Board of Theology & Ministry

While the members of the other three Boards are appointed by the District Council, the members of the BTM are elected by the District Convention. The rationale for this is that this Board has been given theological and professional oversight of Augustana’s pastors. BTM is charged with administering LCMC’s pastoral certification process and the District’s endorsement process. These steps are designed to examine the qualifications of pastors wishing entry into the Augustana District. Once pastors are admitted into the District, BTM is responsible for enforcing the Ministry Standards of the District. Additionally, it is to sponsor an annual theological conference required for all its pastors and open to any lay participants. As BTM’s primary mission is “to preserve and promote the District’s theological and confessional commitments,” it also will interface with the Board of Christian Education.

Existing MembersNew Members
Pastor Craig Nehring (Council Rep)Pastor Tim Balfanz
Pastor Culynn Curtis, ChairPastor Sarah Carlstrom
Pastor Paul KochPastor Brian Crocker
Pastor Brad JensonPastor Jerome Klotz
(Council Rep)
Pastor Jane EkholmPastor Tom Walker

Board Member Information

Pastor Tim Balfanz – Currently a pastor at Peace Lutheran Church in Nevis, MN. He attended Luther  Seminary and served at Faith Lutheran Church in Moline from 2013-17. Started service at Peace in Nevis in 2018.

Pastor Sarah Carlstrom – Currently a pastor at Crossroads Lutheran Congregation in Dawson, MN since January 2016. Earned her M.Div at St. John’s School of Theology and Seminary in St. Joseph, MN and completed Lutheran work at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Previously served for 7-years as a Youth and Family Ministry Coordinator and 6-years as a choir teacher in the public school system.

Pastor Brian Crocker – Currently a pastor at Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville, WI. Attended seminary for his M.Div. at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He has served at Zion/Calvary Parish in Winter, WI 1998-2007; and at Christus Lutheran Church in Clintonville, WI 2007-present

Pastor Jane Ekholm – Congregation served: Peace Lutheran of Nevis as Intern and Interim Pastor. Luther Theological Seminary graduate MS, M.Div. of Walker, MN. Role: LCMC certified, AD endorsed, awaiting call.

Pastor Tom Walker –  Currently serving at Heritage Lutheran Church in Brandon, SD. Obtained his M.Div. and MTh (ABD) from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. He has served as the Vice President of Word Alone, Dean of Administration at the Institute of Lutheran Theology, Director of Library and Academic Computing (adjunct faculty) at Luther Seminary. Served as pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Kalispell, MT and as assistant pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Great Falls, MT.