An extraordinarily valuable program

Dear Friend,

It never gets old.

The seniors at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS) are ready to receive their calls into pastoral ministry. They know each other well. Some of them have gone to school together for twelve years. But they don’t know what will happen next. In moments they will find out where the Lord of the Church will have them begin their service.

On the walls of their WLS classrooms they have been surrounded by the pictures of the men who graduated before them. Now their own pictures will join the crowd of witnesses. They look at the framed picture of their own class closely. Wait, what’s this? Here are pictures of two men they have never met.

Who are these people?

In May 2023, the two men who joined the WLS class of 2023 on call day and graduation were Vietnamese immigrants who had spent many years studying to be pastors through WLS’ Pastoral Studies Institute (PSI). The PSI guides and assists spiritual leaders around the world through pre-seminary and seminary training. The Pastoral Studies Institute has been an extraordinarily valuable program for preparing people from various people groups to share the good news of salvation in Christ with others in their cultural communities both in the U.S. and in their native countries.

Huu Trung Le and Tao Nguyen, both members of Peace in Jesus Lutheran Church in Boise, Idaho, had finished their course of study and presented themselves as candidates for pastoral ministry. Their main instructor had been WELS Pastor Daniel Kramer at Peace in Jesus, but many other men had also taught them, including the PSI team members. While Trung and Tao were the only PSI graduates in 2023, there are dozens of other men in the program from a number of other people groups.

But how can we afford it? The answer is our WELS Missions Endowment Fund.

The reliable annual distributions from that endowment are the source of funding for the instruction that goes on in the PSI all across the country. Whenever we receive an inquiry from another man who is already a spiritual leader and wants training to become a WELS pastor, we can answer positively because we know that the funding will be there through the annual endowment distribution. And these inquiries continue to come!

So how can you help?

Keep your eyes open locally for candidates from immigrant people groups who might be interested in further training for ministry. Have your pastor contact PSI Director Harland Goetzinger with any leads. Prayerfully consider contributing to the WELS Missions Endowment Fund as a lasting source for that training. And ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.

We are so very thankful for the generosity of God’s people.

In Christ’s service,
Rev. Paul Prange
Administrator for Ministerial Education

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we praise you that immigrants from around the world are learning the gospel through us and then training through the Pastoral Studies Institute to minister to their own people groups in the U.S. and their countries of origin. Help us continue identifying candidates for the PSI program and to fund their training through gifts to the WELS Missions Endowment Fund. We thank you that we get to be part of your beautiful work to fill heaven with people from every nation, tribe, people, and language. Amen.