Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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(1921-) Lutheran church administrator and urban planner who later became a federal housing administrator and, still later, a substance abuse counselor. President, Religious Research Association, 1962-1964. Attended Johns Hopkins University and later graduated successively from Gettysburg College and Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary, the latter in 1950, where he came under the influence of Bertha Paulssen, Professor of Church and Society. He was awarded the Litt.D. from Carthage College in 1961. Fellow in urban studies, University of Chicago, 1965-1967.

After serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II and as a pastor in Paramus, N.J., 1950-1953, he was National Director of Urban Ministries for the National Lutheran Council from 1954 to 1967. Then from 1967 to 1983, he worked for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in Chicago, Kansas City, and Washington, D.C. He has since worked as a substance abuse counselor in the Washington area. He also has served on committees for social ministry for the Lutheran Church in America and for the Virginia Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.

In his Urban Church Planning (with coauthor Arthur Hillman, Muhlenberg Press 1958), he produced a widely used training manual for joint self-study by regional groups of urban congregations. He also is the author of The City Church: Death or Renewal (Muhlenberg 1961), Challenge and Response in the City (Augustana Press 1962), and Community Organization Today (HUD 1968).

Ross P. Scherer

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