Lead Pastor

Rev. Kathy Nolte
(708) 848-4741

Rev. Kathy Nolte has served as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park since 2008. In January 2020 she accepted a part-time position as Assitant to the Bishop of the Metroplitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She has been an ordained minister since 2001, previously serving in North Aurora, IL. 

Through her work at Good Shepherd, she works with Kidz Express, an after-school mentoring program in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and is a member of the OPRF Workgroup for Positive Youth Development which seeks to reduce underage drinking in Oak Park and River Forest.  Since 2004 Rev. Nolte has served as the Chair of the Companion Synod Advisory Group, which builds relationships with the Central Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa centered in SOWETO South Africa. Previously Rev. Nolte served on the Chicago chapter of Reconciling Works which seeks to create welcome within Lutheran congregations for LGBTQIA+ individuals. To augment her work in these areas she advocates for anti-racism training, LGBT rights and mental health initiatives.

Working towards restoration of Good Shepherd's building after a fire in 2018, Rev. Nolte has gained expertise in project management in church building construction. Previously Rev. Nolte served as president of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center which seeks integration through housing and as Vice President of the Community of Congregations within the Oak Park Community.  She previously served as Dean of both the West Conference and the Near West Conference for the Metropolitan Chicago Synod.

As a woman who began her spiritual journey as a Roman Catholic, her ministry has an ecumenical stance and openness to others.  She finds that each faith tradition has a different lens through which to catch a glimpse of the Divine One who remains veiled. Through her work she has partnered with playwright, Rohina Malik to bring stories from the Muslim tradition to her congregation and advocates for religious freedom for Muslims..