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Rev. Fr. Burnell F. Eckardt Jr., M. Div., S.T.M., Ph.D. 

is Pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Kewanee, Illinois, and has been editor-in-chief of Gottesdienst, the journal of Lutheran Liturgy (see www.gottesdienst.org), since 1995.  He holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from Marquette University, and a Masters of Sacred Theology from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

Since 2007 Pastor Eckardt has been an adjunct professor for John Wood Community College in Quincy, Illinois, teaching online courses in Major World Religions and Philosophy. Since 1985 he has also served occasionally as a visiting professor for Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, both in systematic and historical theology; and he is scheduled to begin teaching an SMP course next Spring. Twice since 2001 he has visited the Lutheran seminary in Novosibirsk, Russia, to teach medieval historical theology. He is the author of The New Testament in His Blood: A Study of the Holy Liturgy of the Christian Church (Kewanee, Ill: Gottesdienst, 2010), Every Day Will I Bless Thee: Meditations for the Daily Office (Sussex, Wis.: Concordia Catechetical Academy, 1998), and Anselm and Luther on the Atonement: Was it Necessary? (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1992). His areas of special scholarly interest are liturgical theology and Biblical hermeneutics.  Toward this end his interest in patristic and medieval history is especially concerned with their schools of thought regarding Biblical interpretation and its application to worship.

Pastor Eckardt has been a pastor since 1982, and has served parishes in Virginia and Wisconsin prior to his move to Kewanee in 1995. He also served on the Commission on Adjudication for the South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church―Missouri Synod. Besides his regular work with Gottesdienst, he has over the years had numerous speaking engagements both at home and abroad, and has written many published articles, as well as several hymns, two musical plays performed in Lutheran schools, and a Christmas cantata “Shepherd of Israel” for mixed chorus, organ, and string ensemble, whose debut performance was in Kewanee in January 2000. His parish is also host to an annual Oktoberfest conference and gathering in Kewanee, Illinois. He was born on July 14, 1955, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, one of four children born to a physician.  He and his wife Carol have six sons, four daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.   Updated May 15, 2016