The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Council has elected Estonian theologian Rev. Anne Burghardt as the next General Secretary of the global communion of Lutheran churches. The 45-year-old Burghardt is currently serving as Head of Development for the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church's (EELC) Institute of Theology and advisor to the church for international and ecumenical relations.
Burghardt will take over as LWF's new General Secretary at the beginning of November, succeeding Rev. Dr Martin Junge who has led the communion of 148 member churches for the past eleven years. She will be the first woman and the first Central Eastern European to hold this leadership position.
"I am humbled by this great honor and deeply grateful for the confidence that the Council members have shown in me. In accepting this very special responsibility in the communion, I pray for the guidance of God's Spirit. I rejoice in having the possibility to work with the Council, with member churches, and with different partners, as the LWF continues to participate in God's holistic mission. May God bless our communion so that it may be a blessing to the wider church and to the world," the Estonian said following the announcement.
Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Urmas Viilma, who serves as the vice president of the LWF in Central and Eastern Europe, said that one would be hard-pressed to find someone to match Burghardt's international work experience and theological capacity.
"Anne Burghardt, in addition to her international work experience, is a brilliant theologist and cleric who is qualified to the highest standard of theological education and ecumenical work. I was glad to sign her nomination last fall," Viilma said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski