2020 (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
Theme: Living Breath of God: How Word Through Music Forms Us
James Abbington, “Lift Every Voice and Sing! African American Hymnody as Spiritual Formation”
Antonio Alonso, “In Endless Song!”
Karol Kimmell, “And A Little Child Shall Lead Them – Listening for the Voices of our Children in Word and Song”
Paul Westermeyer, Panel Discussion: “Formation in Church Music”

Theme: Table of Thanksgiving: How Eucharist Forms Us
Rev. Charles Arand, “Given For You…Shed For You…The Promise of the Gospel and the Lord’s Supper in the Lutheran Confessions”
Paul Bradshaw, Ph.D., “Sharing the Love, Feeding the Hungry”
M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D., “To Be the Body of Christ”
Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, “Eucharist among the Uncreators- Feeding Hope for a Faithful Future”

Theme: Washed in Water: How Baptism Forms Us
Rev.Dr. Jessica Krey Duckworth, “Being the Body of Christ”
Rev. Paul Hoffman, “God Forms Faith from Word and Water”
Rev. Dr. Maxwell Johnson, “From Font to Meal to Service and Unity”
Craig Satterlee, Ph.D., “How Baptism Doesn’t Form Us: Why We Seek Other Ways to Grow the Church”

Theme: Liturgy Serving The Life of the Church: How Worship Re-Forms Us
Father John F. Baldovin, S.J., “The 20th Century Reform of the Liturgy”
Lorraine Brugh, Ph.D., “Where do we go from here: Liturgical Theology in a Broken World?”
Edward Foley, Capuchin, “Reformed Worship in the Face of a Re-Forming Present”
Timo-Matti Haapiainen, “The Work for the People Reforming a People’s Church?”
I-TO LOH, “Soft the Master’s Love Song”
Timothy J. Wengert, “The 95 Theses As A Template for Lasting Liturgical Reform”

Theme: Bearing God’s Creative and Redeeming Word To All The World: Vocation and Worship
Delores Dufner, OSB , “Worship Towards Life In Abundance”
Rev. Rafael Malpica-Padilla, “From Origins to the Table: Word, Sacraments, and Mission”
Don Sailers, Ph.D., “Send Forth Your Spirit, and Renew The Face of the Earth”
Paul Westemeyer, Ph.D., “Beyond The Singing Starlight: The Church Musician’s Vocation in the Age of the Anthropocene”

Theme: Sing A New Song: Cosmos In Praise and Lament
Mary Louise Bringle, “Timely or Time-bound? A Challenge in Creating and Incorporating New Songs”
Larry Rasmussen, “Sin, Song and Sacrament in the Anthropocene”
Benjamin Stewart, “All Creatures Look to You For Food in Due Season: Prayers We Have in Common With Other Creatures”

Theme: The Word In Time: Lectionary, Proclamation, and Church Year
Jennifer Baker-Trinity, “Memory, Community, Prophecy: Musical Proclamation as the Body of Christ”
David Lose, “Josiah, the Lectionary, and the Dangers of Forgetting Our Story”
Martin Marty, “We Respond Although We Will Be Chngd: The Liturgical Word”
Gail Ramshaw, “Mystery Manifest: Christ in the Lectionary”

Theme: Embodiment: The Word Became Flesh
Kimberly Bracken Long, “The Worshiping Body”
Sara Miles, “To Trust the Incarnation”
John Nunes, “Kinesics: The Beat of the Body in the Rhythm of the Church Year”
Dr. Samuel Torvend, “Touch me and see: A resurrection of the body in the church?”

Theme: Bless Us and These Your Gifts: Practicing Life in the Promise of God
Rev.Dr. Gordon Lathrop, “Drawn by the Spirit of Christ into the Dialogue of Blessing”
Frederick Niedner, Ph.D., “Blessing – God’s Last Hope, and Ours”
Christian Scharen, Ph.D., “Blessed and Broken: Gay Marriage in Church and Society”
Martha Stortz, “Bodies of Blessing, Blessing of Bodies: Insights from a Biblical Practice”

