"" "" ""
"" "" ""
who we are
what coaching is
coach bios
contact us
clergy comments

WhoWeAre AdvisoryBoard CoachBios Forms Forms Resources ContactUs Home

Rev. Arne Jessen, Ph.D.


46256 Beaver Dam Road
Cleveland  MN  56017


  • BA  – Dana College, 1954
  • M.Div.  – Lutheran Seminary, 1958
  • MTh in Pastoral Care & Counseling – Luther Seminary, 1964
  • Ph.D. in Religious Education – New York University, NY, NY, 1985
  • Part-time Post Graduate Studies in Leadership & Change, Center for Family Process, Bethesda, MD, 1993-1997


  • Ordination, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Atwater, MN, 1959
  • Commissioned, US Navy Chaplain Corps, 1959-1985, Retired as Commander; (USNR Enlisted 1951-1954)
  • Board Certified Chaplain, Association of Professional Chaplains – 1965
  • Certified ACPE Supervisor, Clinical Pastoral Education – 1965
  • Certified Association Executive (CAE), American Society of Association Executives – 1993
  • Certified Interim Specialist, Interim Ministry Network - 1995


  • Pastor, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Atwater, MN 1959-1962
  • Hospital Ministry & ACPE Supervisor (26 years: 1962-1987) in the following settings:
    • Associate Director, Pastoral Care, and Campus Pastor, School of   Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL, 1962-1967
    • VP for Church Relations & Dir. of Pastoral Care, Lutheran Med. Ctr., Brooklyn, NY, 1967-‘75
    • Director of Clinical Chaplaincy, St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth, MN, 1975-1982
    • Corporate Staff, Dir. of Chaplaincy, Sharp Hospitals, San Diego Hospital Assn., San Diego, CA, 1982-1987
  • Executive Director and CEO, College of Chaplains (Association of Professional Chaplains), Schaumburg, IL, 1987-1995
  • Eleven Interim Pastorates to congregations in Illinois and Minnesota; Seven as Senior Pastor, Three as Solo Pastor, and One as Associate Pastor (1995-2014)


  • Past President, College of Chaplains,
  • Researcher of the Year Award, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education,
  • Chair, CEO’s in Schaumburg, IL, Special Interest Group, Chicago Society of Association Executives.
  • Past Member of Executive Committee, ACPE.
  • Member of National Certification Committee, ACPE.
  • Led Institutional Accreditation Site Review Team, NYC for the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.
  • Adjunct Faculty and taught courses in two colleges, five seminaries, and University of MN Medical School.
  • Have served on Synod Committees, Task Forces, and/or Delegate to Assemblies in five synods.
  • At the request of the Chief of Chaplains, USN, taught Navy Chaplains a two week course on hospital ministry for five years at US Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, IL and US Naval Hospital, San Diego, CA and one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education for active duty chaplains.
  • In cooperation with the Bishop of SEMN Synod, ELCA designed and conducted a one day per week, six week leadership course for senior pastors and the presidents of their congregations.


  • Raised on a Nebraska cattle feeding farm with eleven siblings where we all spoke Danish at home.
  • Married to Meryl Nelson, RN, 1956.  We have four children and eleven grandchildren.

Back to List >


Among the many responsibilities of being the shepherd of a congregation or institution, is there an area where you could benefit from a little insightful help? In our world today, the best players rely on coaches to improve their game.

A professional and confidential relationship with a trusted and knowledgeable coach helps a pastor define and achieve goals. By a conversational process of openly thinking through the presenting challenges of ministry and leadership, a pastor can discover new possibilities and solutions that will be effective, faithful and rewarding.

Coaching facilitates and deepens that blessed and powerful movement of learning, growing and developing a self, and a ministry, that can be experienced and affirmed as excellence, being the best you can be.







"" "" ""

WhoWeAre AdvisoryBoard CoachBios Forms Resources ContactUs