Here we have gathered the submitted stories and photos from Pastor Brent’s ministry at UW-Madison. You can contribute to this effort by going to

I retired from UW Center for Limnology in 1996 and was asked by my Pastor at St. Stephens in Monona to serve on the Campus Ministry Board.  The room where we held our monthly meetings had some of the squeakiest chairs ever made.  I volunteered to attempt fixing them.  That was impossible task!  Luckily I found out that a state agency was getting an upgrade in their offices and the chairs that were being replaced were Free!  Through some help from my wife we arranged to get some new chairs.

I served on the Ministry board for about 8 years in the late 1900’s and early 2000’s.  I will always have fond memories of Pastor Brent who was dedicated to keep the UW Lutheran Campus ministry number one!  As I recall the UW Lutheran ministry was the first such ministry in the country.

Glen Lee

Brent and I shared a deep love of our shared heritage. I interviewed him for one of my Scandinavian Studies classes – click here to listen.

Annie Ingebritson Erdmann, 2008

Pastor Brent came to visit me in the hospital when I was really sick during college. It was such a generous and selfless gesture.

Anna Engstrom, 2011

As a member of Luther Memorial Church, I got to know Pastor Brent at a young age. He would give sermons the 2nd Sunday of each month. As a young choir member I would tend to doze off. But once I got into college and started attending the LCC I got to know Pastor Brent much more. I remember his great cooking, teachings and of course his music. 

I served as the LCC worship chair and was also the house person as well. Pastor Brent was always encouraging and teaching me to look at life in different ways. He was very open to the styles we had for worship. He always greeted everyone who walked though the building. 

I will miss his sermons, songs, and Monday SOUP conversations, but will always treasure them. He was a great mentor and a friend. He will be missed and his stories will live forever.

Tony Mathew, 2008

I was a UW freshman in 2012, so I didn’t have the fortune of having Pastor Brent for all four years. But in those short two years, Brent welcomed me and made me feel like an important member of the LCC community. I will always remember his warmth, humor, and ability to bond with anyone.

Emily Guse, 2017

Pastor Christianson, you will be missed on so many levels, this is one of the lighter ones:
Andrew Braham, 2002

The Lutheran Campus Center was a haven for me and a very important part of my time in graduate school.  Pastor Brent made the center and Wednesday evening services part of what I considered my family and I will always be grateful for that!  My husband Jeff and I had the great honor and pleasure of having Pastor Brent officiate our wedding at Luther Memorial and here are some pictures of that day (11/13/99) and our rehearsal (11/12/99).  I feel like we reconnect with him every year when we watch our wedding video on our anniversary and that will take on even more meaning for us in the coming years.

Diane Munroe, MS Geology 1998 and MS Water Resources Management 1999

My wife and I will always remember Pastor Brent.  He was always so welcome and friendly.  He created a ‘safe’ place on a large campus where we could let our guard down, remember what is most important, and spend time getting closer to our Savior.  May he rest in peace comforted by the countless lives that he impacted.  

Chad Helminger, 1998

I was part of the LCC as a grad student from 2007-2012. Pastor Brent was one of the first people I met outside of the physics department, and he immediately made me feel welcome. Even after my time at Wisconsin, I counted him as a close friend, and I was honored to have him officiate my wedding. Brent was a great teacher and minister who  influenced so many peoples’ lives. We will always remember you, Brent.

Jared Schmitthenner, 2012

Pastor Brent was usually smiling, had a terrific sense of humor and an infectious laugh. No matter how busy he was, he always had time for a conversation. I remember shoveling the sidewalk once at the campus center after a heavy snowfall and Pastor Brent stood outside to chat for several minutes before going inside to make us some hot coffee. He was a gifted preacher with a deep understanding of the Christian faith, especially the amusing habits of Lutherans.

Erik Rudeen, 1995

I was a member of Luther Memorial as an undergrad (was married shortly after graduating as well), and got to know Pastor Brent during my undergrad years at LCC and when he preached at LMC.  We were fortunate to have Pastor Brent baptize our son Emmet on Mother’s Day in 2009. It was special for us to share Emmet with the UW/LMC community and also host my local Wisconsin family (we live in NYC). Pastor Brent also connected me to another new mom/UW grad here in NYC that year, and it was nice to have someone to work thru the early months of motherhood with, thanks to Brent’s connection. We are saddened by his passing, but so happy to know he’s touched so many lives!

Kendra Stensven, 2000



Photo from Kendra Stensven