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February 2013

Scholarship supports student's dreams for ministry

"With financial support, leading a creative ministry became a reality, not just a dream."

Though Mariel Vinge sensed God calling her to ministry in college, it took a few years for that call to lead her to seminary. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she volunteered for a year at Holden Village, a Lutheran wilderness retreat center in Washington, where she was introduced to many new ideas and people. Some of her new friends were students at Luther Seminary. They invited her to explore seminary life and introduced her to the missional church. She was excited by the opportunity to work alongside the innovative students and faculty at Luther who usher in the next generation of the church.

"Although my admission to Luther was confirmed and candidacy was initiated, the financial burden of tuition and living expenses overwhelmed my discernment," said Mariel. "I decided to explore my call while working locally, hoping to secure more financial support. I tried on a few jobs, and even explored other seminaries, but the warm community of Luther Seminary kept drawing me home."

Last year she was offered a Presidential Scholarship, which covered the entire cost of her tuition. "My heart flooded with relief and new dreams for ministry. The scholarship affirmed my call and enabled my creative vision." Now in her first year in the Master of Divinity program at Luther, Mariel says, "I am continuously inspired by the enthusiastic faculty, innovative students and kind-hearted staff. I enjoy collaborating with others to envision a healthy future for the church."

Join the Seminarian Scholarship Challenge

The ongoing financial support of scholarship donors is affirming for all students as they enter into a future that for many is overshadowed by financial challenges. By making a gift today, you can help support and affirm future church leaders.

The Seminarian Scholarship Challenge has been created by a group of donors who are deeply committed to the church and passionate about the important role scholarships play in preparing future leaders. By matching current scholarship gifts, they hope to inspire others to join them in supporting leaders who are following God's call into ministry.

The impact of your investment will be increased by the gifts of Dean L. and Rosemarie Buntrock, Bruce and Kathy Bummer, Lois Gernbacher, Kaye and Terry Myhre, O. Jay and Pat Tomson, Roger and Jeanne Schwarze and an anonymous donor. Give today and your gift to current scholarships will be doubled!

Many students would otherwise be unable to join this community of faith and learning without support from donors like you. Your investment supports leaders who are following their call to serve in God's world. We are all a part of the call to usher in the next generation of the church. Thank you for joining us in this mission.

Every dollar given to the Seminarian Scholarship Challenge will be matched up to $200,000 through June 30. Make a gift today and double your impact! 

Learn more

This past year, the number of students receiving scholarship support increased by 20 percent. In the 2012-13 academic year, $2.6 million in scholarships have been awarded to date. Scholarships are vital to ensure graduates can serve where the church needs them most. To learn more about the importance of supporting scholarships, visit

To learn more about the Seminarian Scholarship Challenge, visit

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