Go Deeper: Resources for Further Study

For those interested in branching out or going deeper into Christian practice and belief, here are a few resources:

  • General Resources
  • Bible Study with a Lutheran Perspective
  • The Texts of the Sunday's Lectionary
  • History of Christianity
  • Morality, Ethics, and the Christian Life
  • Lutheran Theology and History
  • The Contemporary Context
  • Resources for Youth Ministry

General Resources

  • Building Faith: Christian formation inspiration from the Center for the Ministry of Teaching at Virginia Theological Seminary
"A free website that offers practical resources for ministry with children, youth, and adults. You’ll find articles, advice, reviews, features, and resources for Christian formation with people of all ages. We are here to serve you, as you make and form disciples of Jesus Christ."
  • 21st Century Faith Formation Online Resource Center
"...designed to help leaders in congregations create faith formation using 21st century approaches, methods, technologies, and tools…"
  • The Faith Formation Learning Exchange
"The Faith Formation Learning Exchange is dedicated to helping leaders in all forms of Christian ministry develop Christian lifelong faith formation for all ages and generations that is informed by solid research, effective practices, cutting-edge thinking, real-world models and tools, and the latest resources."
  • The Center for Spiritual Resources
"serves as a clearinghouse for enriching programs, resources, and connections, both within and beyond our diocesan borders.… CSR is a shared ministry of the Cathedral of All Souls and the Episcopal Diocese of Western NC. We are also supported by the Helen Porter Foundation and the Center for the Ministry of Teaching, Virginia Theological Seminary.
  • Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion
A resource designed primarily for those who teach theology and religion in seminaries, colleges, and universities. Also useful for advanced students of religion. See especially its guide to Religion on the Web.

Bible Study with a Lutheran Perspective

  • Book of Faith: Open Scripture. Join the Conversation.
"The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has made a commitment to encourage all members of our congregations, from children to adults, to dig deeper into our book of faith, the Bible. The Book of Faith Initiative recommends a new model for our church. A grass-roots approach embracing a common vision in which all are invited to open scripture and join the conversation. Each community is encouraged to decide how the Book of Faith Initiative will become a vital part of its own ministry."
  • Enter the Bible. Luther Seminary offers here "a wealth of resources to help you grow in your faith, add depth to your Bible studies and truly discover the people, places and events of the Bible. Think of Enter the Bible as your guide, a helpful reference tool to accompany you in your reading of the Bible."
  • Online Resources: Delve deeper into the Bible
Offered by Luther Seminary

The Texts of the Sunday's Lectionary

  • The Revised Common Lectionary
A service of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library
  • Revised Common Lectionary: Frequently Asked Questions
From the Library Staff at Vanderbilt University Divinity Library
  • The Working Preacher
Insights, ideas and inspiration related to the coming week's lectionary texts. From Luther Seminary.
  • CrossMarks: Exegetical Notes 
On the Revised Common Lectionary by Brian P. Stoffregen
  • The Text This Week
A curated site that links you to many different resources regarding the Lectionary text

History of the Christianity

  • Christian History Institute
Its quarterly magazine offers articles for laypeople, often by scholars expert in the areas being written about. Also offers a range of books in the history of Christianity.
  • History of Christianity Reading Room
Links to online and printed resources in the history of Christian, hosted by Tyndale Seminary.
  • 16th Century Reformation Reading Room
Links to online and printed resources on the sixteenth century Reformation, hosted by Tyndale Seminary.

Morality, Ethics, and the Christian Life

  • Living Lutheran: Lively Engagement in Faith & Life
An online "magazine" hosted by the ELCA.
  • Journal of Lutheran Ethics
A free, monthly, ecclesial online publication living out the Lutheran tradition of addressing social issues theologically, using the resources of historical, theological, and ethical tradition, biblical interpretation, and social sciences. From the ELCA.
  • A few good books (available on Kindle and in paperback)
    • Gill, Robin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
    • Lovin, Robin W. Christian Ethics: An Essential Guide. Abington Press, 2009.
    • Lovin, Robin W. An Introduction to Christian Ethics: Goals, Duties, and Virtues. Abingdon Press, 2011. _ Wengert, Timothy J., ed. Harvesting Martin Luther's Reflections on Theology, Ethics, and the Church. Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004.
  • Christian Ethics Reading Room. Links to online and printed resources in Christian ethics, hosted by Tyndale Seminary.

Lutheran Theology and History

  • A few good books (available on Kindle as well as in paperback):
    • Lagerquist, L. DeAne, The Lutherans (Denominations in America). Greenwood, 1999.
    • Gritsch, Eric W. Gritsch and Jenson, Robert W. Lutheranism: The Theological Movement and Its Confessional Writings. Augsburg Fortress, 1975.
    • Arand, Charles P., et al. The Lutheran Confessions: History and Theology of The Book of Concord. Fortress Press, 2012.
    • Marty, Martin E. Lutheran Questions Lutheran Answers: Exploring Christian Faith. Fortress Press, 2007.
    • Gritsch, Eric W. A History of Lutheranism. Fortress Press, 2002.
  • A few biographies of Martin Luther (Available on Kindle as well as in paperback)

    • Marty, Martin E. Martin Luther: A Life. Penguin, 2008.
    • Brecht, Martin. Martin Luther: His Road to Reformation 1483-1521. Fortress Press, 1985.
    • Brecht, Martin. Martin Luther: Shaping and Defining the Reformation 1521-1532. Fortress Press, 1994.
    • Brecht, Martin. Martin Luther: The Preservation of the Church 1532-1546. Fortress Press, 1999.
  • Wabash Center: Religion on the Web: Christianity: Lutheran Church. Links to online resources on the Lutheran church. Unfortunately, not all links are up-to-date.

  • Christian Theology Reading Room: Links to online and printed resources in Christian theology and doctrine, from a variety of perspectives. Hosted by Tyndale Seminary.

The Contemporary Context

  • Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life
The premiere source of survey information on contemporary religious life in the United States (and often around the world).
  • "America's Changing Religious Landscape"
The most recent snapshot of American religion from the Pew Research Center: Religion & Public Life.
  • A few (advanced-level) books that examine the religious context in which we Americans currently live. (Available on Kindle and in paperback)
    • Chaves, Mark. American Religion: Contemporary Trends. Princeton University Press, 2011.
    • Chaves, Mark. Congregations in America. Harvard University Press, 2009.
    • Putnam, Robert T. and Campbell, David E. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. Simon & Schuster, 2012.
    • Smith, Christian and Denton, Melina Lundquist. Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. Oxford University Press, 2005.
    • Smith, Christian. Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults. Oxford University Press, 2009.
    • Wolfe, Alan. The Transformation of American Religion: How We Actually Live Our Faith. University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Resources for Youth Ministry

  • The ELCA Network for Children, Youth, & Family Ministry
"The ELCA Youth Ministry Network seeks to provide opportunities for spiritual renewal, continuing education and networking for adults who work with children, youth and families in our congregations."
  • Youth Ministry Links: "Our goal is to provide a curated, up-to-date listing of youth ministry links to help you navigate your work. Whether you are paid or volunteer staff, we think you'll find the contents of these pages useful."
  • PEW on Religion in American Life (link on each source and proper italicization)