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Brian E. Konkol

Dean of Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University in New York

The Rev. Brian E. Konkol, Ph.D., is the Dean of Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University in New York. Reporting directly to the Chancellor, Dean Konkol guides, nurtures and enhances religious, spiritual and ethical life at the university and across its extended community. Appointed in 2017, he is called upon to provide a dynamic, thoughtful, and inclusive environment for the exploration of religious practice, personal spirituality, moral and ethical courage, and social engagement in service to the common good. A member of the Chancellor’s Executive Team, Konkol serves as a preacher, minister, teacher, activist, and administrator. With a diverse and global background, he helps to inspire and support visible and vibrant engagement, and as a public leader is charged to address matters of conflict, justice, and peacemaking. By integrating across and beyond the campus, Konkol connects people and communities to participate in dialogue, contemplation, responsible leadership, and a rigorous commitment to global citizenship and social justice. Konkol is originally from Amherst Junction, WI, is a graduate of Amherst High School, and completed a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Criminal Justice from Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI). He earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN), and a Master of Theology (M.Th.) and Doctor of Philosphy (Ph.D.) in the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). Dean Konkol is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  Konkol interned (2003-2004) and later served a parish with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (2005-2007). He also lectured at the Lutheran Lay Academy, hosted international mission groups for the Lutheran Camp & Retreat Centre, advised the National Youth Commission, and co-hosted the nationally televised broadcast, “Word for the World”. He served on a variety of community organizing committees, many of which focused on ecumenical and interfaith cooperation, poverty, children and youth development, and ecological sustainability. From 2008-2012, Konkol served in South Africa as Country Coordinator of the Young Adults in Global Mission program of the ELCA. He also assisted in parish ministry alongside isiZulu-speaking congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, lectured at the Lutheran Theological Institute, and participated with the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation in the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Konkol served as Co-Pastor of Lake Edge Lutheran Church (Madison, WI) from 2012-2013, with primary responsibilities surrounding congregational leadership, multicultural engagement, team ministry, and public advocacy. He also served as a guest lecturer for the Viterbo University Masters of Arts program in Servant Leadership and the Edgewood College (Madison, WI) Department of Religious Studies. Prior to his arrival at Syracuse University, Konkol served as Chaplain of the College and was a faculty member in the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies program at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. He provided strategic leadership for the Office of the Chaplains, directed ritual practices, served academically through instruction and scholarship, offered pastoral care in moments of crisis, and assisted with planning events such as the Nobel Conference, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Building Bridges, MAYDAY, Honors Day, and numerous others. He provided individual counseling and vocational coaching for students, faculty, and staff, officiated at weddings and funerals, and actively supported institutional development and admissions.  A sought-after speaker and teacher, Konkol contributes as a featured writer for the Huffington Post and Sojourners, and has published articles for Patheos, Living Lutheran, The Lutheran, Journal of Lutheran Ethics, Capitol Times, Wisconsin State Journal, Mankato Free Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, The Star Tribune, and numerous others. With a focus on social justice, vocational reflection, globalization, public policy, and the interfaith cooperation, he recently published chapters for Living on the Edge: Essays in Honour of Steve de Gruchy, Activist and Theologian (Cluster Publications), 101 Testimonies of Hope (Testimonies of Hope Publications), and Rooted in Heritage, Open to the World (Lutheran University Press). His book, Mission as Accompaniment: A Response to Mechanistic Dehumanization was released with Fortress Press in 2017.

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