Theme: The Psalms
Dr. Diane Jacobson, “The Matter fo Translating the Psalms”
Fr. Jan Michael Joncas, “Singing Christ in the Psalms: Christians appropriating Jewish Texts in Their Liturgical Music”
Dr. Dirk Lange, “Psalms: The Prayerbook in Liturgy and Life”
Frederick Niedner, Ph.D., “Sheer Grace: Our Dwelling Place in All Generations”

Theme: All of Us Go Down to the Dust: Worship Life at the Time of Death
Kathleen D. Billman, Ph.D., “The Dust in All Our Days: The Gift of Lament in Ordinary and Extraordinary Time”
Thoms Long, “Accompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral”
James Nieman, Ph.D. and Thomas Schattauer, Ph.D., “About Bodies and Christian Funerals”

Theme: The Three Days
Philip Horrigan, Mark Mummert, Gail Ramshaw and Benjamin Stewart
3 Panel Sessions which reflected on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil Liturgy

Theme: Liturgy And The Public Square
William T. Cavanaugh, “The Work of the People as Public Work: The Social Significance of Liturgy”
Gordon W. Lathrop, “Go In Peace. Remember the poor: the public implications of the eucharistic sending”
Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, “Liturgy and Love as Political-Ecological Virtue”

Theme: Healing In The Christian Assembly
Arthur W. Frank, “Generosity, Its Obstacles, and How Faith Can Help”
Christoffer Grundmann, “Healing, Faith, and Liturgy: a theological reflection upon the Church’s Ministry of healing in the context of Worship”
Lizette Larson-Miller, “Rituals of Care: A Look at the Church’s Ministry with the Sick”
Martin E. Marty, “Liturgy and Six ‘Re’s in Health and Healing”

Thomas Schattauer
John Bell
J. Glenn Murray

Mark Hanson
Gordon Lathrop
Kathleen Harmon
Timothy Wengert

Robert Rimbo
Richard Fabian, on the life and work of the assembly
Eileen Crowley, on art and media in worship

1963/1978 – 2003: Generation of Liturgical Renewal
Anscar Chupungco, survey of what we have learned about liturgical enculturation and how we can look ahead to another generation of liturgical renewal (Because of the Sars epidemic he was unable travel to the Institute – His paper was read by David Truemper)
Frank Senn, on the connections between the Roman Catholic and Lutheran liturgical anniversaries and their relevance for future worship planning
Lorraine Brugh, on the musical side of liturgical enculturation.



Liturgy to Life: Leading the Assembly
Gordon Lathrop, “Leaders of the Assembly Prepare”
Louise Williams, “Leaders Pray with the Assembly”
Virgil Funk, “Leading the Assembly is Pastoral”
Gabe Huck, “The Grace of Leading the Assembly”

In Many and Various Ways: Proclaiming the Gospel in the Assembly
Frederick A. Niedner, Jr., on Institute Theme
Mark Bangert, “Bach as Proclaimer of the Gospel”
Michael Cobbler, on African American Preaching
Gail Ramshaw, on Images in the Lectionary
Samuel Torvend, on Liturgical Space as Proclaimer
Robert Farrar Capon, on Imagery for Preaching

Sampling of themes and presenters during the 1980s and 90s include the following:

Worship, Culture, and Catholicity: Forming Christians
Paul R. Nelson, “Formed and Reformed: What God Effects through the Liturgical Assembly of Christians”
Arthur A. Just, Jr., “Hearers of the Word: Luke’s Gospel as Sacramental Formation for the Liturgical Community”
Maxwell E. Johnson, “Baptismal ‘Spirituality’ in the Early Church and Its Implications for the Church Today”
Dorothy C. Bass, “Speaking of Liturgy: Education and Formation through and for Worship”
Susan R. Briehl, “You Have to Wear Something”
Paul R. Nelson, “Transformed and Transforming: What God Effects through the Presence of Christians in the World”

Worship, Culture, and Catholicity: Remembering the Future
Marva Dawn, “Asking New and Old Questions As We Remember the Future”
Jurgen Moltmann, “What Are We Doing When We Pray?”
Eugene L. Brand, “Liturgy and Ecumenism: What Next?”
Dorothy C. Bass, “It’s about Time: Practices of Rest and Worship in Church and Culture”

