Gettysburg Seminarian Victoria Larson Receives Wentz Prize for Lutheran History Essay
The Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic announced Victoria Larson as a recipient of the 2013 Abdel Ross Wentz Prize for Historical Writing, one of two recipients of the prestigious award.
Abdel Ross Wentz, for whom the award is named, was a leading historian and institution builder in mid-20th century Lutheranism. From 1916-1956 he was a professor of Church History and later President of Gettysburg Seminary. At the time of his death, the prize was created in Wentz’s memory for the best historical paper on North American Lutheranism produced by either Lutheran seminarians or graduate students.
“I am honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Larson, “and hope that other fellow seminarians at Gettysburg will take up the opportunity to participate in future Wentz Prize competitions.”
Larson, whose prize winning paper is entitled, "The Case of the Last American Missionary in China: The American Lutheran Response to the Imprisonment of Paul J. Mackensen, Jr., 1952-1957" is one of two winners in 2013. Mr. Kristofer Coffman of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN was also announced as a winner for his paper: " Have Come into This Your House: A Brief History of the Norwegian Liturgy in America."The prize is in the amount of $2,500. Read more about it on the Society web site: www.lhsmidatlantic.com .
The awards were first announced to the Society’s board of directors at their January 2014 meeting, coinciding with the “Call for Papers” for the 2014 prize. Any student at a Lutheran Seminary, whether ELCA or LCMS and anyone enrolled at in a higher degree program at the PhD level and working on North Lutheran Lutheran history is eligible to apply. Papers for consideration by the prize committee should include a letter of recommendation from a professor and two copies be sent to: Abdel Ross Wentz Prize LHSMA 61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Additional requirements are as follows: Papers should be roughly 25 pages in length, double spaced, with endnotes. The identity of the author and the institution the author attends should be on a separate page from the manuscript. The papers should be histories of some aspect of Lutheranism and not broad, history of religion or sociological papers. The deadline for submissions is the end of August, 2014.
Larson commented upon the paper she submitted, indicating that the “seed of the paper was research I performed for Dr. Erling's "History of Lutheranism" and "World Christianity" classes. The niece of the missionary who inspired the paper graduated from Gettysburg a few years ago and was in one of those classes with me: Mary Anne Kingsborough. Her son David is a student at our sister school in Philadelphia and is in my internship class. The connections were not only strikingly coincidental, but brought home for me throughout my research a sense of the continuing vitality of Lutheran history.”