Where will your next called worker come from?

Dear Friend,

Where will your next pastor, teacher, staff minister, or missionary come from? Where are they today? Maybe they’re serving at another WELS church or school. Or maybe they’re diligently preparing for a lifetime of public ministry at Martin Luther College (MLC).

The vast majority of WELS called workers receive their training at MLC. These are the gospel servants who faithfully share Word and sacrament, who baptize your babies, help teach your children about Jesus and mentor your teenagers, who strengthen your faith through Bible class, comfort your family through crises, and pray at your sickbed.

Would you support your future called workers in their ministry training at MLC?

Through “Equipping Christian Witnesses,” we’re asking you to lend support in two ways: easing student debt and enhancing student facilities.

(We know that many of you have already given to this campaign. We’re so grateful! Please know that your gifts are making a difference in our students’ lives today. Read on!)

EASING student debt: College is expensive. Though MLC has been recognized nationally for quality and affordability, many of our students still graduate with debt. In 2021, about 78 percent of our seniors graduated with a debt averaging $24,700.

“Equipping Christian Witnesses” is helping them lift the load by providing additional funding to the Congregational Partner Grant Program (CPGP). Through this program, about 600 MLC students per year receive a grant from their congregation. Then MLC matches those grants—dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per year per student. The result? Over one million dollars in grant money applied to students’ tuition accounts every year.

God has blessed this program with measurable success: Our average student debt has dropped for three consecutive years. And we are not sitting back complacently. As costs rise, we plan to raise the cap on both grants and matches. This year, MLC gave each CPGP recipient an additional benefit. MLC matched whatever their congregation gave them up to $1,000, and we added a $200 bonus.

You can help keep this successful program going! Your gift will help MLC match the congregations’ grants for years to come.

ENHANCING student facilities: Good news! We’re already building one of the facilities we envisioned under “Equipping Christian Witnesses.” The Betty Kohn Fieldhouse is under construction as we speak, and students will be using it come January!

We’re also praying for a new residence hall. Overlooking Summit Avenue, this beautiful air-conditioned facility will feature study lounges, kitchen, fitness center, and two-bedroom suites, where four students share a bathroom and shower.

Since our newest dormitory was built in 1971—50 years ago!—we’re more than ready for this campus addition. While we work and pray for growth in enrollment, the new residence hall will enable us systematically to update our other residence halls.

RECRUIT more students: You might not realize it, but both these efforts—easing student debt and enhancing facilities—have a direct connection to recruitment. We function in a competitive marketplace.

Making our college attractive and affordable demonstrates that we care about these young people making their college decision. We want them to give MLC a try, and we’ll do all we can to provide a campus where they can grow in faith, learn more about the public ministry, and develop all their God-given skills in a safe and supportive learning environment—without becoming overly burdened by debt.

Recruitment efforts are especially crucial right now. Far too many calls cannot be filled. After Call Day in May 2021, 95 pastor calls and 90 teacher calls remained vacant. If one of those vacancies is at your church or school, you understand very well the critical need for more called workers!

Please consider a gift to “Equipping Christian Witnesses.” You will be supporting the young men and women who may very soon serve your congregation and your school.

Partnering with you in Christ,
Rich Gurgel
MLC President

P.S. Jesus is opening mission doors in the 21st century that are beyond our imagination! Thanks for your prayers and for your support of “Equipping Christian Witnesses” to help us provide the necessary workers.