Land of Lincoln
This past fall, Caleb Gustafson, a senior at Concordia University Chicago (CUC), River Forest, Ill., was recognized by The Lincoln Academy of Illinois as a Student Laureate. Each year, the organization recognizes one student from each of the four-year, degree-granting institutions in Illinois for civic engagement and excellence in both curricular and extra-curricular programs.
A native of Merrill, Wis., Gustafson is majoring in nonprofit business management and plans to attend seminary after graduation. He serves as president of the Spiritual Life student group at CUC, through which he helped start “Service Saturdays.” He and other students have served the community by tutoring at a school in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, serving meals to homeless people, making blankets for children in foster care, and planting and gardening at churches in the city.
In January, Elizabeth Paul, a senior at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), Mequon, Wis., completed a month-long internship at Faith Lutheran School, Plano, Texas. She is the third student to intern at the school.
Faith’s headmaster, the Rev. Stephen W. Kieser, explained that a classical Lutheran education internship is different from traditional student teaching because it allows for a greater variety of teaching experiences.
“Classical education internships are shorter and more focused,” Kieser said. “Traditional student teaching generally has one experience over a longer period of time, whereas classical Lutheran education internships allow participants to complete multiple internships at various campuses throughout their education.”
As part of her internship, Paul observed teachers and administrators and prepared and taught several lessons under supervision.
Paul is the daughter of LCMS missionaries. In addition to Wisconsin, she has lived in Macau, China; St. Louis; southern Indiana; and Taiwan. She enjoys playing piano/organ, crafting and reading.
Faith Lutheran School was founded in 1971 and provides classical Lutheran education to students in preschool through grade 12. Learn more at flsplano.org or call 972-423-7448.
In January, Concordia University, St. Paul (CSP), St. Paul, Minn., unveiled the next iteration of the university’s structure, which is designed to foster enrollment growth to 2030 and beyond. CSP introduced a newly branded division, CSP Global, which will be home to CSP’s online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degree programs. At the same time, CSP’s campus in St. Paul remains — as it has been for 130 years — the hub of the university’s traditional four-year undergraduate programs. Learn more at csp.edu/csp-global.
Nationwide, college enrollment dropped yet again this year, but at Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA), Ann Arbor, Mich., enrollment is not only up, it’s at an all-time high. According to Fall 2022 census data — which measures enrollment for the 2022–2023 academic year — the CUAA campus notched a record-breaking total enrollment, with especially strong gains at the graduate level. The total enrollment count for Fall 2022 was 1,201, including 252 graduate students (up 85 from last year’s graduate-level total). Read more at blog.cuaa.edu/cuaa-enrollment-22.
The television Christmas special from Concordia University Irvine (CUI), Irvine, Calif., returned to PBS for the third year. “The Thrill of Hope: A Concordia Christmas,” which aired online and in the local Southern California broadcast area, featured music and readings presented by CUI musical ensembles, alumni and students. Both the 2021 program, “Repeat the Sounding Joy,” and the 2020 program, “All is Bright,” also were broadcast again by more than 100 national PBS syndicates. The broadcasts covered more than 75% of national PBS markets. To view the “The Thrill of Hope: A Concordia Christmas,” visit cui.edu/christmas.
Bridging the gap
Lagging ACT scores point to the lingering impact the pandemic has had on learning across the country. In response, the Academic Resource Center at Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), Mequon, Wis., has bolstered its services to bridge the gap. Increased services include hiring more student tutors, increasing the number of classes in which support is offered, and expanding hours of availability. The efforts are paying off. Last spring, about 200 students were on academic probation, meaning they had a GPA of 2.0 or lower. The list has since shrunk to fewer than 40 students.
Bethany Zeckzer, a senior at Concordia University, Nebraska (CUNE), Seward, Neb., received the Richard Hillert Award in Student Composition for her SATB choir anthem, “An Evening Prayer.” The award is given every other year by the Center for Church Music at Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Ill., in partnership with the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM). Zeckzer’s composition will be performed at the 2023 ALCM conference, “What Wondrous Love,” July 4–8 in Philadelphia.
Investing in the future
Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (CTSFW), is pleased to announce the creation of 11 new scholarships to be awarded to incoming students beginning in the 2023–2024 academic year. The scholarships will provide additional support beyond the 100% tuition coverage CTSFW students already receive.
“We are thrilled to offer these new scholarships to our students,” said CTSFW President Rev. Dr. Lawrence R. Rast Jr. “The awards will support their academic pursuits and encourage and recognize their leadership and service to the church and community. We’re committed to supporting the next generation of pastors and deaconesses. These scholarships are just one more way we do that.”
Scholarship applications are due Feb. 15. To be eligible, prospective students must complete their application for admission before applying for the scholarship. For more information, visit ctsfw.edu or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Nov. 3, 2022, the Board of Regents for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (CSL), approved a new five-year strategic plan. The plan includes four areas of focus:
- Faithful and full-person formation;
- Commitment to community and collaboration;
- Strong recruitment and enrollment; and
- Lutheran resources and reach.
“The Lord’s faithfulness and promises never change, and our core mission as a seminary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod does not change,” said CSL President Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Egger. “The plan we’ve adopted takes note of our moment in history and the changing circumstances around us and seeks to make the most of the opportunities the Lord is giving us to serve the church and Christ’s mission.” Learn more at csl.edu/about.
Posted Feb. 21, 2023