Brian Konkol


Chaplain of the College in Chaplains' Office

The Rev. Dr. Brian E. Konkol (M.Div., M.Th., Ph.D.) serves as Chaplain of the College, teaches in the Peace Studies program and Three Crowns Curriculum, and is Creative Director for Christmas in Christ Chapel at Gustavus Adolphus College.

As a religious, spiritual, moral, and ethical leader, Konkol serves the college and community as a preacher, minister, teacher, activist, and administrator. He provides direction for ritual practices such as Daily Sabbath and Sunday morning worship, functions as a caretaker for Christ Chapel, engages academically through classroom instruction and scholarship, offers pastoral care in moments of crisis, and assists with planning events such as the Nobel Conference, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Building Bridges, MAYDAY, Honors Day, and numerous others. He provides individual counseling and vocational coaching for students, faculty, and staff, officiates at weddings and funerals, and actively supports institutional development and admissions. 

Konkol is originally from Amherst Junction, WI, is a graduate of Amherst High School, and completed a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Criminal Justice from Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI). He earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN), and a Master of Theology (M.Th.) and Doctor of Philosphy (Ph.D.) in the School of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). Konkol is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). 

Konkol interned (2003-2004) and later served a parish with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana (2005-2007). He also lectured at the Lutheran Lay Academy, hosted international mission groups for the Lutheran Camp & Retreat Centre, advised the National Youth Commission, and co-hosted the nationally televised broadcast, “Word for the World”. He served on a variety of community organizing committees, many of which focused on ecumenical and interfaith cooperation, poverty, children and youth development, and ecological sustainability.

From 2008-2012, Konkol served in South Africa as Country Coordinator of the Young Adults in Global Mission program of the ELCA. He also assisted in parish ministry alongside isiZulu-speaking congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, lectured at the Lutheran Theological Institute, and participated with the World Council of Churches and Lutheran World Federation in the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Prior to his call at Gustavus Adolphus College, Konkol served as Co-Pastor of Lake Edge Lutheran Church (Madison, WI), with primary responsibilities surrounding congregational leadership, multicultural engagement, team ministry, and public advocacy. He also served as a guest lecturer for the Viterbo University Masters of Arts program in Servant Leadership and the Edgewood College (Madison, WI) Department of Religious Studies.

Konkol contributes as a featured writer for the Huffington Post and Sojourners, and has published articles for Patheos, Living Lutheran, The Lutheran, Journal of Lutheran Ethics, Capitol Times, Wisconsin State Journal, Mankato Free Press, Milwaukee Journal SentinelThe Star Tribune, and numerous others. He recently published chapters for Living on the Edge: Essays in Honour of Steve de Gruchy, Activist and Theologian (Cluster Publications) and 101 Testimonies of Hope (Testimonies of Hope Publications). His book on mission, accompaniment, and dehumanization is expected to be released with Fortress Press in 2017.

As Chaplain of the College, Konkol has represented the college and church as a speaker and teacher throughout the United States, with a focus on social justice, vocational reflection, globalization, public policy, and the exploration of Lutheran theology and interfaith cooperation in the context of religious pluralism. He is associated with the American Academy of Religion, Association of College and University Religious Affairs, National Association of College and University Chaplains, Interfaith Power and Light, Fair Trade Campaigns, and also serves on the Board of Advisers at Viterbo University and the Executive Board for the Joint Religious Legislative Council of Minnesota.  

Konkol and his wife Kristen were married in 2006, they have a son, Khaya, and a daughter, Tobi.


B.S., Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI); M.Div., Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN); M.Th., University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa); Ph.D., University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa)

Courses Taught


CUR-399 (Senior Seminar)

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
NDL-175Wellbeing in S. Africa12016/JN
CUR-399Senior Seminar12015/FA