Jean Hopfensperger | Star Tribune
Reporter | Religion, Faith & Values

Jean Hopfensperger is the religion, faith and values reporter for the Star Tribune. She focuses largely on religious trends shaping Minnesota and the nation. 

A veteran reporter, Hopfensperger has covered religion, philanthropy, immigration, the state legislature, human services and Central American issues. Before joining the Star Tribune, she worked for several years in Central America, reporting on conflicts for U.S. newspapers such as The Christian Science Monitor. She has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota focusing on international politics and U.S. social policy.


Gospel of Prince preached at Minnesota seminary

Prince's musical legacy gets mined for spiritual meaning.


Grand opening of Minnesota United's Allianz Field

The sixth Minnesota pro or major college team since 2000 to get a new home, Minnesota United debuts $250 million Allianz Field as the first one dedicated to pro soccer. Its 19,400 capacity is closer to Target Center or Xcel Energy Center, but it opens to the sky and a summer breeze. Looming over Interstate 94 at busy Snelling Avenue, it glows every color at night. The seating is intimate — the grass nearly tickles the feet of front-row fans — and promises to take noisy to new levels, too. It's open in all four corners — with room to add another deck above the existing roof deck — and can be expanded to 25,000 if needed.


Germany wants Minnesotans in audience for Oberammergau passion play

The world’s largest and oldest passion play — first performed nearly 400 years ago and now involving, literally, a cast of thousands — rolls out…


St. Cloud Diocese, priest sued after repeated reports of sexual harassment

A female former church employee alleges the diocese failed to respond to her complaints about the behavior of the Rev. Joseph Backowski.


Religious leaders grapple with age segregation

How can faith communities link generations from 8 to 80?


Minnesota church flipper gives empty religious buildings new life

Pastor Paul Marzahn finds a mission matching empty buildings and congregations. It's work that might soon get a wider audience via TV.


How to respond to anti-Muslim speech? Here are some suggestions

How should you respond if you hear an anti-Muslim slur or read a hateful post on social media?The terror attack on mosques in New Zealand…


LGBT vote exposes rift in pews for Minnesota Methodists

The United Methodist Church is facing its most significant crisis in decades, not unlike divisions over homosexuality that have ruptured other Protestant denominations.


What are Christians giving up for Lent? Their tweets say Twitter

"It's a little ironic that people on social media say they are giving up social media by using social media," said Stephen Smith, a Christian technology manager who tracks the Lent-related tweets.


Peter Welvang, owner of Minnesota Catholic book and gift shop, has died

Welvang's St. Paul business attracted priests looking for new vestments, Sunday school teachers needing workbooks, and ordinary Catholics who bought everything from angel statues to first communion dresses to religious DVDs.