CHICAGO — The Rev. Dee (“Diane”) Pederson, St. Cloud, Minn., was elected June 12 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during an online synod assembly.
Pederson was elected on the fifth ballot, with 205 votes. The Rev. Bryant C. Kaden, pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls, Minn., received 186 votes.
The bishop-elect has served as director for evangelical mission in the Southwestern Minnesota Synod since 2019. Prior to that, she served as lead pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in St. Cloud from 2006 to 2019; as pastor of Bethlehem from 1988 to 2006; and as co-pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Spicer, Minn., from 1981 to 1988.
Pederson earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1975 and her Master of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul, Minn., in 1981. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree, focused on congregational mission and leadership, from Luther Seminary in 2010. Luther College is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities, and Luther Seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries.
Pederson will take office Sept. 1, and her installation is scheduled for Oct. 9.
The Rev. Jon V. Anderson has served as bishop of the Southwestern Minnesota Synod since 2003.
Information about the Southwestern Minnesota Synod is available at swmnelca.org/.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder