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ILT MCM Student, Samantha Carlson, Ordained

ILT MCM Student, Samantha Carlson, Ordained


Samantha Carlson, a student in the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT) Master of Chaplain Ministry (MCM) program, was ordained at Bethany Lutheran Church of rural Menahga, MN, on May 21, 2023, by Rev. Lenae C. Rasmussen, the Military Endorsing Agent for the Augsburg Lutheran Churches (ALC). Sam, as she prefers to be called, lives in rural Park Rapids, MN, with her husband, Joe Carlson, who works for the Skeeter Boat Company and serves as the Park Rapids Fire Chief. Sam is studying to become a chaplain in the Minnesota National Guard, a reserve unit of the United States Army.

Sam is a lifelong Lutheran who grew up in Wadena, MN, with her parents and three older brothers. After high school, she attended college and received a degree in Natural Resource Law Enforcement. She was a police officer in Ely, MN before becoming a Minnesota State Conservation Officer (yes, she was a Game Warden! and she kept her phenomenal working dog, Tuffy). After twenty-two years in law enforcement, Sam felt called by the Holy Spirit to become a military chaplain. She retired from law enforcement, enrolled in the MCM program at ILT, and started a non-profit organization (Mandatory Fun Outdoors, “MFO”) that takes veterans on expense-paid outdoor adventures.

Rev. CH (LTC) John H. G. Rasmussen, USA, (ret.), Sam’s homiletics professor and director of the MCM program, preached the ordination sermon on John 21:15-19 under the title “Feed My Sheep.” He also sang “Here I Am, Lord,” and the Lord’s Prayer acapella. Immediately following her ordination, Sam was installed as pastor of Bethany Luther by fellow LCMC pastors, Linda Nicklason (an ILT graduate) and Tim Balfanz, (an ILT doctoral student), from the neighboring Peace Lutheran Church in Nevis, MN.

Congratulations, Sam!


Upcoming Event:

Theologian in Residence Conference

You are invited to participate in Christ School of Theology’s
2023 Theologian in Residence Conference.

On June 12-16, 2023
at the Wilbert Square Event Center in Brookings, SD.

The theme for this year’s conference is focused on Theology and Science topics around Naturalism, Theism and Artificial Intelligence.

If you are interested in these topics and looking for an opportunity to work alongside Christ School of Theology faculty as you engage in your own research, you are encouraged to sign up and be a part of these scholarly/theological discussions. This will be a great opportunity to be a part of a week of fellowship and engagement with your peers, faculty, alumni, and board members.

To register, just click on the button below and fill out the form!

Register Today!

For more information, download the Program Brochure by clicking on the button below.

Download Program Brochure




We have a block of rooms set aside for conference participants at the Comfort Suites and have negotiated a special price of $91 per night. Conference participants may share rooms if you wish for even greater savings.

Don’t let cost be an obstacle to your being a part of this scholarly event. If you would like to sign up, but just don’t think you can afford it, go ahead and sign up, and let us know of your need by emailing David Patterson at We will do what we can to make sure you can come and lend your voice to this event.


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