Worship, Culture, and Catholicity: Raising the Questions
Marva Dawn, “Culture: Around, Against, In the Church’s Worship”
Mark P. Bangert, “Liturgical Traffic in Culture: Gridlock, Beginning Drivers, and DUI”
Vigen Guroian, “On Baptism and the Spirit: The Ethical Significance of the Marks of the Church:
Timothy Lull, “The Freedom of the Christian for Culture”
Marva Dawn, “Concluding Address: Culture and Worship, Once More”

Grace Upon Grace: Living Word
Gail Ramshaw, “The Language of the Psalter and Sunday Worship”
Ed Foley, “Sound Theology: The Risk of Audition”
Edgar Krentz, “Living Word: Sharper Than any Two-Edged Sword”
Louise Williams, “The Word Becomes Flesh”
Paul W.F. Harms, “What’s Hecuba to Him, or He to Hecuba?”

Grace Upon Grace: Living Water
Hans Boehringer, “Grace Upon Grace: Living Water”
Edgar Krentz, “Christianity’s Boundary Making Bath: The New Testament Meaning of Baptism, the Sacrament of Unity”
Joseph A. Edelheit, “A Midrash on Water”
Elaine Ramshaw, “Dying and Rising as we Grow Up: Lifelong Baptismal Formation”
Jan Michael Joncas, “The Melody of Living Water: Music Ministry and Holy Baptism”
Gordon Lathrop, “Doing the Holy Things: Baptism and Vocation”
Walter Huffman, “The Cost of Making Disciples”

Grace Upon Grace: Living Bread
David Power, “Table of Remembrance”
Edgar Krentz, “The Lord’s Banquet: Resources, Problems and Prospects from the New Testament”
Carl Schalk, “The Church Musician as Steward of the Mysteries”
Gabe Huck, “What Gets Changed? Sam Gets Changed?
Frank Senn, “The Witness of the Worshipping Community”

Like Wheat Arising Green: How the Church Grows and Thrives

Foundations: Renewing Parish Worship

With Hearts and Hands and Voices: Liturgy the Life of the Parish

Rise, Shine You People: Eastertide as Spiritual Formation

Sent Forth by God’s Blessing

Church and Ministry: Chosen Race, Royal Priesthood, Holy Nation, God’s Own People

What follows is an attempt at sketching the origins of the Institute, and laying out a bit of the history. I have not tried to put together an exhaustive and detailed account, but, rather, using materials available have painted in broad strokes the story of the Institute. I hope it is helpful for those who will be joining us for the “Think Tank” time in June.
-Gerald Spice

Founded in 1949, the Institute of Liturgical Studies at Valparaiso University was a continuation of the Liturgical Society of St. James which had been in existence from 1929 until 1947. The membership of the St. James Society included clergy and laity of the Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States. In 1925 Berthold von Schenk, Fred Lindemann, and other New York City area clergy began to meet informally to discuss liturgical matters. Lindemann was elected “abbot” but, according to von Schenk, “he never did a thing.” Four years later the group was officially organized at Saint John the Baptist Lutheran Church, Hoboken, New Jersey and von Schenk was elected chairman.

The society expressed itself through convocations, an irregular periodical called Pro Ecclesia Lutherana, an even more irregular Bulletin, and other occasional papers. Early on there was disagreement about the direction of the St. James Society characterized by the positions of von Schenk and Adolf Wismar who was at the time pastor of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saint Matthew, Manhattan. Disagreements came to a head in 1934 at the Convocation of the Society at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Manhattan, at which von Schenk had been in charge of the worship. Later Wismar read a “pointed” paper to the Executive Board reviewing the Convocation in which he stated

…certain items of practice in the Vespers Service of October seventeenth caused the Director to say we stand at the parting of the road. He brought his discussion to a conclusion by repeating the necessity of clinging to our liturgical ideals and of presenting them to our Lutheran brethren and the public with uttermost Christian care and a puncture-proof historical and academic authority. (Minutes of the Executive Board, November 1934)

Several months later von Schenk wrote to Theodore Graebner:

I have stept (sic) out of active work in the St. James Society for various reasons. Some of the men are not just in harmony with some of my supposed practices and methods. I still do not know that they object to, but they do object . . .
The other reason is that I am not interested in the liturgical movement from the archaic view. This is what they are drifting into at the present time . . . I am chiefly interested in the restoration of the sacramental life. The only way in which I can do this is to carry on here in my parish.

