Bård Norheim - Featured Author - EJT

May 02, 2020 author profile of Prof. Dr. Bård Norheim journal share this article:

Bård Eirik Hallesby Norheim (* 1973) is associate professor of practical theology and Head of Department for Theology, Religion and Philosophy at NLA University College in Bergen, Norway. He serves as the President of the IASYM (International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry).

He is an ordained priest in the Church of Norway (Evangelical Lutheran). After living and serving as a missionary in post-Soviet Estonia for many years, he is passionately involved in doing, researching and teaching youth ministry.

In addition to being a pastor and theologian, he is also a musical artist (aka Reverend B). His first full-length book in English, Practicing Baptism (2014), came with an epilogue, a musical album and music video titled “Practicing Baptism” (see



Personal details

Date of Birth: July 5, 1973

Marital Status: Married to Rev Kjersti Gautestad Norheim, Cand Theol

Children: Hanna (16 years), Eirik (12 years), Selma (10 years), Lina (7 years)

Present position

Associate Professor of Practical Theology NLA University College, Bergen, Norway

Head of Department of Theology and Religion, NLA University College, Bergen, Norway


March 2012 Doctor of Philosophy (MF Norwegian School of Theology) Dissertation Topic: Practicing Baptism: A Theological Investigation of the Presence of Christ in Christian practices in the Context of Youth Ministry

1999 Candidatus Theologiae (MF Norwegian School of Theology – studies in Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Systematic Theology and Practical Theology).

Exchange student at the universities of Erlangen, Germany (Old Testament, New Testament, church and media and Orthodox theology), Uppsala, Sweden (Church history, ecclesiology, Psychology of religion and Estonian), and Tübingen, Germany (Systematic theology, church history, New Testament, Old Testament and Roman-Catholic theology).

1999 Candidatus Magisterii (University of Oslo - studies in the history of ideas, literature and Estonian).

2000 Practical-theological seminary (MF Norwegian School of Theology) Denominational affiliation

Ordained 27th of August 2000 as a priest in the Church of Norway (Evangelical-Lutheran)

Ministry and work experience

2012- Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Head of Department of Theology and Religion, NLA University College, Bergen, Norway. Teaching different courses and modules in in Practical and Systematic Theology, Youth Ministry, Leadership Studies and Christian Education. Leading major curriculum revisions on bachelor- and masters level.

2006-2012 Research fellow at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo, Norway. Teaching different modules in Practical and Systematic Theology, Youth Ministry and Christian Education.

2006-present Adjunct professor at Luther Seminary St Paul, Minnesota (June 2012), guest lecturer at SALT (Scandinavian Academy of Leadership and Theology – Oslo, Norway) and Centre for Youth Ministry at Cambridge, UK and at the Theological Seminary in Tallinn, Estonia.

2011-2014 Mentor Congregation Development Project Strusshamn Congregation

2011-present Confirmation Teacher and youth minister in Birkeland congregation (volunteer)

2007- 2010 Confirmation Teacher and youth minister in a congregation plant project (volunteer) Rælingen, Norway

2007, 2010 Vicar in a congregation plant project Rælingen, Norway

2007- 2009 Mentor within the Reform on Christian Education in the Church of Norway: Nittedal/Hakadal and Furuset, Norway

2003-2006 Missionary (focusing on youth ministry) in Estonian Evangelical-Lutheran Church (EELC), also teaching Practical Theology at the Theological Seminary (homiletics, missiology, children- and youth ministry, confirmation training along with congregation youth ministry in Tallinn and organizational developmental work within the nationwide children- and youth ministry organization of the EELC Tallinn, Estonia

2000-2003 Ordained Children- and Youth minister Nordstrand congregation (Church of Norway) Oslo, Norway

2003 Lecturer in Philosophy and Theological Hermeneutics at MF Norwegian School of Theology Oslo, Norway

1999-2000 Youth minister Nordstrand congregation (Church of Norway) Oslo, Norway

2000 Lecturer in New Testament at the Seminary of the Evangelical-Lutheran Free Church in Norway Oslo, Norway

1996-1997 (Non-military) civil service at Council for Ecumenical and International Relations at the Church of Norway Oslo, Norway

1995-1996 Music youth minister Tonsen congregation (Church of Norway) Oslo, Norway

1993-1994 Project leader Ten Sing Estonia Tallinn, Estonia and Bergen, Norway

1992-1993 Pioneer youth minister Estonian YWCA-YMCA Tallinn, Estonia

Research interests My current research interest centers on the following three fields of study – youth ministry, leadership (with a particular emphasis on rhetoric), and the intersection between systematic and practical theology. I am involved in two research projects, which both address these three fields of study. The first research project is on leadership and rhetoric, utilizing a theological hermeneutic of suffering (with colleague Joar Haga). The second research project focuses on leadership dynamics in youth ministry (with colleague Knut Tveitereid).

Most recent publications in English

Book Practicing Baptism. Christian Practices and the Presence of Christ (Oregon: Pickwick, 2014)

Forthcoming Book The Four Speeches Every Leader Has to Know [on leadership and rhetoric], co-written with Joar Haga

Articles and Chapters

• ‘The Christian Story of the Body as the Ritual Plot in Youth Ministry’ in Journal of Youth and Theology 15.1 (2016) 88-106.

• ‘Cultivating a Vision of the Unseen: The Apophatic mode in Ecclesiological Research’ in Ecclesial Practices. Ecclesial Practices 2.1 (2015) 40-56.

• ‘Ministry as Womb and Tomb: Baptism as a Paradigm for Ministry’ in Dialog A Journal of Theology (2014) 101-109. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dial.12099/abstract

• ‘A Grain of Wheat: Towards a theological anthropology for leading change in ministry’ in Journal of Religious Leadership (2014) 59-77.

• ‘Practicing Baptism’, comment in Lutheran Quarterly (2014) 447-450.

• ‘Church’, in Sally Nash and Jo Whitehead (eds), Christian Youth Work in Theory and Practice: A Handbook (London: SCM, 2014) 130-144. (with Matt Brain)

• ‘”Confessionality” in youth ministry’ in Journal of Youth and Theology 10.1-2 (2012) 48-64.

• ‘The global youth culture: targeting and involving youth in global mission’ in The Church Going Glocal: mission and globalisation (Oxford: Regnum, 2011) 168-175.

• ‘Practicing baptism: The church as communio and congregatio sanctorum: Rethinking ecclesiology in the context of Nordic youth ministry’ in Journal of Youth and Theology 9.1 (2010) 37-55.

Prof. Dr. Bård Norheim