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Concordia Seminary receives first half of $100K LWML grant

Funds will help international Lutheran students receive theological education

The Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) presented Concordia Seminary, St. Louis with a $50,000 check Thursday, the first half of a $100,000 grant first announced last year. The funds will be used to help equip teachers and leaders from Lutheran churches around the world through advanced theological degrees.

From left, Michael Louis, Concordia Seminary's chief operating officer and executive vice president; Provost Dr. Jeffrey Kloha; Sally Handrick, chairwoman of the LWML mission grants committee; Vicki Biggs, senior vice president for Seminary advancement; and Dr. Gerhard Bode, dean of advanced studies.
From left, Michael Louis, Concordia Seminary’s chief operating officer and executive vice president; Provost Dr. Jeffrey Kloha; Sally Handrick, chairwoman of the LWML mission grants committee; Vicki Biggs, senior vice president for Seminary advancement; and Dr. Gerhard Bode, dean of advanced studies.

The Concordia Seminary grant was one of 19 mission grants totaling more than $1.4 million approved for 2015-17 by the LWML during its convention in June 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. Members of LWML, the women’s auxiliary of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, donated the funds for the grants through “mites.”

Sally Handrick, chairwoman of the LWML mission grants committee, presented the Seminary check before an audience that included Provost Dr. Jeff Kloha, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Michael Louis and Dean of Advanced Studies Dr. Gerhard Bode.

“We feel like we are partnering with you in this endeavor, by not only helping you financially with our monetary gifts but with the prayers we send with them,” Handrick said, before presenting the check to Vicki Biggs, senior vice president for Seminary advancement.

“It gives me so much joy to be able to present this check,” said Handrick, whose words were greeted with applause.

The Seminary currently has 48 international students enrolled from 25 countries across the globe: China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Burma, India, Guatemala, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Uruguay, Liberia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Germany, Norway, Latvia, Russia and Australia. Some of these students are not on campus, but are serving the church in their home countries. Some come to the Seminary twice a year to take intensive courses; others are working on theses or dissertations.

“On behalf of all of us at Concordia Seminary, thank you,” Biggs told Handrick. “We are so grateful for our partnership with the LWML. What the women of the LWML accomplish for the sake of the Gospel is tremendous.”

Many of the Seminary’s international students — who are studying to become pastors, deaconesses, teachers and leaders — come from developing countries and are unable to afford a graduate-level theological degree on their own. They are able to receive a Seminary education because of the LWML and other support.

“The LWML’s dedication to the work of our Lord’s church is amazing,” Bode said. “This gift is a great blessing to our students.”

Many international students were sent by their church bodies to the Seminary because of the world-class education it offers.

“When those graduates leave here, they are going to be prepared to preach and teach and lead and share the truth of Jesus Christ,” Biggs said. “We at Concordia Seminary are committed to our mission of preparing those future church leaders and we couldn’t do what we do without the partnerships of wonderful groups like the LWML.”

About Concordia Seminary
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis provides Gospel-centered graduate-level theological education for pastors, missionaries, deaconesses, scholars and other leaders in the name of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, visit www.csl.edu.