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Thrivent Grant Helps Seminary Students, Faculty Engage World Beyond Its Walls

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, received a $95,000 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans through its Lutheran Seminary Grant Program. The funds will support a collaborative approach to student cross-cultural field education, and faculty sabbaticals. Thrivent representatives presented the check to Dr. Dale A. Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary, on Jan. 19.

A significant portion of the grant will fund Concordia Seminary students to experience short-term, three-to-six-week, intensive field education assignments in cultural settings dramatically different from their own. These cross-cultural experiences are the result of a collaborative effort of Concordia Seminary, Concordia College—New York, and the Atlantic District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. A significant portion of the grant, $83,000, will be used to cover the cost of travel for Seminary students to and from Concordia College—New York, which will serve as the host site for the cross-cultural experiences. Dr. William Utech, the Seminary’s director of resident field education, will serve as the project administrator.

“Students involved in this project will acquire a deeper appreciation for what it means to be separated from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, and they will be better equipped to share Christ with those of a different culture,” commented Mark Hofman, Concordia Seminary’s vice president for development. “The cost of travel has been the greatest barrier for students who want to participate in these kinds of experiences. We are very grateful to Thrivent for opening the door to this opportunity for our students.”

The Thrivent grant also will be used to support faculty members who are eligible for a sabbatical under the Seminary’s existing faculty development policies. Administered by Dr. Andrew Bartelt, the Seminary’s executive vice president for academic affairs, grant funds will be allocated to faculty to offset the cost of travel and research.

“Sabbatical leave is an important part of the service of our faculty, especially in light of the current opportunities for leadership in research, publication and engagement with the changing world in which our Lord’s mission is carried out,” Bartelt said. “Thrivent has a long history of providing financial support, and these grants will help facilitate special projects of our faculty, for which we are deeply grateful.”

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a Fortune 500 financial services membership organization helping nearly 3 million members achieve their financial goals and give back to their communities. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates offer a broad range of financial products and services including life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, disability income insurance, bank products and more. As a not-for-profit organization, Thrivent Financial sponsors national outreach programs and activities that support congregations, schools, charitable organizations and individuals in need.

For more information, contact Development, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105; 314-505-7350;