Mark Torgerson | Department of Biblical and Theological Studies | Judson University Christian College

Mark A. Torgerson Profile

Contact Information

Name:Mark A. Torgerson
Department:Worship Arts Chair / Biblical and Theological Studies
Year Started:2002
Phone Number:(847) 628-1068
Office Location:Lindner Tower 323


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1996
M.A., University of Notre Dame, 1993
M.Div., North Park Theological Seminary, 1988
B.S., California State University, Fresno, 1982


Dr. Torgerson teaches in the areas of theology, worship, and architecture. He has experienced and explored Christian worship on five continents, yielding an appreciation for the diversity of expressions that emerge from many cultures. Professor Torgerson has a particular interest in the intersection between visual artifacts (art and architecture) and worship. His book An Architecture of Immanence (Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2007) examines the history and design of contemporary churches in Europe and the United States. Concern for living as faithful stewards in our material world has prompted development of a congregational resource for faith communities. He recently published the book Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations, Their Buildings, and Creation Care (Alban Institute, 2012) as a guide for Christian and Jewish congregations to pursue environmental care in community. He has also published multiple articles concerning worship, theology, and the arts in journals such as Worship, SEEN (CIVA Journal), The Clergy Journal, Doxology, and Reformed Liturgy and Music.

Professor Torgerson is also a painter, using primarily acrylic on canvas. About one half of his painting is oriented toward artifacts designed for worship events. He is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church, having served churches in Wisconsin and Connecticut. Honors he has received include: Invited participant in the Seminars in Christian Scholarship Program, Calvin College; Dissertation Teaching Fellow, College of Arts and Letters, University of Notre Dame; Dissertation Fellow, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame; Honors Program, North Park Theological Seminary.

Expertise / Involvements

Christian worship; church architecture; visual arts in the church


Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations, Their Buildings, and Creation Care. Herndon, VA: The Alban Institute, 2012.

“Hebrews in the Worship Life of the Church.” In Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews: A Resource for Students, eds. Eric F. Mason and Kevin B. McCruden, 269-296. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.

“Designing for the Elusive Presence.” Faith and Form: Interfaith Journal on Religion, Art and Architecture, on-line edition, Fall 2010.

Review of God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art by Daniel A. Siedell, Worship, Volume 84, Number 1 (January 2010): 89-91.

Review of Jesus and the Emergence of Catholic Imagination: An Illustrated Journey by John Pfordresher, Worship, Volume 83, Number 2 (March 2009): 190-191.

“Community and Church Building Design: Inclusive and Exclusive Considerations,” The Clergy Journal, Volume LXXXV, Number 2 (November/December 2008): 6-8.

“Artists and Worship: Vital Presence and Risky Business,” SEEN, Journal for Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), Volume 8, Number 2 (2008): 14-15.

An Architecture of Immanence: Architecture for Worship and Ministry in the Twentieth Century. Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Liturgical Study Series. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.

Professional Societies or Affiliations

  • American Academy of Religion
  • Christians in the Visual Arts
  • North American Academy of Liturgy
  • Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies

Current Projects

Research into contemporary European and American painting exhibiting biblical or theological references.

Recommended Links

 Alternative Worship. [a good starting point for exploring the alternative worship and emerging church movements]
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, [an excellent array of resources to explore and renew worship in the church]
Christians in Theatre Arts, [a primary organization and website for those involved in theatre]
Christians in the Visual Arts, [a primary organization and website for those involved in the visual arts of all kinds]
Georgetown Center for Liturgy, [a substantial website for seeking renewal in worship in light of the Roman Catholic tradition]
Image, [an important journal for artists of faith to share their work and reflections; also includes links for conferences and workshops]
Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, [a primary site for worship resources seeking renewal within Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions; has particularly helpful bibliographies]
The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies, [a study program in worship studies at the graduate level; Professor Torgerson maintains their on-line bibliography]
The Sacred Dance Guild, [a primary organization and website for those involved in dance]
Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies,  [a primary site for those exploring theology through the arts; includes a link to their excellent journal]

*The above listed websites do not necessarily reflect the views of Judson University.

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