Antje Jackelén elected Church of Sweden’s first female archbishop

Posted Oct 20, 2013

Bishop Antje Jackelén. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay

[Lutheran World Federation] The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has congratulated Lund Bishop Antje Jackelén upon her election as the next archbishop of the Church of Sweden.

In a letter to Jackelén, LWF General Secretary the Rev. Martin Junge expressed gladness that the Swedish church had elected a leader who would bring to her new role “rootedness in the global church” and understanding of “the richness and diversity of the global Lutheran communion.”

Junge said, “Your gifts of theological understanding, pastoral care and discernment, and principled leadership will be put to good use in this new chapter of your ministry.”

In the Oct. 15 election in Uppsala, Jackelén received 55.9 percent of the votes cast in the first round to choose a successor to outgoing Archbishop Anders H. Wejryd. She will become the first woman to head the Swedish church.

Jackelén is a member of the LWF Council, and serves on its Committee for Theology and Ecumenical Relations. The general secretary underlined her leadership role in the LWF governing body and other international settings, as well as her experience while studying and teaching in Germany and the United States.

The LWF celebrates Jackelén’s election also as an affirmation “that one of LWF’s gifts to the global church is the commitment to the full participation of women and men in church and society,” Junge noted. Still, he expressed his hope that the day would come “when the news is not going to be anymore the gender of the elected leaders, but the special gifts he or she brings to the ministry.”

Jackelén studied at the universities of Tübingen (Germany) and Uppsala and Lund (Sweden), and taught systematic theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, USA. After her ordination in 1980, she served as a parish pastor in Stockholm and Lund, and became the Lund diocese bishop in 2007. She will be installed as Church of Sweden Archbishop in June 2014, succeeding Wejryd, who has led the church since 2006.

Church of Sweden is LWF’s largest member church, with over 6.5 million members.


Comments (4)

  1. Jay Woods says:

    Right: not gender. Hopefully the news will be about a variety of sexual orientations and the gifts for ministry which leaders bring: that gives affirmation and hope to younger folks who seek to serve.

  2. Eddie Hall says:

    I think its great. Is she single? I’m Baptist, but I’m ecumenical.

  3. What a breath of fresh air for the world Christian churches. The Episcopal Church, USA set the
    presidence for allowing women to lead an episcopal college with Bishop Schori. Iceland came second. Then, Norway has a woman presiding bishop. Now, the ELCA (USA) also has moved in the same direction. Maybe next year (2014) the Church of England would consider consecration of bishops soon.

    Per Raymond Gallie

  4. Donna Noble Gibson says:

    Prayers for Children
    Published by Donna Noble Gibson · 23 hrs · Edited ·
    Oct. 15. 2015 As a global family, we are united in care and concern for all children, their families, their caretakers. The family is the basic unit of society where children learn love,values, and social skills. Today we see the breakup of families because of war, migration, corruption resulting in poverty, impossible living conditions…….In shared humanity and care, let us protect, pray, bless and direct our positive thought and energy to children and families within our world and our community. Pope Francis said: “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” Mercy means caring for our children and families

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