Called by God and shaped by faithful saints, Concordia students prepare for church work vocations.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. Therefore parakaleo one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”


The seeds of God’s Word are daily sown through an army of faithful workers who have opted to eschew worldly prosperity and answer the Divine Call to serve as commissioned workers in Lutheran and Christian schools, churches, and organizations around the world.

Yes, it was the Holy Spirit who placed the Divine Call on these individuals’ hearts. However, more often than not, there was also a Spirit-fifilled teacher, pastor, parent, or the like who came before them to motivate and model the joys and privileges of serving within the Church.

The Greek word for “encourage” illustrates how we as Christians are to accomplish this. Parakaleo, when broken down into its root word and prefifix, is kaleo, which means “to call,” and para, which means “alongside.” Thus, to encourage is, fifirst, to invite someone alongside ourselves, just as the Apostle Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5.

The fine art of inviting another alongside yourself is best learned from those who have successfully accomplished it. Meet a few of the individuals who have championed church work and effectively encouraged the next generation to enter into the divine pursuit.

Click the links below to read some “shoulder tap” stories from our students:

Director of Church Ministries



Concordia offers the following church work programs:

  • Pre-seminary studies
  • Lutheran teaching
  • Director of church ministries (CUW) / family life ministries (CUAA)
  • Parish music

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Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the spring 2022 issue of Hearts Together, a Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor Special Magazine edition. The spring/summer issue hit mailboxes in early May. View a PDF version of the magazine here. If you are not on our mailing list, but are interested in receiving a free copy, email

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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