Dr. James Koerschen dies



Longtime LCMS educator Dr. James Koerschen died July 17 — two weeks before his 68th birthday — surrounded by family at his home in Brighton, Mich.

Koerschen served as president of Concordia University, Ann Arbor, from 1992 to 2002, and as head of school at Concordia International School Shanghai (CISS) in Shanghai, China, from 2007 to 2012.

A funeral service was held July 24 at Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church in Brighton, Mich.

“Jim battled his cancer bravely and gave a powerful witness to his faith in Jesus throughout his journey,” said CISS Head of School Gregg A. Pinick. “He modeled for so many what it means to be a Christian husband, father, grandfather and friend.

“Jim came to Concordia Shanghai at just the right time, and through his leadership and by God’s grace put Concordia in the conversation of the great international schools. He built wonderful relationships throughout the region and established Concordia Shanghai as a destination that attracted outstanding Christian educators to share the love of Christ with students and their families.”

Koerschen’s service to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod also included teacher and band director at the former Lutheran High School East in Detroit; associate professor of music and dean of students at Concordia University, Austin, Texas; and associate professor of education and dean of student affairs at Concordia University, Seward, Neb. He also served as executive director of Enrollment Services at Kettering University, Flint, Mich.

During his tenure with Concordia International School Shanghai, Koerschen also served as president of the Board of the Association of China and Mongolia International Schools (ACAMIS). He continued to serve during his retirement as executive director of ACAMIS and on the Board of Directors of Family Life at Concordia University, Ann Arbor.

According to his obituary, Koerschen “enjoyed music, reading, travel and life on the lake.” He will be remembered for “his love of family as well as his leadership, generosity, hospitality and warm friendships.

“Students and colleagues from around the world will remember ‘PK’ or ‘Dr. K’ as an innovative educator, kind mentor and talented administrator.”

Survivors include his wife of 44 years, Joan (nee Miller); daughters Miriam (Justin) Rossow of Ypsilanti, Mich., and Kristi (Scott) Treat of Galesburg, Ill.; seven grandchildren; and a brother, Joel (Carolyn) Koerschen of San Francisco. He was preceded in death by an older sister, Marion.

Memorial contributions may be made to Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran School; Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church, Music Department; and Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Family Life Program.

Posted July 18, 2014 / Updated July 21, 2014 / Updated July 24, 2014


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2 Responses to Dr. James Koerschen dies

  1. Miriam July 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Funeral Services will be held at Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, 2101 South Hacker Road, Brighton, MI 48114 at 4:00 PM on Thursday, July 24. Visitation at the church, Wednesday from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-9:00 PM, and Thursday from 3:00-4:00 PM. Cremation will follow. Jim’s remains await the resurrection of the dead at the Last Day.

    Memorial contributions in Jim’s name may be made to Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran School; Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church, Music Department; or Concordia University, Ann Arbor, Family Life Program.

    Jim’s faith is shared by his family and we, along with him, await the great and glorious Day of the Lord. Come, Lord Jesus.

  2. July 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    On behalf of the Board of Regents, faculty and staff of Concordia University St. Paul, I want to express our deep condolences and prayerful support to you, the Koerschen family. Jim was a colleague to many educators in the Concordia University System, both at the colleges and universities where he served and among the sister institutions. We praise God for his life of witness for Christ and service to others!

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