Pastor’s Perspective: Andrea Taphorn

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We are grateful for our network of pastors and ministry partners who have supported us and provided thoughtful reflections about their experiences as students. 

Pastor Andrea Taphorn was ordained in September 2023 and now serves a congregation in sunny San Diego, CA. She shared her insights with us as a recent graduate of our Kairos program. 

We’re grateful for Andrea’s service to her community and her gracious testimonial. Check out what she had to say below!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your path to Lutheran ministry. 

I was ordained in September, and I’m currently serving at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in San Diego where my husband, Brodie, is the primary pastor. We’ve been here for about two years now. We have three kids: Abby (21), Carolyn (19), and Silas (18), and before this, we spent the last 20 years in Columbus, OH, so it’s been a big change for us to come out here and pursue this call we felt the Lord placed on our hearts.

Having this call so far from our hometown, I can only say we answered the call by faith. It’s difficult to describe to someone how there was nothing there but God saying this is something you need to do.

How did you first get connected to Luther House of Study?

I started seminary in the fall of 2019. I was working as a director of children’s ministry, and I had been in that position for about 7 years. I was feeling a call to something more for quite a while, but I wasn’t sure how to put any definition to it. It was a slow unraveling of feeling called to ministry. 

I think someone mentioned Luther House to me, asking if I’d heard of Kairos. I hadn’t, so I Googled it and realized I could do a masters of divinity in my own context — accommodating my full-time work and family commitments. It felt like a perfect fit, and once I started talking to Sarah Stenson and learning about the education offered through LHOS, I was hooked.

I think LHOS has done an excellent job of recognizing this opportunity we have before us of distance learning and using the flipped classroom platform, where I’m doing all that lecture listening at home on my own time, but when we gather online, we’re discussing the materials and Chris and Sarah are pulling so much out of us. It proved to be such a rich experience and a wonderful way to learn.

What have been some of the greatest lessons or takeaways from your time with Luther House?

One of the most profound lessons I learned at LHOS was the essence of the Gospel. It sounds like the most simple thing in the whole world, but it’s so easy to miss and misunderstand. I’ve heard the Gospel in such a way that it put to death the sinner in me and rose up faith — the faith that was then able to be birthed for us to accept this call. I see those things as very much linked to one another, and I’m so grateful for Luther House’s preaching of the Gospel to me. 

LHOS prepared to lead a church by unpacking how the church is created. The church is created through the proclamation of Law and Gospel. This simple and yet profound theology centers my every day work as a pastor.

Could you share a specific class or text that impacted you deeply?

“It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20) was one of the most impactful verses for understanding what it means to not be an “I”, but for the Gospel to take effect in me.

As far as classes, the Reformation course flipped my world upside down, and I just kept listening and listening. It challenged my perspective and provided a new way of understanding the gospel, akin to learning a new language.

Were there any resources or projects from your education that you found particularly helpful?

I loved the practical projects that LHOS incorporated into the curriculum. Creating confirmation materials and lessons, for instance, allowed me to apply what I was learning directly to my ministry context. 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Any final thoughts on your time with Luther House?

When I graduated, I shelved some of my seminary books, and it made me feel sad because I loved the experience so much. Thankfully, I know LHOS is always available and that the materials and interactions don’t go away just because I’ve graduated, which is a testimony to how relevant they’ve made this education.

If you have been positively impacted by our ministry, we are always looking for testimonials — whether it’s just a few sentences or your full story. Please feel free to email Sarah at if you would be willing to share. 

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Pastor’s Perspective: Andrea Taphorn

We are grateful for our network of pastors and ministry partners who have supported us and provided thoughtful reflections about their experiences as students.  Pastor

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“What’s up everybody and welcome back to Scripture First — the podcast that explores how the Lutheran lectionary is working in your life. I’m your host,