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Story Magazine

Winter 2011

John Klawiter impacts lives while learning

As an intern at Como Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn., John Klawiter is already giving back to the church. Midway through the year, Klawiter, a Master of Divinity student, says he has found internship to be a great place to try new ways to do ministry.

"As an intern you're growing, but also giving to the congregation. You give of yourself for that year to really help ministry happen," he said.

For Klawiter, making ministry happen has meant meeting people where they are—ranging from a Theology on Tap ministry for young adults to a weekly men's Bible-study breakfast with a group that is mostly of retirement age.

"I think it's really important for people to know they are loved and they can have a place where they can express that," he said.

Through his internship, Klawiter has found affirmation in his call to be a pastor. However, he humbly acknowledges that with a wife and three young children, attending seminary wouldn't be possible for him without generous scholarship support.

"Without scholarships, it would be really difficult for me. I still have to take out quite a bit of financial aid; that covers the bare minimum," Klawiter said. "Scholarship support has been critical to help me pay for classes and books. ... When I had a full-time job (before attending seminary), I was able to provide for our family. Scholarship support has been critical to supplement our income so we can get through."

While serving at Como Park Lutheran, Klawiter is already working to pay the generosity of others forward.

"The gifts that donors have given me through scholarships are already being reinvested back into the congregation and the church at large. Everything I do is to further support the mission that inspires the donors who have supported me to give."

Gifts to Luther Seminary help prepare leaders like John Klawiter to revitalize congregations and share the gospel message. To learn more about how you can help Luther Seminary support church leaders, contact the Office of Seminary Relations at 888-358-8437 or

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