Each year the Institute names recipients of awards that recognize both established and emerging leaders—theologians, scholars, artists, musicians, and more—whose contributions inspire, nurture, and sustain the ongoing work of liturgical renewal.

Established by the Institute’s advisory council in 2009, the Christus Rex Award annually recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Lutheran liturgical scholarship and renewal. Past recipients of the Christus Rex Award include:

  • 2009 • Mark P. Bangert
  • 2010 • Philip Gehring
  • 2011 • George W. Hoyer
  • 2012 • Gordon W. Lathrop
  • 2013 • E. Louise Williams
  • 2014 • Carl Schalk
  • 2015 • Gail Ramshaw
  • 2016 • Paul Westermeyer
  • 2017 • Delores Dufner and Frank Senn
  • 2018 • Robert Buckley Farlee
  • 2019 • John August Swanson and Gertrud Mueller Nelson
  • 2020 • Frederick Niedner

About the Award

Since its founding in 1949, the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University has been a locus for liturgical renewal and innovation. Accordingly, the Institute strives to recognize and support new generations of leaders whose contributions enrich the study and practice of liturgy, assembly song, preaching, music, scholarship, and other endeavors that support the wider church.

BrughEstablished in recognition of Lorraine (Institute director, 2005–16) and Gary Brugh, the award’s purpose is twofold: (1) to honor and encourage individuals early in their vocation and (2) to acknowledge significant gifts already made by these individuals for the good of the whole church through such activities as creation of content—writings, music, art, presentations, and more—that, among other considerations: nurture relationships within communities; demonstrate an ongoing commitment to education; and balance received wisdom with new and creative expressions.

Intended for individuals in the first 10–15 years of their professional careers (regardless of age or previous occupations), the award is presented annually at the Institute of Liturgical Studies banquet. It is designed to celebrate gifts, sensibilities, and capabilities demonstrated through faithful leadership and outstanding contribution to the liturgical life of the church.

The award is accompanied by a stipend of $500.00 to be used by recipients for continuing education at their discretion. Past recipients of the Brugh Emerging Leader Award include:

  • 2016 Jennifer Baker Trinity
  • 2017 Ike Sturm
  • 2018 Liv Larson Andrews
  • 2019 Erik Christensen
  • 2020 Paul Damico-Carper


The Nomination Process

Nominations for the Brugh Emerging Leader Award may be submitted throughout the calendar year. Nominations received between January 1 and December 31 are considered for the following year. The award is presented to the recipient at the next Institute’s closing banquet, and the recipient is invited to return the following year to share their work in workshops, seminars, or liturgies. For example:

  • January 1–December 31, 2021: nominations for the 2022–23 Brugh Emerging Leader Award
  • Spring 2022: presentation of the 2022–23 award at the Institute’s closing banquet
  • Spring 2023: recipient of the 2022–23 award is a featured presenter at the Institute


Nomination Form

  • Click here to download and print a nomination form.
  • Click here for an electronic nomination form. Nominators who wish to view the form in advance may click the printable version above, type answers to questions in a separate document, then paste them into the electronic form.