Nearly seventy years after its founding, the Institute of Liturgical Studies serves as a vital source of renewal for the church’s liturgy and life. The Institute is entering a period of leadership with Co-Directors, one positioned at host Valparaiso University and one off-campus, with the hopes that the Institute will continue to be rooted both in high caliber scholarship and attentive to practical applications in parish settings.

As the Institute evolved from the previous St. James Society (begun in 1925), it has sought to be both firmly rooted in its Lutheran heritage and intentionally ecumenical. The church now remembers five hundred years since the Reformation and in observing this moment in history, the most recent meeting of the Institute included presenters from both Lutheran and Roman Catholic traditions. We look forward to the Institute continuing and broadening this ecumenical vision in years to come.

Romano Guardini wrote that, “The liturgy is a treasure-house of the thought of revelation.” This Institute for Liturgical studies has been one of the primary places where one collection of the corporate body of the church has accomplished sustained fruitful thought regarding this treasure-house of the liturgy.  When attendees come to the Institute, they leave saying they have been fed and nourished, inspired and renewed. Yet this renewal we treasure is not for ourselves alone, but so that we as leaders—pastors, musicians, teachers and students—are strengthened in service.

The intentional presence of students at the Institute, made possible by the Perella Scholarships keeps the Institute of Liturgical Studies looking forward. As Co-Directors, we look forward to the Institute continuing to be a place of encouragement and challenge, of reflection and conversation. We pray that our future work will further where lex orandi and lex credendi, the life of prayer and the life of believing continue to intersect, thrive, and flourish.

“The first and most important lesson which the liturgy has to teach is that the prayer of the corporate body must be sustained by thought…  The liturgy is a treasure-house of the thought of Revelation.” Romano Guardini, The Spirit of the Liturgy.

Brian T. Johnson and Chad Fothergill