The Sustaining Fund advances the mission of Luther Seminary to educate leaders for Christian communities called and sent by the Holy Spirit to witness to salvation through Jesus Christ and to serve in God’s world. Due to enrollment, retention, and retirements in the ELCA, 1,000 congregations that can afford a full-time pastor do not have one. Support for the Sustaining Fund will help us reverse this trend.
Impact of the Sustaining Fund
- 2.2 million users each year
- Content used in more than 200 countries and territories
- Continuing education for more than 4,000 pastors and lay leaders each year
- 21,000+ daily subscribers
- 7.66 million devotionals sent each year
CPE and Internship
- 300 clinical pastoral education and internship sites for students annually
- 12:1 student-to-instructor ratio
- Read about Ladd Bjorneby ’85 M.Div.’s support of the Sustaining Fund×
Ladd Bjorneby '85 M.Div.
In 30 years of parish ministry, Ladd Bjorneby watched change happen right before his eyes, in the world and in the church. Where once the church’s focus was rightly on those in the pews, he sees a changed calling now. “I think we all realize now we can’t take any of [the church’s] existing structure for granted, and if we’re going to have a future, we have to broaden our understanding of who we’re bringing the gospel to…we need to ask, ‘Do we have good news for everyone around us?’”
Rev. Bjorneby is a Luther Seminary alumnus, and has served on Luther Seminary’s board now for a number of years. He is seeing Luther Seminary from another perspective, different from his student days. This lens has a long view focused on the vitality of faith communities called to speak the gospel into a world that needs it. From here, he sees how all the layers of Luther’s community—students, staff, faculty, administration, and board—are pulling together to innovate into that future, so the gospel can be heard in a world that has changed.
How? By preparing and educating leaders who can nurture and inspire others to bring good news into their own contexts. Rev. Bjorneby supports Luther Seminary’s mission because he believes that Luther Seminary is willing to ask hard questions, experiment, and learn.
He is inspired by the teaching and the learning that happens at Luther. This was true when he was a student, and it’s true today. Because of this, he trusts seminary leadership to steward his financial support toward that end. “I want my giving to support the mission,” he said. “I trust the leadership to say, ‘This is what we need to be doing,’ and I want to fund that. My personal preferences are less important. I give to the Sustaining Fund.”
Ladd reflects, “Luther Seminary has always been about the gospel, all about getting the gospel to the ears of people who need to hear it. Throughout all the years and all the changes, that’s remained. So, through my giving, I’m participating in that. I am a part of that mission.”