Susan Tjornehoj

Senior Pastor

Pastor Susan Tjornehoj is a native of Colorado and the daughter of a pastor. She earned her B.A. in English and Intercultural Education at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She began her theological studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, California; earned her M.Div. from Lutheran Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota; and has completed coursework in a Ph.D. program in Congregational and Missional Leadership. She and her husband, Pastor David Wangaard, served their first calls in Inupiaq (Eskimo) villages on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula. With a team of sled dogs, they moved to northern Minnesota where they served a three-point parish. Pastor Tjornehoj became an Assistant to the Bishop: first in Northwestern Minnesota Synod and then in the Saint Paul Area Synod. Following her tenure as pastor of Christ Lutheran Church on Capitol Hill in St. Paul, she became the ELCA’s first Director of Evangelical Mission. Her travels include visits to Lutheran congregations in Tanzania, Kenya and El Salvador, to Cambodia, Eqypt, Bolivia and China. She and David have a daughter, Ingrid, who is completing her first year as a third grade teacher at the Hmong College Prep Academy in St. Paul. David is a consultant with Lutheran World Relief.

Her pastoral leadership is a ministry of welcome and hospitality grounded in Christ’s wide love. She preaches as an eyewitness to Christ’s presence in the world and shapes worship that always leaves room for more at God’s table of grace. Pastor Tjornehoj leads with energy and passion for God’s reconciling work of justice and mercy among the vulnerable and marginalized in the neighborhood and the world.

Pastor Tjornehoj is delighted to serve on the ELCA Seafarer’s International House board and has served on several other committees and boards as well as being a delegate to the Lutheran World Federation assembly in Winnipeg. She has written numerous articles, book reviews and Bible studies published in Lutheran Woman Today, Word and World and Sojourner’s magazine. You can read her work in a chapter included in Created and Led by the Spirit: Planting Missional Congregations, published by Eerdman’s in 2013 and in an article in Most Certainly True, Lutheran History at a Glance: 75 Stories about Lutherans since 1517 published by Lutheran University Press in 2017.

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