After resigning from the Board of Directors in 1935 von Schenk called the Society “ecclesiastical milliners.”

During the 1930s the Missouri Synod was at work producing The Lutheran Hymnal. Both Adolph Wismar and Carl Bergen served on the Liturgics Subcommittee. A Eucharistic prayer submitted by Wismar was given careful consideration, but it was not accepted, neither was his presentation on the nuptial Eucharist. Bergen’s suggestion for a Gregorian setting of the liturgy met the same fate. While the Liturgical Movement did not have a strong influence on the publication of the hymnal in 1941, nevertheless the book reflected the already accepted Common Service, and through the work on the hymnal dialog at a high administrative/bureaucratic level had been established.

Adolph Wismar, after twenty-seven years as pastor of Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church, New York City, retired in 1945 to enable the congregation to merge with Messiah Lutheran Church. He was then called to Valparaiso University to teach in the Department of Theology and began his teaching duties with the 1946-1947 academic year.

The last Convocation of the Liturgical Society of Saint James was held at Valparaiso University May 20-21, 1947. One incident, which Van C. Kussrow said was “characterized by considerable ferment,” showed the locus of a change in liturgical-ecclesiastical thought. The Synod’s principle had been that communion services were a congregational matter and, if celebrated at institutions like colleges and universities (or pastoral conferences and Synodical conventions), needed a congregation to “sponsor” the celebration. Kussrow commented:

There was to have been a Eucharist at the chapel which was the old auditorium, but at the last minute there could be no authorization obtained at the local parish and Dr. O.P. Kretzmann did not see fit, at the time, to override this decision. Consequently a “dry mass,” so to speak, was done which was somewhat difficult to justify one way or another.

The Society of Saint James, however, was officially opposed to “dry masses.” Hereafter, the Eucharist, when there was one, was celebrated without “authorization.”

The next spring president Kretzmann wrote a memo to professors Wismar, Theodore Hoelty-Nickel, Jaroslav Pelikan, James Savage, and M. Alfred Bichsel:

For some time there has been an insistent demand that the University arrange something in the field of liturgical studies during the summer session each year. A few days ago I received a communication from Pastor Lang of California in which he expressed the opinion that the University should take the lead in the study of liturgical history and practice. Since this is one of the most important areas in the life of the church, I feel that something definite should be done during the summer of 1949. May I therefore ask you, whose names appear on this letter, to serve as a Committee to submit plans for “An Institute of Liturgical Studies” to be conducted on our campus next summer. I think you will see the value of such an institute. I believe, too, that it can be of real value to the life of the Church.

Van C. Kussrow explained president Kretzmann’s intentions:

The Society of Saint James, however, was a very tight-knit group and Dr. Kretzmann realized that the Liturgical Movement was something the Church needed – certainly the Missouri Synod. Recognizing also the fact that in the Anglican Church the Movement had its beginnings in a university situation and that he felt somewhat akin to this and saw the University itself as being the ground out of which the Liturgical Movement could grow and flourish – a different type of relationship than it had as a sort of an ad hoc organization coming out of the obviously radical East. Therefore it was his idea that the Institute for Liturgical Studies should be formed at the University and the Society of Saint James be phased out or, rather, become the cornerstone for the Institute for Liturgical Studies while losing its own identity.

Bichsel’s notes from the planning meeting of March 1949 reveal how far the Institute had evolved from the thinking of the pre-War convocations of the Saint James Society with their emphasis on historical study to the Institute’s plans for a daily Eucharist, broader ecumenicity, and practical application (the latter a victory for the principles espoused by Berthold vonSchenk).

  1. The Eucharist was to be celebrated each day. (This never took place.)
  2. The conference should be open to all Lutherans.
  3. At President Kretzmann’s suggestion it was thought that it should not be entirely ecumenical this year yet.
  4. All discussion except those of a historical nature should be as practical as possible.

At this time all the equipment, supplies, and resources of the Society of St. James became a part of the Institute and a separate budget was established by the President.

