A good father makes all the difference in a child's life. For this reason, a godly man will take seriously the responsibility he's been given to model Christian character to the next generation.

Whether consciously or not, some fathers take their role model responsibilities to the next level by daily demonstrating the joy they have in their careers. That’s been the case for the students and alumni listed below. Inspired by the men who raised them, these Concordians have chosen career paths in the same field as their dads.

In honor of Father’s Day, the Strat Comms team invites you to take a look at just a few of the Concordians who are following in their father’s footsteps.

The Van Dellen educators

“To my dad, Jim Van Dellen, thank you…for always supporting, encouraging, inspiring, and loving me, even at my lowest moments. Thank you for teaching me how important it is to work my best and to do everything for the glory of the Lord.” —Katherine Van Dellen

Daughter: Katherine Van Dellen (’22), secondary education major —English and special education; Lutheran Teaching Diploma

Dad: Jim Van Dellen, principal at St. John’s School in West Bend, Wisconsin

How he’s an inspiration: Being a teacher’s kid, I got to experience a lot of behind-the-scenes moments, including how big of a heart he has for all of his students. To this day, he still makes it a priority to build relationships with his students and encourage them all on their faith walk. He has had an impact on so many different students, including myself, and I pray that I am also able to make an impact on my future students like he has done for so many.

The Ciszewski business professionals

“Dad, I’d like to thank you for always putting us first. I know one of the reasons you work so hard is so that you can take care of us. (My brothers) and I are so grateful to have such a selfless, caring, Christ-centered dad.” —Amay Ciszewski 

Daughter: Amay Ciszewski (’22), accounts receivable and accounts payable specialist at UTEC

Dad: Kliff Ciszewski, service manager at Traffic and Safety Control Systems, Inc.

How he’s an inspiration: I saw how hard my dad worked and how much he glorified God with it. He started at his company when he was very young as a technician, and it didn’t take long for the company to see how hard-working and driven he was. They made him a manager and then, he became co-owner. He didn’t have a college degree, but his hard work and dedication helped him to get to where he is today. His example inspires me to give 110% when I’m working. I know I’m just like my dad and if I work hard enough and show my dedication to the company, I will get to my dream job.

The Halboth pastors

“As it says in Proverbs 22:6, ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.’ Thanks be to God that my dad and grandpa and generations before them certainly followed this wisdom.” —Aaron Halboth

Son/Grandson: Aaron Halboth (’24), church music and pre-seminary major


  • Marcus Halboth (Great-great-great-grandfather; ordained in 1864)
  • Victor Halboth, Sr. (Great-grandfather; ordained in 1929)
  • Victor Halboth, Jr. (Grandfather; ordained in 1957)
  • Tim Halboth (Father; pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Redford, Michigan)

How they are an inspiration: I’ve been called to the ministry for almost as long as I remember. I know that this call is from God, but God has worked tremendously through my dad and grandpa to bring me here. Growing up, I saw my dad and grandpa leading services and preaching. I saw them shaking hands and greeting people in the narthex after the service. I saw them making hospital calls and calls to shut-ins. I saw them as leaders and pillars in the church and in the wider community. Seeing the way that they ministered to God’s people and seeing the purpose they found in this ministry served as an example to me, showing me my own call to lead in the church and proclaim God’s Word.

The Dudley nurses

“Dad, I am very thankful to you for all of the support you have given me throughout my life. You’re always there to help me study, understand concepts, and get me through the hard times. You’re the best!” —Violet Dudley

“Thank you, Dad, for your support, guidance, and love! You have been my biggest role model throughout life and have helped shape the individual I have become. I am endlessly grateful for everything you have done and continue to do for me. I can’t wait to be working alongside you soon. I love you!” —Ruby Dudley

Daughters: Ruby Dudley (’23) and Violet Dudley (’24), nursing majors

Dad: Blair Dudley, nurse anesthetist (CRNA) at University of Michigan Hospital

How he’s an inspiration:

Ruby: Following my battle with childhood cancer, my dad went back to school to become a nurse anesthetist after experiencing the impact that healthcare professionals made on our family’s lives. My dad allowed me to grow and learn alongside him throughout my childhood which sparked my passion for nursing as well. I have always looked forward to working in the same field as my dad and following in his footsteps.

Violet: My dad inspired me to become a nurse because I have seen how much he loves his job. He is very passionate and really enjoys taking acre of his patients. Seeing this makes me want to care for others just like he does.

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

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