Kirsi I. Stjerna

Kirsi I. Stjerna, Ph.D.

First Lutheran, Los Angeles/Southwest California Synod Professor of Lutheran History and Theology
(510) 559-2760
PLTS Founders' Hall

Office Hours: Thursdays 9am-1pm and by appointment



First Lutheran, Los Angeles/Southwest California Synod Professor of Lutheran History and Theology, Chair, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley.  2015-ongoing.

Core Doctoral Faculty, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley: Theology, Spirituality, History. 2016-ongoing.

Docent, Theological Faculty, University of Helsinki, Finland: History of Christianity and Gender; Theology and Luther.  2014-ongoing.

An ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. 1989-ongoing.



Professor of Reformation Church History, with tenure, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, PA. 2010-2015. Associate Professor of Reformation Church History, LTSG, with tenure. 2006-2010. Assistant Professor of Reformation Church History, LTSG. 2000-2006.

Associate Director for Theological Studies, Division for Ministry, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 1999-2000.



Martin Luther and the Global Lutheran Traditions Group of the American Academy of Religion , Co-Chairing with Vitor Westhelle. 2007-ongoing.

Lutheran Quarterly. 2015-ongoing.

Dialog: A Journal of Theology. 2013-ongoing.

FSCIRE = Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXI. 2015-ongoing.

The Desire for Christian Unity, Italy. Fscire. 2017-ongoing.

The Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Rowman and Littlefield. 2015-2017.

Luther: A Christian and His Legacy, 1517-2017. UTET, DeGruyter. 2015-2017.

The Annotated Luther. Co-General Editor with Hans Hillerbrand and Timothy Wengert. 2015-2017.


She is married to Rev. Dr.  Brooks Schramm, Professor of Biblical Studies, Kraft Chair, at LTSG. They have collaborated on book projects, presentations, and courses on Luther's theology and biblical interpretation. They will co-teach a faculty seminar on "Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish people" at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in summer 2017.


Boston University Graduate School, Division of Religious and Theological Studies: Doctor of Philosophy: Religious and Theological Studies, 1995. 

University of Helsinki, Department of Theological Studies: Master of Theology: Systematic Theology and Ecumenics,  1988 (with “laudatur”). 

Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Department of Theological Studies: Visiting scholar: Ecumenical, Feminist and Spiritual Theology, Fall 1989. 

Lyseon Lukio College/High School, Mikkeli, Finland: Equivalent of Bachelor of Arts Degree (with “laudatur”), 1982.

University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medical Studies: Studies in Psychiatry and Clinical Psychotherapy Training, 1988-1989.

Languages: English and Finnish. Swedish, Italian and German. Latin. Studies in Greek and Hebrew. Beginning studies in Spanish.

Music: Piano and voice.



Fairfield University, Center for Judaic Studies/Center for Catholic Studies, Connecticut. October 25, 2017. Keynote: "Luther's Christ was a Jew - Implications."

Huffington Ecumenical Institute (HEO) of Loyola Marymount University. "The Reformation and Its Legacy in the Churches: An Ecumenical Conversation." Los Angeles, CA. 10/21, 2017. A Panel.

Association for Lutheran College Professors, Thousand Oaks, Ca. September 29, 2017. Keynote lecture: "Reformation and Education - Then and Now."

International Luther Congress, Wittenberg, Germany. July 31 - August 6, 2017. Seminar leader with Else Marie Wiberg Pedersen, "Luther on Women/Luther and Women".

Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum, D.C. June 19-23, 2017. Teaching a faculty seminar on "Luther and the Jews", with Brooks Schramm.

Society of the Holy Trinity, Spring Retreat, St. Benedict, Oregon, 5/24-25, 2017. Presenting: "Mothers of Faith, Women and the Reformation."

Concordia Seminary and McGill University. May 8-9. 2017. "Reformation and the City." Presenting: “The Reformation Call for Freedom – and Freedom in 2017.”

Theological Seminary Saskatoon Annual Study Conference. Saskatoon, Canada. May 2-4, 2017. Three lectures: "Dashed Hopes and Dark Sides of Luther's Reformation."

Pacific Coast Theological Society, February 21-22, 2017, Berkeley, CA. A public lecture: "Luther's Theses and Freedom Theology."

