Martha Stortz

  • Professor of Historical Theology and Ethics
  • GTU Core Doctoral Faculty
  • (510) 559-2732

The disciplines of history and ethics might seem an odd portfolio for one professor, but I’ve always been fascinated with how people conduct their lives; what we believe in has the ability to form, inform, transform, and malform how we conduct our lives. That conviction unites the disciplines.


BA, Carleton College; MA, PhD, University of Chicago

Brief Professional History

PLTS, 1981–

Select Special Service

Member and Convener, GTU Core Doctoral Faculty; Editorial Board, Theological Education; LCA delegate and Bible study leader, Lutheran World Federation Seventh Assembly, Budapest, 1984; Advisory Committee, LCA Study on Issues Concerning Homosexuality, 1986; Editorial Board, Dialog; Advisory Council, Word and World; Member, ELCA Task Force on Theological Education, 1989–1995; ELCA representative, International Consultation of Lutheran Women Theologians, Helsinki, 1991; Lecturer, Yost Lectures, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, 1996; Lecturer, ELCA Hein-Fry Lectures, 1998; GTU Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, 1998

Select Publications


  • “The Beatitudes: Compass for Christian Discipleship” (nine month series in Lutheran Woman Today starting in September, 2008), book in progress.
  • “From the Fruits of the Spirit” (twelve-month series in The Lutheran, January-December, 2006:
  • “School for Hope: A Memoir of Dying,” (, book in progress.
  • “Discovering the Bible,” in Augsburg Fortress Adult Faith Practices course, akaloo (forthcoming, 2007).
  • “The Practice of Forgiveness: Disciples as Forgiven Forgivers,” in Word & World 27:1 (Winter 2007).
  • “Purpose-Driven or Spirit-Led: A Spirituality of Work or the Work of the Spirit?” in Word & World 25:4 (Fall 2005).
  • “Naming and Reclaiming Power,” in Musimbi R.A. Kanyoro (ed.), In Search of a Round Table (WCC Publications, 1997).
  • With Larry Rasmussen, “A Coast-to-Coast Conversation on Sexuality,” in Charles P. Lutz (ed.), A Reforming Church...Gift and Task (Kirk House Publications, 1995).
  • “A Samaritan, a Mother-in-law, and an Addict: Insights on Vision and Attention,” in Richard Valantasis (ed.), The Subjective Eye: Essays in Culture, Religion, and Gender in Honor of Margaret R. Miles (Eugene OR: Wipf & Stock, 2006).
  • “Considering the Gospel in a Culture of Fear,” “The Passion According to Mel,” “Whither Childhood? Conversations on Moral Accountability in Children,” “Rumors of War: The Need for a Lutheran Voice,” “Gathered and Scattered: Worship and Service,” “Why Bonhoeffer? And Why Now?” “Solus Christus or Sola Viscera? Scrutinizing Lutheran Appeals to Conscience,” “Thinking the Unthinkable: Just Deliberation on War,” “Casualties of the Iraq War,” Review of Gilbert Meilaender’s Bioethics: A Primer,” “Imagining a Conversation between Brother Martin and the Angelic Doctor,” “The Top Five Things I Miss When Lutherans Talk about Sex.” In the Journal Of Lutheran Ethics (
  • “Rethinking Christian Sexuality: Baptized into the Body of Christ,” in James M. Childs Jr., Faithful Conversations (Fortress, 2003).
  • “Practicing Christians,” in Karen L. Bloomquist and John R. Stumme (eds.), The Promise of Lutheran Ethics (Fortress, 1998).
  • “Discerning the Spirits, Practicing the Faith,” GTU Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, 1998.
  • “‘Where or When Was Your Servant Innocent?’: Augustine on Childhood,” in Marcia J. Bunge (ed.), The Child in Christian Thought (Eerdmans, 2001).
  • Pastor Power, 1993; Contributor, A Reforming Church ... Gift and Task, ed. Charles P. Lutz, 1995
  • A World According to God, 2004


  • Covenant for a New Creation: Ethics, Religion, and Public Policy, eds. Carol S. Robb and Carl J. Casebolt, 1991
  • In Search of a Round Table: Gender Theology and Church Leadership, ed. Musimbi R.A. Kanyoro, 1997
  • The Promise of Lutheran Ethics, eds. Karen Bloomquist and John Stumme, 1998
  • The Child in Christian Thought, ed. Marcia J. Bunge, 2001
  • Faithful Conversations, ed. James M. Childs, 2003