The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger has served as Concordia University Chicago’s University Pastor since 2002. He was born and raised in St. Paul, MN, where he attended Lutheran Schools through university. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Concordia University, St. Paul, majoring in theatre and completing pre-seminary requirements. In addition to his studies, Pastor Leininger was very involved in the arts and received the University’s Pro Artibus award for excellence in music and drama. After graduation, he worked in theatre education and directing, and spent a year touring with a professional Christian Theatre Company based in St. Paul.
Dr. Leininger received his pastoral training at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (1991-1995). He studied at Cambridge University from 1998 until 2002, receiving an M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Divinity (Church History). His area of research focused on the use of theatre in the English Reformation.
Pastor Leininger's practical pastoral experience comes from a year internship (vicarage) at First Lutheran, San Diego; one year of service as a pastoral assistant at Memorial Lutheran Church, Houston; and four years as Assistant Pastor of Resurrection Lutheran Church, Cambridge. In addition to serving as University Pastor, his role at Concordia has grown to include advising all the Spiritual Life activities on campus, directing the Pre-Seminary Program, and supporting the University’s Church Relations office.
In his downtime, Pastor Leininger enjoys all things related to Minnesota sports teams; camping, hiking, biking, sailing and canoeing; attending musical and theatrical performances; spending time with his family; and he still loves a nice cup of English tea.
Pastor Leininger's wife, Rachel, is an alum of Concordia-Chicago (1993). They live with their two children, Grace and Andrew, in Maywood, IL.