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This summer, we happily welcomed two new admissions counselors to the Luther community. Elizabeth Schoenknecht and Jill Apple are excited to join the Luther admissions team. We sat down with them to gain a brief introduction to themselves and their role on campus.
As admissions counselors, their day-to-day jobs emphasize two functions: recruiting and counseling. In the first of these, they seek out undergraduate institutions, churches and other communities of church and theological leaders who might be interested in further education. In the second, they work with prospective students to help them navigate the discernment, application and admittance process and figure out where they will best fit in the Luther community.
Schoenknecht, a 2004 Luther Seminary graduate, worked in business and marketing for 10 years prior to stepping into her new role. "I learned a lot [in my previous positions]. I honed in on what I like to do and what I don't like to do," says Schoenknect. "I was ready to take the next step and use what I learned in a different setting."
Previously, Schoenknecht worked for Augsburg Fortress, so she brings a thorough knowledge of church systems in the United States. She is excited to apply this in her new role, to look for budding leaders where others have not yet searched. "I'm humbled to be able to walk with people in their call and discernment process. I am excited about the challenge to find new places where we might not otherwise think to look for students, to encourage pastors and leaders to identify the next crop of leaders, to work with the church as a whole and to influence the church in a much larger way by encouraging the next generation of Christian public leaders to pursue a graduate theological education," she says.
Apple spent 18 years working in undergraduate admissions before joining the Luther community. After helping prepare high school students to find the right college, she decided she wanted to work in a faith-based environment with more needful students. She took a leap of faith and left her job, and shortly thereafter became acquainted with the position at Luther. "I made a conscious decision to open a new chapter—I wanted a new adventure," says Apple. While she loves working in an academic setting, she is most excited to work with students who are on a lifelong journey. "I feel like I'm on that journey too. It's the combination of being in an academic setting, but then also guiding and counseling students towards big and meaningful choices. That excites me."
Both Schoenknecht and Apple emphasize the importance for current and prospective students to step outside their comfort zones and take advantage of every experience available to them, both on and off campus. Schoenknecht encourages students to "soak up as many contextual opportunities as [they] can." Likewise, says Apple, "Make use of every single thing."
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