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Called to Glory: Jack Schultz, Professor of Anthropology

Dr. Jack Schultz, Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, was called to be with his Savior on Sunday, May 12, 2024.

George Wright

IRVINE, CA, May 13, 2024 —  Dr. Jack Schultz, Professor of Anthropology in the School of Arts and Sciences, was called to be with his Savior on Sunday, May 12, 2024.

“We hopefully and confidently entrust our brother, Jack Schultz, into the loving arms of his Savior, Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Michael Thomas, president of Concordia University Irvine. “While we grieve the loss of our colleague, friend, mentor, and teacher with a deep sigh of sorrow, thanks be to God that we do not grieve as those who have no hope! We know with certainty the promise of the Resurrection and the Life. Today, Jack is with our Lord in paradise!”

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:16-17).

Dr. Schultz came to Concordia in 1998. During his 25 years serving Concordia, he taught a variety of classes on campus including Introduction of Cultural Anthropology, Religion in Society, Culture and Self, and Native Peoples of North America, among others. He also taught graduate courses in Christ College’s Cross-cultural Ministry Center and both seminaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

As a practicing anthropologist, Dr. Schultz was active in research exploring the interplay of religion and culture. He conducted ethnographic research among a variety of Native American peoples including the Seminole, Creek, Pawnee, Lakota, and Navajo nations. He authored multiple publications in the anthropology of religion, most notably is his book The Seminole Baptists of Oklahoma: Maintaining a Traditional Community (University of Oklahoma Press, 1999). He also investigated religion in Eastern Europe and Japan. In addition to his interest in religion and culture, Dr. Schultz also studied material culture and native technologies.

In his role as a professor, Dr. Schultz was intentional in assisting his students to see the hidden forces of culture in their own lives, as well as in the lives of others they interact with. He was named CUI Bono Professor of the Year at Concordia for the 2008-2009 academic year, and was a regular contributor to CUI Bono talks and podcasts. He worked with students and local Native American tribal representatives to identify and catalog artifacts found on Concordia’s campus, and helped to create a partnership between Concordia and the local Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation to develop Concordia’s Heritage Garden. Dr. Schultz helped prepare Around-the-World program students prior to their departure, and often served as a “drop in” professor during the course of their semester abroad. He shared his many talents with countless students and colleagues, many of whom he welcomed to his home to learn metal craft and leather-working.

George Wright

"Dr Schultz taught us all that our understanding of culture, in society and the church, is at the same time often compromised and flawed through a culture dependent on our sinful nature, but also Redeemed and cherished, worthy of investigation and understanding, through the person and work of Jesus Christ,” reflects Dr. Bret Taylor, Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. “Jack had a way of answering questions with questions per his training in anthropology, and yet did so with a love and care for the individual he was speaking with that was also genuine and inviting. He will be truly missed in the classroom, in the hallways, and sitting on the back patio laughing, reflecting, and mentoring the young and not-so-young. We thank God for the gifts that He provided Jack, and for Jack's willingness to share those gifts with so many."

Dr. Schultz completed an Associate of Arts with a concentration in education (with honors) at St. John’s College in Winfield, KS and went on to complete his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and education at Concordia University, River Forest, IL (now Concordia University-Chicago). He earned his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to his fieldwork, Dr. Schultz served as an adjunct professor and visiting professor at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg, Germany.

Jack was an impassioned teacher, wonderful colleague, dedicated father, loving husband, and servant of his Lord.

Please pray for Dr. Schultz’s wife, Christine Crow Schultz, their three children, Joshua, Anna, and Abigail, and grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Concordia's campus on Saturday, May 25, at 2:00 pm in the Good Shepherd Chapel, with a reception immediately following on the Good Shepherd lawn.

To honor his legacy and passion for Anthropology through mission opportunities and education, Jack's family lovingly requests donations be made to Concordia University Irvine's Dr. Jack Schultz Memorial Fund.

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