Why Should I Give to Luther Seminary?
When you make a gift of any size to Luther Seminary, know that your gift helps:
- Innovate: To make bold, innovative changes to form Christian communities.
- Educate: Your next pastor, your congregation’s next youth minister, the next Christian leader, the chaplain at your hospital or senior healthcare center, the counselor at your children’s summer Bible camp.
- The Sustaining Fund: Unrestricted Sustaining Fund gifts ensure that the seminary can continue to equip faith leaders and spearhead faithful innovation for the sake of the gospel in a rapidly changing world.
Celebrating exemplary donors and their reasons for giving
Luther Seminary is in the leadership business, and that is exactly what attracted Dr. Joyce Thompsen. Joyce’s professional vocation has been all about developing leaders so they can manage organizations and make decisions well.
Active in her church, she had been investing in Luther’s mission for some years when she met John. She says, “I was actively asking the Holy Spirit for a personal companion who shared my faith…and also my strong passion for wanting to do something meaningful to help spread the Gospel. I was looking for the most efficient and effective way to do that…and it became very clear that Luther Seminary was in the best position to be able to provide that point of leverage.” John agreed!
In their support of Luther Seminary, Joyce and John combine their professional and personal passions. Because of Joyce’s years on Luther’s Board, including a term as Chair, they have seen the mission from the inside, “under the hood,” as Joyce says. That has only inspired them more.
Joyce and John have been listening and they have heard God’s call. They intend to extend their commitment to Luther’s mission well into the future.
Their gift is a personal stretch, a stretch that matches their commitment to a healthy church, both near- and long-term. They say, “We’re looking for a Return on Holy Investment (ROHI) and we continue to be very convinced that Luther is the right place to invest for the future of the church.”
Paul and Ruth Hauge care deeply about good pastoring. They have long been blessed by skilled and compassionate pastors in their home congregation. They watched their urban congregation double in size over the years, clearly thriving. “[Our visionary pastor] had a great deal of help with the other pastors, and I think the congregation really stepped up too,” said Paul.
They watch for young congregational members who might have the gifts and instincts for pastoral ministry and they encourage them, for the sake of the church’s future. Ruth said, “There’s a young adult at church that I’ve been talking with. I’ve been telling him he needs to become a pastor, and I think he is thinking about it.” They understand how important good leadership is, and that it doesn’t just happen!
The Hauges not only encourage future leaders, they have long supported Luther Seminary, where many of the church’s future leaders are formed. They grew up in families that talked about the importance of seminaries for the health of the church and took that to heart and to their finances.
They are impressed with Luther Seminary’s leadership, even more so after witnessing Luther’s nimble response to the pandemic. They celebrate that students continue to make their way through the degree process and move on to serve faith communities for years to come. They are grateful to have the opportunity to give to this mission. It’s God’s call to them, and they are following!
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 (class of ’85), 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.”