Rev. Lorna A. Shoemaker, beloved professor and member of the Christian Theological Seminary community, died on February 18 in St. Paul, MN. Rev. Shoemaker joined the CTS staff as Director of the Library in 2000 and was appointed to the faculty in 2003 as Assistant Professor of Church History. She served concurrently in both roles until leaving the seminary in 2013.
Rev. Shoemaker was a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA). Before joining the CTS community, she served in parish ministry and as Associate for Women’s Program in the national Ministry Unit of the PC (USA). Rev. Shoemaker specialized in the Middle Ages and Reformation-era ecclesiastical history, and her doctoral work at Graduate Theological Union focused on the papal court of Innocent III and on papal reforms through the lens of Innocent’s early writings. Among her published work are contributions to The Historical Handbook to Major Biblical Interpreters (InterVarsity, 1998) and the New Westminster Dictionary of Church History (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2004).
Rev. Shoemaker regularly taught courses in Church History and is remembered fondly by many students, faculty, and staff members who knew her during her 13-year tenure at CTS. In the classroom, the library, and all around campus, she was widely loved for her gracious spirit, sharp intellect, good humor, and sincere willingness to help students. The CTS community extends our thoughts and prayers to Rev. Shoemaker’s partner, Rev. Dr. Holly Hearon, the T.J. and Virginia Liggett Emerita Professor of Christian Traditions and New Testament at CTS, who served on the CTS faculty from 2000-2014.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis on March 13th at 2 p.m. A second celebration will be held at a later date in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The complete obituary is available here.