“Pray for more workers.” That was a repeated request during the WELS Ministerial Education report in Tuesday morning’s session.
Rev. Paul Prange, administrator of the Board for Ministerial Education, spoke of the rare blessing WELS has in its four ministerial education schools: preparatory high schools Michigan Lutheran Seminary (MLS), Saginaw, Mich., and Luther Preparatory School (LPS), Watertown, Wis.; college of ministry Martin Luther College (MLC), New Ulm, Minn.; and seminary Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS), Mequon, Wis.
Rev. Mark Luetzow, MLS president, described how students receive a taste of ministry experience to help them see better how they might serve the Lord with their lives. For students who enroll at Martin Luther College, endowment scholarships are available. MLS is working on a new strategic plan titled “Chosen people, special purpose” (1 Peter 2:9). The plan addresses communication and facilities, among other items.
Rev. Matthew Crass, LPS president, reminded delegates that when parents from a distance enroll their children at LPS, they do not send their children away from home, but they are sending their children to something—a place that is all about the Lord’s kingdom work.
Rev. Richard Gurgel, MLC president, shared a video that encouraged prayer for more workers in the public ministry. Mr. Ted Klug, vice president of enrollment management at MLC, joined Gurgel in encouraging prayers for more workers in the harvest field: “Mold us and move us to be good examples for our youth” (from “Prayer of the Church” in Christian Worship, p. 198).
Rev. Earle Treptow, WLS president, reported a record amount of scholarship assistance available to students this past year. The seminary is pursuing accreditation through the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. The process to accreditation will benefit the seminary by means of a self-study, and achieving accreditation will benefit WELS’ sister synods throughout the world who utilize WLS in the training of their pastors. Accreditation will not impact the mission of the seminary. Treptow also noted the seminary’s tentative building plans of adding an education center and renovating several existing classrooms into faculty offices.
Prange concluded the report with another request for prayers for more workers in the Lord’s harvest field.