Pastor David J. Lose
Pastor Lose became the ninth senior pastor of Mount Olivet in July, 2017. Previously, he served as president of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, taught on the faculty of Luther Seminary, and served several congregations in New Jersey. He is the author of the “Making Sense” series of books and resources from Augsburg Fortress. Pastor Lose is grateful for his wife, Karin, and children, Jack and Katie. He looks forward to building on Mount Olivet’s distinguished history and present strengths so that it can be a leading light in the greater church, community, and world as we share the good news of Christ in creative and compelling ways.
Pastor Kurt P. Kalland
Pastor Kalland has served as an associate pastor at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church since 1992. Pastor Kalland is the Pastoral Adviser to the Congregational Care Team and is happy to be known as the “Monsignor” of the Mount Olivet Motorheads group. He has been happily married to his wife, Dawn, for over 30 years, (they met at Cathedral of the Pines), and is blessed with two exceptional daughters, two son-in-laws, and a wonderful granddaughter. Pastor Kalland remains active in the recovery community. In his free time, he enjoys cleaning automobiles, humor, shooting sports, playing outside, and his work as a volunteer Chaplain for the Edina Police Department.
Pastor Monica M. Hammersten
The daughter of an Irish Catholic father and a Swedish Lutheran mother, Pastor Hammersten was raised at Mount Olivet and has served in many roles here throughout the years, being called as a pastor in June of 2008. A graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and Luther Seminary, Pastor Hammersten has worked as a Spanish Interpreter and a restaurant manager and owner. She currently works with the Mount Olivet Church Women (MOCW), Hi-er League (College Aged Ministry) and the Mount Olivet Thursday Friends and Mount Olivet Friends groups (Special Needs Ministry). She and her husband Tom have three sons: Jack, Ben and Eli. When not at church, you’re likely to find her anywhere outdoors in God’s creation.
Pastor Charlie R. Ruud
Pastor Ruud joined the pastoral team at Mount Olivet in July of 2018. Ordained in 2009, he has previously served Bethel Lutheran Church (Northfield) and Normandale Lutheran Church (Edina). Pastor Ruud’s areas of leadership at Mount Olivet include being pastoral adviser to Adult Education and supporter of our Confirmation program. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary and during his time at seminary also spent 4+ yrs as a professional baseball player for the St. Paul Saints. Aside from pastoring, he enjoys playing and listening to music, all things sports-related, fishing, and sampling craft beers.
Pastor Mark J. Dixon
Pastor Dixon came to Mount Olivet in August of 2018 from New Jersey, where he earned his PhD in history from Princeton Theological Seminary and his wife Mollie worked as an RN in labor and delivery. Since their marriage in 2009, the Dixons have lived in Minnesota, Alaska, New Jersey, and Germany. Also part of the Dixon family: three (very) energetic sons–James, August, and Casper. Pastor Dixon serves as the Pastoral Adviser for Youth, for the West Campus with Pastor Freeman, for Hi-er League with Pastor Hammersten, and for Young Adults with Pastor Cieslik. When not pastoring, he enjoys watching movies, cooking, and reading. He and his wife also like taking their boys to wide open fields to watch them run.
Pastor Rebecca C. Freeman
Pastor Freeman joined Mount Olivet in September 2019. Pastor Freeman brings 12 years of pastoral experience to Mount Olivet. She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and Luther Seminary. Pastor Freeman is the Pastoral Advisor to the West Campus with Pastor Dixon, and shares responsibilities for our disability ministries programs with Pastor Hammersten. She eagerly shares that she loves God and loves people. As a Pastor, she enjoys connecting with people of all generations, walking with people on their journey of life, and helping them understand how deeply they are loved. She is married to Sedge and is a mother to two beloved children: a son, Stellan, and a daughter, Liv. Pastor Freeman was a three-sport college athlete at Gustavus and continues to love sports. She reports that her favorite things to do include spending time with family and enjoying a good cup of coffee.
Pastor Benjamin M. Cieslik
Pastor Cieslik brings 12 years of pastoral experience to Mount Olivet, having served at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Twin Cities since 2010 in the roles of Associate Pastor (2010-2015), Executive Pastor (2015-2017), and Co-Lead Pastor (2017-2022). He is a graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary. Pastor Cieslik will oversee our digital outreach initiatives, will take primary responsibility for our Young Adult ministry, and will focus on expanding our community engagement. He will start his role at Mount Olivet on or about April 10, 2022.
Pastor Cieslik is a strong preacher, a creative thinker, and brings deep and varied leadership experience to Mount Olivet. He is particularly passionate about engaging people of all ages with the Gospel by both traditional and new means. He is married to Beth (Bevis) Cieslik, a life-long member of Mount Olivet and former Cathedral of the Pines staff member. They are parents to two beloved children: daughter Greta, and son Bjorn. Pastor Cieslik knows Mount Olivet well, having served as a Confirmation Mentor and as a participant in the Young Marrieds group along with Beth.