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Appointment of new ALC Principal

The LCANZ General Church Board and the Australian Lutheran College (ALC) Board are delighted to announce the appointment of Rev Dr Tim Stringer BTh/BMin DMin as the next ALC Principal.

He will succeed Pastor James Winderlich, who is returning to parish ministry after nine years in the role.

Over the weekend Dr Stringer informed LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith, the General Church Board and ALC Board Chair Cheryl Bartel that he had accepted the call. Yesterday morning he advised his congregation, Calvary Lutheran Church Greensborough and Thomastown, in suburban Melbourne. ALC staff have also been advised this morning by the Board.

Dr Stringer is also currently assisting the Office of the Bishop in the Victoria–Tasmania District (0.2FTE) and is a sessional lecturer at ALC, teaching ‘Preaching the Word’.

‘I have a deep passion for ALC, where I studied to prepare for pastoral ministry in the church I am called to serve’, Dr Stringer said, adding that he is looking forward to working closely with the ALC Board and LCANZ leaders to continue to implement ALC’s strategic direction Towards 2028.

Dr Stringer completed his Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Preaching through Luther Seminary in St Paul Minnesota in 2020. His thesis was titled Reaching the Diaspora: Streamed Worship and Preaching in the Lutheran Church of Australia, Cultivating Koinonia and Ecclesia.

In welcoming Dr Stringer to this important church leadership role, LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith said: ‘I thank our gracious God that Rev Dr Tim Stringer has accepted the Lord’s call to serve as our ALC Principal. Tim has had broad experience in our church serving in remote and urban places. He has shared with me his deep sense of call to this role as Principal, and he is looking forward to joining the staff community at ALC.’

As well as having strong practical and academic qualifications in theology and pastoral ministry, Dr Stringer brings high-level governance experience to the role. He has served on the LCANZ General Church Board since November 2018 and is a member of the LCANZ Standing Committee on Nominations and Church Worker Support Advisory Committee. Dr Stringer also serves on the Victoria–Tasmania District Church Council and People and Strategy Sub-Committee.

‘The ALC Board gives thanks to God that Tim has accepted this call’, Cheryl Bartel said. ‘He brings to the principalship a reflective, practical and adaptive approach; and understands through personal experience, the nature, benefits and challenges of building community in a distributed learning environment.

‘He has a deep understanding of the LCANZ and the position ALC holds in the life of the church.

‘Tim has the necessary skills and scope of experience to continue to build the relationships and partnerships critical for ALC to flourish in a challenging environment. He is committed to ensuring that the college is a safe place for all to work, learn and engage with the issues facing the church.’

Cheryl also thanked Pastor Winderlich for his service and said his tenure has overseen a remarkable yet challenging time in the life of the college’. ‘He has fulfilled his responsibilities with the highest level of integrity, competency, and grace’, she said. ‘We will be deeply saddened to see him depart but know that God has a clear plan for the next stage in his journey of pastoral service.’

Dr Stringer grew up on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, where he completed an apprenticeship as an auto electrician. Moving to Roxby Downs, he worked in the underground diesel workshop for 10 years, including four years as the mobile fleet maintenance planner.

He studied at Luther Seminary/Australian Lutheran College from 2001 to 2005, where he completed his BTh/BMin. After ordination, he was assigned to Outer Eastern Lutheran Church in Melbourne, where he served from 2006 to 2013. He has been serving the Calvary congregation at Greensborough and Thomastown since 2014. He has a particular interest in digital ministry and preaching mentoring.

He is an avid ice hockey player and loves to swim, kayak and go fishing and boating. He is married to Terri, and they have three adult children.

‘Whether we like it or not, we now live in a connected world and the way learning takes place has changed. God has provided us with the tools to move forward together and to thrive’, Dr Stringer said. ‘People all over our church are waiting for labourers to step into ministry roles. I pray that God will continue to call and raise up people to serve in myriad roles already existing and those opening up in our church.

‘With God’s help, the preparation he has done in me throughout my life on the different roads I have travelled will stand me in good stead as we walk together into a bright and Christ-centred future.’

Dr Stringer will commence in the role of ALC principal in February 2024.

Bishop Smith encourages the church ‘to pray for Tim and his family as they prepare for their move to South Australia’, and to ‘also pray for our ALC community as they farewell one Principal and welcome another’.