You don’t have to talk to Mark for very long to figure out that he is a good kid. As a high school student, he is already trying to take classes that will prepare him to teach in a Lutheran elementary school. When he sings in the choir, he thinks about how he will encourage younger children to sing. When he pitches for his school’s baseball team, he thinks about how he is going to coach younger athletes. He hopes that working at a WELS camp this summer will help keep him in shape to play football during his senior year of high school in the fall.
He has an older brother in the pre-seminary program at Martin Luther College (MLC), the WELS College of Ministry located in New Ulm, Minn., and they exchange ideas on how to pay for school. He doesn’t know if he’ll be able to play football at MLC because he may need to work during the first semester of his freshman year. It depends on how much financial assistance he receives.
MLC has set a goal that no student will need to take on loans for that first year of college. The plan includes a strong partnership with incoming students and their families—everyone will pay what they can. This is also possible because of the strong partnership MLC has with WELS.
WELS supplies a general grant to MLC every year, benefiting every student. WELS members also supply special gifts for financial assistance. Because of the generosity of WELS members in the “Equipping Christian Witnesses” campaign that concluded last month, MLC can meet its goal of no student needing a loan their freshman year.
One reason MLC can confidently plan to meet that goal in the future is the annual funding it gets from the WELS Ministerial Education Endowment Fund. Contributions to that fund provide our four ministerial education schools with ongoing financial support as the endowment is designed to make steady annual distributions that increase as the fund grows.
Mark hopes to meet a critical need for our synod. He is willing to serve anywhere the Church needs him to go. He heard in May that 116 requests to the 2022 Assignment Committee for teachers could not be filled, and he wants to do what he can to make that number lower.
What can you do? Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field. Encourage young people to consider service. Do what you can to help them pay for college. As you are able, contribute to the WELS Ministerial Education Endowment Fund. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.
Cordially in Christ,
Rev. Paul T. Prange
WELS Administrator for Ministerial Education
Prayer: Lord, we praise you for giving our church body well-trained called workers thanks to our ministerial education schools. These ministry leaders are a great blessing to us as well as to those who do not yet know you. May Martin Luther College’s goal of reducing the need for student loans and debt make it easier for young men and women to enroll and complete their studies. Lead us to support these recruitment efforts through our prayers, offerings, and encouragement of students toward ministry. Amen.