Contact: Vicki Biggs
ST. LOUIS, May 28, 2013—Terry L. Schmidt has been named director of School Ministry for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) effective July 1.
LCMS School Ministry serves as a voice for Lutheran schools, upholding the standards of Christ-centered schools that are academically strong and respectfully operated. Schmidt will oversee the ministry – which serves more than 2,335 LCMS schools across the country –
as it works to assist, equip and uplift educators and church leaders in their vocation of developing children as disciples of Jesus Christ. He also will oversee the ministry’s work to advocate for professional excellence, provide relevant resources and services, and build collaborative systems of service and support.
“LCMS School Ministry has been richly blessed by Terry’s service and ministry. His work with National Lutheran School Accreditation has been exemplary. Terry is the ideal person to now take the helm and lead School Ministry in new directions,” said the Rev. Bart Day, executive director, LCMS Office of National Mission. “Terry thinks outside the box and gets things done. He will bring his experience, relationships and enthusiasm to the task of expanding support for our Lutheran schools.”
Day added, “The process of finding a new director has been humbling. So many nominations and so many wonderful candidates. Our Lutheran school system is blessed with so many highly educated, experienced, faithful and highly motivated leaders. Under Terry’s leadership, I anticipate only the best as our schools grow and flourish.”
Schmidt has been serving the LCMS as associate director of School Ministry since 2003, working with LCMS congregations and schools to start new schools, oversee accreditation and recruit and train new leaders.
“God has given Terry talents, experiences and developed skills that will be very useful for serving the schools of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod,” said the Rev. Dr. Russell L. Sommerfeld, president of the LCMS Nebraska District and member of the call committee established to help in the selection of the LCMS School Ministry executive director. “Terry is committed to Christ-centered and biblically strong schools with mission eyes for the opportunities God is giving congregations and schools in this 21st century mission field. He is that wonderful blend of a visionary and detail servant of the Lord. The Nebraska District’s 35 preschools, 38 elementary schools and four high schools will welcome Terry’s national servant leadership.”
A 1972 graduate of Concordia Teacher’s College, River Forest, Ill., Schmidt earned a Master’s of Educational Administration and Supervision from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, in 1985. He served as an English and physical education teacher and athletic director at Karkar High School, Papua New Guinea, (1973-1974); as athletic director (1975-1984) and principal (1984-1990) at Trinity Lutheran School, Edwardsville, Ill.; and principal at Our Redeemer Lutheran School, Wauwatosa, Wis., (1990-2003).
In addition to his work on staff, Schmidt has served as a member of the board of the Lutheran High School Association of Milwaukee (1993-1999) and a member of the Lutheran School Advisory Council (1997-2000). Also, he is the 2000 recipient of the Christus Magister award, given annually by Lutheran Education Association to Lutheran educators who have made significant contributions to Lutheran education.
“Terry is highly respected and valued among education executives in the LCMS and among our church’s educators and leaders,” said Rachel Klitzing, LCMS Pacific Southwest District executive director for school ministries and a member of the call committee. “He brings a passion for sharing Christ’s mission with children and families in our Lutheran schools and for equipping LCMS school administrators to be excellent servant leaders for the Lord. Terry is a skilled and enthusiastic communicator – an authentic leader with the capacity to listen, empathize, interact and connect with those he leads in productive, helping and healing ways. He is also a role model whose values, words and deeds are marked by trustworthiness, integrity, authenticity, respect, generosity and humility. Terry’s Christian witness and vibrant faith drive and motivate his action and attitude.”
Schmidt succeeds William Cochran, who is retiring June 30. Cochran has served as director since 2002.
LCMS schools are operated by the church body’s congregations. Nationwide, there are 2,335 LCMS schools, which include 1,376 early childhood centers, 871 elementary schools and 88 high schools. Current enrollment is nearly 231,000 students. Learn more at www.lcms.org/schools.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a biblical, confessional, witness-oriented Christian denomination with 2.3 million members in 6,200 congregations. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church strives to make known the love of Jesus Christ around the world. Learn more at www.lcms.org.