Personal Profile

Curriculum Vitae

UstrońI grew up in Ustroń, a mountain town located in southern Poland.  A resort town, Ustroń lies in the former Duchy of Cieszyn, which was, until 1918, part of Austrian Silesia (covering areas that extend into today's Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia).

An interesting fact about the area is that it was the only Polish-speaking territory where the Lutheran Reformation, introduced by the Cieszyn dukes in the 16th century, reached the grassroots , and where Lutheranism prevailed even against the adverse conditions of the Habsburg counter-Reformation (from 1654 on). To this day the area boasts a significant Lutheran minority; in several towns the Lutherans actually constitute more than 50% of the population. Thus, contrary to the prevalent stereotype of a Catholic Pole, in the Duchy of Cieszyn, historically, it was the Lutherans who identified with Polish ethnicity, whereas the Catholics were German-speaking.  (It wasn't until I went off to university that I ran into individuals for whom I was the first non-Catholic they had ever met.)

I earned my bachelor’s degree in English literature and linguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.  For a while, I even contemplated a doctorate in generative syntax, but decided instead to study theology at Westfield House in Cambridge, UK, and then to pursue a master of divinity degree at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  I received my doctorate -- in systematic and historical theology -- from Harvard University.

In my free time, I enjoy hiking, biking, road trips, photography, and quality conversation -- preferably over a Lutheran beverage.