Investing in the Foundation

I am so grateful to my home congregation for sending me to seminary. Harold Revne, an elder in Bethesda, told me, “David, it’s time for you to go to get better prepared for ministry. And we’ll pay the tuition.” That’s just what they did. They set up a scholarship fund and paid it all.

At Lutheran Brethren Seminary I received a foundation that I could never get any other way. I still have my notes from Pastor Gjerness’ class on the book of Romans. Pastor Boe had a grading scale on the syllabus for preaching class which included the line, “No Gospel = F.” In Old Testament class we learned to hear all of its contents in light of God’s promise of the Savior through whom “all the nations of the earth would be blessed.” What a foundation!

What I didn’t know then was the cost of this foundation. I only wondered, “How could I pay tuition and living expenses while in seminary?” My work now includes helping many students to find answers to the same question. But I also know that tuition alone doesn’t pay the cost of the foundation.

How much does it cost? Tuition for a three-year Master of Divinity costs $33,000. Financial aid from endowments pays 1/3 of that cost for those preparing for CLB ministry. Beyond that, the financial partners of LBS give $2 for every $1 paid in tuition.

Who are these partners?

  • Business people who believe in the value of a solid foundation.
  • Retirees who give from their investments and their social security checks.
  • Pastors who experience every day the importance of this foundation.

I’m so grateful for congregations who send people into ministry and pay the cost. They invest in providing a solid foundation. They proactively prepare the next generation of pastors and leaders. They “pray the Lord of the harvest to send workers into the harvest.” They encourage teenagers to test their ministry skills, and they affirm them in their ministry gifts. They set up scholarship funds so that they can send students to prepare for ministry.

Now that I better understand the investment required, I am also grateful for those who provide the cost of what tuition does not pay. I wish that I could tell you all of their stories, but I don’t even know them all. I do know that they are godly people who are willing to invest in the cost of the foundation.

You are invited to partner with them to provide this solid foundation in the Word, one that will stand firm in any storm.

Dr. David Veum is President of Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, MN.

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