Faith Lutheran Church, Castro Valley, CA, 4/26, 2017. Presenting: "Women and the Reformation."

Concordia Lutheran University, Austin, TX, 4/10, 2017. Presenting: "Women and the Reformation."

Westar Institute of Theology, St. Rosa, CA, 3/22, 2017. Presenting, two lectures: "Luther for the Future." "Gender and the Reformation."

Luther and the Subaltern. A study symposium, PLTS, Berkeley, March 9-11, 2017. Co-hosting and presenting: "Gender and Luther."

Fartsrup-Mortensen Lectures, Solvang, CA, 2/24-26, 2017. Presenting: "Luther for Today, Freedom Theology," "Luther's Core Theological Insight - Dancing with Law and Gospel," "Luther and the Reformation Mothers", and panels.

Nordic Spirit Symposium, Thousand Oaks, California, February 10-11, 2017. "All Power is of God. Reform in Sweden and Finland". Presenting: "Reformation in Finland: Commitments to Education, Welfare, and Culture".

Stanford Primary Source Symposium. November 10-13, 2016. Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Stanford University, CA. "Reformation Theology in the Hands of Argula von Grumbach."

Ritualizing Environmental Change, Re-thinking Religion. October 23rd, 2016, Doug Adams Gallery. Interdisciplinary Panel with GTU faculty –Dr. Rita Sherma and Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza - and REDO scholars, moderated by Dr. Devin Zuber. 

Bishop’s Convocation, Eastern WA and Idaho Synod. October 24-27, 2016. Two lectures, and a panel, on “Episcopacy": 1) "From Early to Medieval Church." 2) "From the Reformation to Modern Day.”

Sierra Pacific Synod, CA, Pastoral Leaders Conference, October 18-20, 2016. Four lectures: “Reformation Revisited and Ongoing”, “Reformation and Women”,”Luther for the Future.”

Northern Rockies Institute of Theology: Luther Lectures. Chico, Montana. September 29-30, 2017. Four lectures: “Luther for the Future.”

Grace Gathering, Freed & Renewed in Christ. ELCA. New Orleans, LA, August 13-12. Workshops: "Women and the Reformation" (twice), and "Large Catechism and Luther’s Freedom Theology."

Luther500. Conference on Theology of Martin Luther. Melbourne, Australia, a June 28-July 3, 2016. Lecture: “Luther for the Future”.

Southwest Pennsylvania Synod Assembly, May 7-8, 2016. Keynote lectures (two): “Reforming then, Reforming now!”  

Lay School of Theology, Chippawee Falls, WI, 4/8-9. 2016. Seminar, with Brooks Schramm: "Luther and the Jews."

Sierra Pacific Synod, Retired Pastors' Retreat,  San Damiano, CA, 2/22, 2016.  Three lectures: "Luther and Spirituality," "Luther and Women," "Luther for the Future."



Luther's theology and spirituality; feminist  and gender approaches; and the Finnish Luther School.

Lutheran theology, sources, and hermeneutics with contemporary concerns for freedom, equality, and justice. 

Luther and the Jews.

Luther and the Book of Genesis, especially the creation and the fall of Eve.

Women and the Reformations/Reformation theologies and histories with gender perspectives.

Lutheran: Sacramental theology and baptism; Anthropology and sexuality.

Protestant Reformations, foundational texts, and gender perspectives.



  • Reading Christian Texts in Context 
  • Freedom Theology with Martin Luther
  • Christian Thought and Ecumenical Creeds
  • Lutheran Theology: Sources and Hermeneutics
  • Luther and the Lutheran Confessions
  • Women and the Reformations
  • Luther and the Reformations
  • Luther and the Jews 
  • Luther and the Finnish Luther School: Justification
  • Luther and the Books of Genesis
  • Luther and the History of Spirituality
  • Sacraments: Luther and Contemporary Considerations
  • Luther and Lutherans and Contemporary Concerns: Sexuality, Marriage, War and Violence 
  • Reformation Studies: New Sources and Hermeneutics 
  • Revisioning the 16th Century Reforming Church and Its Heritage
  • Women’s Voices; Women in Christian History and Theology
  • Medieval Women as Spiritual Teachers
  • Saints and Sacredness 
  • Christian Mysticism 
  • History and Theology of the Reformed Confessions
  • Church History I and Church History II
  • Christianity in Ancient and Medieval Worlds




God and Grammar. In progress.