The Institutes have, on occasion, moved off campus and, once, were held in conjunction with the University’s Church Music Seminar. This joint meeting August 27-30, 1957, at Fairleigh Dickenson University, Teaneck, New Jersey was coordinated with a meeting of the Lutheran World Federation in Minneapolis so that people could attend all three. This triple confluence met with mixed reviews. Bichsel explained:

There are some of us who felt that the experiment was not altogether successful because there seemed to be some opposition to liturgy on the part of some of the musicians and even some of the European theologians. The concurrent sessions seemed to have a divisive rather than unifying effect.

Herbert Lindemann called that specific Institute a “disaster” for the same reason. However, he also acknowledged that it was a turning point. The advent of “theologians,” especially in the University setting, did much to legitimize the Liturgical Movement and remove from it the feelings attached to the Saint James Society, whose convocations had become “purulent.” The theologians included members of the Valparaiso University faculty, the faculty of Concordia Seminary, and theologians and liturgical experts from other denominations such as John H. Miller (Notre Dame University) and Massey H. Shepherd, Jr. (Episcopalian).

During the years prior to the construction of the Chapel of the Resurrection in 1959, the old auditorium served as a chapel and left something to be desired as a facility for liturgical services with full ceremonial; hence other more suitable sites were chosen. But the decision to move the annual meeting to other sites was not made for this reason alone. President Kretzmann saw the changing location as an important extension of the University’s name and influence throughout the Lutheran Church. Likewise, his personal appearances and presentations at the Institute, participation in the services, and generous support were instrumental in building a solid foundation for the Institute within the University structure.

It should be observed that the participants of the ILS have for a long time felt a sense of ownership of the Institute and its programs. This was reflected in the fact that the chairman was for many years a non-University person (Lindemann), and in the feeling that was apparent to many that the Institute came to the University each year, rather than that the University staged the event for those who came. President Kretzmann understood this feeling and was able to work with it. It was with the “regularizing” of extracurricular organizations under the Huegli administration that the Institute began to lose its somewhat unique and independent identity, and to look more and more like a University operation.

The evolving dynamic of the Institutes included both an ecumenical and a Eucharistic dimension.

Van C. Kussrow notes:

  • The Institutes grew and spread. They were never just Missouri Synod; they became pan-Lutheran and became ecumenical in the sense that there were Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, and others who attended the Institutes as speakers and as participants.
  • The regular feature of the Institute became the celebration of Holy Communion in various forms from the simplest to the most splendid. The University, of course, after the chapel was developed, had facilities that could not be developed elsewhere. I suppose that the University is directly responsible to the Institute for the worship life of the whole University.

The traditional Missouri Synod barriers to Eucharistic participation were relaxed. Glenn C. Stone, ELCA pastor, recalled:

I attended in 1952, which was the fourth or fifth, maybe something like that, and at that time attendance was fifty or so, compared with the several hundred nowadays, but at that particular one, I would say, the majority were Missourians, a very large majority, but there were several non-Missourians present. And quite welcome! And no question asked, even then, in 1952, about someone like myself receiving the Eucharist at the Eucharistic celebration which is part of the Institute.

A selection of the Institute’s papers was published, not under Pro Ecclesia Lutherana as Herbert Lindemann suggests, but under the Institute’s own title.

Again, Van Kussrow reflects:

The Institutes were important and are important, I suppose, because they provide a focus for study, a gathering of like-minded individuals, an experimental ground, a high point for many of the men as far as worship opportunities and worship experiences are concerned . . . I think a great many of the developments in the architectural, music, ceremonial, theological, both in terms of systematic theology and practical theology, certainly in the light of the average parish, all of these have been influenced by the Institute of Liturgical Studies, whether they acknowledge it or not.

Specifically the Institutes helped set the devotional tone for the Valparaiso University campus. Valparaiso University became a “leaven” in the worship-life of the Missouri Synod. John Tietjen wrote about the effect of Valparaiso’s students:

In many parishes where its graduates go, uncomfortable questions will be asked about the schedule of communion, blunt things will be said about the music and there will be references to unfamiliar vestments. . . . There will be no sudden revolution, to be sure, but the growing percentage of college educated laity makes it practically inevitable that esthetic standards for Sunday morning will continue to be raised. The level of liturgics at Valpo makes it practically inevitable that local pastors will not be able to leave such interests to “those who go in for that sort of thing.”

