Maria E. Erling

Th.D. - Harvard Divinity School
M.Div. - Yale Divinity School
A.B. - Augustana College

The Rev. Dr. Maria E. Erling teaches history and guides Ministerial Leadership placements. Her interest in church history comes from a blend of filial piety and unstoppable curiosity about the stories that have shaped the lives of persons and communities. In her words, “When I was working on my dissertation, weary because of the tedium of reading immigrant letters, my advisor said: just keep reading until you can hear them talking. He promised that then I would know what was true of that experience, and I could tell the story. In my teaching, I’ve learned that students need to learn to tell their own story – their family’s many decisions and migrations – before they can really learn to hear the stories told to them by the people they meet in ministry. Today I am still investigating how these immigrant people saw the new world they entered, especially as it presented uncomfortable and unprecedented challenges. I wonder how the diversity of race and class affected them, and whether we can, through learning that history more fully be better citizens today, owning up to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our communities. Everyone has a story.”


Dr. Erling has authored numerous articles and chapters in several books about contemporary Lutheranism, ecumenism, and mainline Protestantism, and coauthored with Mark Granquist, The Augustana Story, Augsburg Fortress, in 2008.

Mailing address:
61 Seminary Ridge
Gettysburg, PA 17325