As the son of a pastor and a church worker himself, Dr. Kurt Krueger says serving God as a pastor, teacher, or other professional church worker can be extremely fulfilling.
“It’s a great life for those of us who’ve been in it,” he told Reporter.
As executive director of the Synod’s Board for University Education and president of the Concordia University System (CUS), Krueger says he is concerned about the steady drop in church-work enrollment at the Synod’s schools. Since 2002, the number of CUS students studying for church vocations has dropped by 478.
In an effort to turn that number around, the Synod has launched initiatives and produced resources designed to recruit and retain church workers. They include:
- “For the Sake of the Church,” a 12-year program that aims to double the number of LCMS students on CUS campuses and establish a $400 million endowment to support their education. The program’s goal is to raise LCMS student enrollment at CUS schools to at least 8,614 for the 2010-11 school year. This fall, CUS schools reported a total of 4,878 LCMS students.
The campaign’s endowment fund had reached $146 million as of June. Earnings from the fund are being used primarily to provide scholarships to students. For more information, visit the Web site http://sake.lcms.org or call (800) 248-1930, Ext. 1252.
- “What a Way,” begun in 2000 in an effort to recruit and retain professional church workers. The initiative offers a number of resources designed to support current workers and encourage others to consider church vocations. Among them are curriculum materials for students in grades kindergarten through Grade 8; resources designed to help congregations host a “recruitment Sunday,” or “Concordia Sunday”; a DVD about church vocations; and a Web site at www.whataway.org that offers information about church careers, LCMS colleges and seminaries, continuing education, staying healthy, and other related topics. For information, call (800) 248-1930, Ext. 1258.
- The Synod’s Boards for Pastoral Education and University Education, which offer information about church careers and CUS schools and seminaries. Visit the LCMS Web site at www.lcms.org, click on “Ministry Areas,” then “Higher Education” in the left-hand box. For more information, call (800) 248-1930 (Ext. 1258 for pastoral education or Ext. 1252 for university education).
Posted Dec. 4, 2006