Melissa Bills has been appointed director of quorum ministries and pastor of Luther College. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Bills has served as associate pastor of the First Lutheran Church in Decorah since 2013. His ministry is dedicated to educating people through journeys of faith and training and promoting the role of the church in the work for social justice.
Beginning August 23, Bills will bring his stimulating sermons to Luther’s worship services at the Center for Faith and Life, which are open to the public. She will lead and coordinate Luther’s multiple ministries supporting the faith life of students both on and off campus; providing mentorship, vocational discernment, spiritual training support, care and communication to students and the Luther community as a whole; and support partnership with ELCA and ecumenical and interfaith organizations in higher education.
“ELCA colleges have a unique opportunity to serve as a bridge between higher education and the church, especially a church driven by the reformist spirit of Martin Luther. I know Pastor Melissa will be a committed and thoughtful partner with us as we seek to honor our history as a Lutheran college while widening the circle to ensure that students of all religious traditions and ethical positions find a place. welcome to our college ministries program, ”said President Jenifer K. Ward.
Luther builds a community around a vibrant and inclusive conversation about faith and learning that engages the world in all its complexity. It is a mission that Bills is eager to support. “I am thrilled to join this vibrant community and look forward to building relationships on campus,” she said. “I hope that College ministries can continue to be a sign on campus of the love, compassion and hope of God who brings us together and sends us to care for one another, seek righteousness and take care of the world. ”
Bills received his Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and his BA in Religion and English from St. Olaf College. She completed her residency at the Lutheran Seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. Bills received the David Allan Weadon Prize in Sacred Music at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is co-author of “Family Celebrate Advent and Christmas” and contributor to “A Place For You Interactive Edition: My Holy Communion Book”, both published by Augsburg Fortress Press / 1517 Media.
Prior to her stint at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, Bills served as associate pastor at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in Naperville, Illinois; and pastoral intern at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rockford, Illinois.
An installation service for Pastor Bills will take place this fall, in coordination with the ELCA Northeastern Iowa Synod.
Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduate students who explore big issues and take action for the benefit of individuals, communities and society. Our more than 60 academic programs, our experiential approach to learning, and our welcoming community inspire students to actively learn, live with purpose, and lead courageously for a life of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.