On Wednesday, September 25, Concordia University Ann Arbor held the inaugural Clergy on Campus visit day for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod clergy, welcoming over 30 pastors from the Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio districts.
Seeking opportunities to engage university supporters with all that CUAA has to offer, Concordia gave clergy the chance to interact with current students via a student panel, sit in and engage in a class of their choice, tour the main campus and north building, and discuss the state and the future of the university with campus leadership and University President Rev. Patrick T. Ferry, PhD.
New academic programs, increased co-curricular activities, and campus renovations and additions are all attributes to CUAA’s record-breaking enrollment numbers since 2013. With expanded student populations and offerings, Concordia’s vision and purpose remain intently focused on keeping Christ First in Everything, that in all things Christ may have preeminence (Colossians 1:18).
“We are both a mission field, and a mission-sending agency,” remarked CUAA’s Assistant to the President and Campus Pastor Rev. Dr. Ryan Peterson during Wednesday’s Coffee and Conversation portion of the day’s agenda.
President Ferry also addressed the student opportunities that have changed since the college’s first academic year 1963, at the time offering only church work degrees. Now, with four academic schools and over 60 academic programs to choose from, Concordia students are being prepared for lives of service to Christ in the Church and world in dozens areas of study.
“It used to be that pastors would be tapping young parishioners on the shoulder saying, ‘You should go to Concordia for church work,’” Ferry said during a question and answer session at the conclusion of the day. “We believe pastors should also be tapping parishioners on the shoulder and saying, ‘You should go to Concordia to become a nurse, to study business, and so on.’”
During a student panel discussion, Senior Vice President of University Affairs Gretchen Jameson facilitated discussion among four CUAA students, asking them to respond to questions including: how do you experience faith and learning coming together at Concordia? What is one word you would use to describe CUAA? Have you observed or heard from peers of differences that exist between Concordia and other collegiate experiences?
Along with the meaningful discussion and dialogue, the day also lent opportunities for the clergy to relive their college classroom days, participating in classroom discussions and break-out groups, gathering around busy tables for all-you-can-eat buffet style lunch in the cafeteria, and worshiping alongside Concordia students in Daily Chapel.
If you have ideas on ways that Concordia University Ann Arbor can inspire partnership and advocacy within your church and congregation working with us as The Church’s School, please reach out to Concordia’s church relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at email@example.com or 734-995-7403.
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