The Academy: Building A Disciple-Making Culture

Imagine what it would be like, and what Jesus would do through us in the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) if we collectively renewed our commitment to our Lord’s commission to make disciples, and if we together reaffirmed our desire to become the fulfillment of his commandment that we love one another as he Has loved us?

Imagine what might happen, if every pastor and every congregation and every member in our church body made this same personal commitment to be living witnesses to and for our risen Lord Jesus?

During the month of February, Pastor Tony Ede hosts the Rev. Dave Keener, the Rev. Trina Petersen, and the Rev. Dr. Brian Hughes.  Join us on February 2nd at 11 am ET as Pastor Dave Keener connects to this season’s theme “God the Father Creates” through the lens of Life-To-Life Discipleship and mission. Join us on social media: Facebook Live or Youtube.

As we move throughout this new season of The Academy, each month will focus on a different aspect of the person, nature, and being of God the Father in light of Genesis 1-3, knowing that we understand Him fully through the Lord Jesus Christ, the mirror of the Father’s heart, revealed by the Holy Spirit, because of the Father’s divine goodness and mercy!   We will also be asking and connecting with very practical questions – what is life, and how do we live well?  What does it mean to understand vocation, mission, and evangelism as a way of life?


Pastor Tony Ede graduated from Waldorf College, where he earned an associate of arts in electronic communications and a bachelor of arts in multimedia communications. Graduating from Luther Seminary in 2006, Tony worked as a graduate teaching assistant in the homiletics department, helping to teach classes on using media and technology in worship and preaching.  Pastor Ede has served at Bethany Lutheran Churches in the Danish Village of Kimballton, Iowa; as the teaching pastor at Trinity Lutheran in Webster City, Iowa; and currently serves as the senior pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran in Manchester, Iowa. As part of his commitment to lifelong learning, Tony earned an MBA in 2017 from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, with a concentration in organizational development. Following a long family tradition, Tony is a nationally certified firefighter and EMT and has used these skills to serve in the community, as well as in disaster response statewide. Tony was married to LeAnn at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hampton, Iowa, on August 17th, 2002. They have three sons that keep them busy: Carver, Liam, and Burke.


Pastor Dave Keener was called to pastor Christ the King Lutheran in 1996 after serving a southeastern Michigan congregation for 11 years. Pastor Keener has also been involved in the greater work of the North American Lutheran Church – serving overseas in Ethiopia, as the chair of the Renewal Team, coordinating the NALC Mission Festival, and now serving on the NALC’s Life-To-Life Discipleship Team. His passion is preaching and teaching people about the love of God in Jesus Christ.  He and his wife, Joyce, have three grown children and two grandchildren.  Pastor Dave loves to read, travel, and show pictures of his grandchildren, and not necessarily in that order.

The Rev. Trina M. Petersen is pastor of A New Thing Christian Church, Lithonia, GA, a ministry entrusted to her by God, focused on the deliverance, healing, and wholeness of his people. Pastor Trina was baptized as an infant, confirmed as a teenager, and served as an adult in the Lutheran church prior to becoming an ordained pastor in the NALC. Most recently, she published two books, Irresistible and The Adventures of Clayoton (a children’s book), and became a certified coach of the John Maxwell Team. Being Kingdom minded, Pastor Petersen, serves in the position of pastor, operates with an apostolic anointing, and speaks in a prophetic voice as she helps the people of God heal from their pasts, live in the now, and walk in the power and authority given to them by God!

Pastor Brian Hughes is an adventurous visionary whose lifework has been to coach and equip others on the same journey. After leading prevailing Lutheran congregations in such diverse places as Capitol Hill, Washington DC, the rust belt of Southwest Pennsylvania, the Bay Area of California, and most recently in Central Maryland, Pastor Brian has heard the call to do ministry with those tired of the institutional church. As Pastor Brian officially retired in December 2019, he is continuing to make disciples who make disciples and coaching others in the formation of discipling communities. He has begun a new adventure with “Road Church” – a new NALC Mission Start, as well as serving as an interim pastor during this pandemic season. Pastor Brian is married to the lovely Christine Hughes and enjoys time with his family. He is also an author, Harley rider, Scuba diver, submarine owner, and gear head.

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