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Offerings Exceed Concordia Seminary's $1.5 Million Matching Grant

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis is pleased to announce that gifts to the Seminary over the past four months designated for student financial aid have exceeded $1.5 million. This surpasses the amount stipulated in the Seminary’s matching grant opportunity which expired June 30. As a result, $3 million will be available to cover the costs incurred over the past year in providing full-tuition support for resident students preparing to serve as pastors in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Gifts continue to arrive at Concordia Seminary and donors are being sought to provide additional matching funds for gifts in excess of the $1.5 million matching grant. “Our intention was to match all gifts received which are postmarked by June 30,” commented Rev. Glen Thomas, the Seminary’s vice president for seminary relations. “If we can identify donors who wish to provide matching funds for the gifts exceeding the $1.5 million amount, any gifts designated for student financial aid that are postmarked by June 30 will be eligible for matching funds.” Donors who wish to provide matching funds for the financial aid gifts in excess of $1.5 million should contact the Seminary’s development office via its toll-free phone number, 1-800-822-5287.

In March, the Seminary received a gift of $1 million from a Lutheran couple who wished to remain anonymous. The couple wanted the gift to be used to match offerings to the Seminary designated for student financial aid. “This couple wanted to encourage donors throughout the LCMS to provide full-tuition support for resident students preparing to serve as pastors,” stated Thomas. This couple’s gift inspired others to join the effort and provide additional matching gift funds. As a result, the original $1 million matching grant amount was raised to $1.5 million in early June. The Seminary was challenged by the donors to receive all gifts to be matched by the end of its 2002-03 fiscal year, June 30.

“We are profoundly grateful for the thousands of individuals, groups and congregations throughout our church who demonstrated overwhelming support for those who will serve as our future pastors,”commented Thomas. “We also realize that none of this would be possible without the generosity and leadership demonstrated by the couple who provided the initial $1 million matching grant and for those who provided gifts which enabled this original matching amount to be increased to $1.5 million.”

Concordia Seminary is experiencing dramatic enrollment growth which has produced an increased need for financial aid support. The past three years have witnessed the three largest incoming classes of new students since the early 1980s. Enrollment data for the coming year is on-pace to produce the largest incoming class since the early 1970s. For the week ending June 27, Concordia Seminary had received 238 applications from those desiring to enroll this fall. This compares with 197 during the same week last year and 165 two years ago.

While Concordia Seminary students face expenses for books and room and board, their tuition is covered through a partnership involving gifts from the student’s home congregation, home district and donors to Concordia Seminary. “We are going to be facing an even greater challenge over the coming year when it comes to the financial support of our students,” commented Thomas. “Concordia Seminary’s portion of the full-tuition support given to each resident student preparing to serve as a pastor will amount to $10,400 next year alone. The surging enrollment is great news for our church, but it is also presents a daunting fiscal challenge. The only way this full-tuition partnership for our future pastors can be maintained is through a renewed commitment by the people of the LCMS as demonstrated through their generous gifts.”

For more information, contact the Seminary’s development office at the phone number listed above, or by e-mail ( or by writing to Concordia Seminary, 801 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105. Donors may also take advantage of the new online donation option available on the Seminary’s Web site ( A credit card may be used to make an offering for tuition assistance or a variety of other gift options.