The Liturgical Society of Saint James had evolved, by the mid-1960s, from a cluster of New York City area clergy meeting in a parsonage kitchen to a national, pan-Lutheran and ecumenical institute of scholars, pastors, students, and lay people whose efforts reached deep into the synod.

A listing of the presentations at the Institute reflects the evolution of liturgical interests and concerns:

O.P. Kretzmann, “Welcome”
Jarsolav Pelikan, “Form and Tradition in Worship”
Carl Bergen, “The Pastor’s Part in the Liturgy”
Adolph Wismar, “The Liturgy of the Eucharist”
M. Alfred Bichsel, “The Music of the Liturgy
(Published as First Valparaiso Liturgical Institute in 1950)

O.P. Kretzmann, “Opening Address”
Paul H.D. Lang, “The Liturgical Mission”
Robert V. Schnabel, “Training for Worship in Our Schools”
Walter E. Buszin, “Organ Music for the Liturgical Service”
Carl Bergen, “How to Organize and Maintain a Liturgical Choir”
(Published as The Second Institute of Liturgical Studies in 1951)

Paul Bunjes, “The Liturgical Approach to Music”
M. Alfred Bichsel, “The Liturgical Approach to Music”
Arthur Carl Piepkorn, “Traditionalism and Functionalism in the Liturgy”
Adolph Wismar, “The Church Year”

A.R. Kretzmann, “Liturgy, Unity, and the Christian Heritage”
Theodore Matson, “Liturgy, Unity, and the Common Life”
Millard Stiles, “Liturgy, Unity, and the Common Task”
Carlton Mall, “Liturgy, Unity, and the Eucharist”
Richard Jesse, “The Traditional Approach to Vestment”
O.T. McCree, “Worship and Stewardship”
Paul H.D. Lang, “The Liturgical Sermon”
(Published as The Fourth Institute of Liturgical Studies, 1952)

O.P. Kretzmann, “Opening Address”
Herbert Lindemann, “Sunday School as a Preparation for Adult Worship”
Adolph Wismar, “The Rite of Ordination”
Arthur Carl Piepkorn, “Lutheran Lenten Liturgies”
M. Alfred Bichsel, “A Philosophy of Church Music”
M. Alfred Bichsel, “Choral Technique for Plainsong and Polyphony”

Carl F. Weidmann, “The Rite of Confirmation”
Arthur Piepkorn, “A Discussion and Demonstration of the Office of Tenebrae and the Chaplet of Sorrows”
Panel (Jaroslav Pelikan, Adolph Wismar, Ernest Koenker, Van Kussrow, Kurt Grothier, Richard Jesse, Heinrich Fleischer, O.P. Kretzmann) “Objectives and Features of the Liturgical Movement”

O.P. Kretzmann, “Opening Address”
Adolph Wismar, “Problems Facing the Liturgical Movement”
Arthur Carl Piepkorn, “Recent Developments in non-Liturgical Churches”
Arthur Carl Piepkorn, “The Use of Vestments in the Church of the Augsburg Confession”
Harold W. Scheibert, “The New German Agenda”
M. Alfred Bichsel, “Contemporary Polyphony within the Framework of Gregorian”
Richard Scheimann, “The Consecration as Applied to Objects”
Adolph Wismar, “The Rite of Baptism”
Frank Stone, “A Proposed Society to Promote Liturgical Knowledge Among the Laity”
Panel (unidentified), “Can and Should the Liturgical Movement be Popularized?”

O.P. Kretzmann, “Opening Address”
Adolph Wismar, “The Scriptural Basis of the Communion Liturgy”
Carlton H. Mall, “The Office of the Churching of Women”
Armin C. Draegert, “A Course of Confirmation Instruction Based on the Common Service”
John S. Damm, “The Children’s Christmas Program”
M. Alfred Bichsel, “The Attaingnant Organ Books”
(Published as The Eighth Institute of Liturgical Studies, 1956)

Joint meeting with the Valparaiso Church Music Seminar, coordinated with the meeting of the Lutheran World Federation.

