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Meet The Reverend Dr. Mary Hinkle Shore
Meet The Reverend Dr. Mary Hinkle Shore

The Rev. Dr. Mary Hinkle Shore was welcomed as the newly appointed rector and dean at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Lenoir-Rhyne University in February.

In this role, Shore serves as the lead academic and church administrator for LTSS and works to further develop the seminary to an exemplary status within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. During her first weeks in the new position, Shore focused on gaining knowledge from the colleagues that surround her on the Columbia campus.

"Within and beyond the Columbia campus, my colleagues recognize their everyday work as an investment in the next generation of leaders in Christian ministry," Shore said. "Therefore, my first priority has been to listen to them in an attempt to discover what the seminary is doing already, where we need to focus our resources, and how we can be stronger together through partnerships."

Before assuming her position as rector and dean, Shore served as pastor at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Brevard, North Carolina, for six years. She also served 16 years at Luther Seminary in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she held positions as a professor with tenure and associate dean.

"Dr. Shore has extraordinary credentials and was clearly the top candidate recommended by the students, faculty, and staff at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary," said University President Dr. Fred Whitt. "She is highly qualified to represent our seminary to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and beyond."

Shore is a frequent speaker and author of the book Signs of Belonging: Luther's Marks of the Church and the Christian Life. She has also published articles in The Christian Century magazine, Word and World Journal, Journal for Preachers, and the website Working Preacher. Shore completed her doctorate in religion at Duke University, a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary, and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She is a former member of LR's board of trustees. Shore and her husband, Hank, relocated to Columbia and are living on the LTSS campus.



  • Hiking in the North Carolina mountains.
  • Reading her favorites book genres – literary fiction and political history. Shore also enjoys murder mysteries like those by Louise Penny and Margaret Maron.


  • Welsh Pembroke Corgi, Riley, who Shore says is "lightning fast with a herding ball."
  • Twelve-year-old brown Tabby Cat named Leslie who Shore has owned since she was a kitten. According to Shore, "she is easygoing, though sometimes annoyed by the dog's invitations to play."


  • As a child growing up, Shore traveled to numerous national parks with her parents and three other siblings. "By the time I was 17, I had been in 40 states of the United States."


  • Carl Zehner, Shore's confirmation pastor. "He showed me what it meant to be a loving, wise pastor and proclaimer of the Word."
  • Carl Skrade, Shore's religion professor at Capital University. "He taught me to think critically and to lean into the grace of God."
  • Kathy Hansen, vice president for seminary relations and executive director of the Luther Seminary Foundation at Luther Seminary, in St. Paul, Minnesota. "She has always modeled leadership that was strong and clear yet also valued others' contributions."


  • Shore hopes to learn to sail one day. "I love the mountains, but the lakes of Minnesota still call to me."