By Kara Lattu

Bishop Ann Svennungsen recently announced that Dr. Ibrahim Bitrus has been named Companion Synod Theologian in Residence for the Minneapolis Area Synod. As such, Bitrus will work with congregations in both short-term and long-term settings on a variety of topics.

Bitrus was born and raised in northeast Nigeria. He received his Bachelors degree and Masters of theology from the Theological College of Northern Nigeria, followed by his PhD in systematic theology from Luther Seminary. Previously he was a lecturer at the Bronnum Lutheran Seminary — Yola, Nigeria.

“It is wonderful to have Ibrahim here and to have a connection to our companion synod, the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria,” Bishop Svennungsen said while making the announcement. “Having him in our midst will strengthen our relationship and deepen our commitment to have an incarnate partnership that is both visible and real.”

Bitrus is also author of several articles, including “The Influence of Neo-Pentecostalism in Nigeria” in Karen L. Bloomquist, ed., Lutheran Respond to Pentecostalism, Minneapolis: Lutheran University Press, 2008; “An ‘Absence of God’ from Public Life? The Disconnect between Faith and Life in the Church in Nigeria in Word & World; “The Theology of the Cross: A Stumbling Block to the Neo-Pentecostal Gospel” in TCNN Bulletin; and upcoming “Disturbing an Unjust Peace in Nigeria, The Contribution of Luther’s Critical Public Theology” in On Secular Governance: Lutheran Perspectives on Contemporary Legal Issues, edited by Marie A. Failinger and Ronald W. Duty.

Ibrahim is married to Julecy and they are blessed with four children — Pasy, Tunary, Falnyi and Titveren. They live together in St Paul near Luther Seminary.

This Companion Synod Theologian in Residence position has been funded by individual donors and congregations for one year, with funding being sought for an additional year. During this time Ibrahim will visit synod congregations and share his knowledge and expertise through preaching, teaching, small groups, and forums. He and/or his wife Julecy are also available to speak with congregations about general life or the conflict in Nigeria. Those interested in being added to Ibrahim’s schedule should contact him directly at

The synod is seeking donations to help fund this position for the next two years. Congregations wishing to make a donation in support of this position should contact Kara Lattu at