Jacqueline Bussie, an award-winning author, professor, theologian and advocate for justice, will receive Wartburg College’s annual Graven Award on Monday, Oct. 24.


She will accept the award during Weekday Chapel at 10:15 a.m. in Wartburg Chapel. The public is invited.

As the executive director of the Collegeville (Minnesota) Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research, Bussie helps bring together people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to foster healing through the power of religious ideas, insight and practices.

“In her current position, she is serving as a leader who empowers writers to tell their stories and to write authentically at the intersection of faith and public life. Having witnessed the way that her writing empowers our students to live at their own intersections of faith and learning, I expect even more amazing things to come,” wrote Caryn Riswold, Wartburg’s Mike and Marge McCoy Family Chair in Lutheran Heritage and Mission.

Bussie also taught religion, theology and interfaith studies courses at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., where she served as the founding director of the Forum on Faith and Life.

She is regularly featured as a keynote speaker at synod assemblies and is often invited to speak for congregational book reads, community events on faith and life, and various other academic and professional gatherings. Her leadership roles within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America include time on the Theological Education Advisory Council and the Faculty Working Group on Lutheran Higher Education.

She also served on the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities’ committee of theologians who wrote “Rooted and Open,” the statement that united all NECU institutions with a shared mission that celebrates the schools’ Lutheran heritage while embracing the diversity on their campuses. Bussie also helped craft the ELCA’s Interreligious Policy Statement.

Her books include “Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the Rules,” which won the 2017 Gold Medal Illumination Award for Christian Living, and “Love Without Limits: Jesus’ Radical Vision for a Love with No Exceptions,” which has been recognized with the Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal International Book Award for Christian Living and the 2020 IAN Outstanding Religion Book of the Year Award.

“Dr. Bussie is a model of lay leadership in the Lutheran church tradition, and her extensive body of work exemplifies a strong sense of Christian calling,” Riswold said.

The Graven Award, now in its 33rd year, honors one “whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling and who is making a significant contribution to community, church and society.” It is named for the late Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven of Greene, whose lives reflected those same commitments.


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