Thanks to the generosity of God’s people, WELS Foundation was blessed to distribute almost $1.2 million to gospel ministry in July through the WELS endowment funds. These funds were established by delegates at the 2005 synod convention to provide ongoing support for the Lord’s work in WELS Ministerial Education and WELS Home, Joint, and World Missions.
In addition to the WELS endowments, WELS Foundation also manages endowments that are set up by individuals, congregations, and other WELS-affiliated ministries. In total, WELS Foundation distributed $3.8 million from more than 375 endowments this year, providing ongoing financial support for Christ’s gospel work throughout WELS.
Several of the endowments managed by WELS Foundation benefit Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., providing tuition assistance to students training to become pastors.
Seminarian Jacob Borgwardt, a member at Redeemer, Fond du Lac, Wis., shares one of the blessings of the tuition assistance he has received through endowments: “[It] helps me focus on training to be a pastor. Instead of having to work full time to pay off student loans and be a part-time student, it’s the other way around. Seminarians can be full-time students, spending the majority of our time studying God’s Word.”
He continues: “On the spiritual side, I’ll never forget something one of my professors once said in regard to tuition assistance: The people giving generously to these endowments see the support of seminarians as a tangible way to give to the gospel. What a blessing and responsibility!”
Borgwardt extends his gratitude to those who have supported him and his wife through their financial gifts: “We thank God that he has given you such Christlike generosity. You are a help and a blessing to us and to so many of my classmates. Your gifts and prayers are extremely encouraging! Knowing that there are so many people who support us in our pastoral training makes us that much more excited to serve a church someday.”
“An endowment is a great way to create a lasting legacy of Christian faith while providing for the Lord’s work—like supporting our future pastors,” says Mr. Jim Holm, executive director of WELS Foundation.
There are a variety of ways to give to an endowment: cash or appreciated assets; or through a will, trust, beneficiary designation on a retirement account, or insurance proceeds. To learn more about adding to an existing endowment or establishing a new endowment for a ministry close to your heart, contact your local WELS Christian giving counselor at wels.net/giving-counselors or call 800-827-5482.