ISO: awesome gift for a Lutheran minister in training
April 14, 2014 1:24 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a gift for a Lutheran seminary student, who is very awesome and who is doing a very large service for us soon. I am not Lutheran, and I do not know a lot about thoughtful gifts that would be good for someone still in seminary school. Please help!

My backup plan is to get a gift that relates to her other interests/hobbies, which are plentiful, but I thought it might be nice to get something a little more tailored to her faith since the service is of a religion nature. We're both ladies in our late twenties. Thank you very much.


1) Must be available online, with fast shipping

2) Not above $50

3) Not a liquid; can generally be put into carry-on luggage

4) I already tried searching for "dinosaur vestments" but no dice-- she does love dinosaurs though
posted by jetlagaddict to Shopping (7 answers total)
Ms Liquado (United Church of Canada ordained minister) received a portable communion set (not that one, but similar) as a thank you once, and was quite touched by it. Would appear to meet your needs, price-wise.
posted by liquado at 1:43 PM on April 14, 2014


I am also a Lutheran seminary student who is currently in NYC but I've spent time at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. I also like dinosaurs.

The default joke website for Lutheran kitsch is Old Lutheran. As a personal fan of Threadless t-shirts, I love this kind of junk and I tend to get one or two of their shirts every Christmas. Keep Calm and Be Lutheran tends to get me a lot of comments.

However, the life of a Lutheran seminary student (especially a young one) is constantly being on the move. You move to seminary, then have a summer working at a hospital as a chaplain, then back to campus, then you're gone for a year on internship, and then back to campus before POOF. You're shoved out into the wide yonder hoping to find your first call (job) and praying that they might be able to pay for your moving expenses.

So, if I was in your position, I'd want something that was either small and transportable (say, a new phone case), school related (book tote bag), or liturgical. If your seminary student is a member of the ELCA and hasn't been on CPE (or internship), this pastoral care book is great and useful. I use it a ton.

on preview: portable communion sets are good gifts as well but if you could personalize it in some way, that would be even better.
posted by Stynxno at 1:46 PM on April 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

The young seminarians I know are typically struggling to pay their bills since the church is not a lucrative career - cash/gift cards are always VERY welcome. If you're set on giving a physical object, I'd choose a very small one since seminarians are typically gearing up to look for a full-time position which may be very far away without much financial help to move their belongings.

Wanting to give a faith-centric gift is a lovely thought and it really depends on the person, but the seminarians I know are typically marinating in Religious Books And Items and may be just as pleased with a more 'secular' gift - seminarians are people too, and religion encompasses all of life!

Source: lots of perpetually-broke seminarian friends
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 1:47 PM on April 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Caveat: I was raised in a very conservative Lutheran sect (definitely no ladies in seminaries).

However, I won a copy of Luther, the 2004 biopic of Martin Luther, and it was OK, if excessively Ernest (as these things tend to be). It was cheesy enough that you can enjoy it on that level, but honest enough that I didn't feel bad about passing it on to my father, a ferociously doctrinaire minister. I notice on that page they have a "three item combo" including God's Outlaw, a film on the early Protestant Tyndale and Amazing Grace, about Wilberforce's fight against slavery, which would make kind of a nice Protestant 1-2-3 punch kind of thing (and Kermode claims that Amazing Grace is pretty good, so there's that). Assuming your friend likes videos.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:48 PM on April 14, 2014

Just to add: my friend will also be receiving money, I just thought I might add something a little more usefully commemorative. (There is a long flight involved, so yes, small is great.) She has already been on internships. This is great though, thank you!
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:52 PM on April 14, 2014

Good heavens, there are Luther Rose phone cases.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:53 PM on April 14, 2014

When I was in seminary, I started collecting antique books connected to my denomination. I was able to get some real gems for not-much-money. I don't know if your friend would find that kind of thing meaningful, but there are several options on eBay, including this 1909 Lutheran hymnal that has an expedited shipping option, although the bidding doesn't end for four more days.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:24 PM on April 14, 2014

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