Richard Luecke, “The Water and the Word”
Robert Schultz, “Baptism and Justification”
Francis M. Donahue, “Baptism in the Orthodox Church, Theology and Ritual”
Edward Emmers, “The Baptismal Rite Reexamined”
Berthold von Schenk, “Baptismal Emphases in Our Liturgy”
Arthur Birkby, “The Chorale as a Source for the Liturgical Service”

Richard Jesse, “Gestures, Postures, and Positions – A Study of the Theology Underlying the Movement of the Liturgy”
Richard R. Caemmerer, Jr., “Visual Arts and the Liturgy”
Robert C. Schultz, “A Historical Survey of the Theology of Private Absolution”
Kenneth Korby, “A Suggested Program for the Reintroduction of Private Absolution in Our Parishes”
Frederick Norstad, “Helping People to Confess – The Relationship Between Counseling and Absolution”
*Raymond G. Moelter, “The Devotional Life of the Altar Guild and the Altar Guild Member”
*Cyril M. Wismar, “Maintaining High Standards in Our Altar Guilds”
*Presentations in conjunction with the Convention of the federation of Lutheran Altar Guilds

Martin L. Kretzmann, “Religious Meals in non-Christian Religions”
Horace Hummel, “The Old and New Testament Covenants”
C. U. Wolf, “The Context of the Eucharist in Contemporary Sacramental Meals”
Walter Wente, “Communion in the New Testament”
Robert C. Schultz, “Holy Communion since the Reformation”

In 1964 the Institute published a volume entitled Liturgy and Renewal that included the following articles:
Herbert Lindemann, “The Movement for Church Renewal: Retrospect and Prospect”
Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., “Liturgy and Renewal”
Philip Hefner, “The Church’s Liturgy and Theological Renewal”
Richard John Neuhaus, “Liturgy and Social Action”
John H. Tietjen, “Holy Communion: Goal or Means for Church Unity”

What has been written thus far is a summary of material included in Jeffrey J. Zetto’s doctoral dissertation: Aspects of Theology in the Liturgical Movement in the Lutheran Church –Missouri Synod, 1930-1960.

In 1966 the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod’s President, Oliver Harms, issued an invitation to the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America to participate in work leading to a common book of worship for all three Lutheran bodies. Even though the Service Book and Hymnal of the ALC and LCA had only been published in 1958, the Lutheran Church in America, as the heir of the Muhlenberg tradition, was committed to the ideal of one Lutheran worship book and one Lutheran church organization in North America; and this invitation from the LCMS was too good to pass up. The LCMS published the paperback Worship Supplement in 1969, the same year that the ILCW began publishing its own paperback Contemporary Worship series.

During these years the Institute of Liturgical Studies became a testing ground for the materials published by ILCW. Up until the 1970s much of the worship of the Institute took place in the Gloria Christi Chapel where, in addition to The Lutheran Hymnal, copies of The Hymnal 1940 were also in the hymnal holders on the backs of the chairs. Both liturgical music and hymnody from The Hymnal 1940 were used regularly. By the late 1960s the seating capacity of Gloria Christi was stretched to the limits.

In the 1960s the Institute was normally held prior to Lent on the Valparaiso campus (during the “gesima” weeks). There was also a branch of the Institute offering a close to duplicate agenda held annually in Minneapolis on the campus of Northwestern and Luther seminaries in the late fall. The fall meetings of the Institute were discontinued around 1970.

The publication of Lutheran Book of Worship in 1978 was celebrated at the Institute through conscious use of the various musical settings of the liturgy and the full use of the prayer offices.

After several disastrous snowstorms adversely impacted attendance at the Institute the decision was made to have the Institute at a time when the weather would not be a deterrent to attendance. In the late 80s(?) the Institute began to be held during the week of Easter 2.

Attendance figures for the Institute that I could find include the following years:

1974 200
1975 175
1976 325
1977 487
1978 365 (snowstorm)
1979 437

1990 307
1991 273
1992 102*
1993 107*
1994 253
1995 242
1996 190*
1997 285
1998 361
1999 348
2000 330
2001 339
2002 302

*These numbers have been constructed from computer records but seem suspect.

