after receiving degrees from Concordia College (BA), Wartburg Seminary (MDiv.), and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (Ph.D). Michelle Carlson, has served as pastor of Mt. Zion Haugh’s Lutheran Church in Keymar, MD since 2008. As an adjunct or visiting professor, she has taught at Gettysburg Seminary, Lancaster Seminary, Wesley Seminary and Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (Garrett Seminary).  She received her MDiv degree from Gettysburg in 2001 and PhD. In congregational studies from Garrett Seminary in Evanston, IL, in 2009. She has taught Christian education and directed Lifelong Learning for Gettysburg Seminary in recent years. 

“For over a quarter century Prof. Rick Carlson has “opened the Scriptures” for seminarians and so many others throughout the church,” said the Rev. Dr. Kristin Largen, Co-Dean of United Lutheran Seminary. “He has also played a key role in Gettysburg Seminary’s outstanding contextual education and leadership formation programs.  During the past decade Dr. Michelle Carlson has shared her wisdom teaching Christian education courses and directing Gettysburg’s lifelong learning programs for several years. And, Largen concluded, “both have been valuable colleagues to fellow members of the faculty.”

The Rev. Dr. Theresa F. Latini, President of United Lutheran Seminary, summed up the response of a grateful seminary community, saying “we express our profound gratitude to both Rick and Michelle Carlson for their outstanding contributions to seminary life and learning.” She continued, “That they now embrace co-pastoring a parish is but further evidence of their commitment to respond to God’s call and serve among the faithful in the ELCA’s Nebraska Synod.”

This call to serve as co-pastors will represent the first time that the two have worked directly together as ordained leaders in a church setting.  The Carlsons are expected to begin their ministry at First Lutheran Church in Kearney this coming August 1st.