The Rev. Dr. Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Denomination: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Organization: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Master storyteller, Walt Wangerin, Jr., has been captivating both reading and listening audiences for two decades. For many years he was the speaker on the weekly "Lutheran Vespers" radio program of the ELCA.

Pastor Wangerin is the author of more than 20 deeply spiritual and widely acclaimed books for children and adults. They include fiction, non-fiction and devotional material. He is writer-in-residence at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.

Many have also discovered that Pastor Wangerin's story telling gift transcends the printed page. He belongs in that tradition of oral storytellers who have captured the imaginations of people of all ages, through all the ages. His stories, reflections, meditations and life experiences find God in common things and proclaim Christ in our lives. From 1994-2005 Pastor Wangerin joined story and Gospel as the "Lutheran Vespers" speaker, receiving acclaim from thousands of listeners.


  • Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, MO; M.Div. 1976
    Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
  • Miami University, Oxford, OH; M.A. in English Literature, 1968 (All course work and requirements for Ph.D. completed except the dissertation)
  • Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, IN; B.A. 1966
  • Concordia Junior College, Milwaukee, WI; A.A. 1964

Professional Activities

  • Professor and occupant of Emil & Elfriede Jochum Chair, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN (1991-present)
  • Speaker, Lutheran Vespers (1994-2005)
  • Frequent lecturer at universities and professional conferences
  • Was the regular columnist for The Lutheran, the official magazine of the ELCA, from 1988-2000.

Book Awards

New York Times' Best Children's Book of the Year, The Book of the Dun Cow (1978)

The American Book Award, The Book of the Dun Cow (1980)

Campus Life's Editor's Choice, The Book of Sorrows (1985)

Gold Medallion Book Award, Ragman and Other Cries of Faith (1985)

Gold Medallion Book Award, Potter (1986)

CSIA C.S. Lewis Award, Potter (1986)

Association of Logos Bookstores Book Award for Best Fiction, The Book of Sorrows (1986)

Virtue Magazine Book of the Year, As For Me and My House (1987)

Gold Medallion Book Award, As For Me and My House (1988)

Gold Medallion Book Award, Reliving the Passion (1993)

Gold Medallion Book Award, The Book of God (1996)

Association of Logos Bookstores Book Award for Best Book, The Book of God (1996)



The Book of Sorrows, Harper & Row, 1985

The Book of the Dun Cow, Harper & Row, 1978

The Crying for a Vision, Simon & Schuster, 1994

The Book of God: The Bible as Novel, Zondervan, Lion UK and Zondervan, 1996

Paul: A Novel, Lion UK and Zondervan, 200 (Gold Medallion Book Award, 2001


Elisabeth and the Water-Troll, Harper Collins Children's Books, 1991

In the Beginning There Was No Sky, Thomas Nelson, 1986

Potter, Augsburg-Fortress Publishers, 1994 (previously, David C. Cook, 1985)

Thistle, Augsburg-Fortress Publishers, 1995 (previously Harper & Row, 1983)

My First Book About Jesus, Checkerboard Press, 1983

Six Arch Books, Concordia Publishing House, 1972-1976

Probity Jones and the Fear Not Angel, Augsburg, 1996

In The Beginning There Was No Sky, Augsburg-Fortress, 1997

The Book of God for Children, Zondervan, 1996 (previously The Bible For Children, Checkerboard Press, 1981)

The Bedtime Rhyme, Augsburg Fortress, 1998

Mary's First Christmas, Zondervan, 1998

Angels and All Children, Augsburg Fortress, August, 2002

Peter's First Easter, Zondervan, 2000


Little Lamb, Who Made Thee?, Zondervan, 1993

The Manger is Empty, Harper & Row, 1989

Miz Lil and the Chronicles of Grace, Harper & Row, 1988

Ragman and Other Cries of Faith, Harper & Row, 1984

This Earthly Pilgrimage, Zondervan, Spring 2003


Mourning into Dancing, Zondervan, 1992

As For Me and My House: Crafting a Marriage to Last, Thomas Nelson, 1987

The Orphean Passages, subtitled: The Drama of Faith, Harper & Row, 1986

Whole Prayer, Zondervan, 1998


Measuring the Days, edited by Gail McGrew Eifrig, Harper San Francisco, 1993

Reliving the Passion, Zondervan, 1992


A Miniature Cathedral and Other Poems, Harper & Row, 1987

With Paul Manz-- Una Sancta: A Mass in Thanksgiving for the Unity of the Body of Christ; debuted and toured with the Seminex chorus in 1986 and 1987


Book Reviews for The Washington Post Book World

Book Reviews for The New York Times

Articles in numerous periodicals

Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Walter Wangerin, Jr.

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Particularity and Universality

Sunday December 07, 1997

To Know Death, To Know Life

Sunday November 02, 1997