Directors of the Institute have been:
Adolph Wismar
Herbert Lindemann
Hans Boehringer
Daniel Brockup (until 1979)
David Truemper (until his death in 2004)
Lorraine Brugh (2005 – 2016)
Jennifer Baker-Trinity and Brian T. Johnson, Co-Directors, 2017 – current

Early on during the leadership of David Truemper the following statement of objectives was adopted by the Advisory Council (David Truemper, Cheryl Dieter, Brian Helge, Van Kussrow, Frederick Telschow) and presented to the President of the University:

A Statement of Objectives

The Valparaiso University Institute of Liturgical Studies shall:

  1. Provide a center for the responsible study of worship for the Lutheran Churches of North America. The ILS will be responsible to the Churches in the sense of upholding sound Lutheran principles, yet make use of the advantage of the University’s commitment to free inquiry.
  2. Plan and carry out the annual meeting of the Institute. The ILS will continue to focus its activity in the annual meeting; planning and staffing thereof must be at least as ample as heretofore.
  3. Resume the publications of the proceedings of the annual meeting of the ILS and begin the publication of such other items as are deemed worthy of release. One of the crying needs of the ILS, and one frequently expressed by the participants, is the publication of the proceedings as in former years. Since the presentations have been made by first-rate scholars and pastors, and since the contracts with the speakers have included the proviso that the Institute retains the publication rights for the essays, it is virtually imperative that the publication of the proceedings be resumed – both for the sake of the ILS and for the sake of the sponsoring University.
  4. Publish a regular newsletter to inform its constituency of activities throughout the year. Such a newsletter would foster the sense of “belonging” which participants often have, and it would give to the ILS both a continuing identity and a means of communicating with its “members.” In this way the ILS would serve as a center for the exchange of information about developments in the continuing liturgical renewal of the Lutheran Churches.
  5. Explore the feasibility of increased service to the Church by expanding operations to include (a) satellite meetings in other parts of the country, especially the two coasts, (b) a network of affiliated parishes in which responsible experimentation in worship and church music would be encouraged, and (c) a system of consultants to parishes and judicatories of the Lutheran Churches of North America in the area of worship and church music. Flexible and responsive to changing needs of the Churches, and to the maturing liturgical movement in American Lutheranism, the ILS would in these ways enhance its important role in that movement by making its work more readily available to the Church.


  1. A Director, appointed by the President of the University upon recommendation of the Advisory Council, shall oversee the work of the ILS and, in consultation with the Advisory Council, plan and carry out the work of the Institute.
  2. An Advisory Council of eight members (half of whom shall be non-University persons) shall assist the Director in policy and planning matters. It shall meet not less than three times per year. Members of the Advisory Council shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Director.
  3. A part-time secretary and an editor or editorial assistant shall complete the staff.
  4. The University is asked to provide office space for the work of the ILS and for records storage.
  5. The constituency shall have the opportunity to become members of the ILS for an annual fee of $10.00. Members would receive the newsletter and special rates on the publications of the Institute; by their membership they would contribute to the support of the Institute’s continuing program.
  6. While maintaining its self-consciously Lutheran stance and identity, the Institute shall establish links with other centers for liturgical renewal in the North American Churches, and with scholarly and professional societies in worship.
  7. The Institute shall be permitted to solicit funds from individuals and foundations for its ongoing work. Since it is unlikely that the Institute will become fully self-supporting in the immediate future, the University is encouraged to commit funds and resources to enable this expanded program to prove itself. Finally, some provision for accumulating funds and carrying over funds from one year to the next will be needed, if the expanded program and resumption of publication is to be realized.

The current mission statement of the Institute is:

The mission of the Institute of Liturgical Studies is to renew the church’s worship by nurturing and forming those who lead liturgy and song.

The Institute of Liturgical Studies nurtures:
Dedicated to being a regular source of renewal and re-creation, the Institute seeks, through worship, music, and study, to provide inspiration and serious reflection for those who serve in the church.

The Institute of Liturgical Studies forms:
Designed to engage in conversation about, and to explore new directions in worship, the Institute seeks to shape liturgists and musicians for the whole church.

While the Institute finds its historical roots in the Lutheran tradition, it embraces the wider evangelical catholic tradition and celebrates the heritage of the earliest Christian communities, the Reformation era, and the many and varied faith communities of the present day.