No matter where they are on their spiritual journey, God is at work in the lives of students at CUWAA.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the fall 2022 edition of Hearts Together, a Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor special magazine edition. 

“…a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the Church and world.”

The above words, familiar to most as part of Concordia’s mission statement, represent a truly high calling.

At its inception, Concordia’s mission was to focus on “mature” Christians: young Lutherans, confident in their faith, called to church work as pastors, teachers, parish musicians, and more. Naturally, we lift up and celebrate these students who are guided by God to various vocations in service to Christ—and rightfully so. The world needs called church workers today more than ever.

In recent decades, as church involvement has become a less significant part of many families’ lives and the number of children being born to American households has dwindled, Concordia’s high calling has taken on new urgency. Recognizing that the campus itself can (and should) be seen as a mission field, the need to build up the faith of all students is ever more vital, no matter where these students are on their spiritual journey.

It happens in so many ways. A student invites her roommate to attend Daily Chapel. A fresh take on the Word of God is offered to a skeptical freshman in Bible class. An athlete brings his non-believing teammate to Bible study. In a time of crisis, a friend says, “I’ll pray for you”—and follows through. Someone reflects the light of Christ with a much-needed smile in a crowded, bustling hallway. A campus pastor shares the Gospel with a student who then later becomes baptized.

These encounters happen every day on our campuses. In every single one, God is at work. A seed is planted. It is nurtured in the good soil of our Christ-centered community. Grace and forgiveness are offered and accepted. Growth begins. Faith takes root. In God’s own good time, fruit appears, and the process repeats.

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it,” explains Jesus in Matthew 13:23 (ESV). “He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

It truly is a high calling—a wonderous process to see and experience. No doubt there are scores of such seeds being planted right now across our two beautiful campuses. The Lord only knows the true heart of mankind, and the Spirit is vigorously at work accordingly, tilling the field, watering the fledgling foliage, and shielding it from the threats of harsh conditions. Our job at Concordia is to do our best to intentionally nurture the work of the Holy Spirit.

Here are just a few students, each an essential part of God’s beautiful, perfect, eternal plan, whose time at Concordia has impacted their faith in noticeable way.

Student-to-student support: Claudia Grepke (CUAA ’25)

Read Claudia’s story

In tune with the Lord: Nygie Rhodes (CUAA ’22)

Read Nygie’s story

The right environment: Stephanie Jondahl (CUW ’25)

Read Stephanie’s story

The ‘road to Damascus’ leads to Concordia: Skyler Moyer (CUW ’24)

Read Skyler’s story

Seeding growth: Concordia’s spiritual health by the numbers

See Concordia’s stats

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—The fall 2022 Hearts Together magazine hit mailboxes in early October. 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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