Encounters with Luther, New Directions for Critical Studies (Westminster John Knox, 2016), edited with Brooks Schramm.

The Annotated Luther. General Editor of the six volumes with Timothy Wengert and Hans Hillerbrand. Essential Luther’s works with revised or new translations, new introductions and annotations. Fortress Press, 2015-2017. Contributions: Volume Editor for Volume 2, Word and Faith. September, 2015. Work with Volume 6, ed. Euan Cameron. Forthcoming, 2017. Contributor: Luther's Large Catechism (Vol. 2), That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew (Vol. 5), Luther's Genesis 2 and the creation of Eve, and Luther's Galatians commentary (Vol. 6). 

The Large Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther, 1529: The Annotated Luther, Study Edition, from the Annotated Luther. Fortress Press, 2016.

Holy Spirit. With Nelson Rivera. Fortress Press, forthcoming 2017.

Series of “Little Books” on Lutheran Faith. Edited with Nelson Rivera, Fortress Press, forthcoming 2018.

On the Apocalyptic and Human Agency: Conversations with Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther. Eds. Kirsi Stjerna and Deanna A. Thompson. Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014.

Martin Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish People, with Brooks Schramm. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. August, 2012.

Reformaation Naisia  (Women and the Reformation). Helsinki: Kirjapaja, 2011.

“No Greater Jewel:” Thinking of Baptism with Luther. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2009.

Women and the Reformation. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Translated into Finnish (2011), Korean (2012) and into German (2017, forthcoming).



Participated in "Martin Luther: An Idea That Changed the World". PBS documentary, 2017.

"The Holy Baptism". Commentary on Luther's Small Catechism. Augsburg Fortress Press, 2017.

2017  Road to the Reformation. Fortress Press, digital forum, November 2017, contribution. 

Syndicate: discussing “Marius Timmann Mjaaland’s book The Hidden God: Luther, Philosophy and Political Theology”."

Current Questions with Gender in Reformation Research.” Suomen Kirkkohistorian Seura: A Reformation Anniversary Book. Kirjapaja, 2017.

“Naiset ja Reformaatio.” Juhlakirja. Aikapaja,  2017.

«Eine Prophetin, eine Verlegerin, und eine Schriftstellerin: Ursula Jost, Margaretha Prüss und Marie Dentière“. Hör nicht auf zu singen» Zeuginnen der Schweizer Reformation. Edited by Sabine Scheuter and Rebecca Giselbrecht. TSZ, 2017.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Martin Luther. Edited by Derek Nelson et al. Oxford University Press, 2017. Stjerna: "Baptism."

Martin Luther in Context. Edited by David Whitford. Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2017. Stjerna: "Law and Gospel." 

Encyclopedia of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Edited by Mark Lamport. Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming 2017. Stjerna: "Argula von Grumbach," "Elizabeth Cruziger," "Elizabeth Lüneberg-Calenberg von Braunschweig," "Katarina on Bora Luther."

Reading Christian Theology in the Protestant Tradition.  Edited by Kelly M. Kapic. T&T Clark. Forthcoming, 2017. Stjerna: “Sixteenth Century Christianity: Martin Luther, On Freedom of a Christian; Martin Luther, Large Catechism; Uldrich Zwingli, Sermons; Menno Simons, Foundation of Christian Doctrine; The Protestant Confessions; Women Writers of the Reformation; Jean Calvin; The Book of Common Prayer."

Dialog 2017 summer edition, the guest editor, on the theme “The Essential Luther and the Reformation 500th Anniversary,” forthcoming summer 2017.

"Lutero e le donne." Luther: A Christian and His Legacy, 1517-2017. Edited by Catto Forestra, De Nastris, Kalak. UTET, and DE Gryuter, forthcoming, 2017.

