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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Stewart Herman, 1909-2006

Stewart W. Herman, 96, author, former seminary president and Lutheran World Federation leader, died Feb. 16 in Greenport, N.Y., after a long illness.

“He was one of the monumental leaders of the mid-20th century,” said ELCA Secretary Lowell Almen, calling his life “fascinating.”

In the years leading up to World War II, Herman served as pastor of the American Church in Berlin. When Germany declared war on the U.S., he was interred at Bad Nauheim, Germany, from December 1941 to May 1942. After returning to the U.S., he served the Office of Strategic Services (a CIA predecessor) in Washington, D.C., and later London.

From 1945 to 1948 Herman led post-war refugee and reconstruction efforts for the World Council of Churches in Geneva. In 1948 he began directing refugee services for the newly organized LWF. In 1952 he accepted the call to coordinate Latin American work for the LWF and the National Lutheran Council.

Herman served as the first president of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago from 1964 to 1971, when he retired. During his tenure he guided campus building efforts, helped students and faculty from five predecessor seminaries adapt to a new location and curriculum, and used his international connections to form affiliations with seminaries in Tanzania and Argentina.

He earned degrees from the Lutheran Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.) and the University of Strasbourg (France). He did graduate work in Germany at the University of Göttingen and the University of Berlin.


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