Dr. Lloyd Svendsbye is the son of Norwegian immigrants who homesteaded on a farm near Hamlet in northwestern North Dakota in 1904. There he grew up and completed high school. He holds a B.A. from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, a B.Th. from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, and a Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York. He also studied at Columbia University in New York and the University of Erlangen, Gemany. In 1958 he married Annelotte F. E. Moertelmeyer from Beausejour, Manitoba, Canada, whom he met while both were working for the Lutheran World Federation, he for the Third Assembly of LWF in Minneapolis and she as secretary to the Executive Director of the LWF in Geneva, Switzerland. After brief periods as assistant pastor of Our Saviourís Lutheran Church in Minneapolis and the LWF Assembly, Dr. Svendsbye launched his academic career in 1957 as a member of the Religion Department of Concordia College. In 1966 he became editor-in-chief of Augsburg Publishing House in Minneapolis until he was named vice president and dean of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, in 1971. Three years later he was elected president of his alma mater, Luther Theological Seminary, and in two years was named president of Northwestern Lutheran Theological Seminary, also in St. Paul He served as president of both institutions until 1982, when they united to form Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary where he served as president until 1987 when he was elected president of Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He retired in 1992 when he and his wife moved to St. Louis Park, a suburb of Minneapolis, where they have lived ever since.
In his retirement, Dr. Svendsbye began his genealogical studies. First he wrote a memoir. That did not satisfy his desire for accuracy; therefore, he and his wife traveled to Norway three times to research family history, during which time he located 150 relatives and was able to visit the homes, schools, churches, and communities which were a part of that history. Those travels made it possible for him to understand better the geographical parts of Norway from which his family came. From these studies he wrote and privately published a 200-page family history for his
Dr. and Mrs. Svendsbye are active in several Norwegian activities in the Twin Cities. He is a member of the Norwegian-American Historical Association, Torske Klubben, the Steering Committee for Tuesday Open House at Mindekirken and is on the Board of Directors of Norway House.