About the Dungeon Master Pastors

Jesus d20“I’m a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none.”

As baptized children of God, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. One of those things happens to be: Play Dungeons & Dragons like a boss.

“I’m a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.”

As baptized children of God, we’re also called to follow Jesus, to carry the good news of God’s Kingdom to the ends of the Earth, and to participate in God’s mission of love for the entire cosmos. One of the ways we do that happens to be: Serve the Church as congregational pastors.

This blog is about how these things meet.

  • Where our lordship meets our servanthood.
  • Where our identities and God-given abilities meets our activity in God’s proclaimed mission.
  • Where Pastor meets Dungeon Master, and following Jesus meets tabletop fantasy role playing.

We have a hunch that these things have more to say to one another than you might think.

As the Dungeon Master Pastor, Rory Philstrom has been exploring the intersections between tabletop roleplaying games and following Jesus since 2014. Players in Rory’s games have included over 50 pastors and church staff, in addition to neighborhood youth, congregation members, rpg-curious adults, and gaming-convention goers. He leads retreats for clergy and church workers, organizes a local Dungeons & Dragons Youth Group, uses tabletop RPGs a tool for participatory education, and works within the gaming community to promote justice, generosity, and love. He seeks out new adventures of all kinds, whether they be exploring the outdoors, advocating on behalf of others at city hall and the capitol, discovering a new part of town, or raising two small children.

He also serves as is the Lead Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, an ELCA Congregation in Bloomington, MN. While at CTK he has worked with the congregation to revivify adult and youth education, innovate new structures for ministry, and engage the neighborhood around pressing issues such as affordable housing and anti-racism. He previously served with his wife as Co-Pastor of Prairie Lutheran Parish, four congregations in and around the small town of Stanley in northwestern North Dakota.

Rory grew up in Omaha, NE where he learned the values of hard work, fast friendship, a lived faith, and adventure. From there he moved on to Fort Worth, TX where he studied Religion and Spanish at Texas Christian University. While at TCU he got bit by the international travel bug and made his way to China, Tibet, New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, and Nicaragua. After college he spent a year in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, working as a Youth Ministry Coordinator at a congregation in urban Chicago. During that year he intentionally lived below the poverty line with a community of folks doing the same. From there he enrolled at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where his studies focused on interfaith relations. He is passionate about the work that God is doing in our world today and is constantly thinking about how we might become better disciples.

You can follow Rory @TheDMPastor@Dice.Camp on Mastodon, and @TheDMPastor on Twitter. 

Ben Loven 

Pastor Ben is extremely passionate about helping God’s people live into the mission that God has given us through baptism, and enjoys preaching and teaching. He moonlights as a dwarven fighter-paladin and relishes the opportunity to play the DM for his two adorable children.

♠ Martin Luther, The Freedom of a Christian.

♠ Philippians 4:13

We’re pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, but the views and opinions on this page are our own and are not meant to be representative of the ELCA. For more about the ELCA go to http://www.elca.org/

6 thoughts on “About the Dungeon Master Pastors

  1. Hi,
    I am a Minister with the United Church of Canada in Victoria, British Columbia. I also DM a long ongoing 4th ed D and D game and have been playing on and off for 30 years. I am very excited to see this retreat and while I cannot make it I would be very interested in offering something similar in this neck of the woods. Would you be open to discussing a sharing of resources or planning ideas?
    Melanie Ihmels


  2. Howdy, I’m living in Paris, Texas and was also wondering if we might coax you from the cold north to come down to run a retreat in the future after this initial one, probably closer to the Dallas/Ft. Worth Area.
    In the mean time, would you pray about recording your workshops and sessions for release and I would also be interesred in buying any of the materials that you do produce for this event. In case you can’t find time to come down, we have already been talking about doing something like this here.
    I am currently running a Pathfinder game as an outreach with Young Life, as a way to find the students that were like me, and couldn’t get to go to big gatherings of folks to play sport things. I love taking the think I obsessed about as a young, lost student, and turning it to glorify God and make relationships with students that were like me.
    I have passed this around to several pastors in the area, Dallas & one in West Texas, we all agree it’s a little far, but will support you in prayer.
    Let me know if there is anything else we could do.
    Jed I.


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