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Impact Stories

New curriculum ensures leadership for the future church

During the 2013 academic year, while faculty taught and mentored students, they were also busy building something: a revised Master of Divinity and Master of Arts curriculum meant to respond to the needs of the church in an ever-changing world. That curriculum, which represents many years of hard work and faculty collaboration, was implemented in the fall of 2014.

“Our hope and goal is that students will not only learn how to lead in today’s church, they’ll learn how to adapt to the changing nature of their ministries moving forward as well,” said Craig Koester, academic dean. Though still in its early stages, the hope is that the flexibility of the new curriculum will make getting a first theological degree more attractive to and attainable for prospective students.

“The new curriculum is thoughtfully designed and marks an exciting transformation in the field of seminary education—one that is more responsive to the communities our leaders are called to serve,” Koester said.

Thank you for your support, which enables Luther Seminary to respond to the needs of the church and world in innovative ways like this.

Learn more about the new curriculum.

Alum-led congregation provides scholarship support

Pastor John SimonsonPastor Rachel SimonsonPastors John and Rachel Simonson have found a welcoming congregation at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the small town of Killdeer, N.D. The couple began their ministry after being called to St. John’s and two nearby churches upon their graduation from Luther Seminary in 2012.

Rachel Simonson says she’s been humbled by the generosity and kindness they’ve felt in their new home. That generosity has now extended to the seminary itself, with St. John’s recently making a significant $100,000 donation to Luther Seminary to provide scholarship support and fund financial training for students.

Rachel explains that Killdeer, which sits on the edge of the booming oil fields in North Dakota, has benefited from the monies that come from leasing oil and gas rights in the area. In fact, the donation to Luther Seminary came from an endowment at St. John’s called the Ruth Grande Ministry Fund, established by a longtime congregation member who donated her mineral rights to the church upon her death with a request that the funds be used specifically to support Christian education and ministry through the ELCA.

“It was a pretty quick decision,” Rachel says about the donation, noting that the proposal was raised in council and passed with little discussion. She adds that the congregation as a whole sees the critical importance of supporting Christian education, and is extremely pleased to have done so by contributing to Luther Seminary.