Christus Rex Award

The Christus Rex award annually recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to Lutheran liturgical scholarship and renewal.  The Institute's Advisory Council began this award in 2009. 

Previous recipients include Rev. Dr. Mark P. Bangert (2009), Dr. Philip Gehring (2010), Rev. George W. Hoyer (2011), Rev. Dr. Gordon W. Lathrop (2012), Deaconess E. Louise Williams (2013), and Dr. Carl Schalk (2014).

The 2015 reipient is Gail Ramshaw who received the award on April 15, 2015 at the closing banquet of the gathering of the Institute of Liturgical Studies.

Gail Ramshaw

Gail Ramshaw is a scholar of liturgical language.  A graduate of Valparaiso University (BA), Sarah Lawrence College (MA), the University of Wisconsin - Madison (PhD) and Union Theological Seminary (MDiv), she lives outside of Washington, D.C.  A past president of the North American Academy of Liturgy, a recipient of the NAAL Berakah award, and a member of Societas Liturgica, she is a Professor Emerita of Religion at LaSalle University. 

Ramshaw has published two textbooks, What Is Christianity? An Introduction to the Christian Religion (Fortress, 2013) and Christian Worship: 100,000 Sundays of Symbols and Rituals (Fortress, 2009).  Her books about the meaning of liturgical language include A Three-Year Banquet: The Lectionary for the Assembly (Augsburg Fortress 2004); The Three-Day Feast: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter (Augsburg Fortress 2004); Threasures Old and New: Images in the Lectionary (Fortress 2002) and several others.


The 2014 reipient is Carl Schalk received the award on April 30, 2014 at the closing banquet of the gathering of the Institute of Liturgical Studies.  Dr. Carl Schalk is a noted Lutheran Composer, author and lecturer.  Between 1965 and 2004 he taught church music at Concordia University Chicago.



The 2013 recipient is Deaconess E. Louise Williams received the award on April 10, 2013 at the closing banquet of the gathering of the Institute of Liturgical Studies.

 Louise Williams

An article detailing Louise Williams' life of service can be read here:


The 2012 recipient is Rev. Dr. Gordon W. Lathrop.  Dr. Lathrop received the award on April 18, 2012 at the closing banquet of the gathering of the Institute of Liturgical Studies.

 Gordon Lathrop

Gordon W. Lathrop is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who has recently been Visiting Professor of Liturgical Studies in Yale Divinity School and is Professor of Liturgy Emeritus at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.  He lives in Philadelphia with his wife.  He is author of several books, including Holy Things: A Liturgical Theology (Fortress 1993), Holy People: A Liturgical Ecclesiology (Fortress 1999), Holy Ground: A Liturgical Cosmology (Fortress 2003), The Pastor: A Spirituality (Fortress 2006), and The Four Gospels on Sunday: The New Testament and the Reform of Christian Worship (Fortress 2012).


In March 2011, the Christus Rex award was presented to George Hoyer in a ceremony at his home.  Bishop Margaret Payne, Rev. Susan Nachtigal, Rev. Christopher Hoyer, Rev. Peter Hoyer, and other members of the New England synod participated in the presentation.

Please follow this link to "Ode to Blessed George," written by Robert Bergt
in honor of Rev. George W. Hoyer, recipient of the 2011 Christus Rex Award.

George Hoyer

The Rev. George W. Hoyer displays his Christus Rex Award.

From the New England Synod website:

Hoyer Receives Prestigious Christus Rex Award From Valpo

Colleagues of the Rev. George W. Hoyer, 91, a retired seminary professor, gathered at his home in Holden, Mass., in March as Bishop Margaret G. Payne of the New England Synod presented him with the prestigious Christus Rex Award. The award is given annually by the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Ind., to celebrate an individual’s life work of contributing to liturgical scholarship and renewal in North America.  The presentation was accompanied by prayer and hymns.

Among those honoring Hoyer were his two sons, the Rev. Peter S. Hoyer (retired) of Bradley Beach, N.J., and Pr. Christopher George Hoyer, St. John LC, Sudbury, Mass., as well as Pr. Christopher's wife, Doris Hoyer. 

Sons Peter and Christopher reflected, “It has been a particular blessing to know George both as a father ‘in the faith’ as well as a father ‘in fact.’ He taught us not only to preach and to pray, but also much of what we know about parenting as well.”

Prof. Hoyer, who was chosen last fall by the Institute of Liturgical Studies Advisory Council to receive the award, is unable to attend the official ceremony in early May due to ill health. Bishop Payne said she felt honored “to be able to present the award and to have been blessed by George’s presence in the New England Synod.”

Prof. Hoyer, a native of Denver, Colo., received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., in 1943. He served as pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, from 1943-1947 and at Calvary Lutheran Church, Silver Spring, Md., from 1947-1954. In 1954, he was called back to Concordia Seminary to serve as professor of homiletics. He also taught liturgics and served as dean of the chapel. He continued in these capacities both at Christ Seminary – Seminex, St. Louis, and at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), Berkeley, Calif. Upon retiring in 1989, PLTS named Prof. Hoyer “Christ Seminary – Seminex professor emeritus of homiletics.”

 He moved to Massachusetts in 1998 and joined Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, Mass.

 (Photo by the Rev. John H. Nieman)


George Hoyer

Bishop Margaret G. Payne of the New England Synod presents the Christus Rex Award to the Rev. George W. Hoyer in March at his home in Holden, Mass. In the background are Prof. Hoyer’s daughter-in-law and two sons – left to right, Mrs. Doris Hoyer of Sudbury, Mass.; Pr. Christopher George Hoyer, St. John Lutheran Church, Sudbury, and the Rev. Peter S. Hoyer (retired) of Bradley Beach, N.J.