"Eine Prophetin eine Verlegerin, und eine Schriftstellerin: Ursula Jost, Margaretha Prüss und Marie Dentiére.""Hör nicht auf zu singen" Zeuginnen der Schweizer Reformation. Edited by Sabine Scheuter and Rebecca Giselbrecht. (TSZ, 2016.)

"Women and the Reformation." Reformation 500: A Sourcebook, 141-142. Augsburg Press, 2016. 

"Katharina Luther." Together by Grace; Introducing Lutherans. Edited by Robert Farlee and Kathryn Kleinhans. Augsburg Press, 2016.

"Olemme kaikki hengellisiä. Luterilainen armon spiritualiteetti (We are all spiritual. Lutheran spirituality of grace).  Armon Horisontit. Huomisen Luterilaisuus (Horizons of Grace. Lutheranism for the Future). Edited by Anna-Kaisa Inkala and Jyri Komulainen. Kirjapaja, Finland, 2016.

“A Lutheran Feminist Critique of American Child Protection Laws: Sins of Sexual Nature.” Lutheran Interpretations of Contemporary Legal Issues. Eds. Ron Duty and Marie Failinger.  Eerdman, 2016.

“For the Sake of the Future: Rekindling Lutheran Theology on Spirituality, Equality, and Inclusivity.” Lutheran Identity and Political Theology. Volume:  Justification in a Post-Christian Society, eds. Carl-Henric Grenholm and Göran Gunner. Pickwick Publications, 2015.

“On Marriage, with Luther, for Gay and Straight.” Published in Seminary Ridge Review, Spring 2014, and in Festschrift for Dr. Hans Schwarz, Glaube und Denken. Theologie im Spannungsfeld von Kirche und Politik, eds. Craig Nessan and Matthias Heesch. Peter Lang, 2014. 

Brooks Schramm and Kirsi Stjerna, “Luther and the Old Testament,” Seminar Notes, International Luther Congress, Helsinki, Finland, August 5-11, 2012, Luther Jahrbuch 80, 2013, 273-78.

Luther’s Works: American Edition. Edited by Christopher B. Brown. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, July 2012. Introductions and annotations to: Luther’s foreword to Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg’s Letter against the Constitution of Clerical celibacy (1520)  (Volume 737.1), and Luther’s foreword to On the Clerical Marriage, of the Reverend Herr Licentiate Stephan Klingebeil (1528) (Volume 584.1) 

“Models of Interpretation: Psalm 51 in the Hands of Katharina Schütz Zell and Martin Luther.” Oppi ja Maailmankuva. Professori Eeva Martikaisen 60-vuotisjuhlakirja. [Doctrine and Worldview. Festschrift for Professor Eeva Martikainen.] Edited by Tomi Karttunen. Helsinki: Suomalainen Teologinen Kirjallisuusseura, 2009, 37-52.

“The Case of Women: New Perspectives, New Interests in Luther and Reformation Studies.” Lutheranism. Legacy and Future. Essays in Honor of Eric W. Gritsch on the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination. Edited by Holger Roggelin and Scott Gustafson. West Conshohocken, PA:  Infinity Publishers, 2012. 

“Ruumillinen hengellisyys. Naisnäkökulmaa reformaation spiritualiteettiin ja teologiaan”[Bodily Spirituality. Feminist Perspectives on the Reformation Spirituality and Theology]. Näen Jumalan toisin. Kristinuskon feministisiä tulkintoja. [I See God Other Ways. Feminist Interprettaions of Christian Faith.] Edited by Pauliina Kainulainen and Aulikki Mäkinen. Helsinki: Kirjapaja, 2006.



Grant Funding

Association for Theological Schools, Theological Scholars Grant, 2004-2005, "Women and the Reformation".

Association for Theological Schools, Theological Scholars Collaborative Research Grant with Dr. Brooks Schramm (LTSG), 2010-2011, "Luther, the Bible and the Jewish people".

The Sachem Title VI Grant, 1997, "Internationalizing the Curriculum - Ancient History".

Scholarship of Merit, 1990-92, Boston University.

Chamberlain Herman Rosenberg Research Fellowship, 1990-93.

The Finnish Academy Research Grant, 1990-91.

Grants from the Finnish Women's Science Foundation, the Culture Foundation, and the Finnish-Swedish Culture Foundation, 1990-1991.