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As students return to campus after the holidays with renewed energy for their calling and studies, we remember the community of supporters that enables them to serve God's world. Entering the New Year, we are grateful for the commitment and generosity expressed to our students in 2012, and we are excited to imagine the opportunities ahead with new and renewed support.
Nancy Christman understands the importance of scholarship support from a unique perspective. Though she had an established career, she felt a call to ministry and was encouraged by her pastor to consider seminary. Since she and her husband had work based in Atlanta, Ga., enrolling in Luther Seminary's Distributed Learning program allowed Nancy to follow her call without uprooting her family.
Now in her senior year, Nancy knows firsthand that leaders are called to ministry at any phase of life and from any geography. "I am amazed when fellow students leave behind the life they had and go to seminary," Nancy says. "For most DL students, going to seminary is a financial challenge. Yet they do it because saying 'No' to God just doesn't seem possible."
To help other leaders follow their call, Nancy established an endowed scholarship fund for fellow Distributed Learning students. Her gift is given in honor of those who first supported her own call -- Pastor Deb Von Fischer Samuelson, Nancy's pastor; and Professor of New Testament Mary Hinkle Shore, who was instrumental in developing the DL program at Luther.
When we hear God's call, Nancy says, "Jesus makes it difficult to counter his request with 'no way.' So despite hardships, many students go to seminary, recognizing it is something they can't not do--for reasons they are unable to explain and don't really understand but are nonetheless compelled to do. Throughout their studies they know God is love and it fuels the journey. With great humility they do it all for God. Their sacrifice is huge and in comparison my gift seems so small."
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In 2012, gifts to scholarships and the Sustaining Fund made it possible for Luther Seminary to provide innovative theological education to church leaders around the world. Nancy's story is just one example of the important ways many are beginning 2013 by renewing their commitment to the future of the church.
As theological education continues to evolve to meet the needs of the church and its leaders, we are grateful for supporters who make new opportunities a reality. All gifts can be given in honor or in memory of a loved one or an important occasion. To make a special gift, visit www.luthersem.edu/giving or contact a member of Seminary Relations to learn more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-358-8437.
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Your support ensures that future church leaders can pursue their call in ministry.