Over the last couple of months I’ve heard the Junior Choir from Calvary Lutheran School in Dallas sing in our worship services. I visited my home congregation – Zion, Monroe, MI – where I attended K-8. And I got to observe math and science classes at my alma mater, Michigan Lutheran Seminary, as part of my service on the Governing Board.
It reminded me of the great blessings that we have in our District and in our Synod in the area of Christian education. The Wisconsin Synod runs one of the largest private school systems (K-12) in the United States. Some stats:
- 403 early childhood ministries (pre-school) with 10,725 students (largest: 164, smallest: 1; average: 27).
- 324 Lutheran elementary schools with 24,644 students (largest: 470, smallest: 6; average: 76).
- 23 Lutheran high schools with 5,600 students (largest: 758; smallest: 58; average: 244). Some students from our area attend Nebraska Lutheran High School (Waco). My wife attended Minnesota Valley Lutheran (New Ulm). Judy Calvert’s brother teaches at Michigan Lutheran (St. Joseph).
- 2 ministerial education prep high schools with 627 students (401 at Luther Prep, Watertown, WI; 226 at Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, MI). Did you know that after Wisconsin, Texas is at the top in providing students at Luther Prep? Recently students from Texas also enrolled at MLS. Andrew Krentz attended MLS (graduating the same year that I did). John Griepentrog graduated from Luther Prep. Both Jeff and Lisa Gaertner attended prep schools (different ones).
- 2,706 teachers serve these students.
- The South Central District (Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, part of Louisiana) has 19 schools and early childhood programs with over 650 students. Our closest? Calvary Lutheran School in Dallas with 86 students – www.calvarydallas.org.
- For the first time in the 21st century, the numbers of students at all four levels (early childhood, elementary, area Lutheran high school, and prep school) increased!
Stats are wonderful, but even more wonderful is why these schools exist. They help parents raise children in the training and instruction of the Lord! Every day in these schools children grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus! And, on top of that (as if that weren’t enough) they also get prepared for the next steps in life, for good citizenship in our country, and for being leaders in the church wherever they live (some of them being prepared to enter the holy ministry!). Pray for these schools! And if you have children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews of school age, please ask me for more information about how they could become a part of this wonderful gift from God!