Dear Friends in Christ:
There are so many good causes to which you might contribute in these coming weeks. You can choose to feed the hungry, help the sick and disabled, spread the Good News through evangelical outreach and mission, or provide funding for campus or prison ministry, abuse shelters, rehabilitation services and much, much more.
With all these pressing needs, we in the Church sometimes overlook what is most basic to our collective future: Where will our congregations find faithful, competent and courageous pastors who can proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with passion and skill? We believe that churches understanding this demand will increasingly call as their pastors men and women educated at the Institute of Lutheran Theology (ILT). Can you support this with a gift in Lent?
Since receiving institutional accreditation last year, ILT has set personal records for student headcount and FTE (full-time equivalency.) Currently, ILT has about 120 active students from across North America and beyond seeking a Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology, or Doctor of Ministry degree, or studying in our various certificate programs.
In the fall of 2019, ILT will be offering four new programs: a Master in Ministry degree, a Masters in Military Chaplaincy, new offerings in our Life in Christ programming and, very significantly, a new Ph.D. degree. A Ph.D. degree? Why would ILT be doing this?
In the summer of 2007, I articulated five goals for ILT, two of which pertain to the Ph.D.: 1) ILT would train the next generations of faithful Lutheran professors, and 2) ILT would embark on a research program seeking to recover the basic assumptions of the Lutheran Reformation. I thought that in order to have faithful pastors, we needed faithful professors teaching these future pastors. I believed that the best way to make faithful pastors is to expose them to heavy doses of Lutheran theology.
Every dollar you give builds a faithful future, a future where passionate Biblically-grounded, confessional preachers can again occupy our pulpits. ILT has so far graduated about 70 students, the vast majority of whom are serving as pastors. Please know that a gift of $500, $1,000 or $2,000 would help replenish our scholarship fund and will go directly to tuition aid. However, whatever amount you could give now will be of great help to the Institute. You can choose your gift amount and what fund you through this giving page at Network for Good (click here to support us), or mailing to PO BOX 833. Thank you for your support and please bring this need to your Church Council. Thank you for helping us in our mission to raise up a new generation of faithful pastors, teachers and church leaders!
President Dennis Bielfeldt, Ph.D.
Other Ways To Support ILT
According to Thrivent.com, "Last year, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans provided more than $100 million to help congregations, communities and individuals in need." By choosing ILT to receive your Choice Dollars® you are helping prepare the next generation of faithful Lutheran preachers and teachers.
Make ILT your choice quarterly or annually!
You can instruct Thrivent in January, April, July and October as to where you would like your funds to be directed. Thrivent does not automatically send the funds out, you must remake the request annually or quarterly in order to assure that your funds are being distributed in accordance to your wishes.
Funds are distributed in January, after they have accumulated for the year. Deadline annually is March 31st.
According to Thrivent.com, "To be eligible to participate in Choice Dollars®, you must be a benefit member age 16 or older. Individual eligibility is also based on:
Holding a Thrivent Financial volunteer leadership position
Having $800 or more in annual premiums of qualifying insurance products
Having $20,000 or more in contract value of qualifying products.
Amount of Choice Dollars® Designated to You
$2.50 Choice Dollars® per $100 of annual premium on qualifying insurance products is designated monthly based upon the premium payments you made in the prior month.
$1.25 Choice Dollars® per $1,000 of contract value of qualifying products is designated on a quarterly basis. 25% of this amount will be designated to you each calendar quarter based upon the actual contract value at the end of the quarter.
$50 Choice Dollars® for holding a qualifying Thrivent Financial volunteer leadership position is designated once each year."
Making ILT your choice is easy!
1. Direct Choice Dollars online at www.thrivent.com/thriventchoice/
2. Or, call 800-THRIVENT (800-847-4836) and state "Thrivent Choice."
Please use AmazonSmile when ordering anything from Amazon.com! Remember, always start at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. Every little bit adds up: Institute Of Lutheran Theology has received $414.13 as of October 2018.
If you haven't used AmazonSmile before, here is some pertinent information:
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from over one million organizations to support.
To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. Millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked "Eligible for AmazonSmile donation" on their product detail pages. You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.
How to select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?
On your first visit to AmazonSmile smile.amazon.com, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.They will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
Go to https://smile.amazon.com for more information. Remember, always start at
smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. Thank you!