LSTC student Louis Tillman tapped as leader for climate justice

In June of 2015, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago student Louis Tillman joined thousands of marchers to thank Pope Francis for his recent encyclical on climate change. The march, “One Earth, One Family” brought together people of diverse faiths from around the world. It was organized by OurVoices,, FOCSIV, and others. Marchers carried banners and flew kites in the shape of white doves. Others carried green, leaf-shaped signs inscribed with verses from Scripture about God’s care of creation and the poor.

Tillman was in Rome to be part of the GreenFaith Emerging Leaders Multi-faith Climate Convergence. He was one of 100 young leaders, ages 21-40, selected from around the world. He says, “I have had the honor of being among 100 amazing and incredible climate activists from every corner of the world in Rome. We all came from different faiths but we breathe the same air, we share the same trees and we live on the same earth. One person's voice can make a difference but together all can be heard by world leaders — just like Pope Francis heard us and came to his window to give us a special mention as we marched through the streets.”

The convergence was held to connect, train, and support this diverse community of leaders to help spur faith-based environmental projects in countries around the world.

“The multicultural and enriching discussions exploring the deeply connected faith teachings we all have showed me that our common cause of protecting our environment transcends borders, cultures, religions, race and background and means we are truly one family of God's creation on earth appointed to protect all the things we love. Now let's start changing the world, one person at a time,” Tillman says.

Second ecological justice program focused on food and faith
The GreenFaith Climate Convergence was the second ecological justice program Tillman participated in this summer. He also was part of Wake Forest University Divinity School’s Food and Faith intensive in Asheville, NC. Tillman received a Re: Generate Fellowship to “A New Heaven, A New Earth: Food Justice, Ecology and Revelation.”

LSTC New Testament Professor Barbara Rossing was one of the leaders for the intensive. Each morning she presented images from the book of Revelation to help the fellows more clearly “see the home of God is among mortals” to reimagine how we live on Earth. Afternoon workshops were led by experts in permaculture, ecology, and community organizing.

Tillman also participated in the Union Theological Seminary (NewYork City) Millennial Leader’s Pilot Conference in July 2015.

Tillman was a master of divinity student preparing to begin a yearlong internship at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minn.  He is also a member of the National Executive Council of the Lutheran Student Movement U.S.A. and was profiled in the Winter Issue of the LSTC Epistle.

Starting in the Spring of 2017, Tillman was voted onto the Board of Directors of Lutherans Restoring Creation. 

October 7th, 2017 Tillman was ordained in his new church in Philadelphia, PA - Prince of Peace. Congratulations Pastor Tillman and congratulations to the lucky congregation! 

Sources: LutheranSchool of Theologyat Chicago, Green Faith,,