Assistant Professor of Worship
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Christian Scharen is assistant professor at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN., His main research and teaching interests center on worship and practical theology. A leading scholar working at the intersection of ethnography and theology, he lectures and writes in the areas of ministry, worship, ethics, ecclesiology, and popular culture. Scharen is Co-Director of Luther’s Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, an ecumenical national study of ministry.
He is the author of several books and scholarly articles, including in recent years Faith as a Way of Life: A Vision for Pastoral Leadership (Eerdmans 2008), Ethnography as Christian Theology and Ethics (Continuum 2011) and Broken Hallelujahs: Why Popular Music Matters to Those Seeking God (Brazos, 2011). Scharen’s research has been supported by the Louisville Institute, the Valparaiso Project on the Education and Formation of People in Faith, and the Lilly Endowment.
Prior to joining the faculty at Luther Seminary, he was Director of the Faith as a Way of Life Program at the Yale Center for Faith & Culture and Assistant Professor of Congregational Studies and Practical Theology (Adjunct) at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT (2004-2008). He earned a doctorate in Religion from Emory University (2001). He received an M.A. in Religion and Society from the Graduate Theological Union (1995) and an M.Div. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA. (1996).
Scharen is currently carrying out a longitudinal ethnographic study of pastors learning in practice. This project will issue in a number of scholarly and popular articles and books directed towards pastors and theological educators. He is also writing a book on the history of practical wisdom in relation to theology and ministry aimed at the reform of theological education.