The largest fundraising effort in the history of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis concluded in 2020 after eight years and raised $285 million — $39 million more than its original goal. The funds raised increased the Seminary’s endowment, boosted student scholarships, renovated the library and helped position the 182-year-old institution for a sound future for generations to come.
The effort included two campaigns: Generations: The Campaign for Concordia Seminary and it extension, Generations 20/20 Campaign. The original campaign began in 2012 and the final campaign concluded Dec. 31, 2020.
“Thank you for your overwhelming support! These gifts are propelling the Seminary’s mission in Christ into the heart of this 21st century and ensuring our Seminary’s distinct role in church worker preparation, firmly grounded in the Scriptures and Lutheran Confessions,” said President Dr. Thomas J. Egger. “By partnering with the Seminary, you resource us to strive for excellence in preparing church workers to bring His precious Gospel to countless people, including so many who don’t know Christ and who desperately need His comfort and hope.”
When combined, the two Generations campaigns raised $159 million for endowment, $117 million for annual support and $9 million for library and learning technology.
Endowment funds provide perpetual funding for Seminary operations, endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships. Continuing to grow the Seminary endowment is a vital ongoing endeavor in the ongoing work to achieve a balanced, sustainable funding model, especially as such gifts quite often are deferred as part of a donor’s estate plan.
Another key component of the two campaigns focused on increasing annual support. Gifts given directly by individuals and congregations each year provide the funds that support the Seminary’s day-to-day operations, including providing for academic programs, retention and development of the Seminary’s world-class faculty, and maintenance of the Seminary’s beautiful, iconic campus.
Donors’ direct support through these campaigns also made possible the Seminary’s ability to guarantee tuition for its residential ministerial formation students. This financial aid policy debuted in the 2018-19 academic year, and many students have attested to this policy eliminating the financial hurdle they faced in determining whether to come to the Seminary. This policy can only continue as long as the necessary donor support continues.
The capital component of the two campaigns served to raise monies for the renovation of the library and enhancements to learning technology. Donors responded with the funds needed to transform the Seminary’s Kristine Kay Hasse Memorial Library into a state-of-the-art learning facility and to make significant investments in high-tech initiatives including a major digitization project of library resources, ensuring the Seminary’s ability to connect with students, church workers, scholars and lay members around the world.
Faithful donors were the key to the campaigns’ success. In all, nearly 78,000 people contributed some 320,000 gifts.
“I’m afraid these mere words of thanks cannot begin to convey the depth of our gratitude for the awesome generosity we have witnessed through the Generations campaigns,” said Vicki Biggs, senior vice president for Seminary Advancement. “Friends and supporters have rallied with the gifts that are making it possible for the Seminary to continue its mission of providing the Gospel-centered, confessional Lutheran educational excellence and ministry preparation for which it has been known for nearly 200 years. And while we can say, with gratitude from the bottom of hearts, ‘well done, good and faithful servants,’ the mission continues. We prayerfully and with great hope invite our donors to continue their support of our beloved Seminary’s eternal life-saving mission.”
Those who are interested in learning more or who want to donate can call 800-822-5287, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit csl.edu/support.
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen”
Eph. 3:20-21 ESV
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 csl.edu.